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Legends speak of a trans-dimensional storm, a strange limbo of clashing universes that powerful warriors are being sucked into. It’s a strange place that operates by its own logic and set of rules. In this place of colliding worlds, death is nothing but a temporary setback and anyone stranded have but one fate; to fight for dominance.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm (often shortened as HotS) is a game developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment, who is also the company behind best sellers like World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft. While some would say that it’s fair to claim Heroes of the Storm being Blizzard’s copy of the very popular Dota 2 or League of legends, others would say that such a claim doesn’t make any sense at all and that the three games just belong to the same genre, which is MOBA (Multiplayer online battle arena). Blizzard themselves however, claim that the game is too different and has a broader playstyle to be considered a MOBA, hence should have its own genre which they refer to as “hero brawler”. Regardless of what your opinion may be, Heroes of the Storm definitely has some similarities and is the newest of the three, being released in June 2015.
Tournaments and bets on Heroes of the Storm
When it comes to betting on Heroes of the Storm (often shortened as HotS betting), this is has been steadily growing. Previously it was rarely seen anywhere else than with bookies that are really focused on eSports, like Vitalbet, ggBet and EGB, but is nowadays actually quite commonly seen. Far from all bookmakers will offer bets, but there’s a good selection to choose from, like for instance Bet365 and Bethard.
It’s not to any surprise that more and more bookmakers are offering bets. Not only is the eSports industry itself rapidly growing, but the competitive tournaments for Heroes of the Storm have been increasing in numbers and the prize pools have been getting bigger. HotS was released in June 2015 and in November that same year, just a few months after the release, the world championship was hosted which had a prize pool of $500,000.00. For the championship of 2016, this had double to a stunning $1,000,000.00. Even though these numbers can’t compete with some other tournaments in the world of eSports, these are still good amounts, especially for a game that hasn’t been around that long. In terms of popularity, HotS have been facing some difficulties, but if it can manage to grow, it’s just a matter of time before new bookies will be offering bets and others will extend their coverage.
Markets for betting on Heroes of the Storm
Even though betting on Heroes of the Storm have been increasing steadily, the variety of markets are still a bit limited. On most bookmakers you won’t find any other markets than match winner, map winner and handicap. Is is however possible to find a few more, especially if you’re betting on a place like Vitalbet or Bet365. Below you’ll find a list of markets you may come across while betting on Heroes of the Storm:
- Match winner
- Map winner
- Correct map score
- Over/under total maps
- Odd/even number of kills
- First to certain number of kills
- First blood
- Team to win at least 1 map
- Will a 5th map be played?
Heroes of the Storm gameplay
Heroes of the Storm is played in teams of two battling it out through a wide selection of different maps. The maps are designed with each team having a certain number of forts, where one of these is the main base. From each team’s main base either two or three lanes lead to the opposing team’s and along these lanes each team have forts guarding them. The forts consist of defensive gates and high damage towers to prevent the other team from breaking through. At regular time intervals minions are being spawned from each team’s main base and then move along these lanes, killing everything in their way. Minions can also be spawned from so called “Mercenary camps”. These are camps located in the areas outside of the main lanes. Defeating these grants bonus experience and the possibility to have the minions help pushing lanes, if successfully captured. Capturing is done by standing on a capture point appearing once the camp is defeated.
To win, the objective is to destroy the opposing team’s main base. Usually this takes somewhere around 15-30 minutes, depending on the map played. On every map, there is a unique side objective that will greatly help you destroying the other team. To give you an example, there’s a map where you could spawn a strong boss minion after activating a shrine and killing 40 of its guardians. The minion will then ally with you and push the lane closest to the shrine, killing everything in its way. As the rewards for the side objectives are usually very powerful, many battles usually go down between the two teams to complete these. In addition to these side objectives, watchtowers are scattered over the maps and can be captured to provide vision over a certain area.
Before a match begins, each player on each team has to pick from a wide selection of heroes that they would like to play. Unlike a lot of other MOBAs, there are no items or equipment to be bought in a match to alter your hero. Instead a hero is altered by upgrading abilities in various ways, which allows a hero to have several different builds from one match to another.
Every hero starts with three abilities and one trait. As the game progresses the heroes gain experience by killing enemy heroes, minions and structures. When a certain amount of experience is gained, the hero levels up. At level 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 20 every hero receives a talent point that can be used for an upgrade. Every hero has a wide selection of different upgrades to choose from. For all levels except 10 and 20 you will either have the option to upgrade and improve a current ability or trait, upgrade your basic attack or add a passive ability. For level 10 you however get to choose one of two different ultimate abilities. These are abilities that are stronger than the rest. At lvl 20 you then get the option to either upgrade the ultimate you chose or to pick another active or passive ability. There are four different type of heroes to choose from which are categorized into Assassins, Warriors, Supports and Specialists.
Assassins are the damage dealers of HotS. These are heroes that have a high single or multi target attack damage and ability power, which allows them to effectively take down enemy heroes. The assassins’ weakness is their lack of defense and ability to recover.
Warriors are the tanks of HotS and are usually seen at the front-line of the battle. These are heroes that can withstand a lot of damage from enemy heroes due to high amount of health, defense and self-healing or damage reducing abilities. Warriors are also very effective when it comes to disabling enemies. Even though there are some ranged heroes, most of the heroes in the warrior class are melee.
Supports are the healers and buffers of HotS that are usually strategically positioned to aid allied heroes in battle. To be able to do this effectively, support heroes benefit from cool down reduction and increased mana which allows them to continuously throw out spells. Supports usually also have some disabling abilities.
Specialists is a class with very diverse skills which allows them to have several different play styles and shape the game in different ways. Generally, they’re a great asset when it comes to taking down enemy forts as they for instance are able to summon minions or disabling towers. They’re also good at taking down mercenary camps all by themselves.
The experience gained in a match is shared between all heroes and how well you level is a factor that could decide if you’ll win or lose. Playing together and effectively as a team is definitely a must to succeed well.
Heroes of the Storm game modes
Versus A.I. is a mode where you can either play with friends, other random players or together with A.I. players against other A.I. players. You have the option to choose the difficulty of the opposing team and the options available are Beginner, Recruit, Adept, Veteran and Elite.
Practice is the perfect choice if you’re new to the game and would like to learn the basic mechanics. You will be teamed up with four A.I. players and battle against a team of five other A.I players set to easy. In practice mode you’re also given a cinematic view of the map and the objectives to help you better understand how each map should be strategically played.
Quick match is the fastest way to get the action going. In this mode all you have to do is to select the hero that you would like to play. You will then be teamed up with four other players and against 5 other players on a random selected map. The teams are created based on your past performance to match the skill level as well as on the role you selected. This way the teams will be balanced and prevent ending up with five supports or assassins.
Hero League is unlike the above modes, a ranked and highly competitive mode player either solo or matched up together with a friend. In this mode draft picking applies which means that each team take turns picking heroes. Who gets to go first is decided by a coin flip. Each team also have the option two ban two heroes which can then not be picked by either team. The map that will be played is randomly selected, but will be visible during the picking phase.
Team League is identical to hero league with the exception that it’s two pre-made teams of five that battle it out. In other words, you would need a team of five to play this.
Custom games is the perfect choice if you want to set up the match exactly like you want it. Here you will have the option to choose the map you would like to play, should it be regular hero selection or draft pick, invite players to either play with/against or to observe the match and add A.I. players.
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