Heroes Lounge, the world's largest amateur Heroes of the Storm esports league, has announced the creation of a new competitive division that it hopes will help fill the void left by Blizzard's decision to end support for the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm.
"Heroes Lounge Division S will be a high-level competition where the top teams from Europe and NA can compete in their own region," the Lounge said in the announcement. "Teams will be competing in a round robin format, will compete for crowdfunded prizes, have a chance to drop out of the division via crucibles with new teams being able to fight their way in via qualifiers and most games being cast by no one less than Khaldor himself."
The plan is to begin taking signups for the qualifiers in January 2019, then play them over February 2-3. Once that's all sorted out, actual league play will kick off at the beginning of March. Heroes Lounge said it's been in contact with other organizations and that it's "open to collaborations on this project," but also emphasized that without fan support, it's not going to happen. To that end, it's running a prize pool crowdfunding campaign on Matcherino, which is already on the cusp of achieving its $10,000 goal.
Ten large is nothing to sneeze at, but it's still a far cry from the cash offered at Blizzard-supported league events: The 2018 HGC finals, for instance, offered a $1 million prize pool, and was preceded by a half-dozen preliminary phases worth $425,000 each, and numerous other five-and-six-figure tournaments. But even if it can't replace HGC, it could provide a new home for serious Heroes diehards, players and fans alike, and maybe more importantly it could send a signal to Blizzard that a Heroes pro league, even one reduced in scope, is worth hanging onto.