At first, it was just a rumor. But then, around 01:30 AM CEST at the 14th December 2018, Blizzard Entertainment made clear that the Esports of the MOBA Heroes of the Storm won’t return in 2019. Therefore the HGC, the Tournament &Pro League Series owned and operated by Blizzard has been terminated and shut down. Despite some big brands in the participant rosters – divided by regions – a regular salary and attractive prizemoney Heroes of the Storm failed to gain the same level of popularity as its adversary from Valve – DotA 2 – or Riot Games – League of Legends. Therefore organizations like Dignitas, Gen.G Esports or Team Liquid who own some of the more successful teams will face not only a revenue loss but also have to drop complete teams and players. At this moment it is unclear how each Organization will handle the situation if there are some players who are able to make a transition to other MOBA games. But it is certain that most of the Pro Players of the HGC will lose their job.
Katowice and Jönköping
For me personally, it was kind of a shock reading about the discontinuation of the Heroes of the Storm Pro League. During my first event – the Intel Extrem Masters 2018 in Katowice (IEM) – as an esports journalist, I was able to see some of the best teams of Heroes of the Storm competing against each other. In the end, Dignitas, then known as Team Dignitas, won the trophy and showed ambition to win the World Championship as well. I was hooked, I was excited. But despite the intention of playing more Heroes during my free time, I headed straight back into the Rift and therefore League of Legends. I can’t really tell but Heroes of the Storm never got me that much hooked that I wanted to play it more than just a couple of hours. Still, I’m sad about the decision made by the creator of World of WarCraft and Overwatch to cancel the upcoming season of Heroes of the Storm and the HGC