This weekend was host to many games, from the Diamond Loser Bracket Finals to the Sound Blaster Heroes League from Bronze to Diamond were all included in this weekend full of matches. In Gold is where we will be looking now, host to many great teams competing for the top spots and a $1000 prize pool to take home for first place we saw the final three teams remaining going into the weekend with the Loser Bracket finals match taking place on Friday afternoon between [DCx]Justice League and [TFR]The Fire Rises.

The first two matches went by without a hitch with The Fire Rises taking the first match with a 500+ gpm on Zephyr and Master Of Arms it probably wasn't pretty. This apparently didn't faze Justice League too much as they came back hard in the second game with an unorthodox pick of Vindicator who absolutely stomped with a 560+ gpm. As it ended up being a 1-1 series going into the final match where both teams laid down the line and we saw all the action take place. The third match lasted for an hour and a half, which is amazing in Competitive Heroes of Newerth and is not an everyday length of match.

As you can see from the stats we saw an amazing play with another hero resurfacing in Myrmidon, although Wretched Hag had an amazing gpm totaling almost 550 after an hour and a half means a lot of creep kills and a good amount of kills and action. Looking into the actual game, I didn't get to see it live so due to the length I watched it on 8x speed through replay(match ID: 112382921).

Blind bans came out on Keeper of the Forest, two times on Moon Queen, and Parasite. Locks on Aluna, Wildsoul, Ophelia, Pebbles, Rally and Fayde, with bans coming out on Zephyr, Pharaoh, Demented Shaman, Master Of Arms, Balphagoreand Nymphora. Looking at this part of the game so far you could tell that the lock pool was pretty stacked, seeing Wildsoul, Ophelia, Fayde, and both Pebbles and Rally there it opened up for a lot of picks to come out from the normal pool. The bans were really apparent that no one wanted to get cheesed by a Balphagore, Zephyr or any of their supporting cast; no push teams allowed in this game! The heroes left out that are normally picked up are quite interesting, Deadwood, Bubbles, Plague Rider, Jeraziah, Magmusand Moraxus were all left open and not banned or picked.

With the picks coming out they started the match, once the game started we saw an amazing 10 man clash in the Hellbourne woods, similar to coL versus aL in game 2. We saw two tri-lanes up top with Pebbles, Myrmidon, and Glacius versus Engineer, Fayde, and Aluna. Hag faced The Chipper mid with Torturer fighting a suicide Rally on bottom. Up in top lane the Pebbles tri-lane was much more effective as the Justice League ended up leaving being unable to support their Fayde, BagInABox really suffered getting picked off by the active roamers coming out from the Hellbourne team.

Early on The Fire Rises took a commanding lead with Rally and Chipper roaming and picking off heroes, really shutting down the supports or anyone they came across on Legion. What appeared to be a steamroll as we approached the 20 minute mark for The Fire Rises, Pebbles with Portal Key in hand and Rally with Helm of the Black Legion we saw them take two towers unopposed before a fight broke out once they started to back off. Yet again as the gold and experience lead furthered for Hellbourne, I wondered what would happen next.

The Fire Rises really seemed in the lead and in control despite a few pushes too far giving up some kills that they shouldn't have we saw the Hellbourne team react and stop every push that Justice League tried to start. With the ability between Chipper, Rally, and Pebbles to jump into any fight it was certainly hard to stay alive if you were on Legion if they wanted to jump on you. After enough tries and Wretched Hag farming the map trying to get towers down they ended up succeeding after 15 minutes of trying and staying alive.

After about 20 minutes of sit back farming we finally saw a team fight as The Fire Rises attempted to push into the base of Justice League. With a well fought defense they eventually did lose their tower and melee barracks, again at this point the Hellbourne team took an even larger lead by having super creeps in the middle lane. Although from this point on after being pushed back we now saw Justice League start to clean up a bit more.

Despite BagInABox not having the best game as Fayde, he surely did his part by running around with a Bound Eye for a good portion of the game, he constantly ran back and forth tping around and applying pressure, making the Hellbourne team go on what seemed a wild goose chase. This let most of his team get farm, including Aluna who had Stormspirit and Hellflower on top of her normal items, Torturer got some pretty fancy items too but it really all came down to the farmed Wretched Hag.

iNsania was beastly on Pebbles, when he went golden with his Shrunken Head he would destroy anyone he was attacking but the fall of his team came when a pick-off came onto Pebbles who was invis going to try and kill the Hag but to his surprise Fayde was also invis there with a Bound Eye. He got picked off quickly and being down for 70 seconds with no buyback it let the Legion team push 5v4 into the base and fully raxxed the Hellbourne base before kill the shrine in one fell swoop.

In the end it was Justice League taking a 2-1 victory and heading to the finals to face off versus [Due1]Do You Even Lift Bro. Being down 1-0 it was rough for Justice League who appeared to be outclassed by these unknown giants from the US. Losing 2-1 with a final score of 3-1 Do You Even Lift Bro takes their Gold League title and their $1000 prize money for the cycle.

Place and prize distribution:

1st place - Do You Even Lift Bro - $1000 and 1000 points
2nd place - Justice League - $700 and 700 points
3rd place - The Fire Rises - $600 and 600 points
4th place - [hade]HAVE IT - $500 and 500 points
5/6th place - [SdS]SdS/ [TKAG]Team Kagge - $400 each and 400 points
7/8th place - [CM]Clan Milk/ Isot Pelit - $350 each and 350 points

It's hard to believe but it was reported after the cycle was over that The Fire Rises would be disbanding, it has only been a few weeks since they joined under the old team of Domain Of Pain and now they will ultimately be giving up the team most likely. Since they ranked in the top four the team will be promoted to Diamond for next Cycle although it may be removed if necessary to prevent forfeit victories. As for reasoning why they chose to disband, iNsania the former captain of the team said, "The synergy just wasn't there." I guess all in all if it isn't going to work then there is no point in trying to force it. I would say they were expected to dominate this cycle in Gold and since they lost to Duel it really showed that they were missing something. Being that they are all high tier competitive players, at one point or another they shouldn't of had the troubles they did unless they really were lacking the synergy needed. I wish the best of luck to the players of The Fire Rises and hope that we will be seeing them all on different teams soon enough rising through the ranks once again.

- Crowslaw