Tensions flared as the teams headed into the Top 8 of the Heroes of the Dorm. Not only did this round decide who would receive a custom built PC from Cyberpower, it also got the teams’ one step closer to the Championship prize of getting the rest of their undergraduate schooling paid for. For those that missed it, here’s a complete rundown of the Top 8 bracket.
Match 1: Connecticut vs Berkeley
Game 1: Dragon Shrine
While both teams came into this match not having dropped a game since the Round of 64, UConn was believed to be favored going in. With a heavy control team composition with Falstad and Johanna, UConn looked to take a slow and dominating push for the win. And slow it was, with nothing extraordinary happening for the first several minutes of the game. Berkeley was able to keep even in experience despite being behind in kills, but a hesitant Hampro allowed UConn to take control of the Dragon at the fourteen minute mark, exposing the bottom Keep and giving UConn full map control. Off the back of almost every Mercenary camp on the map and a second Dragon, UConn looked to push the Nexus. With a combo of a Leoric cage and a Mighty Gust from Falstad, UConn completely ignored the entirety of Berkeley and destroyed the Nexus.
Game 2: Infernal Shrine
Leading up to the first Shrine being activated, Berkeley catches out MonkeyLamps and Seryuu allowing Berkeley to grab the first Punisher before UConn can contest. Despite this, UConn is able to hold off the Punisher and keep even in experience. But before UConn can contest the second Punisher, a coordinated effort by Berkeley catches Falstad out of position. However, due to short death timers and Falstad’s flight ability, UConn is able to reengage, grabbing the second Punisher and a 2-level lead. With such an extreme level lead, UConn easily establishes map control and looks to end the match 2-0. With a surge of overconfidence, UConn’s Chiruno jumps ahead of his team and gets caught, allowing Berkeley to reestablish their footing off the back of the 4th Punisher. But UConn made a choice the other team had not anticipated; MonkeyLamps on Morales chose the Medivac as his heroic and carries his team to the exposed Nexus while Berkeley was trying to take down the Top Keep of UConn. A tense race led to UConn destroying the enemy nexus first.
UConn 2 – Berkeley 0
Match 2: Washington vs Tennessee
Game 1: Dragon Shrine
“We got late game” is a statement all too familiar amongst veterans of the MOBA genre. Nothing could summarize Washington’s game plan better, with a double support composition and oShoyuu taking the Seasoned Marksmen’s talent level 1 on Raynor. Tennessee looked to counter this with their high control based team with Falstad and E.T.C. This game is hard to analyze as there were no pivotal moments or flashy plays, just a slow and meticulous domination by Tennessee with a two level lead beginning at the 10 minute mark. With one singular wombo-combo of Mosh pit and Mighty Gust, Tennessee takes game one.
Game 2: Infernal Shrines
Had this been a football game, one would have assumed Tennessee was so over-confident that they put in their third string. Or they might as well have considering the performance they brought to game two. Tennessee was never able to put enough damage onto Washington with questionable build paths, losing the game with a three level deficit.
Game 3: Battlefield of Eternity
The final game showed a pivotal difference in the mentality and strategy of the two teams. Washington chose a team composition that focused on high singular target damage, designed to get their immortal as quickly as possible. Tennessee went with a highly balanced composition, based around team fighting with Muradin and Falstad. Despite the goal of Washington, Tennessee didn’t lose a single Immortal the entire map, winning the set 2-1.
Tennessee 2 – Washington 1
Match 3: Boston vs UT Arlington
Game 1: Dragon Shrine
With the timing and coordination that would make Seal Team 6 envious, Boston quickly grabs the first dragon just four minutes into the game, gaining a quick experience lead.
The game in between dragons was calm: Mercenary camps were taken by both sides, ganks were attempted but only 5 kills total happened in 12 minutes. Boston pulled together to take the second dragon, gaining a two level lead and taking the middle Fort. This lead proved insurmountable by UT Arlington, and Boston quickly closed out the win on the back of a third dragon and Li Ming damage.
Game 2: Sky Temple
With unconventional team composition of Brightwing and Tyrande, Boston looked to close the set in two games. When the objective activated on the bottom shrine, one of the longest team fights of the tournament occurred, the war of attrition favored Boston College, and they took a three kill lead. Not to be deterred, Rehgar, much to the joy of the casters, picked Bloodlust as his heroic ability and the element of surprise gives UT Arlington two quick kills during a skirmish in the mid lane. To add to the insanity, Tassadar was promoted from support to full on carry, picking up Archon Mode as his heroic ability to synergize with Rehgar’s Bloodlust. With the element of surprise and an old school throwback build, UT Arlington takes game two.
Game 3: Infernal Shrine
Cho’Gall makes his debut in the top 8! A great choice for this map as he has a kit riddled with AoE to take down the objective quickly. UT Arlington quickly grabs the first Arcane Punisher using Cho’Gall’s limitless supply of spells. Boston was able to keep up in experience despite this, however Cho’Galls presence proved too overpowering; the next four Punishers also go to UT Arlington, finishing the game and the set.
UT Arlington 2 – Boston 1
Match 4: East Carolina vs Arizona State
Game 1: Dragon Shrine
Final set of the Top 8! Arizona comes into this game heavily favored but East Carolina looks to take the upset. In Arizona fashion, they grab the Dragon at the 2:30 mark.
“I cannot jump the distance so toss me!”
Garebear on Diablo grabs Muradin and flips him… right into his team, allowing Arizona State to follow up with a few kills and steal their siege mercenaries right before the second dragon spawn. With complete map control and an incredibly powerful MichaelUdall on Illidan, Arizona takes Game 1 in 14 minutes.
Game 2: Battlefield of Eternity
Both teams took a similar approach to the start of this map, splitting their teams 4v1 in order to take a quick Fort. Unfortunately for Carolina, they fall short while Arizona takes an experience lead. This led to Arizona easily capturing the first two Immortals. It needs to be mentioned that Shot on Zagara was pivotal to this. His creep spread provided vision of the entire center of the map, leaving nowhere Carolina could hide or flank from. East Carolina was not going to roll over and accept defeat however. With a well-placed Starfall from Oddish on Tyrande, Carolina aces Arizona State and grabs the third immortal. As their confidence surged, Carolina took the fourth immortal as well. However their confidence quickly led to overconfidence, as they overextended themselves and let Arizona kill three of them and take their bottom Keep. A now exposed Nexus was left to the slaughter as Arizona ignored the newly spawned Immortal and ended the game themselves.
Arizona 2 – East Carolina 0
What’s to come?
April 9th is the big day where we will have our two grand finalists from a pool of several hundred colleges. Tennessee vs Arlington and UConn vs Arizona. If I had to predict based on their Top 8 performances, I give the edge to Tennessee and Arizona to make it to the Finals. What do you guys think? How are your brackets holding up?