Stay Green conquers Garena Star League 2013

General Sören “Fantasy44” V.

Source: Garena Malaysia Facebook

They came in as the favorites and they validated that position with force - Stay Green. At the beginning they were named the best team in the world based on their performance in the NA/EU competition like HoN Tour, now they dominated a tournament with competitors from around the world. 

Two days, nine games, not a single loss. The résumé of Stay Green on their trip in Thailand is even more impressive then their run through the seventh Cycle of HoN Tour when they captured the crown and the #1 seed in the rankings without dropping a single map. In this event they didn't only obliterate the competition from their own region, but also the stars and favorites from the emerging and vibrant SEA scene.

It all started yesterday with a clean and clear play of the Miami based team against the top of SEA. Among their first victims was the star-studded roster of Orange eSports and the newcomers from the Chinese region. On top of that three fairly unknown Thailand competitive teams with Raider by EMP, Cyber Zone and KooN. Four time the team around Kongor was dominating, once they actually were backed into a corner and had to make big plays happening against the best Malaysian team in Orange eSports. After that clash Khezu used the word "Luck" to describe that win, later that respect before the Malaysian powerhouse even got reinforced with Chessie saying, that they really don't want to play Orange eSports a second time. 

Their wish was granted as Orange eSports went down in the Lower Bracket Round 5 already, only securing a 5th/6th place finish. The squad was disappointed and MrGhost admitted later on, that communication issues and a lack of teamwork and cohesiveness were the reasons for the downfall of one of the favorites. As a matter of fact the HoN team had to suffer the loss of wangwang only a couple of days before the big event, leaving little to no time to integrate Nick_Oks` to full effect.

In the end the big Malaysian team fell to the surprise team of the tournament in Yamaha.s2y also known as Sorry Sorry. The Thai team came out of nowhere to impress the world with an undefeated Group Stage and victories over established teams like Orange eSports and their fellow countrymen of Neolution eSports.MRR twice. They secured their spot on the podium, they brought intense fights to Stay Green and Trademark eSports, but in the end they had to admit the superiority of the NA/EU region once again.

That left the two NA/EU teams standing alone - towering over the entire 22 other teams they left behind. Unfortunately for the climax of the tournament the Grand Finale went similar to the Upper Bracket Final and the latest matches between those two teams. Stay Green just seems way too ahead at this moment and even if Limmp showed confidence in the pregame interview by saying, that they feel like they can defeat Stay Green easily, the results on the server indicated otherwise.

What remains from the battle of these two teams can be broken down to simple numbers. Four maps were played, Four maps were won by Stay Green, once it only lasted 20 minutes with Stay Green rolling and annihilating the European rival. Still the rivalry ended on a high note with a wicked fight that lasted more than 2 minutes, several buybacks happening, swindlemelonzz staying alive on Demented Shaman god knows how - ending in favor for Stay Green and pushing Trademark eSports over the edge to concede.

# Team Prize
United States Stay Green
$30,000 USD
Europe Trademark eSports
$10,000 USD
Thailand Yamaha.s2y
$8,000 USD
Thailand Neolution eSports.MRR
$4,000 USD
Malaysia Orange eSports
$2,000 USD
Singapore iMpunity
$2,000 USD
Indonesia nxL Focus eSports
$2,000 USD
Thailand Paroma
$2,000 USD

In the great picture the tournament showed once again, that the international region, the original Heroes of Newerth region, is still some steps ahead of the curve. With that being said a lot of praise came out of Stay Green and Emperor when it came to the Thai and SEA teams. Players from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand showcased their skill and capabilities when no lag, no delay and no spikes are involved. For the host country the fact that the Thailand flag is represented twice in the Top Four is definitely worth a note as well. 

Overall the Garena Star League 2013 was an event of epic proportions ranging from entertaining strategies, unknown and interesting teams and characters to "half-time entertainment" and production value of the highest grade. What Garena and Playinter organized had it's flaws with some miscommunication behind the scene, but the show they put together was nothing short of impressive. The latest trailer they showed says "See you again at Garena Star League 2014" - every HoN fan would love that.

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>