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heroes Interview With 2ARC Gaming Heroes of the Storm Team

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To help players of all skill levels learn more about some of the ins and outs of playing Heroes of the Storm effectively as a team, Kevin 'Odinn' Hovdestad of Icy Veins sat down with 2ARC Gaming, a top tier competitive Heroes team. In the interview, they share their insights on designing team compositions, map strategy development, talent build planning, target priorities, and more.


2ARC finished second in the late 2014 Heroes Premier League NA Season 1, and recently placed third in the ESL Heroes Major League - Americas Season 1.



The team, players, and team members in this interview are as follows:


2ARC Gaming (Facebook, Twitter)



Alexi "MrNyxis" Barth (Twitter)

JT "Phakz" Rogers (Twitter)



Brendan "FuriousD" Oakley (Twitter)
Jacob "QuibsY" Martisek (Twitter)
Kevin "ChubbsZ" Yepez (Twitter)
Stuart "Traitorr" Dameri  (Twitter)
Stone "Pannucci" May (Twitter)








Designing Team Compositions


Odinn – When you’re picking Heroes to build a team composition, whether it’s draft format or not, how do you design your team compositions? Do you tailor them based on the individual strengths of players? Do you worry about the requirements of the maps? Do you give any thought to the selections your opponents are making, or are there other variables that go in to designing a team composition?


FuriousD – Usually, in a casual setting, most of the time you’re going to want at least one tank and one healer. That doesn’t necessarily mean Warriors and Support – Tassadar usually doesn’t cut it on his own, neither does Tyrande as a healer. Certain Warriors don’t really cut it as a tank – Sonya doesn’t, Anub’arak is questionable. Most of the time, when you’re playing with a group, you want one tank and one healer. You can have more than that – you can have two healers or two tanks, but the baseline should be one tank and one healer most of the time.


QuibsY – I would agree with that. Blizzard even agreed with that – they released stats saying if your team doesn’t have a healer and the other team does, your win rate goes down from 50% to 42%*. I would say healer is more important than tank – you can get away with not having a tank more so than not having a designated healer.


* Per Blizzard, these numbers were 48.7%/52.62% for 1v2 or 1v3 supports, respectively, vs. 44.86%/43.43% for 0v1 or 0v2 supports.


Pannucci – Another thing is when you build a team composition, you want to have a general idea of, “Okay, we want to aim for this goal, and then we’ll expand from this goal to other, smaller goals, but this is our main focus.” Then you pick characters because they do something well. You create a central goal, and then build from that.


Odinn – When you say ‘goal’, what does that entail in the Heroes setting? In other Blizzard games, you’ll go into a StarCraft game with a ‘build order’, planning on working towards something, and adjust based on what counter-composition your opponent brings. You’ll go into a Hearthstone match with an explicit ‘win condition’ built into your deck. What does that look like in Heroes?


QuibsY – When you’re drafting your team, especially in a competitive setting, your first two to three picks are power picks, and then after that, you look at what you’re doing, what your opponents are doing, and the map. By that, I mean on certain maps you want two healers, or on certain maps you want two tanks, and if your opponents haven’t picked a tank and you want two of them, you want to put a higher priority on it, so you can get the higher priority tanks.


I also think that when Pannucci said ‘with a goal in mind’, he meant: Are we catering to the early game? Are we picking Heroes like Kerrigan that excel in the early game? Are we picking Heroes that excel once they hit 10, and we get our level 10 ultimates? Are we looking to team fight? Are we looking to split up and push? Are we looking for global presence? These are all things that you’re answering when you’re looking at the map, when you’re looking at what the enemy has and what you’re trying to put together. As an example, if we picked Zeratul here, Void Prison is awesome, but you probably need something to go with it – a Diablo Apocalypse, or something to couple with it, otherwise it’s kind of underwhelming.


FuriousD – Most games of Heroes come down to who has the better team fight. There are occasionally going to be games where you can win through other means, but that’s pretty rare. Usually the better team fight is going to win the game. You need to think about that when you’re picking your team – how is every team fight going to go? How do the fights start? Are we going to engage a certain way? Are we going to combo our ultimates in a certain way? If you’re in a draft, and it looks like your opponents have a better team fight, or they can blow one of you up really quick, are you going to try and kite and run away? Do you have an escape plan? That’s a very important part of picking a team – what does your team fight look like, and what is the ideal fight going to be with the Heroes you have?


A second thing is map objectives. A perfect example is Sky Temple – you just need to stand on the temples, and you will win the game that way. You don’t ever need to push into the base, which means Heroes that are good in team fights but don’t do lots of damage are perfectly fine. That would be a map where double support is good, because they’re not great at pushing bases, but they can stand on a temple just like anyone else. Team fighting is the main goal, and if you can build around map objectives, that’s good too.


Pannucci – Where you want to fight and what the map caters to – where are you going to fight on that map – and what’s the objective of the map, that’s how you win the game. You’re going to win the game off of the map objective, more likely than not. You probably win 9 out of 10 games off of map objectives. Team fights set up the map objective, but you need the objective to win.








Map Specific Strategies


Odinn – How do strategies vary by map? There aren’t a huge number of maps yet, but on the existing map pool, do you plan on specific timings or styles of play – whether it’s playing to objectives, laning, or skipping objectives to go all in – specifically by map?


