Meet the team who won our NA Season One Invitational!
The Season One Invitational was held June 25 and the winners of the tournament are Hurricane!
12 teams started the morning eager to compete on NCWEST’s first official tournament of the Championship Series! Hurricane and OuO, as seeds 1 and 2, were able to rest the first round. They both cleanly moved to the next round, when Guardian defeated Hurricane in an upset in the third round!
Fan favorite, Flicker, had fallen to Guardian in the previous round, and was now making their way through the lower bracket; with Hurricane finding itself in a similar position. Unfortunately for up-and-comers Infamous and Creative Spoon, they were soon matched against the powerhouses and took a respectable 7th and 5th place.
OuO and Guardians met in the upper bracket, the first of our semi-finals that we live-streamed. Guardians was able to seal the deal relatively quickly, even though Gold HaoHao’s Destroyer delivered an upset victory over Ikenie’s Warlock.
Inevitably, Flicker and Hurricane met, with Hurricane coming to form to defeat Flicker. This set them up for the earlier-than-expected match between OuO and Hurricane, the result of OuO falling to Guardian in the upper bracket.
In Semi-final 2, Virus’ Assassin matched against Gold HaoHao’s Destroyer; the two played cautiously, aware of the strength of their opponent. In only the last few seconds of the match, Gold HaoHao clenched the upper hand – he lay down his Emberstomp mere moments before the time was called. Virus bore the brunt of the damage-over-time, awkwardly losing all health after the end of the match and reinforcing the damage meter that ruled in favor of Gold HaoHao.
Unfortunately for OuO, this one match wasn’t enough, as Hurricane handily defeated them to move to the second of their grudge matches against Guardian in the Final!
Hurricane started a little shaky, taking Set 1 only by a clutch win with Svnshower’s Blade Dancer against Dahbear’s Assassin. Guardian took advantage, taking Set 2 and 3, but Ikenie’s Warlock could not hold their own against Yis’ Warlock. Bolstered by the comeback, Yis kept his distance from Vape’s Destroyer only to finish the fight with a second to spare! This energized Hurricane, as they easily took the win for Set 6.
Seconds to spare was a common theme, as the final tag team match timed out and ended with Guardian’s one remaining team member – Vape – with a fingernail of health at 1%.
As heroic as that endeavor may be, it didn’t save Guardians and Hurricane won the first final.
With Hurricane’s win, the bracket reset, and the last of the grudge matches were played against these titans. Hurricane had victory in their grasp, and they faced Guardian with dogged determination.
Teams are required to select their rosters blind – i.e. without knowing their opponent’s selections – so Set 1 and 2 ended up with mirror matches, as Warlock versus Warlock started Set 1 and Assassin versus Assassin continued in Set 2, with Hurricane and Guardian each taking a win. But Hurricane seemed to have taken their second wind, even after their slog through the lower bracket, and swept through Set 3 and 4. Vape valiantly took Set 5 for Guardian, but unfortunately for them, Hurricane had the bit between their teeth and finished the finals with a definitive 6-2 win.
Interview with Hurricane:
1. Can you give us a short background on your Blade & Soul history?
Svnshower: I started playing during NA’s closed beta - picked Blade Dancer and fell in love with Arena after seeing a video of HyukWoo Kwon winning the Korea S2 finals against JinYou Park. Being naturally competitive, I was always drawn to the ladder, taking a lot of time and a lot of losses to pick up the nuances of PvP. Eventually, with some inspiration from friends, I registered in my first community tournament almost a year ago, and haven’t stopped since!
Virus: I first started Blade and Soul on the Taiwan server when I heard that it was coming to NA. The first class I picked was Blade Master, but I didn’t like it that much. When NA CBT1 came out I picked Blade Dancer instead, but it was considered one of the most overpowered classes. I did not want to play it at the time because everyone just said “you’re a Blade Dancer” when you beat them. During CBT2 I decided to play Assassin instead, and I have been playing it since then.
Yis: Started Blade and Soul originally as Blade Dancer, but started playing Warlock since it got released to NA.
2. How did you find each other and decide to join a team together?
Virus: I always played with Yisuni in tags before the announcement and we always worked well together.
Svnshower: We all wanted to run BD/Warlock/Sin after seeing how the Korean teams performed with that composition, and I knew how strong our team could be from playing both with and against my teammates previously.
Yis: I watched the stream also that Koreans were running BD/WL/SIN and how efficient it was so we decided to group up to form a team that could potentially compete against other regions.
3. This is the first time that we’ve done this mix’n’match format, and the teams had to pick their roster blind. What was your strategy coming into the Invitational tournament?
Our strategy was about the same as any other team’s - trying to avoid our weaker matchups, and get our better matchups. Most teams had a class we expected them to not play, and a class or two we expected them to repeat, for the 4-set matches. The 7-set matches, requiring all team members to play, are just a guessing game - you still hope to dodge certain matchups, but ultimately it comes down to luck. The most important thing is confidence in yourself and your teammates- even if the 1v1 lineups don’t work out in our favor, any one of us can still take a round off anyone else in the tournament.
4. What worked well for you playing as a team and what do you think you need to work on as a result of your performance in the Invitational?
We had some setbacks on our way to the finals, but I think our strengths really showed in our ability to stay level headed and bounce back despite some close calls. Next tournament, expect to see a more fast-paced, aggressive Hurricane!
5. Did you learn anything with this Invitational that you’ll be using for future tournaments?
Svnshower: It’s safe to say we won’t be aiming to time-out team Guardian again any time soon! This Invitational was the first real test for teams in a competitive situation. We finally got to experience the format first hand, and more importantly I think we learned some things about other teams’ and our own playstyles that you can’t just learn from ladder or spars.
Yis: We learn from our mistakes and we are working towards fixing them to become better team towards the future.
6. What team (existing or composed of other players) would you really like to test your skills against?
I’d love an opportunity to fight any team from another region, to see how we match up. I’m especially curious how we’d do against EU’s Bad Intentions, since their team comp is the most similar to ours. Also whatever team CN’s Jiafu Chen is on would be fun to face - I look up to him a lot as a BD player.
7. What’s the ultimate goal for “Hurricane” this year? On Dec 31, when you look back, what would make you say that you were successful?
Our focus is definitely on doing our best at Regionals and qualifying for Worlds in Korea.
8. If you make it, give us a reason to cheer for you to win the Regional Championships
Hopefully our play will be reason enough to cheer us on! Much love to everyone who supported us during the first invitational!
If you want to see more of Hurricane’s play and learn tips & techniques, check our their livestreams: