Trademark eSports Tears Pikachu Apart in SBHL
Only one match of the SoundBlaster Heroes League quarterfinals was scheduled for today with Trademark eSports taking on Pikachu. In the end Trademark was just too much to handle for the Danish team.
The match started out with a bang, when Pikachu went into the opposing jungle before the battle horn, getting a Firstblood right away. That lead to a slight advantage heading into the laning phase, but nothing insurmountable yet. The laning phase actually went over pretty standard with Rally having free farm on the short lane, because Buch on Magmus couldn't stay on the lane too long with constant pressure by Demented Shaman coming out.
After a while both teams grouped up in the middle and Mynuts could land a beautiful Tempest Ultimate that set up the first kill for Trademark eSports, but triggered a response from Pikachu. They were content with the idea of getting revenge and so Ophelia snuck around the tower and had enough crowd control to bring down Wretched Hag. They also saw another opening to bring down Fittske and his Demented Shaman, turning the initial lost into a minor victory. Pikachu went out of that fight with a slight advantage of 2k Gold, but being behind in the experience category.
The next engagement actually saw Trademark countering. After Pikachu managed to pick off Wretched Hag, tdM responded with yet another great Tempest Ultimate and a Double Tap courtesy of noobG playing the Zephyr. That turnaround was also the mark in the game, when Trademark took complete control of the action in the game. They made a great defensive stance while Pikachu tried to bring down the secondary tower in the middle lane and were in a great position for the later stages of the match.
Their advantage got bigger and bigger, with Trademark using all their experience to get the safe tower kills and the secured Kongor kill in their favor to be prepared for everything. The Token of Life on Wretched Hag and a 5k Gold and 7k Experience advantage on their side, they decided to aggressively push into the opposing base.
Pikachu could mount absolutely no real resistance despite hitting a great Magmus Ultimate to start the team fight. Still they had to witness their Melee Barracks falling and Trademark safely retreating. The same schematic did apply for the next couple of minutes with Trademark pushing middle and top, while Pikachu desperately tried to get something going. In the end Trademark went in, killed everyone in their path and Pikachu had to concede the match after 33 minutes.
With the taste of defeat still in their mouths, Pikachu had to regroup to keep their chances of advancing still alive. First it looked good yet again with a Firstblood on Torturer in the middle lane, but it wasn't meant to be. Their top lane Tundra got utterly obliterated by Limmp playing Pharaoh, getting three kills very early on in the match. Other than that Pikachu made some nice plays and kept the kill score relatively even for huge chunks of the early match, but they could never close the Gold and Experience gap that existed from Limmp dominating.
After 13 minutes Trademark already had a 3k Gold lead and a 2k Experience lead to work with, while zai on Rally and Limmp on Pharaoh were the disruptive forces in that match. Both had the highest level and highest GPM in the entre game - taking control of the match slowly but surely.
Fueled by the advantage Trademark could push towers as they wished, widening the gap even further. After 24 minutes the lead was already at 13k Gold and 10k Experience. Pikachu couldn't really find a solution for the dominant play of Trademark eSports and so they tried to hang in the game as long as possible. A pick against Ophelia and a ensuing tower kill were pretty much the only positive sparks they could light up.
Right after that little positive play in the game Pebbles got caught off guard by the Pharaoh Ultimate and Trademark just obliterated Pikachu in the following team fight. That gave tdM the breathing room to secure a Kongor kill and then aggressively push uphill into the base of Pika. Similar to the first map Pikachu had absolutely no chance of defending it and so the "GG WP" and concede votes were the only plausible option for the Danish team around veterans like Buch, TPSpriceless and Nir.
With that victory Trademark eSports is the first team to get a spot in the semifinals of the SoundBlaster Heroes League, securing a purse of $3,000 USD already. Pikachu will go home with $1,000 USD and a 5th/8th finish in the prestigious cup.
Tomorrow a triple header with Stay Green against Orange eSports, QsQ against Lions eSports and Tt eSports taking on compLexity Gaming will finish the quarterfinal stage of the event.