Lions eSportklubb crowned king at $40,000 NASL Finals

General Alex “Gemmanite” Bianchi
Swedish Heroes of Newerth team Lions eSportklubb swept both of their matches to take 1st Place at the NASL Season 2 Grand Finals in Ontario, California.

After 7 weeks of hard-fought round robin matches that comprised the NASL regular season, the standings read FnaticMSI, Trademark eSports, Lions eSportklubb, and Online Kingdom as the top 4 spots. These teams were exclusively invited to the NASL Grand Finals to share the stage with the StarCraft II main event, one week after DreamHack Winter 2011.

NASL Grand Finals results
Europe MSI0-2Europe ze
UnitedStates tdM0-2Sweden LION
3rd Place Match
Europe MSI1-2UnitedStates tdM
Europe ze0-2Sweden LION
The team formerly known as Online Kingdom, after the dissolving of the eSports organization just before DreamHack, consisted of ex-DotA pros Akke, H4nn1, Loda, Mag1X, and Powzilla. Still able to attend DreamHack and the NASL Grand Finals, they stayed united as a team and competed under the clan tag [ze]. Many expected FnaticMSI and not "Fallen Kingdom" to advance, but the unexpected 2-0 victory on Day 1, a series that began with a must-watch, 75-minute Game 1, meant that the DotA veterans would be in the finals.

Day 2 had Trademark eSports, the only North American team at the event, going up against Lions eSportklubb. Lions had a good showing at DreamHack, going undefeated in group play and making a 3rd Place finish. But just days before the NASL Season 2 Grand Finals, there was talk of solo-mid/carry player Gustav "s4" Magnusson splitting from the team.

[LION] Mynuts:
Since people are curious, S4 can't go to USA to play NASL, he avoided the subject and didn't tell anyone until it was way too late (he still haven't told us the reason). We had no other option than to book the flight ticket for someone else. Thus we're playing with Reelo, previously from PORT, in NASL.

Removing s4 from the clan was done out of frustration (not by me), and is not a final decision. We'll prolly discuss the future of the team when we get back from California.

Despite the team's lack of practice with Reelo, Lions remained very impressive and swept Trademark, who themselves were missing a player from their starting lineup. Lions went on to face Online Kingdom in the finals, a match to decide who would take $20,000 and the NASL Season 2 title back to Europe.

Finals: Europe Online Kingdom vs. Sweden Lions eSportklubb

NASLS2GF_stage.jpgOnline Kingdom walks the red carpet as Lions awaits them on stage.

Game 1
Europe Online KingdomSweden Lions eSportklubb
Bans (Legion first)
Magebane Parasite Torturer Ophelia
Midas_30.png Tundra Jeraziah PlagueRider
Tempest / ValkyrieGlacius / PollywogPriestPredatorPebblesZephyr / DementedShamanBubbles / Nymphora

Game 1, OK gave up the top lane and had Valkyrie roaming rather ineffectively, while Pebbles was allowed to free-farm and get an early Portal Key. The teams traded towers, with Lions having a slight lead in hero kills. OK's defense of their second bottom tower failed horribly, and they were Genocided by Lions.

Minutes later, Pebbles narrowly avoided a gank in the middle lane, and Lions took the opportunity to counter-initiate and increase their lead even further. After one last landslide of a teamfight, OK conceded at 21 minutes to put Lions up 1-0.

Game 2
Sweden Lions eSportklubbEurope Online Kingdom
Bans (Legion first)
Magebane Torturer Kraken Ophelia
Tundra Pebbles TempestParasite
Midas_30.png / PlagueRiderGlacius / MalikenJeraziahZephyrMagmus / ValkyriePharoah / Myrmidon

OK ran an aggressive triple-stun trilane for Game 2, but they got off to a slow start until Pharaoh came to help set up 6 quick kills in the bottom lane. Meanwhile, Zephyr had a tough time in the top lane, suffering 3 early deaths. Lions pushed for the top tower, and a well-timed Protective Charm by Jeraziah allowed the Legion to turn the initiation around and go on to take 2 towers. Maliken, Jeraziah, and Midas were all out-farming OK's carries at this point.

OK was able to get in a few ganks, but gave up more towers without putting up much resistance. Zephyr continued to suffer in farm, while Maliken neared 500 GPM. Lions pressed onward into OK's base at the top lane, and a Quad Kill by Maliken at 33 minutes was enough to draw a concede from OK.

In one of the shortest finals series ever, Lions had become the winners of NASL Season 2!

NASL Season 2 Heroes of Newerth
1st Place: Sweden Lions eSportklubb, $20,000
2nd Place: Europe Online Kingdom, $9,000
3rd Place: UnitedStates Trademark eSports, $5,000
4th Place: Europe FnaticMSI, $2,000

Showmatch Winners: UnitedStates compLexity Gaming, Sweden Reason Gaming, Europe Infused Tt eSPORTS, Europe Online Kingdom, $1,000 each

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Alex “Gemmanite” Bianchi
Senior HoN Editor [!/Gemmanite][b]Follow me on Twitter:[/b] Gemmanite[/URL] [b]HoN:[/b] Gemmanite