Heroes of the Storm

Announcing the Talent Lineup for Spring Series HotS

We are pleased to announce our talent lineup for the Spring Series HotS League.  Starting on 11 October 2016, and broadcasting on twitch.tv/gamestahtv1 from 7:30 AEDT, your host will be Jacob “Kitfox” Punton, with Play-by-play by Andre “Skimmy” Allchin, and, new to Gamestah productions but no stranger to the ANZ HotS scene, Kori “Vandie” Bassi providing Analysis!

Kitfox is one of Gamestah’s stalwarts, with over six years of casting experience. He brings a high degree of professionalism and continuity to Gamestah’s broadcasts and it is exciting to see him back in the host’s seat for the Spring Series.

Those who followed the Gamestah Ember series will have enjoyed Skimmy’s analysis throughout that series. For the Spring Series he will be donning the Play-by-Play hat, and handing Analysis duties to Vandie. We asked him about his partner-in-casting for the Spring Series, and he had this to say:

“I’m absolutely stoaked to have Vandie on board with us to help host Gamestah’s latest HotS league. Having worked with her before, I’m confident in her ability to fill the analyst role due to the skill she’s displayed both on air and in game.”

Vandie brings a fresh face to Gamestah’s HotS production but she has plenty of prior experience, working with other notable broadcasters in the ANZ scene such as ANZ_HeroesDisconcur, and of course appearing on the official Blizzard broadcast for the ANZ Qualifier series. We caught up with Vandie on the weekend about the prospect of casting with Skimmy again:

“Skimmy was great to work with for the first time during the recent ANZ Qualifier series. I admire his ability to clearly narrate plays as they come and properly hype up the match. His added sense of humour is also a great asset!”

We believe we’ve assembled a great talent team for the Spring Series and we look forward to an engaging, exciting and informative season of casting from the team! Make sure you follow them on twitter to keep up to date with their goings on:




And be sure to join us on Tuesday nights through October for all the thrills and spills in the Spring Series HotS League!

The Gamestah Spring Series Premiere Sponsors are ZOWIE-benq and SplitmediaLabs. Gamestah Tournaments are powered by Challonge and our broadcasts are powered by Xsplit. Be sure to follow us on Player.me!




There have been a number of questions about seeding for the weekly playoffs that are worth addressing in long-form rather than ye olde 140 character tweetage.

Good Seeding is the Foundation of Good Competition

First, at Gamestah we understand that good seeding is the foundation of good competitions. We know that the purpose of seeding is to provide the best possible chance for the two top teams in a tournament to meet in the Grand Final, and not before. This means that seeding is especially important in single elimination brackets. With Double Elimination, you can still have the one and two seeds meet before the Grand Final, and have the loser work their way back to a Grand Final berth through the lower brackets. That is simply not possible with single elimination.

This is why, before JAM-STAH started back in May, Gamestah convened the Overwatch Oceanic Power Rankings Panel. We needed some basis for seeding the JAM-STAH tournaments, especially considering they were all single elimination. The Power Rankings has been tremendously helpful in this regard, not just for our own competitions, but also for others in the region. We also used the Power Rankings to determine our first four auto-qualified teams in Week 1 of the ZOWIE Gamestah Overwatch League.

ZOWIE has a unique tournament structure that requires different approaches to seeding for each bracket on a weekly basis.

Weekly Qualifiers

The Weekly Qualifiers use a six-round Swiss format bracket. The Qualifiers are open, so each week there is a mix of teams that are new to the competition, and teams that have played before. The latter will have established League Points and a position on the ZOWIE Leaderboard. The Leaderboard is our primary resource for seeding the open Qualifiers each week. We supplement this with reference to the Power Rankings. For example, if a team enters the Qualifiers in Week 5 and doesn’t have any League Points, but has been ranked by the Power Ranking panel at no. 2 (for argument’s sake), it would be foolish for us to give the team a bottom seed and have them face the top seed in Round 1.

The Swiss bracket is played out and at the end of the sixth round, battlefy generates standings based on the results of all six matches each team plays. From these standings, the top four teams qualify for the Playoffs.

It should be noted that Swiss format brackets require tie-breakers to determine final standings. While there are multiple methods of breaking ties, battlefy’s bracket software uses “the average of the percentage of 1. Rounds your opponents won 2. Individual games you won.” We accept this method without question as it takes into account battlefy’s round-generation algorithm.

Weekly Playoffs

At the end of each Weekly Playoff, battlefy generates a standings table based on results. First place goes to the Grand Final winner, second place to the Grand Final loser, third place to the Semi-Finalist that lost to the Grand Final Winner and fourth place to the Semi-Finalist that lost to the Grand Final loser. These four teams automatically qualify for the next week’s playoffs, and we seed them based on their standings as generated by battlefy.

The four teams that come through the qualifying Swiss bracket are seeded according to the standings table generated by battlefy. This means that the first-placed qualifier is seeded fifth, second place is sixth, third place is seventh and fourth place is seeded eighth in the Playoffs.

Your Tie-breakers Suck and You Should Use Mine Instead

A number of players have approached us with this notion. Many methods suggested are quite valid. They just aren’t used by battlefy’s system. To be clear, Gamestah did not sit down and discuss whether or not we would use head-to-head, or opponents-win-percentage, or least-opponent’s-score-overall, or Bucholz or any other method to break ties. We simply noted that battlefy implemented a tiebreaker system, that the system used two accepted Swiss-format tiebreaker algorithms, and we decided to use that system.

The battlefy system has been used to determine rankings for every Qualifying stage from the start of the League. Those who have recently qualified for a playoff round, and who would have preferred a different method of tiebreaker because it would have resulted in a higher seeding for their team (excuse me, would have been “more fair), should be aware that applying a unique tiebreaker to this week’s Qualifier standings would unfairly disadvantage all of the teams from the previous rounds.

In short: we have a valid system for breaking ties, it has been equally and thus fairly applied to all teams throughout the League, and we won’t be using a different method to suit special snowflakes.


Rocket League

Plantronics Pro League (CGi Finals): Grand Final – Sequential…

Grand Final:

This is what it comes down to: JAM Gaming have worked hard all season long to earn themselves the opportunity for one last knock at Sequential’s crushing hold on the number 1 power ranking in Oceania.

The start of the match sees SQL racing ahead of JAM but mid-series JAM find their rhythm and stage a comeback! With the scores even at 2-2 the game hangs in the balance! Once again the bo7 format delivers a thrilling finale to an excellent first season of the Pro League!

Casters: Chrisis and Byza
Grand Final MVP: Soma (Sequential Gaming)