Cloud9 are the 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Champions after defeating Team Dignitas 3-0 in the Grand Finals at BlizzCon.
Cloud9 ran the winner's bracket of Group A en-route to the playoffs, beating GIA and Team Dignitas before taking care of Team DK KR in the semifinals ― a hotly anticipated matchup that ended with a Murky composition on Cursed Hollow.
In the grand finals, facing Dignitas for the second time, they smashed the European squad to claim their title.
Team Dignitas qualified for the Grand Finals after a hard-fought road, which saw them sent down to the loser's bracket of Group A by Cloud9. They then went on to top Team YL and upset European rivals Natus Vincere 2-0 before falling once again to Cloud9.
In Game 1, Cloud9 transitioned some good mid game kills into Shrine control, claiming the Dragon Knight and smashing several of Dignitas' Keeps. With a two level advantage, one final push sealed the deal a few minutes later. Throughout the game, a unique Falstad build allowed Keiwan "k1pro" Itakura to be ever-present in team fights after trading comfortably in lane.
Game 2 was a much slower paced affair, with only a handful of kills in the first 20 minutes. Although Cloud9 was initially in the lead, Dignitas took advantage of a curse to take down a few of C9's forts and bring the game back to even. However, a massive team fight near the top Tribute spawn saw Cloud9 smash Dignitas and easily clean up the Core to go up 2-0.
Game 3 saw Dignitas enlist the help of The Lost Vikings on Garden of Terror, but the added soak was moderated somewhat by Cloud9's Abathur play. Late-game, Kun "iDream" Fang's Sonya and John "KingCaffeine" Lopez's Leoric seemed to be an impenetrable wall of carnage, and Dignitas ultimately fell.
For Cloud9, the win is the final step in a journey which saw them step past Tempo Storm as the best team in North America in mid-September, before proving it again this weekend on the biggest stage Heroes has ever seen to claim the title of World Champions. The team that their team leader Derek "DunkTrain" Arabian identified as "the hope of NA" at BlizzCon has made good on that promise in dominant fashion.
Despite the loss, Dignitas has a lot to be proud of. They defeated European powerhouse Natus Vincere en route to the final and, despite forming in the middle of qualifier season, has improved greatly since that time.
Nic Doucet is a News Editor for theScore eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.
Josh Bury is a screaming mess under a pile of squirming murlocs. You can find him on Twitter.