Heroes of the Storm: How to prepare for Hero League
Playing Heroes of the Storm’s most competitive game mode can be intimidating at first, especially if you’re new to MOBAs. But it doesn’t have to be. Hero League is harder and more competitive than quick match, but it’s not out of reach, even for casual players. There are some very easy steps you can take to prepare and make sure that you’re ready for whatever is going to come at you in Hero League. Here’s a quick rundown:
This might seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do is reach level thirty, and if you haven’t already, there’s no better time than now to prepare for Hero League. You gain gold for leveling new heroes and for finishing daily quests, which is a great way to experiment with different characters and play styles – since you want to be as familiar as possible with all of the different enemies you’ll face in Hero League, this is a good time to play as many heroes as possible when they come up in the weekly rotation, and especially to try out different roles if you’re the kind of person who tends to play the same type of hero.
Try out different specialists, warriors, and supports - especially the ones that are popular - so that at the very least you know what to expect when you face them in Hero League.
Build your roster
One of the primary differences between Hero League and Quick Match is the picking stage, and if you want to be effective, you need to have a strong roster. You don’t need to shell out a ton of gold though, especially if you’ve been doing quests and leveling intelligently.
For Hero League, you want to make sure that you have 2-3 heroes in each category that you are comfortable with (it’s probably fine to have just one specialist that you like, since they overlap in team composition somewhat with assassins). A lot of inexpensive heroes are very useful in Hero League, even if you’re not great with them. So picking up heroes like Li Li, Valla, and ETC to fill out your roster is a great idea.
The more choices you have the better, but you don’t need to break the bank preparing for Hero League. Just grab enough heroes to make sure you have something to pick if all your favorites get chosen.
Learn the basics
By now, you’re probably familiar with all the maps, but if you want to be really killer in Hero League, it’s probably a good idea to watch some high-level matches and get a feel for what top players do at certain stages. Get to know the timings, when to pick up merc camps, when to push and when to defend, how to use the Dragon Knight and Garden Terror, all that good stuff.
You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to know enough to be where you need to be when the action goes down. A little time on Twitch or YouTube will do wonders for your success, and since your Hero League rank is based heavily on your first few games, it’s a good idea to go in prepared.
Get ready to communicate
Probably the most important element of high-level HotS play that is missing in Quick Match is communication. HotS doesn’t have voice chat, but it does have lots of pings that you can use to indicate what needs to happen, so make sure that you’re pinging objectives when they show up, allies that need help, and enemies that are missing or coming to gank. Typing isn’t fast and can get you in trouble, but a quick message here and there can make a big difference.
Communicating in hero selection is also essential, so make sure you get in the habit of calling a role and responding to other players' choices. Be ready to tell people exactly who you’re going to play and what heroes you have available. Don’t go AFK! Being ready to pick and communicating with your team will not only make your composition stronger, it will help everyone go into the game ready and focused instead of frustrated.
And that’s all you need to be ready for Hero League! With practice and preparation you can absolutely compete and succeed in competitive Heroes of the Storm. Get out there are protect your Nexus!