Pannucci – Yes, I’ll give a good example. On Sky Temple, the first spawn is middle and top. Generally speaking, every professional team tries to grab their Knights top around a minute and a half until the next spawn, because it’s a two minute timer, and the next spawn is always bottom. The Knights going top put a lot of extra pressure on the map. There’s downtime and uptime for these map objectives. We do the map objective, and then in the in-between time, we do merc camps, rotate to prevent pressure, etc. – you play for the map objective, and then when the map objective is down, you play the map. It’s a balancing act of playing two different styles, and figuring out what’s the most optimal way to deal with both of them. Winning one thing doesn’t win the game.


QuibsY – As the shot caller, I make a lot of those calls where an objective isn’t worth it anymore, and here’s why. I usually don’t give the why until after the fact with my team, because I don’t have time, but an example is when the curse spawns on Cursed Hollow, generally you want all five people there, because they’re valuable. However, there are many instances – they’re about to hit 10 and we’re not, our team fight is awful until we hit 10, etc. – so give up the first two team fights on the tribute, let them have it, just stall it as much as you can. Delay them so we can get to level 10 as fast as humanly possible. That way, when the third tribute comes around, we should be 10, and we should be able to force and win a fight, take the tribute, and possibly a boss or a fort.


The key to Heroes that a lot of newer players won’t understand is that it’s very similar to StarCraft, in that it’s a game of trades. Just because you’re not trading one to one doesn’t mean it’s not a good trade. An example of that is if you’re behind, a one to one trade is always good, but if you’re ahead, you need to keep grabbing ground on them, otherwise you’re going to let them catch up due to how Blizzard has experience set up. One kill if you’re two levels behind is worth almost triple, if not triple, what it is for the team that is ahead.


When you’re doing this give and take, e.g. if their team is doing the Grave Golem on Cursed Hollow, that means the entire bottom side of the map is completely exposed. We can take an experience lead if we take a fort and then transition. You have to make these trades based on the game state, which changes drastically based on the map and compositions. There are certain Heroes that are very good at making trades, such as Lost Vikings, or Abathur – you’ll never lose lane soak with them on your team. You can make more condensed plays and have more people show up to the same play with those characters on your team, because you’re not giving up as much. If you can get the objective without sacrificing that much, it’s always better to get the objective.


Traitorr – There are certain objectives that are very specific. Pannucci mentioned Sky Temple shrines, which spawn two minutes after the previous final shots of the prior shrines. There are other map objectives like the curse on Cursed Hollow, where it’s not an exact time and the locations can be variable. You want to be able to get mercs pressuring a certain part of the map where you know the enemy team won’t be at because of the map objective, but at the same time, you can’t just take 20 seconds to run from the top side of the map to the bottom side of the map to get a siege camp if people aren’t in the general area. If you can get the stuff at the right time, perfect – other times, you just can’t, because it’s a game where people need to be together doing things together.








Talent Builds & Game Progression


Odinn – Do you go in as each Hero with a planned build order, based on individual preference, the team comp, or otherwise? Or do you make those choices based on the progression of the individual matchup?


Pannucci – This game is kind-of a hybrid between League, where you always go the same build, and DotA, where you almost always go with something different. You have a set tree that you’re going to go at 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 20 – but, generally speaking, there are multiple talents you can take at every tier that are good. There is no character that you can’t deviate and have it be good. Here’s a good example – ETC has a talent on 13 that makes Debut slow enemies by 80% for 2s. The ‘standard’ talent is whenever you use the ability, he gains 20% movement speed. In certain comps, where you’re trying to keep people spread out, you’re going to take that ability instead of the movement speed one, instead of a game plan where you’re going to chase after a Hero and blow them up where you’d take the movement speed.


FuriousD – It’s never 100% you’re always going to go the same thing. There are certain Heroes where you will, at the beginning of the game – or at least at the end of the draft – know what you’re going to do. Valla is one of those Heroes where there’s different things you can do, but you’re probably going to know which one you’re going to do at level 1. You can either go auto-attack Valla, you can go Q-build Valla, or you can go W-build Valla. You don’t want talents from the three different builds all at the same time, because you’re just not going to be effective.


Something else is, if you’re a tank – Imposing Presence, which is a level 16 talent and it means that attackers that hit you get slowed by 50% – at level 1 you’ll know how many of their Heroes are good at auto-attacking and whether or not you want Imposing Presence or a different defensive talent, or maybe an offensive talent.


Also, the team that you’re playing with and which Heroes you have can also be a factor in choosing your talents. Slows in this game don’t stack – it’s always the highest percentage slow that will be on them. If someone hits with a 20% slow and then Valla comes with her Frost Shot, which is a 40% slow, they do not get slowed by 60%, they only get slowed by 40%. I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule that you should never have two slows, but if you’re choosing between two talents, that might hedge you one way or the other.


QuibsY – I know exactly what I’m going to build during the game, because I figure out when we’re drafting. I feel like it’s the same way for most high-end players, because there are certain builds that you want to go, and certain builds that are more viable given what team you’re against and what team you’re with. Imposing Presence is probably the best example of a swing talent, where it’s really good when it’s good, but it’s awful if it’s not what you need.


