European Gamescom Preview

With the second of three European Regionals nearly underway, the competition in Europe seems to be the healthiest that it has been in awhile. With the majority of the 100,000 prize pool on the line, as well as an invite to the Fall Championship taking place November 4-5, expect to see some of the most innovative drafting and strategies to date.

A tournament as prestigious as this wouldn’t be the same without two of the most renowned rosters in Europe in attendance, which is why Team Dignitas along with Misfits were both given automatic seeding into the tournament. While the Misfits name might be new to some, they are comprised of the entire former mYinsanity roster, who shook up the European scene this past May with a first place DreamHack AllStars finish over Fnatic, beating them 3-0.  

With such a high stakes tournament underway, DreamHack made sure to invite the two reigning European champions, mYinsanity and Team Dignitas, to take place in the tournament. To supplement these two juggernauts, three qualifiers took place, with the top two teams in each qualifier earning a coveted spot at the tournament. While some of these teams will be familiar faces, a number of them are making their first debut on the big stage.

The European Regional will be divided into two stages. Stage one will start with group play, which will split the teams evenly into Group A and Group B. Within those groups, each team will face each other once, with the two teams with the best record advancing to the playoffs. Tiebreakers will be held if necessary. In the playoff portion, the respective teams will face each other head-to-head in a single elimination bracket. Let’s take a look at the groups.

Group A consists of Team Dignitas, ePunks, Fnatic, and To Be Determined. Group A is looking like it will be the most stacked group, with Dignitas and Fnatic set to have a guaranteed rematch of the DreamHack Valencia finals. Only time will tell who can make it out on top for this group.

Group B is comprised of Misfits, ExcelenteEleccion, Too far bjutifl for 640x480, and GoogleIsShetZont. While Misfits has to be feeling pretty good about not having to play either of the top two teams from DreamHack Valencia in group stages, ExcelenteEleccion may have what it takes to toss out an upset with their revamped roster.

Here’s a look at the rosters for the eight teams competing at DreamHack Valencia:

ExcelenteEleccion

Roster: Maksym “Mopsio” Szczypa (Tank); Kenn “Zaelia” Øster Rasmussen (Carry); Fran “GranPkt” Núñez (Support); Lachezar “cilium” Nikolaev Kochev (Flex); Matic “Zarmony” Mikec (Flex).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #1

Previous finishes: 1st, ZOTAC Heroes of the Storm Monthly Final #14; 2nd, Go4Heroes Europe Cup #77; 3rd, ZOTAC Heroes of the Storm Cup #47

Need to Know: Formerly known as “Crowing Cocks” this team has revamped its squad with both Fran “GranPkt” Núñez as a support and Matic “Zarmony” Mikec in the flex position. Will it be enough to overtake an established team like Fnatic though?

ePunks

Roster: Tobias “RaiDbawZ” Podeszwa (Flex); Rainer “nande” Wöß (Flex); Nic “Nic” Al (Assassin); Jan “WolfJoe” Kramer (Support); Christopher “chriZplosion” Zerbe (Warrior).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #3

Previous finishes: N/A

Need to Know: WolfJoe made a name for himself throughout the qualifiers with some exceptional support play. Can he keep up his momentum in this pivotal tournament?

Fnatic

Roster: Simon “scHwimpi” Svensson (Flex); Jonathan “Wubby” Gunnarsson (Flex); Dob “Quackniix” Engström (Assassin); Filip “Smexystyle” Liljeström (Support); Pontus “Breez” Sjogren (Warrior).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #1

Previous finishes: 2nd, DreamHack Valencia; 2nd, DreamHack All-Stars - Tours 2016; 3rd, 2016 ESL Heroes of the Storm Championship - Leicester; 4th, 2016 ESL Heroes of the Storm Championship - Katowice.

Need to Know: Fnatic barely lost to Dignitas at DreamHack Valencia, the team looked better than ever and will be looking for a rematch. Expect Fnatic to be very prepared when they play against Dignitas in groups.

To Be Determined

Roster: Sebastian “bLaDe” Petraschke (Flex); Nicolas “Nasty” Parent (Assassin); Adrian “adrd” Wojcik (Flex); Niklas “Cursen” Skogheim (Support); Benjamin “BadBenny” Ekenulv (Warrior).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #2

Previous finishes: N/A

Need to Know: Both adrd and bLaDe have professional experience in Starcraft 2. Expect excellent mechanical play from both players.

Too far bjutifl for 640x480

Roster: Martin "Crozzby" Rugh (Flex); Anthony "Danatan" Lossec (Flex); Mark "Linked" Sepec (Support); Aleksandar "ethernal" Milanov (Assassin); DiqozoY (Warrior).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #2

Previous finishes: N/A

Need to Know: With four out of five players being members of former professional Heroes of the Storm teams, this seemingly untested squad might be primed to make some serious upsets.

GoogleIsShetZont

Roster: Vlad "Sphyxi" Trofimov (Flex); Stepan "Kunichan" Zhilin (Flex); Andrey “AndyLendi” Pishikov (Assassin); Evgeniy "Lunarn" Evdokimov (Support); Arturs "bkbgrnrjefek" Hlibovs (Warrior).

How they got here: One of two winners of the EU qualifier #3

Previous finishes: N/A

Need to Know: bkbgrnrjefek was the former main tank for Team Liquid, a team that he saw some early success on. This veteran member will be a huge boon for his team.

Team Dignitas

Roster: Jerome “JayPL” Trinh (Flex); Joshua “Snitch” Bennett (Assassin); Thomas “Ménè” Cailleux (Assassin); James “Bakery” Baker (Support); Alexander “AlexTheProG” Grumstrup (Warrior).

How they got here: Invited to tournament due to Summer Global results.

Previous finishes: 1st, 2016 DreamHack Valencia; 1st, 2016 ESL Heroes of the Storm Championship - Leicester; 5th, 2016 Heroes of the Storm Spring Global Championship; 1st, 2016 ESL Heroes of the Storm Championship - Katowice; 2nd, 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship; 2nd, 2015 HWC - Europe Championship.

Need to Know: While Dignitas won DreamHack Valencia, there was a lot of fierce competition between them and Fnatic. With Fnatic so close behind them, nothing guarantees they will see the same results here.

Misfits

Roster: Dennis “HasuObs” Schneider (Flex); Nils “Nurok” Gebhardt (Flex); Simon “Darkmok” Tabin (Assassin); Lyubomir “Splendour” Kozlovski (Support); Markus “Blumbi” Hanke (Warrior).

How they got here: Invited to tournament due to Summer Global results.

Previous finishes: N/A

Need to Know: While Misfits officially has no previous finishes under this name, the entire roster was formerly under the mYinsanity banner, who topped Europe briefly and competed in the Summer Global Championship.

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