Less than a month after Activision Blizzard announced they will no longer be supporting the competitive Heroes of the Storm scene, the first replacement professional league will begin sign-ups starting tomorrow.
Heroes Lounge, one of the largest Heroes of the Storm amateur sites in the world, has announced that their pro league, Division S, has crowd-funded over $13,700 within the last few weeks in an attempt to create an appealing enough format where former professional players and up-and-comers can showcase their play for cash prizes.
Signing up to join the league is a fairly simple process, according to Heroes Lounge.
“First of all you have to create an account on our website. (For this you’ll need a battle.net account and a discord account that has joined the Heroes Lounge discord server). You can then either join an existing team by being invited by the captain, or create your own team and invite your team members. Once your team has 5 players you can sign up for the qualifiers by going into your manage team page and tick on the qualifier weekends you want to join and press update participation. Important, all division S teams have to have exactly 5 players.”
According to their site, all participants who make it through the qualification process for the pro league, which will begin in February, are set to receive a share of the total prize money that is raised through their crowdfunding campaign.
With the pro league set to start in the middle of March, Heroes Lounge is looking prove to Blizzard that, even in a smaller format, a competitive scene is worth supporting and the interest from both professional players and the community is still there.
Recently, a European amateur tournament called "the EU Nexus Contest" launched that pits teams from across the continent against one another. On the first day of the event, over 4,000 viewers on Twitch showed up to watch the action.
Although it's a small number compared to the tens of thousands the previous Heroes Global Championship (HGC) broadcasts would receive, a tournament with minimal financial support and publicity being able to grab thousands of eyeballs is encouraging for the scene.
While having a crowd-funded pro league in the long-term is unlikely to be sustainable, as Heroes Lounge alluded to on their site, the organization is actively talking to “several organizations” to ensure the financial support of the league for more seasons down the road.
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