I feel like the only thing that you might have to discuss with your team, depending on how the game’s going, is some of the swing ultimates, like Brightwing, Diablo, or Valla – Strafe is pretty typical, and you almost never go Rain, but there are certain situations where the Valla player makes the judgement call and says, “I’m not going to get a Strafe off – I need to take Rain of Vengeance, otherwise I’m not going to have an ultimate.” That’s a Valla player, and he’ll probably figure it out before 10, because he’s going to feel it out before then. For the most part, unless they have a swing ultimate, you’ll know which ultimate you’re going before the game, and you’ll know which build you want to go if the game goes well.


The last thing I’ll touch upon about talents is that there have been times and there will always be times when you ding a level that’s a talent and it can either save your life, or kill somebody. Let’s say you ding 4, and you don’t want to take Envenom, but it’ll get the kill – generally, that’s bad to do, because you don’t want it and that’s an early talent, but a talent like that will solidify a kill and maybe you get a map objective because of that, and then it’s good to take. Maybe you’re playing Brightwing and you want Phase Shield, but you can take Sprint or Ice Block and it’ll save your life right then and there, and it’s key to save your life. Sometimes you knee-jerk to those things, and I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong, because those talents are still strong talents. You don’t pigeon-hole yourself into a build prior to the game, unless you absolutely know it is the absolute talent that you need to make the comp work.


Odinn – That makes a lot of sense. Is that something that you decide individually, and then announce to your team after the fact so they know?


QuibsY – Yes. Generally, it’s like, “I had to take Sprint because of this.” It almost never should be an ultimate. If there’s an ultimate and you’re going to gimp your entire team because you needed to save yourself or kill somebody, that’s almost always wrong. The talents that are really knee-jerk that can swing a fight instantly, those are the talents that after the fight’s over, after the shot’s been called and you’re doing what you’re doing, then you just say, “Oh, by the way, I took this talent.” You don’t even have to justify why, because you should trust your teammates. Most of the time, people are like, “I took this talent, and it got this kill.” If it’s an ultimate, you’re probably wrong, unless it’s an acceptable ultimate like Strafe or Rain. It’s okay to instantly pick Rain of Vengeance and land a four man Rain of Vengeance, I’ll never be mad at you for that.


Pannucci – Also Lightning Breath on Diablo.


QuibsY – Yeah, the swing ultimates.


FuriousD – The last thing, which I remembered, is sometimes you can choose talents in reaction to what your opponents choose. A good example is if you’re playing Nazeebo, and there’s a Diablo on the enemy team. If he picks Apocalypse, he’s going to stun your Ravenous Spirit every single time you cast it, so you don’t want to take Ravenous Spirit – it’s not even an option for you any more, you just go Gargantuan. If he gets level 10 first and you see he takes Lightning Breath, and they don’t have a lot of good ways to stun you, now Ravenous Spirit is an option. There are certain situations where you’ll see your enemy team’s talents, and that will open up builds to you later in the game.








Target Prioritization & Objective Assignments


Odinn – Once you actually know what map you’re playing on – for sake of argument, let’s say Sky Temple – how do you choose prioritization of targets on the fly on those maps? How do you handle making those decisions and assignments happen in real time?


QuibsY – That’s a good question. *laughs*


FuriousD – I have some input on this, but QuibsY is probably the best to answer, because he’s the shot caller.


QuibsY – I know the initial game plan. Literally every game, before the draft, I’m trying to analyze how the team fights are going down, because as FuriousD said in the prior question, it’s probably one of the biggest things about this game, so I’m trying to figure out the team fights. Once the game loads, I realize it’s time to tell people where they’re going in lane, so I hit tab and think, “Where is the enemy going with their lanes? Where can I subject the enemy to a loss in a lane?” If I know they’re going to put ETC in the top lane, and I know Nazeebo beats ETC 90% of the time, I’m going to put my Nazeebo in that lane with him.


With the specific example of Sky Temple – and I’m willing to reveal this strategy, because we do it time and time again, and it’s in replays – I like to stack three in the middle lane, and one and one on top and bottom. It’s pretty much universally accepted. The reason why is that the middle temple shoots four more times, and kills a tower instead of a moon well on the first shots if you get them all, so it’s actually more experience if you get the middle one than the top one. You’ll find more teams competing over that one and then competing over the top one. The alternative to that is if I hit tab and their lane phase is way better than ours – we’re probably going to lose the lane phase – I’ll put three in top lane and try to get away from them as far as possible.


The section of, “Where do I put the people and why?” is really game to game, but generally I’ll go into it with at least one strategy of how I want to go in. As far as taking mercenary camps – Pannucci brought up the point that Knights push top, and second temple is bottom, so a lot of teams will go with the knight camp. That’s one of the calls I’ll make. I’ll also make the call to get Siege Giants early so that maybe we can contest theirs if I know they’re at Knights.


I would say in general, it’s just exposure to the map – where were we when we team fought, who won the team fight, and what are they taking? If we’re in top lane and we kill everybody and we can do the boss, the travel time between us going top lane to the boss is very high, so that becomes less of a great play, because we’re wasting the 10 seconds to get down there. However, if we fought in the bottom lane, and we won in the bottom lane, then we can get the boss, the Siege Giants, and a fort, because we’re there already and we’re ready to do it, and the boss is going to push a lane we’re already in. It’s by proximity and by priority. I will always take a keep over taking a fort. I will always take a core over taking a second keep. Things that end the game are what I am interested in taking.


