Grab four of your pals and start talking serious strategy, because the arrival of our next Closed Beta patch will introduce Team League to Heroes of the Storm! Team League is our latest mode of ranked matchmaking, and will allow you and your closest allies in the Nexus to create dedicated, persistent teams in order to compete for rank against opposing teams. Just as 1v1 is broadly considered the primary, and most competitive, way to experience StarCraft II, we believe that Team League will represent the pinnacle of Heroes competition.
Today, we’d like to take a moment to share details about how you can get acquainted with our fierce new game mode on patch day. While reading below, please keep in mind that this is our initial implementation for Team League. Work on this feature is ongoing, and we already have improvements in store for the future. We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us after you’ve had a chance to try out Team League over the coming weeks.
Team Creation and Management
Once you’ve achieved Player Level 40, and own at least 10 heroes, you’ll be able to create or join up to three teams, and start queuing for Team League games with your teammates. Click an empty team slot on the newly-enabled Team League Play Screen, and come up with a clever team name that will strike fear in your opponents (or maybe just give them a good chuckle), and then pay 1,000 Gold to finalize creation of your new team.
So you’ve got a team, and an awe-inspiring name, but you can’t enter the Team League queue alone! Consider who among your friends will have your back through thick and thin on the field of battle, and then click the Roster button to invite other players to join your lineup. Each team can consist of up to nine members in total, and a minimum of five players are required in order to play Team League matches. Your team rosters will be persistent, meaning that each of the players in a team’s lineup will remain members of that team until they choose to leave, or are removed by the team leader.
You can get a quick overview for each of your teams’ current ranks and win/loss records at a glance by keeping an eye on the Team League Play Screen. If you’d like to see a more detailed breakdown for one of your teams, head to your Player Profile, where we’ve added a “Ranked Teams” section.
Each team you’re participating in will receive its own tab in the Player Profile, which team leaders can use to add or remove players from the lineup. Additionally, teammates can use these tabs to check out the current roster, as well as each player’s win/loss record, most played Hero, and highest rank achieved as a member of that team.
Ranks and Points
Each of your teams will be ranked separately, starting at Rank 50, and can rank-up by consistently toppling opponents of increasing skill in Team League matchmaking. It is also worth noting that ranking is determined by a team’s performance as a whole in Team League matches, and will not be affected by the Hero League rankings, or matchmaking ratings, of its individual members.
With our next patch, we’ll also be implementing a change for ranked points in both Hero and Team League, in which the number of points you gain or lose by playing ranked games will fluctuate more broadly based on the skill difference between you and your opponents. These additional ranked points, or "Match Points" should help skilled players and teams more quickly reach the ranks where they belong, and offer higher point rewards for defeating tougher opponents. Additionally, it’s possible for a player or team’s matchmaking rating in Hero or Team League to increase at a faster rate than the current rank indicates. In these situations, you’ll earn a "Skill Bonus", which offers a number of additional ranked points to help your rank more quickly align with your rating. We’re also still planning to add a different experience for Team League competitors beyond Rank 1 that will function much like StarCraft II Grandmaster League, but we’ll have more information on that with future updates.
Starting and Ending a Match
As mentioned previously, five members from the same team must queue together in order to play Team League matches, as partial parties are not allowed in this game mode. Make sure that your team has a healthy roster, full of active members, so that you always have an enough teammates when you invite them to join you in the Team League queue.
Upon finding a match, you’ll enter Draft Mode. Unlike Hero League’s Draft Mode, however, Team League will make use of the First Come, First Served (FCFS) version of draft selection. With FCFS, there is no set pick order for the players on each team. While a coin toss will still decide which team picks first, and teams will still make selections using the 1-2-2-2-2-1 format, individual players are free to select their heroes in any order they like when it is their team’s turn to pick.
You may also notice that we’ve overhauled the end-of-game screens you’re used to seeing after completing a match. The Rank, Quests, and Rewards tabs have all been removed and incorporated into the Summary Screen. This screen will now display your rank changes, gains and losses in ranked points, Hero and Player Level progress, as well as any Quest rewards you earned during the previous game, so that you can view all of your progress and rewards in one easy to find location.
We’re very excited to bring you Team League with our impending Closed Beta patch, and can’t wait to see which teams will reach the top of the ranking system. Once again, we’d like to remind you that this is our initial implementation of the feature, and we plan to make a number of improvements to Team League, as well as the ranking system, with future updates. Once you’ve had a chance to dig into Team League, we’d love to hear from you on the official feedback forums, so fire up Heroes of the Storm on patch day, create a team, and start competing! Until then, we’ll catch you in the queue.