Trademark Takes Revenge on Excellent in SBHL

General Sören “Fantasy44” V.

On an action packed Thursday the HoN scene looked to Indonesia, looked to Russia, but in the end came back to Europe all the way. Pikachu was able to edge out Cats, while Trademark eSports took revenge on Team Excellent.

The SoundBlaster Heroes League started out as an international showdown with participants from Europe, North America, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia. After the first week of competition only the predominant region of North America and Europe are in the race, with Orange eSports being the hope of the entire SEA region - yet again.

First QsQ was able to defeat nxL Focus eSports in a clean and clear sweep to start off the day of European dominance. After that Pikachu was set to take on the two-time CIS Champions of Cats Gaming, while the rematch between Trademark eSports and Team Excellent was planned as the main event.

SBHL Round of 16
Denmark Pikachu
Russia Cats Gaming

The Europeans of Pikachu and the Russians of Cats Gaming are no strangers to each other, as they faced off in the CIS Showmatch Tournament just a couple of weeks ago. In that duel Pikachu could win the battle on a Russian server, now the servers and ping advantage was switched.

Still Cats Gaming showed a good performance, especially on the second map in which they featured the CIS typical hero Pyromancer on a tear. That fiery companion heated up Pikachu quite good to tie the series once again. Prior to that Pikachu did show a marvelous outing on Map 1, taking it rather easy and in dominant fashion. With Cats tying the series though, the third and deciding match had to settle the score and send one team to the quarterfinals and the other team packing.

The proverbial fire of Cats Gaming was lost in the transition from the two matches and so Pikachu was able to cool them off very quickly, taking the third and deciding match in similar fashion to the first map. The Danish team with Buch, TPSpriceless an Nir delievered a good performance on all three matches, only getting burned by Cats once. The Russian team is now out of the SoundBlaster Heroes League, but can focus entirely on their quest to win the third consecutive CIS Championship.

SBHL Round of 16
Europe Trademark eSports
Europe Team Excellent

So it was mainevent time, the battle between Trademark eSports and Team Excellent, the rematch of the last HoN Tour weekend. On that weekend Trademark posted their weakest Diamond Division result so far, ultimately getting eliminated at the hands of Team Excellent. So the motivation to avenge that loss and set the record straight was one of the most driving storylines for that match in the naration of Trademark eSports.

Despite that extra motivation Team Excellent looked very strong on the first map, backing tdM into a corner early. The edge was with Excellent for the majority of the match, only getting a bit diminished by yet another miraculous defensive stance Trademark eSports pulled off. In the passive match the carries Moon Queen on tdM's side and Zephyr, Wretched Hag on Excellent's side became the main focus of attention. Ultimately Moon Queen alone with a stacked inventory and a splendid GPM number was not enough against the bird and the Hag and so Excellent took the first map after a tough and exciting map.

It was gutcheck time for Trademark eSports after that intial lost, as their tournament life hung in the balance. Their response came delayed in the second map, but it came. Early on that map Team Excellent got a great jump start into the game by claiming the first three kills without casualties. That great early lead to an 15 minute Portal Key on FibEli3 playing Pebbles, but he couldn't capatilize on that early mobility tool. Trademark eSports used the Nymphora Teleport to their advantage in setting up favorable positioning and ganks, which ultimately was a huge turnaround in the match. In 10 minutes in the middle portion of the map Trademark completely steamrolled Team Excellent, jumping to an insurmountable lead and a unstoppable force in team fights. The team around Pew tried to break through and maybe mount a comeback, but it was not possible.

So the third match of the day in the SBHL and the second one that went the entire distant - all three maps. The deciding map started out similar to the second one with Team Excellent (subbing Karmadias for probusk) getting the better start into it, but unfortunately for them it also ended like the second one. Just the way Team Excellent lost was slightly altered. The team with the MMR king FibEli3 was in control for most of the game, but always let Trademark eSports lurk around and capatilize on the mistakes. Several small pick offs and minor team fight victories kept tdM in the game, until ultimately a complete overextention of Team Excellent came back to bite them.

The team tried to be aggressive on the bottom lane with a reasonable advantage in both Gold and Experience, but after the initially good team fight they dove the base tower too much - presenting Trademark eSports the genocide opportunity. After that tdM was in the stat lead, something they never surrendered in that match. Team Excellent tried to save the day and pulled off some good team fights with their back against the wall, but Trademark pressured relentlessly, eventually breaking the lines, the will and the base of Excellent.

The four-time Diamond Champion will now face off with Pikachu in the quarterfinals of the SoundBlaster Heroes League on Tuesday. Team Excellent can switch their focus back to the last two cycles of HoN Tour as they are still fighting for valuable points in order to get into the Qualifier for the Offline Finals.

Sören “Fantasy44” V.
<p>[b]Favorite Teams in HoN:[/b]</p> <p>[f]Malaysia[/f]<span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 1.2;">Orange eSports<br /> [f]Thailand[/f] Turtle Master<br /> [f]Indonesia[/f] Insidious eSports</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 1.2;">[f]United States[/f] stayGreen<br /> [f]Europe[/f] Internet Gangsters<br /> [f]Sweden[/f] Lions eSports</span></p>