Odinn – So how do you handle giving out those assignments? You said you’re going to send three people mid on Sky Temple. Are you sending your tank, healer, and a specialist? How are you making sure that the right people get the right jobs when you make those calls?


QuibsY – When you tri-lane, you want three people, one of them being a healer – it doesn’t really matter what the other two are, as long as they can do some sort of damage. You either tri-lane to defend their tri-line, or you can tri-lane to actually aggress. If you’re trying to aggress and put structure damage on, you want as many ranged as you can get, while still having a healer. For the solo lane people, it’s just people who aren’t susceptible to being ganked – a good example being a tank player like ETC, or a support like Rehgar, but not necessarily all supports or all tanks. If they have an escape, they become a better person to put in a solo lane. It also matters if they’re good at dueling in their solo lane – examples being Valla, Sylvanas, or Tychus are exceptional duelists. They’ll win the lane just based on doing more damage than the other person and out-trading them.


As far as who I put where, I tell them specifically – you’re going to this lane, you’re leaving that lane when this happens. If I don’t tell them, it’s generally already known – an example being on Cursed Hollow, my general rule of thumb is everyone is coming to the tribute unless I tell you not to. That way there’s no hesitation – when that happens, as a team, everyone knows what they’re doing unless I say otherwise. It’s also true for Sky Temple – the people in the top and bottom lane, I’ll tell them specifically when to come if we’re going to fight on the mid temple, or whatever the case may be. I’m looking at the mini-map constantly. That’s how I make those calls.


FuriousD – Everything he said is spot on. The only thing I would say is generally each map you know how the beginning of the game is going to go, and based on how the beginning goes is how you have to play the rest of it. Either you press your advantage, or you play from behind, especially when you’re a talent tier above or below the enemy. Besides that, each map, as Pannucci said, a lot of the times you’re going to win with the objective, and on certain maps you’ll often win through a certain lane.


Dragon Shire, for example, you used to always win through bottom, because there were so many Giants there – now it’s bottom or mid, but you still pretty much never win through top. I would say 98 or 99 games out of 100 on Dragon Shire, the top keep is still alive when you win. That’s the kind of thing you want to have in mind all game – later on, when we need to win, where are we going to go through? Let’s set that up now, so that when we want to team fight late, we’ll have that option when we need it.


QuibsY – Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s one thing I didn’t bring up – pressing the same lane is really strong. Having catapults in lane will definitely give you a push.


FuriousD – …and Haunted Mines, everyone understands your golem lane is where you should push, because your golem’s going to help you hit the core eventually. That’s true to a lesser degree on every map.








Self-Improvement In Heroes


Odinn – As an individual player, what are the best things that someone can do to improve at playing Heroes? How do you get better at the game on your own time?


ChubbsZ – As a support player, my main thing that I have to focus on is always keeping a good eye on your position. If you’re out of position, you could get caught and damaged, and if you get damaged your heal will have to go to yourself instead of your allies. What I do to practice and become better as an individual player is I watch my team’s position – for example, QuibsY is a very aggressive player, so I’m always near him, making sure he has the heals when he needs them. The team is very aggressive, so with their aggressive playstyle, I always have to be as aggressive with them. I’m like a shadow – you have to shadow your teammates and always have to be near them.


To improve myself I always watch my allies positioning and their playstyles, and I also improve my timing. As a support player, that split second that you have to walk to your ally is the split second he’s dead, and you could have saved him. Timing, for me, is everything.


FuriousD – Things that I’ve done, and what’s helped me make the biggest jumps in getting better the fastest, are noticing certain interactions and memorizing them. I remember one time – this must have been nine months ago – I was playing Valla, and Stitches hooks me, gorges me, and walks into the team, and this was post level 20. I was like, “Man, I’m screwed, I’m just going to die and we’re going to lose the team fight and the game.” As I pop out, I’m mashing all my buttons, trying to get away, and what I did was even though I was almost dead, I Blood For Blood-ed the Stitches, got a big chunk of my life back, and vaulted away. Back then I wasn’t so good, and I was like, “Wow, that worked perfectly.” From then on, I know any time I get gorged I have Blood For Blood ready.


If Sylvanas throws out her Banshees and you try to stun where she is, and she teleports to her Banshees and you miss, memorize that. Every time you make a mistake or make a good play, memorize it and do it again – or, just as importantly, if someone does it to you.


Pannucci – The thing I would say help me improve the most is learning to position. There are three things I have to keep in mind in every team fight – how do I get out if I get collapsed on and a team fight goes badly? Where is my support in relation to me so that if I need heals, I can get heals? And how do I cause the most disruption between their team and prevent people from getting away or getting to where they want to go?


Every team fight, I go in with that mentality of, “Okay, I need to think of these three things.” Those are the most important things. There are other things, like when am I going to ult, but that’s more from experience. I think to actually improve, though, the most important thing is just knowing where to position and how to be in relation to your team and their team.


