The first week of the HoN Tour Season 3 Playoffs are over, and we had six teams in seven matchups with exciting games and some quite unexpected results. Last week saw some of the best teams play for entry to what is going to be the biggest Grand Finals yet in Thailand. But also some newcomers and old veterans made it into the mix and they delivered a week full of terrific HoN! Let's take a look at how the games went and who made it to the Final Four before taking a peek at this weeks matches:
[tree]willowkeeper versus [C00L]CoolIo
This was a highly anticipated match, the highly favoured willowkeeper playing against the veteran team of Coolio, who still have to make their mark and wanted to use this match to do exactly that. The first game was a quick one and here willowkeeper dominated the game right from the start, leaving no doubt to their desire to win the tickets to Thailand. In less than 20 minutes the game was decided and willowkeeper were one step towards the next round. The second game was the exact opposite of the first game, this time CoolIo were dominating throughout the whole game after picking willowkeepers joker hero from the last game, Accursed.
The game took a little longer but the result was foreseeable, CoolIo forced the third game by winning the second. And that third game was highly contested, as expected. CoolIo was able to keep up with kills and stay in the game, but overall willowkeeper had both a gold and experience advantage that got bigger and bigger as the game progressed. After 25 minutes of fierce fighting, CoolIo had to concede the game after a decisive team fight, thus allowing willowkeeper to advance and forcing CoolIo to play more games in the Losers Bracket.
[Mint]Fresh versus [NR]Night Raid
Here we had two very ambitious teams doing battle, with Fresh being the somewhat favourite, as they had some pretty impressive cycles before, and Night Raid, who always seemed to be the second best Northern American team and now wanted to prove that they were at least just as good as their buddies in Group B. Game 1 was pretty balanced for a long time, it took a bit of time and some misplays by Night Raid for Fresh to finally get into a good position, but eventually Fresh used this to decide the game in their favour. Game 2 was much less even, in fact it was very one sided, with Fresh being the dominating team. There was just no way for NR to come back from a disastrous early game and so they conceded after 15 minutes. Easy going for Fresh while Night Raid at least still had another chance in the Losers Bracket.
[tree]willowkeeper versus [Mint]Fresh
A truly delicious matchup with two of the best and innovative teams in HoN going at it for the first spot in the next Round of the Qualifiers. In game 1 willowkeeper were in the drivers seat from the beginning and even though Fresh managed to threaten them a bit every now and then, willowkeeper did not allow their opponents to gain any ground, leading to their victory after about 35 minutes. Game 2 was the other way around, Fresh getting an advantage, willowkeeper almost managing to evening things out and Fresh eventually pushing through, winning the second game and forcing the third and last.
Game 3 was a very balanced game overall, with two top teams playing very careful and strategic. It took almost 50 minutes for the game to be decided, but when it happened, it did so with a big boom, a huge team fight that went in favour of Fresh, although it was very close. With that advantage now it was a matter of skill and time to wear down willowkeepers defenses and a few minutes later the upset was complete and Fresh dropped willowkeeper to the Losers Bracket while Fresh themselves advanced to the Final Four with a high seed.
Read more of Group A Recap in Part 2, featuring the Loser’s Bracket and the second team from group A to advance to the Final Four.
Blaze is a senior Hontour.com writer focusing on the NA/EU Diamond and Gold Divisions. After making a name for himself in the Dawn of War 1 scene, he began his career in journalism at DawnOfWar.de. As one of the first HoN Tour writers, Blaze has focused on the less known teams, bringing their name to the forefront. When he isn’t writing about HoN, Blaze enjoys playing RPGs, writing fiction, and listening to Metal, Avantgarde, and Neofolk music.