Please note: I began writing this a couple of months ago and decided to finish it, albeit much later than I had intended. I apologize if my wording is weird, writing on a personal level is still new to me and I often struggle to find the words for what I'm feeling.
On December 13th of last year, I was at home watching Trikslyr stream some Heroes of the Storm while messing around on my computer. I refreshed my Twitter feed and the newest tweet was from Kala. I believe it read something like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Another tweet appeared after, this time I think it was Shot who just said, “Holy shit”. At first I thought something big happened in the world so I went to the BBC and CNN websites. I tabbed back over to Twitter and Kala had linked the press release from Blizzard announcing the cancellation of HGC and Heroes of the Dorm. My heart stopped.
I read the press release twice quickly, hoping I was misunderstanding what Blizzard was telling us. Then I burst into tears. In times of shock, our minds tend to focus on seemingly bizarre things. My first thoughts were of TalkingTrees, Nessper, Nintorii, Zergling, and ZaneHyde. These five young men worked for months to qualify for HGC and now they had the rug pulled out from under them. My mind then shifted to Fury, Droplets, and BigEmpct. I adored all of my players while with GFE but I had the closest relationships with Fury and BigE, while Droplets was our collective son who made it to the big leagues. What were they going to do now? What about Nightmare and Sophist and all the production crew of HGC? Oh my god, the casters. Holy shit, all of the players… The ones who put their lives on hold to play competitive HotS. The ones who fought daily with their parents about getting a real job… HeroesHype… The more people I thought of, the harder I cried until I could barely catch my breath between sobs.
Then my thoughts turned to myself. What does this mean to me? Any hope I had of getting back into the Heroes scene with an org was gone. No Dorm and no Clash tournaments meant no vacations. I’m never going to sit next to my best friend at the HGC stage and say the same random thought out loud at the same time again. My friends. My Heroes family. When will I see them again? Will we ever be in the same place at the same time again? That last question has lingered in my mind every day since December 13. My home, my family, my support network - all gone with that press release.
When Blizzard canceled HGC, they didn’t just end a competitive league. The justification may have been financial, but the ultimate cost has been far greater than that. Our community was shattered and the pieces have been scattered all over the place. Some got out while they were ahead - Juuki, Psalm, Bakery just to name a few - but for many of us, we’re still left holding the bag wondering where we go from here. Most of the former pros have moved on to other games and with good reason. There is no money in HotS streaming. Some went to League, others DotA, and not long after came Apex Legends. It’s not the same, though. The stories, the excitement, the close bonds are gone now.
Logging into Heroes now is just… empty. Sure, brawl is on ARAM mode for the time being and there are still a few people around to play with, but with nothing to look forward to, nothing to talk about, the interest just isn’t there anymore. Not for me, anyway. We’ll put ourselves back together again but that “Welcome Home” at Blizzcon sure is going to feel different from now on. Heroes was supposed to be a love letter to the community but in the end, it was just a summer romance that was over too soon.