There is little love lost between the Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends communities but what does a professional League of Legends player actually think of the Blizzard MOBA?
Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends are both MOBA’s but still drastically different games from one another. But that doesn’t keep the LoL and Hots communities from talking trash about the other game and consistently compare them side by side.
Both communities seem to claim that their game is hands down the best and more often than not its people that won’t even try the other game. So finding someone that enjoy both games and has a nuanced view on the topic is quite rare, and whats even more unusual is to see a professional League of Legends player that also play Heroes of the Storm in his spare time.
We had a talk with the current Top Laner of G2 Esports, Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen about the state of both games and what he like about both League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.
To those that might not have heard of you, could you do a quick introduction?
Wunder: Yes of course. My name is Martin, and I’m a professional League of Legends player known as Wunder, I’ve been pretty active in the League scene for almost 4 years playing for teams such as Dignitas, Splyce and now G2 Esports, where I play as the Top Laner. I’m from Denmark but spend most of my time in Berlin practicing with my team for EULCS which is the best league in Europe.
As a professional League of Legends player, what drove you to try out Heroes of the Storm in the first place, and why do you still play it occasionally?
Wunder: I’ve always been a pretty big Blizzard fan playing games like Diablo, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, so even though I was pretty good at League of Legends, I obviously had to give Heroes a try when it was released.
Sometimes I’m kind of burned out on League in my offseason, so I end up playing some Heroes of the Storm, and it’s a nice change in terms of early fights over objectives and faster-paced games.
What 2-3 things do you feel Hots does better than League? And Vice versa.
Things in favor of Heroes of the Storm
Wunder: I really like the talent system in Hots compared to just putting a point in one of your abilities to upgrade damage/cooldown/cost or something in that regard and then just deciding which one to max out first.
Blizzard also did a really good job on a lot of their maps to make sure the game doesn’t just drag out too long by making sure objectives are strong enough to fight for but not so strong that you can’t recover if you lose early game. In comparison League, especially the last season we’ve had, some games would go to crazy lengths like 70-80 minutes because of the meta and how our objectives wouldn’t allow you to close out the game.
From my experience even though I have long breaks from Hots, every time I come back there’s a lot of variance in heroes that are playable, and Hots has way fewer troll picks, which you can’t make work in higher ranks. It’s most likely because League still has way more champions than Hots, but I feel like the balancing is pretty good in Hots and probably better than League in that aspect.
Things in favor of League of Legends
Wunder: Despite saying I enjoy logging into Hots and playing a lot of different maps, for balancing and especially competitively, having 1 map you can focus on and perfect is definitely something I prefer.
Hots got a lot of hate for not having last hitting minions, gold and items in the game. And I still prefer the way League works in that regard, but I’m also in favor of the talent system compared to leveling up skills. I can see how having talents and items in the game can be a bit too much and Blizzard also has made it very clear in a lot of their games that they cater more to casuals now and this is most likely the reason Heroes of the Storm got branded as a ”noob” friendly game.
Which Heroes of the Storm Hero is your favorite and what hero kit would you like to see added to an upcoming League champion, and vice versa.
Wunder: I really like Li-Ming’s kit and how she can be useful early on, but still completely take over a team fights and cleanup. I’m a Toplaner in League though so if that hero was to become a League champion I probably wouldn’t be playing it sadly.
I’ve been playing League for a long time, so I obviously have a bit more all-time favorite champions, but I’d probably go with either Irelia or Camille which are both mobile assassins.
If Hots and League’s Champion roster got mixed up, What would be your top 5 favorites?
One of the most common insults thrown at Heroes of the Storm is that it’s impossible to carry. How much truth do you think there is to that statement?
Wunder: If I compare Hots and League I’d say it’s easier to 1v9 carry a game in League if you’re smurfing in lower ranks. That said, considering I play top lane in League which hasn’t been the most impactful role for some time, I think that you can have more of an impact in Hots if you’re at a rank around your skill level. Because of how you can control the map and set up a lot of plays early on in the game to shift the momentum for your team.
The League of Legends community is quite infamous for being very toxic. Do you feel a big difference between Hots and League in that regard or is every competitive online game just a toxic wasteland?
Wunder: I for sure feel a big difference in Hots and League in regards to toxicity. Even though I don’t really mind people being “toxic”, I see maybe only one guy flaming in Hots every 1/20 games, but in League, it’s pretty much every game. People also tend to chat more in general in League, and all chat is also enabled, so it works both ways that people will be flaming more but also sometimes be more friendly.
Which game has the best progression system in your experience, and why?
Wunder: Until recently I would’ve said Hots has the better progression system, but League changed the way the rune system work. Before it was extra stats you could add to your loadout, so, for example, starting the game with 9 extra attack damage or 9 more armor, but there would be so many different runes you could buy providing so many different stats, and they all cost a lot of in-game currency, so it was difficult to develop your account.
Now it’s somewhat similar where you level up your account, so you’re able to play ranked which takes a little bit longer in League, but when you’re ready to play ranked, you can play any champion you own. Which I honestly prefer as opposed to having to level up every hero you want to play in ranked, but I can see how that obviously prevents you from first timing a new hero in ranked play which I could see being an issue at lower ranks.
What’s the general opinion on Hots among the professional League players you talk to? And do you know of other LoL pros that occasionally play a round of Heroes?
Wunder: I don’t really know a lot of League players that play or have played Hots besides a guy named Forgiven who is pretty big in League, and he found it pretty fun I even think he held an AMA on the Hots subreddit.
Let’s say Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends were released at the same time. Which, do you think, of the two would end up being the most popular?
