The battle for the next qualifier spot in the Sound Blaster Heroes League is underway and the third invite has been released! stayGreen will join Trademark eSports and compLexity Gaming in the final 16 team bracket late next month.
If you had asked someone in the Heroes of Newerth scene 2 months ago, who is stayGreen, the answer would unquestionably have been “I have no idea”. With a recent name change and a roster still adjusting to recent changes sG is perhaps the hottest new property in the competitive HoN market. Captain swindlemelonzz has been active in the scene for over two years with various teams but his most recent success started in late 2012 under the name V0TE Gary Johnson 2012. While simultaneously promoting swindle’s political views the team also qualified for Dreamhack Winter where the three Americans and two Europeans would have disappointing results. Without making it to the top 4 in the tournament the team was eliminated in group play and V0TE returned home to deal with unfinished business. They were in the Grand Finals of the HoN Tour Qualifier, coming from the upper bracket where they had easily defeated top teams like QsQ and tdM. Unfortunately the rematch against Trademark eSports did not go as planned and V0TE was left with a silver medal for their first podium finish. Though sG managed to take games and even series off of the top two teams in the scene during the first two HoN Tour cycles they were never able to secure a slot in the Grand Finals and finished out bronze in back to back cycles.
During this time the team made two large changes. With the American election over they changed their team name to stayGreen and picked up the incredibly strong and well respected carry player from down under, sLiCKz. He would allow the team to shift player roles around and fine tune an already strong roster. With team roles in flux the future of stayGreen was uncertain but practices increased in frequency, an announcement was made that sLiCKz would be moving to Florida with the Freedman brothers, and eventually it all paid off with a deep run in HoN Tour cycle 3. Once again the team made it to the Winner’s Finals and this time triumphed over Tt eSPORTS, earning a slot in the Grand Finals where they would secure the gold by eliminating Q sQuad 357 3-2. With strong drafting, great individual players, unquestionable dedication, and perseverance, stayGreen has become a mainstay of the top 3 rankings in Heroes of Newerth. It is extremely likely that by the time that stayGreen takes the field in the Sound Blaster Heroes League playoffs next month that the up and coming team will have not only have found a sponsor, but will also find themselves as a possible favorite to take it all.
The stayGreen roster includes:
20 – Florida, USA
swindlemelonzz has a long and successful history in Heroes of Newerth. From taking second place during the Digital Youth Awards event in Singapore in 2010 to a 4th place finish at Dreamhack Winter 2011 followed by a bronze medal at NASL Season 2 Finals the week after, the sG captain has found success, but few championships. He was part of the successful ICE team before moving on to captain his own team, sGty which eventually became the first Trademark eSports team. He’s finally struck gold with his current team finding success with his aggressive style of drafting and great initiation on signature heroes like Fayde and Pebbles.
18 – Florida, USA
ZFreek showed up on the scene as a last minute replacement for the Dreamhack Winter 2011 event last year. Going into the LAN HoN fans and competitors alike were calling nepotism from big brother swindlemelonzz but after a successful breakout performance ZFreek quickly became one of the stronger competitors in the scene. Finding success with the multiple tdM rosters and again with sG ZFreek is no longer standing in his brother’s, shadow but casting his own. The younger Freedman’s strength lies in his strong jungle presence which was integral to his back to back 1st place finishes in ESL Seasons 9 and 10.
21 – Stockholm Sweden
One of the two European players on the team, Skyzoe met his future teammates on the battlefield in late 2011. His tenure with LIONS earned him a 3rd place finish at Dreamhack Winter 2011, triumphing over future teammates swindlemelonzz and ZFreek in the 3/4th match. The following week he joined 3 other top teams in Southern California where the LIONS roster were tested once again, this time emerging with a 1st place finish at the NASL Season 2 finals. While Skyzoe initially played the suicide role for the sG team he transitioned to hard support shortly after sLiCKz was picked up by the team.
17 – Germany
The youngest member of the team and the second European, KheZu is one of the more versatile players on the team. Maurice started his time in the Heroes of Newerth scene with old school sponsor KD Gaming before forming his own team, Another Dimension, and eventually captaining the successful Blackfade.org team. With BxF KheZu found some success, scoring bronze at Dreamhack Summer 2012 as well as Gold in both the it’s Gosu May Invitational and the UNGL Bloodlust Cup, but it wasn’t until he stepped down from the captain and drafter role that he found consistency. KheZu has generally played the carry position for his teams but after the pick up of sLiCKz he has moved to the suicide position, or even playing the odd short lane solo or mid.
21 – Australia
sLiCKz is one of the most legendary players in competitive Heroes of Newerth. He has one of the most extensive histories in the game, playing with the top team Deal With it before they became the original compLexity Gaming roster, then captaining Oceanic teams Frenetic Array and Tt eSPORTS. Even though he often plays with over 300 ping sLiCKz consistently out farms and outplays his opponents on signature heroes like Soul Stealer, The Dark Lady, and Forsaken Archer. Both TteS and fray found success on LAN at Dreamhack, scoring 3 successive podium finishes and pushing long time champions Fnatic to the brink of defeat in two different finals. sliCKz augmented the already potent drafting of stayGreen and his impending move to the United States bodes well for both his and his teams future in tournament circuit.