It was the year of absolution for UT Arlington. After a close loss to Arizona State in the Heroes of the Dorm Grand Finals last year, UT Arlington coasted to an astonishing 29-0 record to take the championship title on April 8. The UT Arlington “HOTD” defeated LSU “Pick Rick” by winning three matches in the final Best of Five. All six team members (five players plus an alternate) will win free college tuition.
“Congratulations to the 2017 Heroes of the Dorm, UT Arlington, for an awesome run through this year’s tournament,” says Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard. “The teams competing represent the future of competitive gaming, and it’s been a thrill seeing them in action. We appreciate all the students and college sports fans who participated in this year’s competition, and we’re looking forward to even more Heroes of the Storm esports leading up to BlizzCon this November.”
UT Arlington maintained their unprecedented undefeated run all the way to the finals. Early takedowns would bolster their attacks and keep their foes constantly reeling. The University tweeted out their support:
Congratulations to @UTAeSports for taking home the 🏆🏆🏆 at #HeroesoftheDorm!#MaverickPride https://t.co/LncaXRIeJU
— UT Arlington (@utarlington) April 9, 2017
Team captain Yusuf “Kure” Sunka mentioned that they want to move forward as a team into professional esports, like many members of last year’s winning ASU team. “All of us want to continue going forward as a team and see what we can do off the momentum of this win,” says Sunka. “We’re looking to keep maturing as a team, and this is only a first step for us.”
Heroes of the Dorm is a fun competition based on one of my favorite games of the last few years. But this year’s Heroic Four and Grand Finals fell a bit flat. Nearly every match was a decisive, one-sided victory. Both matches in the Heroic Four ended 2-0 (Best of Three), and the Grand Finals ended 3-0 (Best of Five). UT Arlington was the clear favorite from the very beginning. I’m glad they got their win, but I hope next year’s tournament is a bit more competitive.