Wunder: If they both were released in the state they’re in right now, I’d say League would still be the more popular game, but maybe short term Hots would get more attention since it’s a Blizzard game.
Can you think of a single change that would instantly get League of Legends players to try out Heroes of the Storm?
Wunder: A lot of people would have probably been more interested in Hots if you could farm creeps/kills for gold and buy items since its what people are used to and for many, it’s hard to imagine how you can solo carry in a game without it.
Do you think Heroes of the Storm has the potential to become a huge eSport? If not, why and what would you do to fix it?
Wunder: Well right now the only relevant MOBAs are League and Dota, and I think both games respectively have more going for them than Hots. From a gameplay perspective, I think the 2 other MOBAs caters more to competitive play because of a higher skill cap, so I think it’s tough for Hots to break through.
You mention that League of Legends generally has a higher skill cap. Do you think that comes down mostly to having a much larger player base and thus more talented players, or do you think the game is also mechanically and tactically more difficult?
Wunder: I’d say mechanically depends a lot on the champion/hero you’re playing. There’s for sure a lot of champions in League that are easier to play than Hots heroes and vice versa. Overall I’d say it’s very similar, but as you pointed out more people are playing League, and therefore the skill ceiling is probably pushed a bit on some of the montage champions we have in League compared to Hots.
When it comes to tactically it’s hard for me to answer because I’m so used to League and I’ve been playing professionally for so many years that I know every meta and how certain situations should be played, and I for sure don’t know the same in Hots. But having a lot of different maps can make it harder to perfect strategies since you will always have maps you’re better on than others, so in that sense, Hots has more depth.
What changes/improvements would you make to Hero League and Team League to make competitive Hots more enjoyable?
Wunder: I think for Hero League as it is what I play the most, I don’t really understand why they haven’t made heroes tradable after the draft before the game starts. I think that would make drafting more interesting and overall a lot better. I also think that what League does with predefined roles is great so that you can queue up as a specific role (top, jungle, mid, bot, sup) and that also makes getting your role easier and allow both sides to have players that are comfortable with their Heroes.
So, hero swaps and some way to lock in on one or two roles when queuing.
Have you ever had time to watch the Heroes Global Championship? If yes, what did you think and which improvements would you make?
Wunder: I’ve not followed HGC too much recently, so it’s hard to say… I think Blizzard is generally pretty good at hosting events and they have decent production value and scheduling, but I don’t have a lot of time to watch it so I really couldn’t say.
Do you feel like having several Battlegrounds might be a disadvantage for Hots eSports?
Wunder: I think it makes it interesting because of the many different META’s that can exist from map to map. But for the competitive aspect it definitely makes it harder and for some of the casual players that watch, it might be hard to understand and apply things that happen in professional games to their own because it varies so much.
Let us say G2 disbanded tomorrow, would you be willing to switch over to Professional Heroes of the Storm play? purely from a gameplay standpoint(Ignoring the obvious financial advantage of playing League)
Wunder: I’ve thought about this regarding multiple games, but for Hots even though I play it now and then I’d probably get bored if I played it full time. That being said when I play League I don’t really enjoy playing solo ranked as much as I used to anymore, but scrimming with my team is still great, so maybe I would change my mind if I actually got into the professional Heroes scene.
Do you think more comparable wages for players would lure more professional players to the Pro Hots scene or does it go beyond money and popularity?
Wunder: Well I think for the people already invested in League and on a team, it wouldn’t change much, but for people who can’t break through and become a pro gamer in League might then try and play Hots if there’s decent money in it.
What’s the most significant difference between the Top lane role in League of Legends and the solo lane role in Heroes of the Storm?
Wunder: I think early roaming and team fighting is the biggest difference. In League, you mainly coordinate plays in the early game with your jungler whos doing most of the ganking until you can push fast enough and impact the map too, but in Hots there are so many objectives (depending on map) that you have to fight and sac a lot of waves for.
Which games outside the MOBA genre do you enjoy the most?
Wunder: Throughout my life, I’ve played mostly World of Warcraft, Diablo 2 and Counter-Strike Source. But my most played of them by is WoW by far, I really like MMO’s.
What do you think of the Fortnite and Battle Royale mania that goes through the gaming community as a whole right now?
Wunder: I played a lot of the BR games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Realm Royale but in my opinion, they’re only fun the first 40 hours, and then they get a bit stale, but Fortnite has done a good job at updating the game a lot. I do think it hurts them a lot that they didn’t come out with a rating system, since playing 5000 games and still being potentially
matched with first timers is very boring.
Your biggest moment as a professional gamer?
Wunder: For sure qualifying for Worlds in my first LCS year in 2016. We were really bad in our rookie split (spring split) and then come summer we turned it all around and placed #2 losing in the finals and having to play in the gauntlet for Europe’s 3rd seed, and we won 3-2.
Tips for gamers that want to improve? What do you do outside of practice to stay on top? Diet, exercise, etc.
Wunder: I think it differs from person to person, but what I think is the most important is to focus and get the most out of every game and being open-minded to your own mistakes. It’s personally easier for me to do this if I don’t eat junk food every day and I exercise a bit and even though I have a tight schedule going at least 2-3 days helps a lot, also just getting fresh air in general, makes me feel less heavy headed.
How does your gaming set up look like? Mouse, keyboard, etc.
Wunder: Right now I’m using a Logitech G403 Mouse (wired only) because it fits my hand nicely and its lightweight.
I’m also using the Logitech G Pro Keyboard because it’s small without Numpad and allow me to have my keyboard and mouse closer together. For mousepad, I’m using Logitech G Cloth mousepad because I’m not a fan of the solid ones and finally, for headset the Logitech G Pro which has insane sound.