QuibsY – I would like to add for me personally, the biggest way I got better, by far, is when I’m playing by myself and I’m not playing with a team, and I’m just practicing and trying to get better at the game, I try to make these really greedy, really garbage plays. The reason I say they’re garbage is because they’re so greedy that they shouldn’t work. Depending on how close it was to working, or whether it did or did not work, I know later that I can make that play again and again and again, because I’m pushing the limit in a place that I’m not caring whether or not it actually succeeds.


A lot of players get stuck in this mindset where they purely just need to rank up. Well, if you get better, you’ll probably rank up by proxy. I just make these really greedy, really aggressive plays, and hope it works, and if it works, I’ll do it again time and time again. If it doesn’t work, I know I can’t do that anymore – like FuriousD said, remember what you did and what did and didn’t work, that’s really key.


The second thing that I really just want to stress is there are replays. StarCraft players know this, it’s one of the best ways to get better quickly – just watch the replay. If you get crushed in a team fight, and you think you should have won, you should probably watch the replay and figure out exactly what happened. Sometimes it’s unpreventable – maybe they just landed a really good Falstad laser, and you just lost the fight because of that. If you don’t know why you lost, you’re not going to get better.


Traitorr – Generally, really simple – play the game as much as possible. If you know the ins and outs of the game, you’ll be amazingly better a month after playing than the first couple of days. Know your cooldowns, know your matchups in lane, and know the timings of map mechanics so you can go push your lane and you’re going to be there before your opponent. Small little things really add up a lot.


QuibsY – Yeah, it’s a game of inches.


FuriousD – The last thing I would say, and it goes in perfectly with what Traitorr was saying, is if you want to get good at a Hero that takes a little bit more skill – Kerrigan is a good example, because she’s fantastic when she can land all of her skills, and so sub-par if you miss everything, so if you want to be good at Kerrigan you have to play a lot of Kerrigan. You have to be good at landing your combo, and then you have to be good at reading your opponents and when they’re going to try to dodge your combo. On certain high-skill Heroes you just have to play it over and over again.








Favourite Heroes


Odinn – What is everybody’s current favourite Hero in the game?


Pannucci – I think it’s pretty well known, but I love Tyrael. I’m currently writing a guide on him as well. He’s my favourite because of his versatility. He can engage well, he’s tanky, he’s mobile. His laning is his downside, but I still enjoy his laning, because if you actually do well in lane with him, he just snowballs that much harder. Going into most matchups expecting to try to hit even, it’s more rewarding when you do really well with him. I think his kit’s really well designed. The only flaw I really see to his kit is his Q can be unresponsive, but I think he’s one of the better designed characters in Heroes at the moment.


QuibsY – My favourite, by far, is Jaina. I’m pretty not soft-spoken about that, either. She fits my playstyle, she can be hyper-aggressive, and the reason I find her enjoyable is that positionally, she can be punished easily, but if you play her right, she’s just devastating.


Traitorr – My favourite Hero is Abathur, with Lost Vikings taking a very close second, mostly because I like the uniqueness to them. There’s no other Heroes in the game anywhere close to their mechanics and playstyle. That’s why I like them.


FuriousD – I actually also have the most fun playing Tyrael. I think the way he moves around, it’s just a lot of fun to play him. He does everything you want him to do, and there’s always a play to make with him – you always have options, and I love that. Also lately I’ve really been liking Kerrigan a lot – she just feels really strong, and when you land that combo on a bunch of people at once, it just feels so good.


ChubbsZ – My favourite Hero is Lili, mainly because I can play her to her max potential. She’s not a very easy Hero to play – her and Rehgar are probably the hardest supports to play – but I can play her to her max potential, so that’s why I really enjoy her.








Final Thoughts


Pannucci – I know this is more geared towards newer players, but the biggest thing I’ve noticed between a good player improving and not is how they respond to when stuff goes badly. If you’re down three levels or something, this game allows you to come back from that. It’s not like League of Legends or DotA where if you’re just that far behind you can’t come back. I think it’s really rewarding to come back, and being able to bounce back when you’re in the deep end and being able to weather through the storm is something to not take lightly and strive to be able to do so.


MrNyxis – As a member of the team that is not in the higher MMR ranks, one of the biggest obstacles as a casual player of the game is the toxicity and just the general approach that some of the players have to the game, which is if in the first five minutes we’re losing by a level and we’re four kills down, or whatever, a lot of people are very quick to give up. It can really negatively affect your overall experience with the game. This game is infamous for the fact that the very last team fight 20 minutes into the game can decide which direction it takes, even if you’re three levels apart. Don’t give up – the comebacks are real all across Heroes eSports. Encouraging people to realize that matches don’t last 45 minutes to an hour and it’s worth putting in 20 minutes of constant encouragement with teammates and working hard rather than just giving up 5 minutes in and just being negative overall.


Pannucci – I just want to add to that, there can be that toxicity, especially in things like quick match where things aren’t going well or someone’s mad at another person, and they may refuse to play or still play but spend more of their time complaining about said player than actually playing. It can be helpful if you just take it upon yourself to maybe mediate. Half the time, you can win the next team fight if they just stop being toxic, and then you win the game with just one quick switch. Be helpful with your teammates, and don’t give up.


QuibsY – You mean, “Get good, scrub!” isn’t good advice?








Thank you for reading the interview! We wish 2ARC continued success in their competitive endeavours.


Let us know what you thought of the interview, and what kinds of additional content you would like to see in this vein in the future.


