Half a year ago, the news broke that Blizzard is cutting down the support for Heroes of the Storm esports. Pessimists were quick to react saying that Heroes of the Storm is dying and Blizzard plans to shut it down entirely. Well, that wasn’t true. While the team behind the game is not updating this MOBA as frequently as they did before, Heroes of the Storm is still getting some love. Yesterday, Blizzard announced a new update for the game introducing a new original HotS hero, as well as including a massive update to the game’s ranked game mode.

Let’s start with a new hero. Qhira will be the second original Heroes of the Storm playable character following Orphea which was released during the previous BlizzCon. Her flavor text reads:

A sworn knight and holder of a singularity shard, Qhira’s only desire is to seek out others who may have escaped the destruction of her doomed home realm, Iresia. While she searches, she gets by as a bounty hunter— a job she loathes, despite her exceptional skill.

From what we gather, Qhira will be a new melee assassin character with great initiation and disengage potential. Here are her abilities detailed by Blizzard:

Trait: Grappling Hook (D)

Qhira fires a Grappling Hook that pulls her to any terrain it contacts. If an enemy Hero is hit, they take 36 damage and Qhira launches at them, dealing an additional 112 damage on impact. Can be used while Revolving Sweep is active.

Carnage (Q): Unleash your sword in a targeted direction, continuously dealing 31 damage to enemies caught in its path.

Blood Rage (W):

Passive: Basic Attack and Ability damage cause enemies to bleed for 46 damage over 4 seconds. Stacks 5 times.

Active: Qhira deals 33 damage and heals for 88 health per enemy Hero affected. Damage and healing are increased by 50% per each additional stack on that Hero.

Revolving Sweep (E): Attach your sword to the first enemy Hero hit, Stunning them for .25 seconds. Once attached, Qhira avoids Basic Attacks and becomes immune to all effects, rotating around the target for 2.75 seconds, and dealing 109 damage to any enemies between you and the target. Reactivate to send you to the target’s location, knocking them back, dealing 112 damage and Stunning them for .75 seconds.

Unrelenting Strikes (R1)

Deal 46 damage to all nearby enemies every .5 seconds for 2.5 seconds as your sword grows outward. Upon expiring, deal 86 damage to all nearby enemy Heroes and Stun them for .75 seconds.

Final Strike (R2)

After 1 second, strike your sword in a line to deal 432 damage to all enemies in its path. This damage is increased by 25% to any enemy below 50% Health.

However, the new hero is not the only fresh thing that is coming to Heroes of the Storm. The development team announced that it will be reworking Ranked game mode that will ditch demotion and promotion games. Furthermore, all ranked points earned in the mode will be connected to a player’s MMR which will decay if you’re not playing. However, it’s worth to point out that only Diamond 5 and higher ratings will decay over time.

In addition to all this MMR overhaul, Heroes of the Storm will also ditch placement games. Well, at least a portion of it. Instead of playing 10 games each season, in order to place yourself in HotS ranks, you’ll need to play just three Ranked matches. It’s a good update, because at lower ranks event, after 10-0 run in placement games, players were getting a similar rank to their previous season’s highest achievement.

So, you still think that Heroes of the Storm is a dead game? Not by a long shot…