Last year, college students from the United States and Canada were given a chance to represent their schools and play their favorite game live on ESPN. Heroes of the Dorm, a free-entry tournament organized by Tespa, put students in the spotlight for one of the most successful events in the history of collegiate gaming!
Having made it through the online qualifiers, 64 incredibly passionate collegiate teams are now vying for a Heroic Four placement and the chance to play in the Grand Finals in Seattle on April 9. Each member of the top four teams will receive a custom-built PC, while the Heroes of the Dorm 2016 champions will also go home with a maximum of $75,000 in tuition.
Cal Berkeley emerged as the victors last year, standing strong with a roster that included professional players Suppy and Fan. Incidentally, Fan is now a member of Team Naventic and will be heading to Seoul, South Korea to compete in the Spring Global Championship. Other pros who made names for themselves in Heroes of Dorm 2015 include Arizona State’s MichaelUdall and akaface, who currently play for Panda Global, and Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Wrath and Dayun, who are now teammates on Team Nom.
It’s incredible to see where some of these collegiate players have landed after their runs at the Heroes of the Dorm title, becoming full-fledged professional players with a number of North American teams. Will we see breakout performances from unknown faces again this year? Let’s take a look at our top 64 teams to find out!
Alera, the University of Waterloo’s team, played well in the initial rounds of the tournament and have yet to drop a single map. They face Billy Goat Gruff in their first elimination match and, with all due respect to the team from Texas Tech University, will likely progress to face either Hot Dogs (University of Washington) or Four Guys And Dog (Temple). Having lost only one game to Misha’s Gang (University of California – LA), who have performed flawlessly since dropping to the Lower Bracket, Hot Dogs have proven that they can compete at the highest level. If both Alera and Hot Dogs make it through, we can look forward to an exciting Ro32.
Elsewhere in the bracket, Misha’s Gang will face off against Assumption College’s Kairos in the Ro64. The unbeaten Kairos have a professional player on their team, Khroen, as well as the manager of 2ARC Gaming, General Clean. This match-up between UCLA and Assumption College is definitely not to be missed.
Whichever of those teams makes it through could find themselves up against We Volin (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) later in the bracket. Another team looking to maintain a perfect record and with a pro player on their roster, We Volin are a powder keg team ready to pull out all the stops to win their matches. All-in-all, the lower half of this bracket promises to be intense as these teams fight tooth and nail for a spot in the Heroic Four.
If you pay attention to only one bracket, make sure it’s this one. Arguably, two of the top teams have both been placed in this bracket. Unfortunately, there is room for only one victor, so this bracket will likely come down to a highly-skilled battle royale. In the top half of the bracket, we have Dark Blaze (University of Texas – Arlington), aptly named after professional Team Blaze players Yuuj and Kladeous who play here alongside former Team Blaze player Kure. Undefeated in their bracket, Dark Blaze are showing as much potential at the collegiate level as their professional counterparts have on the pro scene. Unless a team like Ohio State University’s Bucks can pull out an upset win, Dark Blaze seem destined to make it to the Ro8.
In the lower half of the bracket there’s a similar situation. Pool Plato ST from Boston College could be the water needed to douse the flames of Dark Blaze. Boston College’s team is named after its professional team members from Pool Plato Some Tangos: Apauloh and KingPlato. Seeded second behind Dark Blaze in the bracket, Pool Plato ST are coming out of the qualifiers with a clean record and in high spirits. Assuming they make it to the Ro16, there’s a good chance that they’ll come up against another team with a perfect record: Real Meme Team from the University of Utah. If Pool Plato ST falls to anyone before reaching the Ro8, this will likely be where they meet their fate.
University of Connecticut’s Tricky Turtles have placed themselves in a real position of power within their bracket. After forcing the likes of Grease Trucks (Rutgers University) down to the lower brackets, they have proven more than worthy to be in the top ranks of Collegiate Heroes of the Storm. Last year, they were forced to forfeit in the Ro16 versus Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a team which went on to become one of the Heroic Four. This year they’re back, boasting former Blank player and community favorite DanLeeFor3. Forfeiting is no longer an option; they’ll be out for blood and redemption, and should comfortably make it to the Ro8.
On the other side of the bracket we have Golden Mishas (University of California, Berkeley). Despite losing professional players Fan and Suppy, Golden Mishas still managed to pull of some impressive performances in the early stages of Heroes of the Dorm, seeding second in their division. They have managed to 2-0 every opponent they’ve faced. Despite having a completely new lineup of players, Cal Berkeley has shown that no matter who they send to the Heroes of the Dorm battleground, they will come out victorious. Golden Mishas will be looking to uphold their school’s name by making it to the Heroic Four, but if none of their previous opponents can stop them, Tricky Turtles will definitely have something to say about it in the Ro8.
Arizona State University’s Real Dream Team is back this year, and the dream is alive and well. Both MichaelUdall and akaface from Panda Global are still on the roster and joined by professional player Shot, formerly of Resurgence Gaming. They have yet to drop a game and, unless one of their upper bracket opponents pulls off a major upset, they are the unquestionable frontrunners in this bracket.
Also in the upper half of this bracket are Pomona Ponies (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona). They showed cracks in their armor versus Deckard Pains (Utah Valley University) when they stayed on rotations for too long and allowed their opponents to turn in freely and snowball that advantage. If they are able to adapt to the playstyles of their opponents more effectively, they may give Real Dream Team a serious challenge in the Ro16.
In the lower half of the bracket, things get a little more interesting. 8th Street West from Georgia Tech, who are seeded third behind ASU and University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues, will likely win their Ro64 match and progress to face either 5elements (University of Nevada) or Golden Gophers (University of Minnesota). While their past results make it tough to pick a winner, Golden Gophers has managed to hang on to their spot in the upper bracket and shouldn’t give it up to the 5elements if they play to their strengths. Whichever team advances will have the match of their lives against 8th Street West, as Georgia Tech has already made a name for themselves in this tournament. Varsity Blues from the University of Toronto could then face one of the above three teams. With a perfect record and a number of convincing wins under their belt, they are favored to win above even Georgia Tech, though there is no doubt that whichever team faces them in the Ro16 will put on a convincing show.
The collegiate scene continues to grow, bringing even stronger teams to the Heroes of the Dorm battleground. This single-elimination showdown is poised to become either an ESPN grudge match between last year’s Heroic Four or a fresh battle between deserving new teams that are hungry for victory. Will the pro players competing get schooled by their collegiate colleagues? Will the teams that have cemented themselves as leaders in the past fall prey to the pack? Join us for the Ro64 starting March 19 and stick with us through the Grand Finals on April 10 to find out!