The best of five series had high stakes. $20,000 was on the line as well as the title of the Sound Blaster Heroes League Season 1 Champion. Both teams were eager for a win, coL.HoN for the first time in six months, and the LIONS for the first time since NASL Season 2 Finals 16 months ago
The first game started off quite slow, with both teams farming aggressively on heroes like Wretched Hag and Pebbles for compLexity while LIONS got their signature Soul Reaper + Monkey King combination nice and big. While the kill score wasn’t high through most of the game the coL.HoN team maintained a sizable gold and experience advantage, breaching the 500 GPM mark on Haxx’s Hag. coL.HoN had the lead they needed, but some strong team fights gave LIONS some breathing room, and eventually set up a genocide, leaving compLexity without buybacks, and defenseless against the World Tree push.
LIONS eSportsKlubb decided that with a one game advantage they could afford to take a risk. The Devourer pick that was so successful against stayGreen in yesterday’s semi-finals returned, but coL.HoN was prepared for it. The compLexity squad took a mental lead when the LIONS captain dropped his Alchemist Bones early on, leaving Wildsoul naked. Franzzii capitalized by destroying the farming tool and from there coL.HoN didn’t let go of their lead. With the wombo-combo heroes of Tempest, Keeper of the Forest, Magmus, and Pebbles the predominantly North American squad took team fight after team fight, eventually culminating in Mega Creeps at the 1 hour mark. And just like that, we’re at a best of 3.
By the third game it appeared the Swedes felt that standard hero picks were no way to win a series, and a Berserker pick by Flensmeister confirmed this notion. The melee strength carry did quite well in the early game, farming early tank items yet still dealing enough punishment to make the Dragon-based team fear the team fight. When the team fights eventually did occur coL relied on their farmed carry and Tempest ults to pull them through but the LIONS squad had other plans. Utilizing a bugged mechanic on Empath they were able to interrupt Tempest ultimate through magic immunity, requiring admin intervention. After the players were told to game on with no further use of the bug coL.HoN made quick work of the team, closing it out and bringing themselves within one game of the championship.
In game four the LIONS team had their backs against a wall, but still that didn’t prevent them from trying something crazy. In this case, it was an Armadon pick. coL.HoN with a standard aggressive team anchored around the hard carry of Wretched Hag. While both teams played aggressive in the early game, the lead did not sway one way or the other until just after 20 minutes in. Despite the moderate lead that the LIONS gained they still had trouble finishing off the coL.HoN squad. Until Aramadon turned his back. With a Behemoth’s Heart and Barrier Idol the tanky hero was able to soak up everything compLexity threw at him and more. On the spined back of Flensmeister LIONS evened the series once more and forced a final game.
The LIONS tried to repeat their lineup from game one, bringing out Monkey King and Soul Reaper once more, but unfortunately compLexity countered with the bird himself, Zephyr. By just 10 minutes in coL.HoN had taken a substantial lead after a won major team fight, but the LIONS persevered. Despite the insurmountable lead the Swedes turtled on their SR carry for as long as possible before having to take team fights. When the dark horsemen of compLexity came knocking the score was already heavily in their favor, and by the time that coL.HoN left the base the game, series, and tournament were secured. The final game was heavily in compLexity’s favor the entire time, but when the last set of rax fell at 46 minutes in [coL]Franzzii had the final say with a “SHOUTOUT TO SOUNDBLASTER”.
The compLexity Gaming Heroes of Newerth Squad walks away with their first championship in six months, $12,000 richer and on their way to reclaiming their throne as the top dogs of the HoN scene. With the upcoming HoN Tour cycle 8 just 2 days away and HoN Tour Finals 4 weeks out the coL.HoN squad is looking to refine their proven strategies, train up, and prepare to take even more finals.
The Sound Blaster Heroes League wraps up as a four month event featuring over 200 teams in the qualifying stage and a final 16 team bracket boasting teams from 4 continents. The two weeks that it took to narrow those 16 teams to one champion yielded some of the greatest HoN matches in recent memory. Intense matches like Orange Esports Malaysia vs Afraid, stayGreen vs Orange EsportsMalaysia, LIONS vs stayGreen and of course compLexity Gaming vs LIONS eSportsKlubb will go a long way to making this event stand out in the minds of HoN fans and players alike. Good game; well played.
