Storm Ventures sport one of MLG’s longest standing rosters and they have used that familiarity, along with hard work and talent, to snag the sixth overall seed entering the National Championships in Las Vegas. While that puts three teams between the boys of Storm Ventures – Ramby, Naded, Legit and Poon – and one of the massive prize payouts at Las Vegas, this team has the skill necessary to vie for those spots.
Starting the season in New York as the 18th seed in the Championship event, few expected the meteoric rise these young players took to the top of the Halo world. After placing well in New York and Dallas, Storm Ventures were beginning to make a name for themselves and to gain respect as individual players. At the same time, Legit and Naded became two of the top FFA Pros. Anaheim, however, was disastrous for the unit, as they fell into the Losers Bracket early and ran into Carbon before they even broke into the top 12. Many fans of the game wondered if they had lost their teamwork or if they might break up after such a crushing blow.
Storm Ventures put all questions to rest in Chicago with their best performance to date. They defeated Carbon, the team that had eliminated them in Anaheim, and advanced all the way to the Winners Bracket Finals against Final Boss. They were sent to the Losers side by the reigning champions, where they faced a rematch with Carbon in what became one of the most exciting series of the year. After losing control in the 10th game, TS Beaver Creek, Carbon were able to stage an amazing comeback after being down by as many as 11 kills, forcing a final game: Team Slayer on Sanctuary. The game came down to the wire with the sides tied at 49 and players hurt on both teams. Storm Ventures managed the final kill and had defeated the then-third-ranked team in an extended series. That victory, coupled with taking four games from Final Boss, made second place sweet for Storm Ventures.
Storm Ventures is an incredibly talented team that has produced some quite shocking peaks and valleys. If they can stay on top of their game in Vegas, they have a serious chance of taking home some of the phenomenal prize pot.
Orlando showed that Storm Ventures were anything but consistent as they dropped to sixth place. In fact, they looked somewhat demoralized as they dropped their consolation match against eighth-ranked Vanity Gaming, dropping in the rankings and settling for a smaller paycheck.
The Playoffs in New York showcased both the team’s phenomenal talent and inconsistency at the same event. In their first round match against heavily favored Str8 Rippin, Storm Ventures looked like the team that took second place in Chicago. Both Naded and Legit put up huge numbers as they swept the third-ranked team and had MLG fans wondering if they could repeat their Windy City performance. Their second-round match again paired them with Carbon, who had their eyes on first place and would not be taken to 11 games this time. Carbon swept Storm Ventures in such convincing and cavalier fashion that they actually stopped playing mid-game to do “the wave” from the stage. Crushed but not out of the tournament, Storm Ventures headed to the Losers Bracket.
In their first match in the Losers Bracket, Storm Ventures played for a top-four spot against the steady XiT Woundz, but were unable to overcome their opponent’s solid teamwork and consistent strategies. When they then lost the consolation match against Legendz, it meant they walked away from New York with just one series win and settled for yet another sixth-place finish.
This up-and-down ride sets the stage for the challenges Storm Ventures will face in Las Vegas. The National Championship bracket is exactly the same as the Playoff Bracket, which means they will have a chance to repeat their performance against Str8 Rippin and will be looking to improve on their 1-3 record from the previous event. If that hope can be accomplished, this band of young players must find the mental toughness that has been lacking the rest of the season. Watching their performances from the beginning of the season onward, you can see that they play with an extremely high amount of energy and talent, but can allow that energy to turn into frustration, burying them late in games and series they could potentially win. Chicago’s Game 10 in the match against Carbon is a clear example, as is their seeming inability to perform in consolation matches. So if Storm Ventures hope to earn a paycheck in Las Vegas, these players will need to find a way to keep their energy not just constantly high, but constantly positive as well. Captain of Storm Ventures, Ramby, is possibly the best communicator on the tour at the moment. It will be vital for the rest of the team to heed his leadership. When Legit, Poon, and especially Naded allow Ramby to set the tone for the team, they are most successful.
Ramby’s leadership will be essential in tempering his team’s extreme enthusiasm, as they often let their momentum turn into frustration after unfortunate turns of events.
Finally, Legit and Naded absolutely need to come up as big for their team in every match as they did against Str8 in New York. Their deft use of power weapons and excellent mid-range battle rifles has the potential to completely disrupt the plans of opposing teams. That disruption allows Poon to settle into a support role instead of constantly shooting 1v1. If these two are prepared and playing well, Storm Ventures have a chance to break into the money.
So the burden is on Storm Ventures. They have shown they are talented enough to play with and beat some of the very best in Halo 2. They have defeated both Str8 and Carbon during the season and will be looking to do it again and go home with their biggest prize yet. Each member of the team is going to have to step up to accomplish that goal. Storm Ventures must find a way to stay consistent and focused, even in the face of defeat. If they can do that, perhaps Storm Ventures can fly home in first-class seats.
Check out more of our National Championships coverage!
Nationals Preview – 1st Seed – Final Boss
Nationals Preview – 2nd Seed – Carbon
Nationals Preview – 3rd Seed – Str8 Rippin
Nationals Preview – 4th Seed – XiT Woundz
Nationals Preview – 5th Seed – Legendz
Nationals Preview – 6th Seed – Storm Ventures
Nationals Preview – 7th Seed – ShooK on3 Gaming
Nationals Preview – 8th Seed – FBI GamerGraffix