Heroes of the Dorm came down to its final rounds over this past weekend. Each team had survived national qualifying rounds and a single elimination bracket from the best of 64 to arrive at CenturyLink Stadium in front of an energetic and excited crowd. The stadium was packed, the lights were blinding, and the noise was irrevocable.
The casters took the stage, the hosts ramped up the crowd, and the excitement was as infectious as it was powerful. The stadium was ready to see the Grand Finalists advance.
Match 1: UTA vs TENN
UT Arlington and Tennessee both relied on making it into the finals with to their professional presence: Team Blaze members past and present were on both sides of the conflict. Tennessee’s Roflcopter was convinced that this allowed him to figure out UTA’s drafts ahead of time, and gave him an advantage. UTA by contrast was supremely confident that they could out draft their opponent, assured that their teamwork and non-traditional compositions would see them through to the win.
Game 1: Sky Temple
Game one on Sky Temple saw UT Arlington prioritize their key tank and healer with Muradin and Rehgar before picking up Zagara, Abathur, and Artanis. TENN countered with drafts on current meta favorites Li Ming, Xul, before also gathering ETC, Sylvanas, and Kharazim.
Several early picks by UT Arlingtion in the early game allowed them to gain a slight experience lead, though Tennesee was able to return the favor during the second temple phase by picking up a pair of well-timed kills. By the mid-game, UT Arlington was beginning to move together as a coherent unit, securing several additional kills on wayward members of Tennessee and trading evenly in team fights.
UT Arlington’s Zagara took Nydus Worm as her ult which allowed her to work with Abathur as a sapper in the back lines, constantly threatening Tennessee’s keep and forcing them to react to UTA’s cheesy attacks.
The sense of urgency this placed on Tennessee forced them to engage into a team fight that was not ideal and UTA soundly defeated them while gaining additional advantage in levels. Before long, UTA was perilously close to 20 three levels ahead for their rivals. A final sapping attack from Zagara and Abathur felled one of Tennessee’s keeps and gave UTA the level 20 advantage.
From there UTA caught several members of TENN our of position, capture a boss, and successfully contest an active shrine. Tennesse was unable to recover from the massive momentum UTA carried and capitulated shortly. UTA led the series 1-0.
Game 2: Infernal Shrines
Game two on Infernal Shrines saw UT Arlington continue to remove Falstad from Roflcopter’s capable hands during the banning phase. They quickly drafted Greymane, Rehgar, and Xul before completing their tankless comp with Illidan and Abathur.
Tennessee countered with Tassadar, Muradin, Li-Ming, Uther, and Kerrigan, hoping that coordinated stuns would shut down the heavy dive from UTA.
Tennessee’s plan worked out initially as an over extended Illidan got stun locked to death, allowing them to easily gain the first Punisher. By the second shrine though, Tennessee grouped up in a tight corridor and were completely destroyed UTA’s impressive damage.
By the midgame, UTA had gained a massive experience lead and were able to easily kill the players from Tennessee. This includes an outstanding body block on the TENN Muradin by the UTA Rehgar which allowed their his team to catch up and annihilate the fleeing dwarf in full view of the Tennessee structures.
Team fights continued to go poorly for Tennessee as they seemed unable to coordinate their stuns on a single target in the face of the Blitzkrieg from UTA. It was not long before TENN was completely obliterated and their core was as broken as their tournament dreams.
UCONN V ASU
Both teams in this match up entered the Heroic Four based on their merits as careful and precise teams. ASU had long been the favorite to win the tournament, and they knew it going into this match-up. As yet they were not required to do anything dramatic in their drafts since they were able to win with relatively standard comps and they showed no sign of changing that strategy. UCONN had been dubbed one of the most cautious teams in the tournament, and though it was not always entertaining to watch the aptly named “Tricky Turtles,” they rode their safe victories all the way to the Semi Finals.
In addition, their team was created more out of preexisting friendship than it was a need for tournament partners. They were optimistic that this bond would see them through the trials ahead. ASU on the other hand was a team which had been built out of talented individual players last year, but had spent the intervening time learning how to work together and refining their technique.
Game 1: Sky Temple
Once again the teams went to Sky Temple for game one where ASU prioritized drafting Falstad -one of MichaelUddal’s favorites- before securing Li Ming, Zeratul, Johanna, and -to the delight of the crowd- Brightwing.
UCONN drafted Muradin, Zagara, Rehgar, Valla, and Tyrael; hoping that a double warrior comp with Tyrael’s Sanctification heroic could stunt the damage coming out from the heavy Assassin build from ASU.
Both teams were fairly evenly matched in the early game, with no team taking a significant advantage over the other. A kill was countered by a successful aggressive mercenary camp capture while UCONN was willing to give up the objective rather than risk a fight before heroic talents.
This level of mutual respect and caution continued into the late game, though ASU’s superior soaking allowed them to get level 13 talents ahead of their opponent. Attempts to capitalize on this advantage were rebuffed though at the cost of a series of defensive heroics from UCONN were used during the disengage.
This consistently passive game-play was not beneficial for UCONN however, as ASU once again demonstrated their expertise in the fundamentals of soakings. By late game, ASU had secured a three level advantage. UCONN’s unwillingness to fight against a talent tier and level advantage meant that ASU was able to control the map easily: securing camps and objectives.
Finally, ASU caught the Tricky Turtles in a team fight, killing them before moving onto UCONN’s core. ASU took the lead 1-0.
Game 2: Battlefield of Eternity
Game two on Battlefield of Eternity saw Arizona State quickly secure Falstad again before augmenting that damage with Greymane and Sonya. They chose Johanna as a solo tank and Brightwing –once again- as the healer.
UCONN went double support with Rehgar and Tassadar to counter all of the damage that ASU was bringing to the table while drafting Valla, Li Ming, and Muradin.
The considerable damage that ASU rolled out with was powerful in the early game, allowing them to secure several opportune kills and the first immortal. The damage was so severe that even after losing three players in the second Immortal fight ASU still managed to win Immortal phase in a 2v5, which stymied any chance for UCONN to reverse momentum in the fight.
This empowered demon pushed for the appropriately named Sun Devils and gave ASU UCONN’s bottom keep as a sacrifice for their folly.
The structural damage was significant, and a quick victory on the fourth immortal forced UCONN to forfeit their second keep.
The fifth and final Immortal had full shields and crushed the UCONN core beneath its feet while the ASU players prevented the UCONN players from being able to throw whatever pitiful damage they would be able to muster against it. ASU moved onto the finals in a 2-0 sweep.Related: eSports, Event (Real Life), Heroes of the Dorm, Heroes of the Storm, Tournament