In front of a sold-out crowd at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle, Washington, the Arizona State University Real Dream Team came out victorious with a 3-0 game score to defeat the University of Texas-Arlington Dark Blaze to claim the 2016 Heroes of the Dorm championship.
Real Dream Team, one of more than 500 college teams who entered into the tournament before the field of 64 was created in March, did not lose a single game the entire tournament. The members of the Real Dream Team who will be receiving a college scholarship to their university are Parham "Pham" Emami, Stefan "Akaface" Anderson, Austin "Shot" Lonsert, Isaiah "Snickers" Rubin and team captain Michael "MichaelUdall" Udall. Standing on stage after their win, Udall said that it "feels so good for the confetti to go off and we get to play in it." Udall beamed on stage with his teammates as his family stood in the crowd, wearing supportive T-shirts.
Finishing second place in the tournament was the Dark Blaze, which featured Richard "Kladeous" Tran, Eugene "Yuuj" Tseng, David "DXN817" Nguyen, Yusuf "Kure" Sunka and Andrew "MiST" Rodrigues. Both No. 1 seeds were favored from its side of the bracket to reach the grand finals; ASU fell in last year's Heroes of the Dorm grand finals and were confident about a return trip in 2016.
A-S-U! A-S-U! A-S-U!💥💥💥#HeroesOfTheDorm
- Sun Devil Athletics (@TheSunDevils) April 11, 2016
A best-of-five series started off with Dark Blaze using information it acquired scouting its opponent throughout the tournament to ban the three most popular heroes that ASU played. While the draft strategy was intended to throw its opponent's off-guard by having to play heroes it wasn't as comfortable with, Dark Blaze took the early lead on the Blackheart's Bay map before Real Dream Team took control midway through the game and rushed the core in short order, taking Game 1. Real Dream Team showed its ability to make changes to the game plan on the fly as they were able to overcome an early deficit before playing the aggressor in the second half. Game 2 placed the global support hero Brightwing back in Akaface's hands after it was banned in Game 1. ASU dominated from the get go on the Towers of Doom map, winning every team fight, not allowing Dark Blaze to capture a single objective point in the game.
In a win-or-go-home Game 3, Dark Blaze played ASU in its closest match of the series and arguably the tournament as ASU jumped out to an early lead, nearly winning the match at the 12-minute mark before Dark Blaze defend its core and stabilized. Once momentum was on its side, Dark Blaze look the lead as the game went deep time wise, but numerous mistakes by UT-Arlington prevented them from making the necessary plays needed to stay alive in the tournament. ASU took the core for the 3-0 sweep.
Redemption was had for ASU after coming short in the 2015 tournament as it raised the individual medals given to each player for winning. When asked about winning the scholarship prize, Shot pointed to his mother in the crowd and yelled, "Mom, you don't have to pay. I got you."