After two weeks of bootcamping in preparations for the first global competition as a team, it all came down to BlizzCon for Astral Authority’s Heroes of the Storm team.
As reigning North American Champions Astral’s seeding placed them at the top of Group A of Stage #2. Their first set before BlizzCon was against the Taiwanese team, Please Buff Arthas. They fell game one on Infernal Shrines, as PBA put up a stronger fight than some would assume coming from such a small region. Astral rallied back and dominated game two on Braxis Holdout, tieing up the series and forcing one of the few game three’s seen the entire competition. Game three’s draft went fairly well, and looked to be tilted in Astral’s favor but PBA had stronger team fights and Temple control, taking down Astral forts much quicker. Unfortunately Astral fell game three and was moved the lower bracket.
Day one of BlizzCon was Astral’s last chance to advance in the group stage as they faced the European powerhouse, Dignitas. Down one game, all was on the line on Towers of Doom. The beginning seemed so heavily favored for Astral as they dominated practically every early game team fight, but failed to capitalize on altar spawns. Astral unfortunately lost to Dignitas 2-0 and was eliminated from the remained for the Fall Championship.
“Even though we didn't get the results we were hoping for, I am still extremely proud of our team. After their losses I know the players have the fire to show up at China and make NA proud.”
-Dinkelin Tavarez, Astral Authority CEO
BlizzCon is in the past and now we look to the future. With the new Heroes Global Championship format Astral will automatically be one of the eight top teams in North America to begin 2017 competition. This format will promise weekly play for all teams that will begin after the eight have been rounded out in January.
As North American champions, Astral has been directly invited to the new Gold Club World Championship held in China in December as well.
“The team is looking forward to playing once again verses teams we have gotten to scrim against from around the world, we feel that Blizzcon has opened our eyes more and we know what to expect going into another international event.”
-Manuel “Fury” Medina
Exactly one month after BlizzCon Astral will be traveling to again compete with the best in the world at the Water Cube in Beijing, China for a piece of the $300,000 prize pool.
While the BlizzCon results were unfortunate, Astral Authority has so much ahead of them. More global competition in China will be strong not only for the experience for the team, but for the quality of global Heroes eSports in general. The consistent play and compensation provided in the North American Pro League will also provide good experience come time for meta changes and a good change of pace as opposed to scrimmages.
You can see Astral Authority next at the 2016 Heroes of the Storm Gold Club World Championship in Beijing, China December 3-4.