Yesterday I got the chance to sit down with drkrose and ZoSo_oSoZ of [SOZO]Team Please to talk about their experience in the Gold Division and get their thoughts on the tournament so far.
ZoSo_oSoZ is a 23-year-old psychology major and Dr. Srin—aka “drkrose”—is a 24-year-old medical doctor. Both live in Chicago, IL, USA, and are part of the Super Beta Testers (SBT). This duo met during ZoSo's trial games and eventually recruited their team from among the SBT comp players.
With drkrose as captain and drafter, he got his first experience in an SBT in-house tournament. He thoroughly enjoyed it and thought he'd try his hand at making a team for the upcoming HoN Tour Qualifier, and Team Please was born. As a new team that doesn't scrim they treat every game they play now as a scrim, albeit with a bit more preparation.
They are still working on team synergy and learning what each teammate plays best. During their first game versus [frm]ThiUnknown, they had a certain setup. Afterward they tinkered with the roles based on team feedback, changes that have suited them well—they are still beasting through the Loser’s Bracket.
Going into the Gold Bracket they weren't expecting to do this well. ZoSo and drkrose both stated they were expecting to win a match or two and end up placing in the middle to low ranks but still stay in Gold. After sweeping [hade]HAVE IT they are set to face [C1K]Call It Karma and possible promotion to the Diamond Division.
They gave props to the structure of HoN Tour, saying that they enjoyed seeing who they would be facing well enough in advance that they could prepare for the match; this involves watching replays and learning about the teams and players they will be facing.
Against [C1K]Call It Karma, who was knocked down to the Loser’s Bracket by [FYKU]Fack You Kurdii, they face a team that has far more experience than them as far as playing together. When talking about their matches so far drkrose was surprised how little coordination teams had, saying many teams have a lot of skilled players individually but lack the essential teamwork and drafting skills. He went on to say that games in this league, and most in general, can be decided by one team fight.
As a team, they say they don't get angry at each other to the point of rage, but tension can get high as it would with anyone playing competitive games. drkrose calls the shots for locking and banning but picking is a team contribution, mostly because they are still new as a group and need to feel out what each member can play well.
I asked them for tips about which heroes newer teams should always be able to play. Their answers included the usual god-tier mid heroes such as Magmus, Fayde, Moraxus, and carries such as Silhouetteand Draconis. They also mentioned Pebbles, Torturer, and Deadwood, and recommended having someone who can play The Dark Lady or Magebane for when a game requires it.
Personal hero preferences for drkrose and ZoSo vary. drkrose likes to play Midas a lot and ZoSo prefers Keeper of the Forest, Ophelia, Witch Slayer, Wretched Hag and Fayde. ZoSo also mentioned a troll pick he'd like to do in TMM one day—jungle Artillery. He claims it's viable, so I won't disagree.
drkrose and ZoSo_oSoZ sent shout outs to [PLZ]Please Team in the Bronze US Division, Comp SBT, Jakti to be able to make the games and for playing well, Ninj4_, Formless`, Liposa_Dark for being the best 13-year-old player in HoN, Reddit, wza's draft and lastly [S2]Viole.
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I'll believe you when I see it @ Viole :P
Jungle Artillery is the new metagame, don't knock it, ok :(