When you look at Heroes of the Storm, it’s easy to think of it as that multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that will forever be in the shadow of juggernauts like Dota 2 and League of Legends. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! As a title from Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm – also commonly abbreviated as HotS – offers a combination of polished gameplay, fast-paced action, and a diverse cast of playable characters.
Throw in a multitude of HotS tournaments with direct support from the game developer, and it’s no wonder that Heroes of the Storm esports is on the rise. Naturally, this level of competition is a huge draw for punters from all over the world. And if you want to bet on HotS matches, you’ll find a wide selection of markets and Heroes of the Storm betting tips at your disposal.
DISCLAIMER: As of 13 December 2018, Blizzard Entertainment discontinued their support for the Heroes of the Storm pro scene. This doesn’t mean that amateur or third-party HotS tournaments won’t come up in the future. However, officially supported events like the HGC (Heroes of the Storm Global Championship) will no longer be a part of the game’s competitive scene. You can find more information on this in our article on how Blizzard cut Heroes of the Storm events.
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How Heroes of the Storm is played
First things first, so let’s see how Heroes of the Storm is played! At first glance, the game follows the traditional MOBA format of pitting two teams of five against each other in a battle to destroy the main enemy structure—the Core. Each player can choose a hero—a playable character with a unique set of traits and abilities that can either hinder enemies or support allies.
The first deviation from the formula is the sheer number of maps HotS has to offer. Unlike most MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm has a wide range of battlegrounds with different terrain, objectives, and mechanics. This variety incentivizes creative strategies and hero compositions, so Heroes of the Storm esports teams often prepare intricate game plans for specific maps.
Another thing that stands out about HotS is that there’s no gold or items. Instead, each side has a certain amount of experience that’s shared among every member of the team to level up and unlock talents that empower their heroes. With that, Heroes of the Storm players are much more eager to leave their lanes and start fighting around the map, which makes for some very, very exciting matches.
HotS Tournaments & Prize Pools
The Heroes of the Storm esports scene revolves around events endorsed by Blizzard Entertainment. With that, even a college-driven HotS tournament like Heroes of the Dorm is organized by the game publisher, meaning that almost every competition has a decent prize pool and a high production value. Even Blizzard’s Chinese partners—NetEase—chipped in to create the Gold Series Heroes League to promote the game in their home region. In a similar fashion, Copa America was created for the Latin America scene, and you can frequently run into Heroes of the Storm betting tips for this event.
Still, when it comes to premier HotS tournaments, you have to highlight HGC (Heroes of the Storm Global Championship). It was originally announced way back in 2016 as a year-long competition for the strongest teams from Australia/New Zealand, China, Europe, South Korea, Latin America, North America, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. All of these squads attended three seasonal events in spring, summer, and fall. Afterwards, the best-performing lineups advanced to the massive HGC Heroes of the Storm tournament at BlizzCon where they fought for the title of the #1 HotS team in the world.
This format saw massive changes in 2017. Now, three seasons were replaced by two phases that employed a longer league format. Phase 1 ended with a Mid-Season Brawl, and Phase 2 upped the ante with a Grand Final at BlizzCon. On top of that, HGC introduced Western and Eastern Clashes where Heroes of the Storm squads could test their strength against the best lineups from neighboring regions.
In 2018, HGC Heroes of the Storm events were refined even more. The Clash format was changed to only include the top-4 teams from major regions—that is, North American and Europe for the Western Clash, and China and South Korea for the Easter one. The winners of Clash events also secured an extra spot for their region at the last tournament of the season, meaning that players had something bigger to compete for other than a chunk of the ample prize pool.
Minor regions weren’t forgotten either. A separate tournament—Intercontinental Clash—was created specifically for them. There, the best teams from Latin America faced the strongest lineups from Australia and New Zealand in a thrilling Bo7 series to determine who’s going to represent their region at the HGC Final. A similar story took place in Southeast Asia and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Japan with the Horizon Clash tournament. With that, HGC truly became the go-to event for Heroes of the Storm players worldwide.
Betting on Heroes of the Storm
Much like with other competitive titles, there’s a thriving HotS gambling scene, and you can find Heroes of the Storm betting tips for countless events and tournaments. The most popular type of wagers is the classic match-winner best. That is, you put your money on one of the two teams fighting against each other, and if your lineup comes out on top, you get your payout.
A more complex variation of this wager is the map winner bet that prompts you to predict which team is going to win a particular map. Considering HotS battlegrounds have very different designs, there’s a surprising amount of depth to these bets. After all, you have to compare teams’ strengths and analyze whether they will show on specific maps.
The metaphorical final boss of this branch of wagers is the tournament winner bet. This is by far the hardest one since you have to guess well in advance which team will lift up the trophy. However, tournament winner bets offer the best odds, so if you’re good at reading the field, it might very well be worth the risk.
You can also explore First Blood wagers. These can be a bit hit-or-miss because they require you to predict which team is going to score the first kill of the match. But if you get to make a First Blood bet live after seeing the pick/ban phase, you can use you’re the extra information to tip the scales in your favor.
Last but not least, consider placing a handicap bet if you want to minimize the risks. The way it works is that you’re still making a match winner wager, but the team you’re betting on has a number of wins (or losses) added to its score. Sounds confusing? Take a look at the example below:
Let’s say Gen.G are playing a Bo5 against Team Liquid in HGC. You consider Team Liquid strong enough to come up with an upset, but when push comes to shove, they have their work cut out for them. So instead of risking it all on a match winner wager, you place a +1.5 handicap bet in their favor. This way, if Team Liquid find their upset, you will still get paid, but you will also get your money even if they fall in a close 5-game series.
Remember, the handicap adds 1.5 to Team Liquid’s record. And even if the score is TL 2-3 GEN, it will turn into TL 3.5-3 GEN in the context of your bet. Keep in mind that you won’t get paid if Gen.G wins 3-1 or 3-0, so you still need to evaluate your risks with handicap wagers.
Get an Edge Betting on Heroes of the Storm
Alright, now that we’ve walked you through the ins and outs of Heroes of the Storm esports, how on earth do you become good at betting on it? The answer is by getting game knowledge. Lots and lots of game knowledge. We’ve already alluded to this in the betting on HotS section, but knowing things like hero matchups, player strengths, and team identities can go a long way towards improving your betting game. The best way of learning more about the game is by tuning into HotS Twitch streams and watching VODs on YouTube.
However, it’s also the longest one.
If you want to cut some corners, you can follow the HotS subreddit that’s dedicated to general gameplay and Heroes of the Storm esports. Also, consider visiting Master League if you want to get the most relevant news, VODs, and interviews from a variety of credible sources.
Another thing that should be in your arsenal is Heroes of the Storm betting tips. In the end, even the most diligent viewers won’t have as much knowledge as dedicated experts. So if you find a source of Heroes of the Storm betting tips you can trust, make sure to hold onto it.