A new chapter in the recent rivalry between ANZ and LATAM begins on September 14 and 15, as the two top teams from each region face off at the Intercontinental Clash. This time around, Copacabana Beach and Christ the Redeemer will give way to Bondi Beach and the Opera House in Sydney, the event's host city.
Not only will the scenery change for this battle, but so will the final goal. The teams will play for the titles and a spot in the World Championship at BlizzCon.
Without ETOMyx, the final match turned into a difficult affair for Thunder Predator, which almost let the crown slip through their fingers. While SleepyBear is still the highlight of the team, ETOMyx should be back for the finals, and the Mexican team should make a series of adjustments in their plays and strategies to avoid the tension of the HGC Copa América's Grand Finals.
With the North rising back to the top in Latin America, everything is in its rightful place for Thunder Predator's players. However, for players like dBlank, that top spot used to be even higher, and they will fight tooth and nail for this new opportunity to become number one in the region once again. To achieve this goal, Deckard Cain and Johanna are going to be essential for the Mexican team.
Things were a bit less rocky for Encore. Their Season 2 record was pretty much like the first, defeating all opponents during the group stage save for Dynasty. But, when it mattered the most, Encore bounced back and won the title. Even with the introduction of Corgan to the team and betogg's role change, the Brazilian organization showed excellent synergy. It seems those changes haven't adversely affected their play and communication style.
If the number of Samuros soared in your Hero League, that's probably thanks at least in part to Encore. Derenash and the others employed the orc's strategy very well, even forcing draft bans during HGC Copa América. If opponents don't pay attention, Samuro will be used again by Encore, and the team's chances of success are significant.
To realize their dream of making it to BlizzCon, the Latin American team crowned regional champion will still need to overcome one of the Australian teams, Mindfreak or Crimson. The leaders of the HGC ANZ Premier League are clearly the best in the region, no question, and very much on par with each other. Back in Season 1, Mindfreak, largely considered favorites for the Mid-Season Brawl spot, was taken to seven maps during the final match against Crimson. Now in Season 2, both teams lead their region's league with only one defeat each, from their matches against each other. Mindfreak won the first, 2-1, and Crimson the second, 2-0.
The road to BlizzCon is nearing the final stretch with many obstacles still ahead, especially for the Latin American teams. Those will be hard to overcome, but not insurmountable, and both Thunder Predator and Encore have already shown they have what it takes to earn Latin America a spot at the Heroes of the Storm World Championship.
Don't forget to show your support for the teams in social media using the #HGCCopaAmerica hashtag.