University of Texas at Arlington wins Heroes of the Dorm 2017 in a 3-0 sweep.
They say history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. Such was the case during the conclusion of Heroes of the Dorm 2017 as UT Arlington defeated Louisiana State University while maintaining their perfect record. Last year, ASU’s Real Dream Team won with an identical perfect record, defeating the very same UT Arlington in the grand finals.
But on this windy day in Las Vegas, last year’s defeat never felt farther away. This was UTA’s time to shine. The veteran dorm team walked away with $500,000 in tuition including custom built gaming PC’s for each player worth approximately $1,000. A total of 284 Heroes of the Dorm teams competed this year, a figure that further highlights UT Arlington’s perfect record.
LSU, the 2nd place team during the grand finals.
Each of UT Arlington’s matches had a similar feel-- unabashed aggression. During a previous press conference, team captain Yusuf “Kure” Sunka made it clear that his team was hungry for victory, stating that their confidence and favorite-to-win status was their biggest strength. It is a mindset and sincere point of motivation that stems from the team's disappointing defeat last year against ASU. Kure elaborate more on this months before this tournament's conclusion:
“After coming so close to winning the full tuition and then getting crushed by ASU in the finals, I was extremely motivated to actually learn how to play the game and win it all in 2017. So far that motivation has not worn out, and it won’t until we win it all.”
This motivation has clearly paid off. During Game two against LSU, UT Arlington thrilled the crowd with off-meta heroic choices (Hinterland’s Blast on Falstad) that complimented their unique AoE strategy involving Leoric and Kael’Thas. Turns out enemy heroes trapped in Entomb die quickly to Kael’Thas Chain Bombs and Falstad’s Hinterland’s blast.
UTA calm and collected during their championship run
This is a big personal win for many of the members of UTA, as the majority of their families have never accepted their pro-gaming lifestyle and actively protest the time they choose to invest. UTA in a post game interview agreed that this win is both important for personal validation and influencing the oppinion of their closest family members.
In a prior interview, Kure had this to say about what it takes to win Heroes of the Dorm:
“Winning Dorm first and foremost requires that we are all on the same page in terms of our dedication towards the team. We decided a set practice schedule right at the start of the semester and have stuck to it, and the results have been paying off.
Complacency is also always a looming issue when you are considered the favorites for any tournament as big as this, however I think we have been handling that well by keeping each other grounded and by constantly setting new goals for improvement as a team.”
Now champions, the future prospects of UT Arlington look bright. While they stopped competing in HGC Open Division matches to prepare for Dorm, they still hold the #3 spot on the official standings and have plenty of time to register for the last two cups before the playoffs. The HGC pro league is clear fit for the new champs, as this victory proves they have outgrown the amateur scene.
EToby and EKevin, the team’s newest members both deserve the MVP nod. Ekevin played an absolutely devastating E.T.C throughout the grand finals and EToby made Auriel look untouchable. It was the first major big-stage tournament experience for these two players, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last.
Congratulations to UTA HOTD!