Team Naventic and Gale Force eSports have secured their spots in the first season of the Heroes Global Championship Pro League after winning their brackets at the first North American qualifier. They join Astral Authority and Denial eSports, who auto-qualified due to their placement at the Fall season of HGC 2016.
Naventic rolled through their qualifier bracket and dropped only a single game to No Tomorrow, the roster formed from Barrel Boys after the departure of Stafford "McIntyre" McIntyre to Denial eSports and his replacement by Aaron "erho" Kappes. Naventic took the series 3-1.
Gale Force eSports faced down Vox Nihili to earn their spot, sweeping the series 3-0. On their way through the bracket they took down DefNKorean, Eclipse and Chu8 My Hotdoge, all in clean sweeps.
Though the four teams that have qualified for the 2017 Pro League so far are all familiar names, the number of pickup rosters featuring retired or inactive pros from the early days of the scene signals renewed interest in competitive Heroes in North America. The return of players like Keaton "Biceps" Consentine and Stone "Pannucci" May likely has a lot to do with Blizzard's announcement of $100,000 in guaranteed minimum compensation for each team that plays in both Pro League seasons next year.
These players will likely find themselves in contention with Vox Nihili, No Tomorrow, Dumpster-Tier Superstars and Gust or Bust for the four remaining spots. The second qualifier, which will award another two spots in the NA Pro League, is set to start Dec. 3.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.