Pro Heroes of the Storm team 2ARC Gaming chats with Odinn about how to, in their words, "Get good, scrub!" ;)

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    • By Stan
      Ten new Heroes await in this week's Free-to-Play Hero Rotation. Weekly Sales contain new Hallow's End bundles and prepare for some Samuro nerfs!
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: October 25 - November 1, 2016
      The following Heroes have been added to this week's rotation:
      Raynor Muradin Xul Uther Kharazim Johanna Jaina (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Greymane (Slot unlocked at Player Level 7) Sgt. Hammer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 12) Nova (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) (Source)
      Weekly Sales Reminder
      Weekly Sales include new Hallow's End bundles, click to explore.
    • By Stan
      The hype is real and Samuro enters the Nexus! Hallow's End will start on October 25.
      Blademaster Samuro brings a lot of nostalgia. Heroes Brawl, on the other hand, pure madness! The following content is brought with the latest patch:
      Blizzard Entertainment
      Hallow’s End Arrives October 25!
      50% XP Bonus! The Nexus will be haunted by a 50% XP bonus from October 25 until Hallow’s End concludes during the week of November 8! Hallow’s End Event Quest Quest: Play 15 games during Hallow’s End in any mode except Custom Games, Training, or Heroes Brawl. Reward: Deputy Valla Portrait NEW HERO: SAMURO
      Samuro, the last remaining blademaster to wear the banner of the Burning Blade, is on a warrior’s pilgrimage in search of vengeance and redemption for this fallen clan. It will be a long journey, but he has sworn an oath to restore his clan’s honor.
      Advancing Strike Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes increase your Movement Speed by 25% for 2 seconds. Basic Abilities
      Mirror Image (Q) Create 2 Mirror Images that deal 30% of your damage and have 50% of your current Health. Images last up to 16 seconds, and only 2 can be active at once. Critical Strike (W) Your next Basic Attack within 8 seconds will be a Critical Strike, dealing 50% increased damage. This also applies to Mirror Images and does not break Wind Walk. Passive: You and your Mirror Images deal a Critical Strike every 4th Basic Attack. Wind Walk (E) Enter Stealth for up to 8 seconds or until you attack, use an Ability, or take damage. While Stealthed, your Movement Speed is increased by 30% and you can pass through other units. Damage taken during the first 1 second will not break Wind Walk. Heroic Abilities
      Bladestorm (R) Become an unstoppable whirlwind, dealing moderate damage to nearby enemies every second for 4 seconds. Illusion Master (R) Switch places with the target Mirror Image. Passive: You can control Mirror Images separately or as a group, and they deal an additional 20% of your damage. NEW GAME MODE: HEROES BRAWL
      Heroes Brawl is an action-packed new game mode that breaks all the rules and offers a fresh take on Heroes of the Storm's gameplay each week. Learn more by visiting the Heroes Brawl website.
      The Basics Heroes Brawl offers three distinct match types, with endless possibilities for twisted rulesets and wild mechanics each week: Arenas: Pick one of three randomly selected Heroes, and then duke it out against the enemy team to complete objectives. The first team to complete the objective twice will claim victory. Mutators: Wild rulesets and unique mechanics change the way you play on Battlegrounds you’re already familiar with. Single-Lanes: One-lane Battlegrounds with no objectives, Mercenaries, or Hearthstone to distract you from destroying the enemy Core. Click the Brawl Info button in the lower-left corner of the screen to learn detailed information about the currently active Brawl. How to Brawl
      Find Heroes Brawl in-game by heading to the Play screen, click Brawl on the far left side of the navigation bar, then queue up and have a blast! Anyone can dive into the action! Heroes Brawl is not restricted by account level or the number of Heroes owned, and you can queue up alone or in a party of any size. The current weekly Brawl will also be available through Custom Games - though replays, observer mode, and score screens may not function as expected for some of the unique Brawl types. Heroes Brawl custom games will also discard Hero drafts and pre-selections once players enter the match. Reap the Rewards
      Participate in three Brawls each week to receive in-game rewards! Hover the cursor over the Weekly Rewards icon in the lower-left corner of the Brawl screen for a breakdown of the available rewards each week. ART
      The following Heroes have received additional facial animation polish: E.T.C. Illidan Valla Diablo has received additional idle animation polish. Battlegrounds
      Core attacks have received update visual effects in order to better visually indicate that they deal splash damage. Cannonballs that fire on the minimap for Blackheart’s Bay have received visual effects polish. Sky Temple has received additional optimization polish. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      The following Heroes have received custom Hearthstone animations: Diablo E.T.C. The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects: Cleanse (Talent) Gul’dan: Fel Flame (Q), Corruption (E) Illidan: Evasion (E) Lunar Illidan: The Hunt (R) SHOP
      New Bundles Hellblade Samuro Bundle – Available until November 1, 2016 Hallow’s End 2016 Bundle – Available from October 25 until November 8, 2016 Hallow’s End 2016 Ultimate Bundle – Available from October 25 until November 8, 2016 The following Bundles will be added to the in-game Shop on October 18 and have no planned end-date: Nexus Challenger Bundle Nexus Conqueror Bundle Removed Bundles The following bundles will be removed from the in-game Shop on October 18: Starter Bundle Triumph Bundle New Hero 
      Samuro has been added to the in-game Shop. Mounts
      New Mounts Hellboar Eye Pad – Available exclusively with purchase of either Hallow’s End 2016 bundle. This mount may return to the game as an individual item at a later date. Returning Mounts Marshal’s Outrider Removed Mounts Crimson Hare Skins
      Hellblade Samuro Master Samuro Scarecrow Xul – Available starting October 25 Deputy Valla – Available starting October 25 Price Reductions
      Greymane’s prices have been reduced to $8.49 USD and 7,000 Gold. Rexxar’s prices have been reduced to $6.49 USD and 4,000 Gold. SOUND
      New voiceover lines have been added that will play when a player is promoted into a new League Tier. Draft Mode
      Sound effects and voiceover will now play when entering Lost Cavern Draft Mode via Custom Games. USER INTERFACE
      A “New Player Chat” channel has been added. New players will automatically join this channel upon logging into Heroes of the Storm until they reach account level 20. Daily Win Bonus
      The first game that players win each day will now award 50% bonus XP and Gold for that match. This bonus applies to all game modes except Brawl, Custom Games, and Training. A First Win of the Day icon has been added to the top navigation bar, which will activate whenever a First Win of the Day bonus is available. In-Game UI
      Hover the cursor over the VS icon found in the top-center of the screen to display the amount of XP earned by each team from various sources, including: Takedowns, Mercenaries, Structures, and more.  XP Bonuses
