DHW13 Day : Four Teams Remaining
The second day of DreamHack started with the BYOC teams taking center stage and it also ended with the surprise of the tournament getting knocked out - a BYOC team. Now only four teams are left to fight for the distinct honor of being called DreamHack Winter Champion.
It was one of those things today, that started out as a nice theory and a nice storyline to think about, but not a whole lot of people actually took it serious - the two BYOC teams entered the ring today and most people counted on them getting knocked out rather quickly. People couldn't have been more wrong with Shit Happens stepping up to the plate, swinging a miss twice against Lions and tmsR, then suddenly hitting two big strokes against Reason Gaming and The Law. Many people had predicted the BYOC teams to go down pretty quickly, Shit Happens refused to buy into that theory though.
In the end the big upset was made and CatLoMein, AddroW and Co. kicked out Law and Reason Gaming to be the sixth team to join the playoffs and end up in the prize money range. Even against the top teams, they didn't look awful or horribly misplaced in the games, but they shone when it counted the most. The win against Reason Gaming eliminated the ringers around Saintrox and set up the great showdown of The Law against the BYOC warriors with "Winner goes on" implications written all over it. They came in, they scouted the opponents and they pounced on every mistake and every little opening that their foes provided.
The other BYOC team DTSC wasn't as successful in their run through the five matches, but those results weren't quite shocking anyways. The team headed into the BYOC to have some fun, they were surprised that they would make it out and in the end they just had a rare opportunity to play against the best of the best in stayGreen, Internet Gangsters and even the SEA representatives of Made in Thailand.Sorry Sorry. They ended the group stage without a victory, but overall the DreamHack should be marked down as a successful event for the mix team around the known commodity Heartskate.
At that point the field was already cut down from ten to just six teams remaining, which was certainly not the end of the line just yet. Before the arena closed up, only four teams would have the honor of going to sleep for one more night with their hopes of becoming DreamHack Winter 2013 Champion intact. Too Much Sugar and stayGreen had already clinched a spot on the Championship Day, but Denial eSports, Internet Gangsters, Lions eSports and Shit Happens still had work to do.
Within those matches the build up and hype around iG and Lions as two of the best teams in the scene was definitely big, even though the match didn't quite live up to the billing. The first match iNsania and his crew was in it and actually went toe-to-toe or in this case maybe paw-to-paw with the Swedish powerhouse, while their LAN confidence and tactics with loud yelling and psychological warfare was in full swing. Lions didn't choke though and played better than the day before, securing themselves the first map and also playing a marvelous game two. That meant that the reigning DreamHack Winter 2012 Champion iNsania would not get a chance to defend his title, leaving only Limmp and Mynuts in place to achieve that honor.
Shit Happens on the other side had no reigning champion or any hype around them, other than being the beloved underdog with plenty of fans and neutral observers cheering for - while Denial could rely on their strong fan base themselves. Overall the match was decent, not great, ultimately eliminating Shit Happens and leading Denial one step closer to the promise land. Now it's just tmsR separating them from their marvelous run through yet another tournament - on the DreamHack debut for m`ICKe, probusk, Flensmeister and Zlapped.
The pressure will be on and the spotlight will shine down on them even brighter, as they take on one of the most beloved teams in HoN right now. Not only are the fan bases fairly split, the experience edge lies clearly with tmsR, who can rely on their DreamHack Summer 2013 Champs sLiCKz and KheZu and DreamHack Winter 2012 runner-ups MoonMeander and Haxxeren. Those players are veterans, they have been in this position before and are not likely to choke or crumble - something that can't be necessarily said about the young Denial eSports.
Nonetheless the last day of DreamHack should provide a plethora of exciting HoN when Denial eSports battles Too Much Sugar and Lions eSports tries to extend it's winning streak against stayGreen. Both teams are highly motivated and the LAN factor might come in play here as well. stayGreen is full of veterans that embrace the LAN environment and like the direct confrontation, while fUzi is the rookie and might feel the pressure more than the rest. Online do the Lions have a massive edge, offline it might be a complete new story.