The second week of the Playoffs for the International Finals of HoN Tour Season 3 was just as spectacular and entertaining as the first week. Six teams were going at it on the highest level and after seven matches, two teams were left standing, ready to face new challenges in the Final Four coming up this weekend. But before going there, let's recap the events of last week and see how all of the teams did.
[Rea]Reason Gaming versus [Hoo]Team Who
This matchup was a pretty interesting one, as both teams wanted to prove their worth to their fans and the Honcast viewers. Reason Gaming was certainly the favourite to win for most people, but Team Who did not have to hide either, they had a good season so far and were stronger than ever. In the first game, Reason Gaming was as dominant as expected and this paid off in a not-so-surprising win after 30 minutes. Game 2 was a little better in that aspect, Team Who was able to stand their ground for quite a while, but eventually the experience and the sheer power of Reason Gaming overwhelmed them, ending their hopes for a surprise win right there. Reason moved on to the Winners Bracket Finals easy while Team Who had to go to the Losers Bracket - but at least they still had a chance to advance further, even if it was the hard way.
[Null]Nullstone Gaming versus [Ogr]Shrek is Love
Certainly one of the top matchups of the whole week. Both teams were brilliant, very experienced and prepared a whole lot for the Playoffs, so hopes and expectations were high. Starting the series was a rather slow first game though, it was dominated by careful play and farming, while both teams tried to get a sense how the other would play. The Ogres managed to get an early lead and scored a few kills, while Nullstone wasn't performing as good as usual. After 35 minutes, the Ogres finally won, rewarding them for patience, discipline and a Maliken on fire. Game 2 offered much more action, starting off balanced, with the Ogres slightly in the lead every now and then. Nullstone Gaming fought back hard this time and even though it looked bad occasionally, they somehow pulled through and offered a great comeback show to the viewers - forcing a final game.
And this final game had once again a devastating Maliken, played by no other than [Ogr]Horspel, but this time Nullstone Gaming was prepared and the game went in their favour instead. Shrek Is Love managed to cling to the game for about 45 minutes, but eventually they were overwhelmed and had to give in, allowing the Nullstonies to advance to the next Round while the Ogres would have to continue in the Losers Bracket.
[Rea]Reason Gaming versus [Null]Nullstone Gaming
This was clearly the match of the week, two absolute top teams meeting in the Winner’s Bracket Finals as expected. Game 1 showed just how strong both teams were, as neither of them was able to get the advantage early on and a mostly balanced game until the very end, with Reason being slightly ahead stats wise. The game was decided when Nullstone Gaming managed to capitalize on a mistake by Reason Gaming and destroy their opponents in the following team fight. This result caught Reason Gaming by surprise and they had to give their all now in game 2 to make up for that mistake.
Once more Reason Gaming were in the lead right from the start and unlike before, this lead was more significant and they managed to win the team fights. 37 minutes after the start, Reason managed to carry the game home and a third game had to be played, making this series even more exciting. Game 3 was more of the same, intense battles, good plays and Reason Gaming in the lead for most of the game. In the end this was again enough for Reason Gaming to win the game, not giving Nullstone another chance to turn the whole thing around. This meant that Reason Gaming qualified for the Final Four on the spot, while Nullstone Gaming had to play another match in the Loser’s Bracket the next day.
Read more of Group B Recap in Part 2, featuring the Loser’s Bracket and the last team 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.