      Friend Bonus Playing Heroes with a friend will now award 25% bonus XP. Party Bonus  The XP bonus earned by playing in a party now scales based on the number of party members: 2 Players: +25% 3 Players: +33% 4 Players: +42% 5 Players: +50% Game Mode Bonus Playing ranked games will now award an XP bonus: Hero League: +25% XP Team League: +50% XP XP Bonuses Stack Additively Playing in a party with one friend will still award a total of 50% bonus XP, just as it did before, but playing with additional party members will now award even more XP. Playing Team League in a full party with at least one friend and an active Stimpack will now award a total of 225% bonus XP. The “Available XP Bonuses” icon in the top navigation bar will activate when players are receiving any of the bonuses mentioned above. Hover the cursor over this icon to display a tooltip that offers a full breakdown of all active and inactive XP bonuses. Play Screen
      Hovering the cursor over each game mode on the Play Screen navigation bar will now display a tooltip that briefly describes that mode. Versus A.I. Training mode has been moved into Versus AI on the Play screen. A “Versus A.I. Options” interface has been added to the left side of the Versus A.I. screen. Use the buttons to switch between Training, A.I. Teammates, or Co-op modes. Use the Difficulty Slider to select the desired skill level of A.I. allies and opponents in A.I. Teammates and Co-op modes. Training mode A.I. difficulty is set to beginner, and cannot be changed. Suggested Play Mode The Play Screen navigation bar will now suggest a game mode to new players. Level 1 – 10: Versus A.I. Level 11 – 20: Quick Match Level 20+: Heroes Brawl (If the weekly rewards have not yet been earned.) Hover the cursor over the suggested mode icon to display a tooltip that explains why a mode is suggested. Profile
      Match History The Match History tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl matches using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner. Each game in the Match History list will now display Hero names and portraits for each Hero selected during that game. Profile Summary Heroes Brawl stats have been added to the Profile Summary screen that will track the number of Brawls won and weekly rewards earned. Statistics The Statistics tab can now be filtered by Heroes Brawl stats using the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner. MVP and Commendations
      MVP and Commendations can now be skipped using the new Exit button added to the lower-left corner of the screen. The duration of the MVP and Commendations screen now lasts 50 seconds. A timer has been added to the lower-right corner of the screen that will count down the final 10 seconds of the MVP and Commendations screen. Commendations Bulwark will now take the number of deaths into account in order to focus this Commendation on the efficiency of damage soaked, rather than total damage taken. The tooltip for Bulwark will now display the player’s total deaths during the match in addition to damage soaked. Slight adjustments have been made in order to better balance the Dominator and Painbringer Commendations. Abathur was previously a little too likely to receive the MVP award. Slight adjustments have been made to bring him in line with other Heroes. BUG FIXES
      Corrected a number of typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. A.I.
      Medivh: Enemy AI players will now avoid teammates that are under the effects of Medivh’s Polybomb. Lt. Morales: Can now properly detonate Displacement Grenade near enemies. Art
      Chen: Keg models that appear when casting Storm, Earth, Fire using any of Chen’s Skins are no longer missing certain visual effects. Illidan: The visual effects for The Hunt will now properly display on the Ability’s target during replays. Greymane: The Worgen model will no longer remain on screen while viewing end-of-game Stats and Talents pages. Battlegrounds
      Braxis Holdout: Neutral Raven Mercenaries will no longer clip into the terrain after being knocked back. Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which Zagara’s Mutalisk could cause a captured Archangel to exhibit pathing issues. Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue in which a captured Archangel could target enemy Heroes with its Bullet Storm Ability. Garden of Terror: Shielding a Structure will no longer prevent a Garden Terror's bonus siege damage from being applied. Infernal Shrines: Fallen Shaman Mercenaries will now prioritize attacking enemy Structures over Walls. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Damage Reduction: When two damage reduction effects, such as Resistant (25%) and Hardened Shield (75%), are simultaneously applied to a Hero, the larger effect will no longer be overridden by the lesser effect. Anub'arak: The Cocoon overlay will now display correctly for enemies affected by Cocoon. Auriel: The Piercing Lash Talent tooltip now correctly states that Detainment Strike will only pierce Heroes, rather than all enemies. Auriel: Enemy Heroes will no longer occasionally be Stunned by Detainment Strike when knocked away from terrain. Auriel: Quest progress for the Repeated Offense Talent will now be correctly tracked in the Stats panel. Azmodan: Globe of Annihilation’s range indicator is now visually consistent with indicators used by other long-range Abilities. Greymane: The Go for the Throat indicator will no longer visually persist above Heroes who have post-death forms, such as Uther or Leoric, after they are killed. Illidan: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause Illidan to fly back to his death location if he was killed while using Dive. Kharazim: Will no longer automatically resume attacking enemies after using Radiant Dash to dive to an ally. This fix also applies to Illidan’s Friend or Foe and Kerrigan’s Adaptation Talents. Leoric: Minions will no longer path around Leoric when he is in Undying form. Medivh: The damage over time effect from Xul’s Poison Nova will no longer be visually removed from Medivh’s Health bar after traveling through a Portal with the Mage Armor Talent. Rexxar: A delay will no longer occur between repeated Misha, Focus! casts. Sgt. Hammer: Re-casting Orbital BFG just as the first missile re-enters the Battleground will no longer cause the new missile to follow the previous path. Sylvanas: The Death Recap tooltip for Wailing Arrow now correctly displays the Ability’s description. The Butcher: Hamstring will now correctly deal bonus damage to non-Heroic targets after learning the Cheap Shot Talent. Zagara: The Stasis overlay will no longer appear on the screen when Zagara’s Mutalisk enters Zeratul's Void Prison. Sound
      Illidan: Voiceover that plays while casting The Hunt is now only audible for Illidan and his target. Illidan: High pitched ambient sounds that play while casting The Hunt are no longer audible for the target’s allies. Lower-pitched ambient sounds will still play for all players and observers. User Interface
      Death Recap: Fixed an issue in which a Heal effect could occasionally appear to be the killing blow in Death Recap notifications. Replay: Selecting a Hero during a Replay will no longer prevent the Hero Portrait and Status Bars from switching correctly when attempting to view a different Hero’s perspective using hotkeys. Observer: Warhead counters will now update properly in the Observer interface on Warhead Junction. (Source)
      Let me know how you like Samuro & Heroes Brawl so far!
    • By Stan
      Remember the European Nexus Games 2016 Infographic from a week ago? Tempo Storm created one for North America.
      Astral Authority are the winning team and there are some interesting facts about the tournament, such as shortest match duration, Hero popularity, ban rate and maps played.

