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HGC Phase 2 Patch Notes

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The Heroes of the Storm Global Competition will go through some changes for its second phase.

First of all, regional restrictions will be placed for those who want to participate in HGC. Players who compete in Major regions (EU, NA, KR or CN) must actually reside in their respective region for at least six months. Players who have competed in Major regions can move to Minor regions without any penalty.

Roster changes will be put under control, since there will be three specific periods when teams can: a) release players (6 - 13 November), b) acquire players (14 - 21 November) and c) approve of players (November 22 - 23).

As far as Open Division playoffs are concerned, they will change to an eight-team, three-day, double elimination tournament from a 16-team, two-day, single elimination tournament.

Lastly, there are changes to tiebreakers and broadcast times.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

Starting with Week 1 of Phase 2, new changes will be applied to the HGC. We have highlighted some of the biggest changes below.

Regional restrictions

  • Players who have competed in or live in one of the Major regions (CN, EU, KR, or NA) must move to and live in the desired other Major region for 6 months before they can compete there.
  • Players who have competed in or live in one of the Major regions (CN, EU, KR, or NA) may move to a Minor region (ANZ, LATAM, SEA, TW) without penalty and may begin playing immediately.
  • Players who have not competed in and do not live in one of the Major regions (CN, EU, KR, or NA) may move to a Major region (CN, EU, KR, or NA) without penalty and may begin playing immediately.
Sam Braithwaite, Heroes Esports Franchise Lead: We have updated our residency requirement rules to allow players or teams from non-major regions to move to a major region and compete immediately without waiting six months.  They will, of course, still have to compete through the open division or be picked up during the approved trading period.  We hope this change allows competitive players around the world to compete at the highest level possible.  

Roster changes 

  • Have been split into three parts.
    • Release - November 6-13
    • Acquisition - November 14-21
    • Approval - November 22-23
Sam: The roster change period in Phase 1 served its purpose but we still think there is room for improvement.  We’re adding Release and Acquisition periods to provide additional transparency and protection for players. 

Tie Breaker Rules

  • Match > Head to Head > Games > 3-0s > 3-1s > Tiebreaker Bo5
  • Included a detailed breakdown of the tie breaker rules
  • Added 3-plus-way tie language
Sam: Total game differential is being added as the third tiebreaker because we felt that visibility into the tiebreaker rules was clouded in Phase 1 and fans should easily be able to tell where teams are ranked with a glance at the standings. For further clarification, the head to head tiebreaker is done at a match level and not the game level.

Broadcast

  • Moving times of second match for each region up thirty minutes each day, from 11:30 a.m. PT to 11:00 a.m. PT and 4:30 p.m. PT to 4:00 p.m. PT.
Sam: If the first series was 3-0, fans were stuck with a 45-minute countdown while waiting for the next series.  These long countdowns kill momentum and make it difficult for us to retain viewership.  We realize some series that go the full five games could run over the 2 hour allotted time but we believe that fans would rather tune in at a specific time and find out that the previous series was running over than tuning in to the series they want to watch and miss a draft or have a game spoiled for them.

Open Division

  • Changing Open Division Playoffs from a 16-team, two-day, single elimination tournament - to an eight-team, three-day, double elimination tournament. Due to this change the point system has been restructured.
Sam: While Phase 1 of the Open Division was successful, we received several complaints from competitors that the playoffs were long and the format wasn’t ideal. After five months of competing in the Open Division, a single elimination bracket to determine the winners was a bit harsh.  This change should give Open Division competitors more time to prepare and a more competitive environment.  

You can find the full Phase 2 rulebook here, and the calendar for Phase 2 on our schedule page by clicking on the dropdown on the left of the timeline and selecting 'Phase 2'. 

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