A Look Into the Nexus Contest
Group Stage Preview
Written by: Koznarov
The European Nexus Contest was announced before the HGC debacle with the aim of filling in the gap left by the 2017 Nexus Games. Blizzard had already announced that they wouldn’t hold the tournament anymore, so a community initiative began to organize a similar tournament. The concept is similar: non-HGC players from the top of the Hero League ladder represent their country.
However, the Nexus Contest introduces some changes. Only the two best ladder players from each country are picked to become captains of their national team. Then the captains recruit the three remaining players. Former HGC players have been chosen as coaches for the teams to share their competitive experience with the rookies.
One name stands out in this group: France. This team brings in a lot of talent and experience. Led by the former BeGenius player TankFTW and 2018 Heroes of the Dorm winner Nesdip, France will try to rank higher than last year after Sweden eliminated them in the semifinals. Ménè will be the coach for the French team.
If France delivers, we’ll have Italy, Finland, and Spain fighting for the second spot of this group. Two players from last year’s Nexus Games will be playing again for Italy: BuYa and Cesc. Last year, the Italians defeated Finland in their group and advanced into the quarterfinals, but this year the Finnish group of talented Open Division players like Buvelle, led by last year’s veteran MXD, are looking for revenge. Spain is the biggest mystery of this group. Last year they had VortiX and LucifroN but couldn’t make it out of groups. Will they do better this year with lesser known players?
Group B will probably be the most difficult. We have one of the strongest countries in Heroes history and current Nexus Games champions, Poland, led by Bl3kitny’s. His guidance will likely preserve the crown, but Russia, a country that has been in the background since the Synergy days, hasn’t been asleep. Many Russian players fought in this year’s Open Division, and their Nexus Contest roster has already won a tournament, the second season of Agon League. Russia also defeated Germany in a recent showmatch.
The other two teams of group B are Ukraine and Portugal. Both teams have some players from last year that failed to make it out of groups. Both fell against Sweden and Russia and will try to get revenge, but only two teams can advance into quarterfinals, so the fight will be fearsome.
Germany is the birthplace of many Heroes of the Storm pro players. With Nurok as a coach and the experience of Laranas and Olf, the Germans will aim to become the Nexus Contest champions.
But Nurok won’t be the only former HGC coach in this group; Zaelia will be leading Denmark. Unfortunately, the Danes will have a rough time making it out of the group. They have some Open Division players, but they’ll need to take down their Nexus Games executioner, Hungary. The Hungarians don’t bring in any big names, but they advanced to the quarterfinals last year anyway, so they should be taken into account.
The fourth team of this group is Czech Republic. Three of their players played the Nexus Games last year, so they know what this is about. Will they take down Zaelia’s Danes and the Hungarians?
During the HGC era, only one non-Korean team won an international event: the all-Swede Fnatic. That said, Sweden has always been one of the pillars in the competitive scene, and they are still committed to the game. In addition, they will have Makke’s knowledge to help them.
We can now proudly announce that we will be playing under SESF (Svenska Esportföreningen) as the official national team of Sweden in Heroes of the Storm. We will be going to Stockholm with the team for the duration of the tournament and play it from there! https://t.co/fcZhYbi5zo pic.twitter.com/G0px6GsF3F— Team Sweden HOTS 🇸🇪 (@HotsSweden) December 17, 2018
The remaining teams of group D are Belgium, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Belgium has Open Division veterans Talouf and Enabler, but it won’t be easy. Netherlands, with almost the same roster as last year, will be a tough rival, and so will be the British. Any of these three teams can take the second spot in this group. None of them faced the others last year, so we don’t know what to expect from these duels, but no doubt they will give their best to take down their rivals.
The Nexus Contest begins January 8 at 18:00 CET, so don’t miss the fun! Games will be streamed in many languages, which you can check out at the Nexus Contest site.
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