University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), University of Connecticut (UCONN), University of Tennessee (UOT) and Arizona State University (ASU) were the heroic four for the Heroes of the Dorm 2016 Finals. The results of this year's Heroes of the Dorm is analogous to the results of the Spring Global Championships with ASU being undefeated just like MVP Black. Let's take a look at some of the reasons that separated the finalists from the semifinalists and the 2nd place team from the Arizona State champions champions themselves.
The Heroic Four
As with any team game individual skill plays a big role in determining the outcome of the match. Some players can just single-handedly change the tide of the battle by pulling off clutch split second plays. One such example was exemplified by Michael Udall during the semifinal match between UCONN and ASU on Sky Temple. The split second decision to fly in with Falstad and isolate the enemy Zagara with Might Gust led to the 4 man wipe that allowed ASU to rush UCONN's core.
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Around this time last year nobody would have thought that Falstad's Mighty Gust heroic ability is actually very useful
Unlike the Spring Global Championships, the Heroes of the Dorm 2016 Finals was played on the latest patch. This patch was massive in terms of balancing the game and shaking up the meta. Heroes like Zagara and Illidan who received significant reworks were stronger than ever and at the same time other heroes like Abathur also indirectly benefited from the latest patch. From the drafts it was clear that the two finalists (UTA and ASU) were just ahead of the pack in terms of keeping up with the meta. UTA showed off their drafting prowess during the semi-finals where they drafted Artanis, Muradin, Zagara, Abathur and Rehgar on Sky Temple. Seeing Artanis be drafted in a tournament is always a treat, but it was the Zagara + Abathur Nydus Worm backdoor strategy that was extra special and won UTA the match.
DXN's Zagara clone casually destroying Tennessee's keeps.
The Grand Finals: UTA vs ASU – The importance of teamwork and shot calling
The 3-0 win of ASU over UTA was quite a surprise. Both teams showed that they had skilled players and yet ASU did not drop a single game. This only goes on to show that individual skill is equally as important as good teamwork. This was very apparent during game 2 of the grand finals on Towers of Doom. During a tense team fight over a mercenary camp on the top lane ASU quickly lost Sonya and was forced into an unfavorable 4 versus 5 against the enemy team who had a Li-Ming. Instead of retreating and allowing Li-Ming to snowball the team fight, ASU made the quick and coordinated decision to take her out in order to turn around the fight into their favor. You can watch team fight for yourself in the video below.
This is how you deal with Li-Ming
In this same match ASU also proved that their superior shot calling was part of the reason why they were able to dominate this year's Heroes of the Dorm. In the video below, ASU recognized that Illidan was missing from the map and their response to find him and set up an ambush led to Illidan's untimely death. Simply put, ASU's rotations and response to missing heroes was just faster than any of their opponents during this year's Heroes of the Dorm.
Hi Illidan, bye Illidan
Heroes of the Dorm is finished, however for some of these players the road to becoming part of the best teams in North America has just begun. Both Michael Udall and akaface from ASU have now been signed by Gale Force eSports as part of the newly formed roster that will be competing to qualify for the Dreamhack Austin All-Stars. If they can polish the skills they have showcased during Heroes of the Dorm they might just challenge the big teams like Naventic and Cloud 9 for the North American Summer Regional Finals.