The Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) started in 2015 and gained a steady following each year but never actually reached the levels of other MOBAs like League of Legends or Dota 2, peaking at 257,243 people simultaneously watching. Several big esports organizations like Dignitas and Fnatic put together their own teams and began racing to the top. To the surprise of everyone involved, Blizzard Entertainment, who have maintained full rights to the competition, decided to cancel HGC at the end of 2018, announcing that it will not be returning the next year. The exact reasons were never expressed but speculation is that the relatively low numbers of followers of the championship over 3 years were the reason why Blizzard decided to pull the plug.
Despite the bad news and the cancellation of the professional scene, fans of the game continued with Heroes Lounge (est. 2016), the biggest amateur league of Heroes of the Storm, to date. Matches are organized by volunteers, played by teams divided into different divisions, based on their skill and in-game MMR (matchmaking rating), and often streamed through the official Twitch channel of the organization. Divisions are split between North America and Europe and named from 1-7, according to skill level. Heroes Lounge also hosts matches for, what they call, Division S, a competition scene for the top teams in each region with prizes being often put together by crowdfunding or sponsorships.
Although named ‘amateur league’, there is nothing unserious about this organization. The matches are played under strict rules including banned heroes, bugs, talents, and feature commentary from the hosts or guests invited. Heroes Lounge is currently at 6216 followers on Twitch, 652 on YouTube and a very active Discord server. Teams can join HL either by signing up as full, 5-player, teams or by using the official Discord server to look for a team to join. So even if you’re alone but think of seriously getting into HotS, you might find a team that needs you!
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