    • By Stan
      BlizzCon 2016 is the home of the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship. Who will be the next champion? The Nexus Conqueror & Challenger bundles can be purchased at a great discount!
      BlizzCon 2016 Fall Championship Trailer
      Information about participating teams and predictions can be found in the latest episode of Beyond the Nexus. Here's the latest championship trailer with scenes of teams that made it to the grand finale!
      Cheap Bundles
      If you haven't noticed yet, Nexus Conqueror & Nexus Challenger Bundles are really cheap! The bundles also contain free Stimpacks! This is a great opportunity to grab a lot of great Heroes!
      Nexus Challenger Bundle

      Nexus Conqueror Bundle

    • By Stan
      Reddit is full of whine and Samuro will be nerfed next week! At least Weekly Sales for next week may cheer up a little.
      OP Samuro
      Hotslogs is reporting a 66.9% win rate, with the next Hero Sgt. Hammer being at 55% (-11.9%). You can see Samuro on both teams in Quick Match and he gets banned in Hero League all the time. Even though he won't be playable at BlizzCon, he is simply overtuned at the moment. This is the Heroes of the Storm alphabet!

      Reddit has been full of whine! Posts range from a call to action to nerf Samuro at once to efficient ways of countering. Now seriously here are some real counterpicks. Some philosophraptors even claim that not damage, but Samuro's survivability is what makes him overpowered! If that wasn't enough to make you entertained, what if it's just the bad players and Samuro isn't really OP?
      And the winner is...
      We totally hear you all on this and we have been in game with you and experiencing it ourselves. Our goal is to release something for Samuro (along with some bug and stability fixes, some of which are causing his win rate to inflate as well) next week.
      As an early JFYI we do not have plans to adjust balance for any other heroes in this patch, as we want our pro players to have a place to play while they're displaced from their regions visiting BlizzCon (live) and things look pretty good at the moment.
      Weekly Sales: October 25 - November 1
      The following items will be on sale next week
      Lt. Morales  Lt. Morales Apothecary Skin  Spellbreaker Johanna Skin New Bundles
      Hallow's End Bundle (available until Nov 8) Ultimate Hallow's End Bundle (available until Nov 8) For more details about forthcoming bundles, click here.
      New Skins
      Deputy Valla Scarecrow Xul New Mount
      Eyepad Mount The mount will only be a part of the Hallow's End bundles, but may return to the shop at a later point. (Source)