Tempo Storm Strikes First in North America
With eight of the best teams in North America duking it out in a double elimination bracket, there was bound to be bloodshed. When all was said and done, Tempo Storm was deemed the most worthy team in the region. The inaugural June North American Open is in the books and we have taken our first step on the Road to BlizzCon by identifying one of the five teams that will represent North America in the coming Americas Championship. With winners from North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Australia/New Zealand competing for two more coveted spots at BlizzCon, it is of utmost importance that teams quickly secure their slot at the Americas Championship so they can begin preparing for the main events.
Like their team name implies, Tempo Storm tore through the bracket like a cyclone and didn’t lose a single game until the finals against Cloud9 Maelstrom. Tempo Storm’s play in the upper bracket often looked flawless, pushing to three-level leads on numerous occasions. They won with the same style and grace that made them champions of the Heroes Major League and victorious at the WCA NA Qualifiers; coincidentally two other events in which Tempo Storm faced Cloud9 Maelstrom in the finals. With no reason to doubt themselves coming into the event, Tempo Storm’s win this weekend served to further cement their claim as the best in North America, playing at a level above their peers. Showing off their usual strategy diversity, this increasingly dynamic team added a new wrinkle to their repertoire with a first-pick Abathur in the championship series, a hero they’ve historically ignored.
Though they all played admirably, each team will train for July’s event knowing that Tempo Storm are the group to beat. Our three relative newcomers—Team Blaze, The PLEYZ, and Pool Plato Some Tangos—gained valuable experience, with the latter team taking a game from Cloud9 Vortex in their lower bracket skirmish. compLexity Gaming had front row seats to perhaps the most entertaining run of the tournament, making it to the lower bracket finals against Cloud9 Maelstrom after being knocked out by them in their second match. On the way, compLexity showcased strong Sonya play and had an improbable finish against Cloud 9 Vortex thanks to a hybrid Abathur build that included the Calldown: MULE talent.
Though they walked away with second place, Cloud9 Maelstrom had a showing they could be proud of. Looking like an improved team, they displayed a confidence in their game that paired with their unrelenting aggression to keep leads in scenarios that could have gone sour. C9 Maelstrom may have fallen in the end, but their patience earned them a win in the first finals game against Tempo Storm—a team they were 0-8 against in June up to that point. They can go home with their heads held high knowing that progress was made.
The story here, of course, is Tempo Storm walked away with the $5,000 prize and a slot in the Americas Championship. The first team to earn a spot in the regional championship event, they can rest easy, knowing they are further along on their own Road to BlizzCon. In the July North America Open, where all teams, including previous champions, are welcome, Tempo Storm will remain the team to beat and they can expect the very best from more seasoned, more focused, and hungrier opponents.