Bracket and schedules on LiquipediaThis Friday, the first place teams from Southeast Asia and Taiwan will come head to head at the Horizon Clash, fighting for a ticket to the Mid-Season Brawl.
Held at the Blizzard Arena in Taipei, home team Luna Meow will take on the Singaporean squad Resurgence in a best of seven series.
Luna Meow secured their place as the Taiwanese representatives without even dropping a map in their regional qualifiers—a round robin series held over three weeks.
In the Southeast Asian qualifiers, Resurgence took out Psistorm Gaming 3-2 in a nail-biting series to secure their own spot at the Horizon Clash.
The competition begins in
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Luna Meow (previously Loli Meow), formed towards the end of 2017, finishing up the year third in their region. Founder and team captain booy005 is the only original member remaining, with the remaining members hailing from the 2017 standout squad Team Facecheck.
Luna Meow surprised everyone in the Taiwan Eastern Clash qualifiers this year by taking a 3-1 victory off their long time rivals, Soul Torturers. Climbing back up through the loser’s bracket and knocking out a team who, only six months prior, had been at BlizzCon—this was the ultimate underdog story.
Luna Meow at the Eastern Clash 2018 (source: Blizzard)
Luna Meow’s ranged assassin player GarnetDevil commented on this, saying: “In the first match sending us to the loser’s round, we tried the planned model and it didn’t quite work out. At grand finals, we decided to do whatever we are capable of, and it worked.”
Prior to qualifying for the Horizon Clash, solo laner Virgil said the team’s goal was to get to the Mid-Season Brawl in Sweden. "We expect ourselves to perform even better in international tournaments,” he stated.
Now with the Clash closing in, the team looks to extend their undefeated run in the round robin tournament towards their Southeast Asian opponents.
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Resurgence is a veteran name in the Southeast Asian Heroes of the Storm scene. Competing since 2015, the team soon grew into an organisation founded by renowned shoutcaster, Babael. They are a team that has been through many highs and lows, and know all too well the pain of always coming second.
Outside of their season one victory, Resurgence struggled to find success over rivals DeadlyKittens in 2017. This is reflected in their team name, as stated by Babael: “The official reason they were called Resurgence is because this team was formed from a ragtag bunch of dropouts.
They are not top-tier and they’ve always been close with 2nd and 3rd place victories. So the founder of the team brought everyone together and said, "You know what, we can try and get this first place. And Resurgence is the idea of getting to that place.”
Resurgence at the Eastern Clash 2017 (source: Blizzard)
Taking on board Zeys and Mirr, a deadly duo formerly of Taiwan’s Soul Torturers, Resurgence has revitalized their roster for 2018.
Zeys has returned to his home region after spending over six months playing for the Taiwan BlizzCon 2017 representatives. He made his debut with Resurgence in the SEA qualifiers last month and has since brought with him long time friend and fellow HotS veteran, Mirr.
The pair have been almost inseparable since the earliest days of competitive Heroes of the Storm in Southeast Asia, competing side by side since 2015 on the old Relics roster.
Much like their Taiwanese counterparts at the beginning of the year, Resurgence found themselves to be the underdogs in the grand final series against Psistorm Gaming. Sporting three former members of Deadly Kittens (Stronger, Enavir, and nsj), Zeys had to face his old teammates in what was a very tense series. But they succeeded, and with a 3-2 victory, Resurgence secured a ticket to Taipei and the right to face Luna Meow this Friday.
Luna Meow victory 4-2
Resurgence are at a disadvantage due to the Southeast Asian scene having only held one tournament so far, in contrast with Luna Meow who have played in the Eastern Clash qualifiers, the Eastern Clash, and the Horizon Clash qualifiers. The Taiwanese team is the clear winner in terms of exposure to higher level play.
The addition of Zeys and Mirr to Resurgence puts them ahead for international experience, having represented both Southeast Asia and Taiwan at multiple large events including BlizzCon and the Mid-Season Brawl. Their insider knowledge of the Taiwanese meta should also not be overlooked and will likely prove useful in determining their strategy.
Luna Meow still have a good chunk of experience behind them as well though, with all members having attended international events in the past.
On paper both teams have been playing together as a full unit for similar amounts of time. Not all experience is equal though, and when considering Luna Meow’s history, they have the advantage in terms of team synergy. With the recent round robin tournament to heal any growing pains, Luna Meow are expected to be at the top of their game. Resurgence, on the other hand, will need to adapt quickly to the addition of Mirr. Although he and Zeys operate together like a well oiled machine, it will still take time to get comfortable around their new teammates.
Though I believe Luna Meow will ultimately get the win, Resurgence possess the raw power to take a few maps for themselves. If given more time to gel as a team, though, they should find themselves a more equal match for Luna Meow. As the team stands now though, Luna Meow has too much of an advantage in terms of momentum and team synergy to fall here.