State University of New York - Stony Brook placed 3rd/4th on LAN last year, cemented their spot as one of the top teams in the East group (A.K.A the Group of Death) and has not lost a match on their path to the Grand Finals of the Collegiate Starleague Winter Invitational 2019. They will be playing against the current Grand Champions, Rochester Institute of Technology, on Saturday February 2nd at 3 PM EST on the CSL Twitch Channel for $1000 and the reputation of the deadliest team entering the Playoffs.
We got in contact with Nikita “Shoe” Zagrebin to talk about his team and their plans to return to LAN.
Collegiate Dota players showcase their creativity in their drafts and execution in game, and some teams extend their creativity to aspects outside of the game. SBU’s team, Eternal King Frankkie, was named after their player Frankkie who “always loses mid to Viper, no matter what rank the viper is.” SBU “crowned” Frankkie as their “eternal king" because "no man should expect Viper to ever lose mid.”
Inside of a match and outside, the players on SBU “interact pretty much the same,” although they are “more serious during hard games.” The relationship between the players is as strong as their win streak and Shoe confirms that there their success is a “very good team effort of 5 clear MVPs.”
SBU is one of the few teams that have taken a game off of the Grand Champions and their match on Saturday will be a rematch of their battle in the Fall. The Winter Invitational Grand Final rematch will be the first match broadcasted on the new 7.21 patch, and Shoe is not worried about the changes to competitive play:
“Personally, I am enjoying the patch so far; the games became noticeably longer and thus I believe there is more skill involved because the players must maintain their strong performance for longer and show different strategies and approaches to the games in order to win.”
Shoe and SBU are ready, and they hope RIT is, too, because they want to play good games just as much as they want to win: "We expect fun Dota and hope [RIT] are prepared for us because this match will be twice as hard for them than our last one.”
SBU’s hitlist only has one name on it:
"Regardless of the outcome in the Winter Invitational, SBU will be battling for a spot on LAN in the Playoffs: “we certainly are expecting to be making an appearance [ on LAN] and are going for top one - nothing less will satisfy us.”
Keep up to date with SBU and the CSL on Twitter and definitely do not miss their rematch against RIT this Saturday. If everything goes according to plan, a battle-hardened SBU will decide who will be wearing the Crown this summer when they play their final series against RIT in the LAN finals for the Grand Prize and a piece of the $30,000 prize pool!