4 months, 8 qualifiers, 4 continents, 16 teams, and a $30,000 prize pool. It all comes down to this. Two teams are all that remains of the hundreds of hopefuls, and we’re only one best of 5 series from crowning the first Sound Blaster Heroes League Champion.
The compLexity Gaming squad and the team from LIONS eSportsKlubb are no strangers to one another. Despite coL.HoN’s early dominance in their HoN Tour meetings the last 3 consecutive series have gone to the Swedish powerhouse. The predominantly North American team around captain bkid gained momentum with a win over LIONS in the recent Garena Star League qualifiers, but that W is accompanied with an asterisk, resulting from a forfeit after the first game when LIONS was kicked out of their LAN center. The series score between these teams is tied up at 3-3 and the Sound Blaster finals today will settle the score in the biggest possible way.
compLexity Gaming as a team is still recovering from a slump after losing jungle player Chessie in early January. Despite making it back to the HoN Tour Finals in cycle 6 and facing off against Trademark eSports in the finals of the second Garena Star League qualifiers coL.HoN is still looking for their first championship in 6 months. The revitalized team is looking strong, taking series off of every top team and making each game look stronger than the last with a combination of highly aggressive lineups and strong carry based play. Consecutive 2-0 victories this week over Tt eSPORTS and Trademark eSports in the Sound Blaster Heroes League championship bracket have given the compLexity squad a serious confidence boost.
compLexity Gaming support player Peter “Franzzii” Dager had this to say about his teams appearance in yet another finals:
“Contrary to popular belief our team is incredibly focused on winning this tournament. We expected/prepared for sG but are looking forward to versing LIONS after their big upset yesterday. We’ve had trouble with LIONS in the past but we believe today we are a different team and will prove so in this Bo5.”
LIONS eSPortsKlubb is still a young roster, but in the months since HoN Tour has started they have emerged as not just a top 10 team, not just a top 5 team, but a serious contender for best team in the world. Despite the overall youth of the roster the team centered around front man Superkge shows not just skill, but great decision making in their play. While they were on the edge of being knocked out of HoN Tour Diamond and have not placed top 3 in over a month the LIONS are on a roll, taking out Q sQuad 357 twice in a row. In their match against stayGreen yesterday in the SBHL Semi-Finals the Swedes showed innovation and confidence against the best team in the world, upsetting the Miami Powerhouse and earning a trip to the Grand Finals.
LIONS eSportsKlubb captain Emil “Superkge” Karlsson had this to say about the Sound Blaster Heroes League Finals:
“As for this match we are all really glad that we made it to the finals and we also think we will be able to beat coL as we have a really good streak against them, even though we had to forfeit the GSL event. But as for my team I really think we can take this match home if we just play like we did vs sG. Just go “yolo” as we say when we draft “
The action kicks off at 1pm EDT/1800 CET with Honcast, the premier casting team in Heroes of Newerth, covering the Sound Blaster Heroes League Finals. One team will walk away a champion, with $12,000 more in their moneybag, the other will have to try again next time (though the $8,000 USD consolation prize doesnt hurt). Tune in for the Bo5 series for some incredible HoN and of course your chance to win some awesome hardware courtesy of Sound Blaster and the Sound Blaster Heroes League!
About Sound Blaster Heroes League
The Sound Blaster Heroes League celebrates the launch of the Sound Blaster Z-Series high-performance sound cards and the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage gaming headsets. Both products were unveiled for the first time at Gamescom 2012 and are shipping now. Featuring Creative’s proprietary SBX ProStudio™ and Crystal Voice technologies, the new Sound Blaster products boast cutting-edge designs and industry-leading performance capabilities.
Creative is a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products. Famous for its Sound Blaster® sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment with cutting edge audio solutions, premium wireless speakers, wireless head-phones and portable media devices. Today, Creative re-invents the Sound Blaster, which has a user base of over 400 million, with its ground-breaking Sound BlasterAxx that aims at the new mobile networked generation by bridging the multi-worlds of the computer, smartphones, and tablets. Creative’s proprietary technologies, innovative hardware, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling anytime, anywhere consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment.