Heroes of the Dorm returns to the big stage
How the Heroic Four is shaping up to be the most exciting esports event of 2017
By Brett Luft, Web Editor
On Apr. 8, four collegiate esports teams will battle for free tuition in front of thousands of gaming fans worldwide in Las Vegas as part of Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm.
Heroes of the Dorm is gaming’s take on March Madness, where 64 teams battle in a month-long Heroes of the Storm tournament for four years of college tuition for each member of the five-man winning team.
I’ve always been a believer that Heroes of the Dorm is the best way to introduce oneself to esports madness, as it combines something we care about with something dramatic: collegiate sports culture and over-energized gamers running out of Mountain Dew respectively.
And 2017’s Heroes of the Dorm has not been without some high-intensity drama. In order to prepare you for the Heroic Four, let’s take a look at three of the most interesting stories coming out of the Elite Eight.
Colonel Sanders fries the competition
Possibly the biggest underdog story to come out of Heroes of the Storm in recent years is the story of the No. 13 seed University of Kentucky’s “Scratch Em.”
This team has been on fire. Not only did they sweep the no. 2 seed University of California San Diego in the Elite Eight, but their crushing defeat over the no. 1 seed University of Connecticut was a major upset.
Not only has Kentucky been playing great, but also their post-game trash talk has been on point. It’s going to take a lot to overcome the undefeated University of Texas Arlington, but they have the passion to take them to the Grand Finals at the very least.
Everything’s bigger in Texas
And with that we’re onto our next story: the unstoppable University of Texas Arlington. These folks are the most professional looking group out there — and there’s a good reason for that.
Rather than training with those within the collegiate esports league, UT Arlington has been refining their skills in the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) open league — meaning they’ve been playing the best of the best.
The result is a team that has absolutely ridiculous stats. Most teams are sitting at 19-minute game times, but UT Arlington has been sitting around 13 and 14-minute games. They have an average kill-to-death ratio of 17-4 and they haven’t lost a game yet.
Even though University of Laval proved they could bleed by pushing them to the brink in the Elite Eight, UT Arlington bounced back taking game one and slaughtering Laval in game two of the series.
UT Arlington is the team you want to hate, but they play too flawlessly to justify any bad vibes.
The true North strong and free
The best news for our Canadian readers surrounds Canada’s presence in Heroes of the Dorm 2017. Unlike traditional collegiate sports, Heroes of the Dorm is open to any school within North America.
Some major players in this year’s tournament were University of Toronto, University of Laval, Queen’s University and University of Waterloo, with Laval advancing as far as the Elite Eight.
This is huge news for Canadian esports, as there’s not as much love for the scene once you hit the Trans Canada out of Vancouver. University of British Columbia is usually synonymous with esports, acting as an incubator for dominant League of Legends and DOTA 2 players.
But this year’s Heroes of the Dorm has proven that esports can thrive elsewhere in Canada, and even though there aren’t any Canadian hopefuls, there’s still a lot to cheer for when the Heroic Four kicks off on Apr. 8 in Las Vegas and on Facebook LIVE.