Crunch time for the last remaining spots in the upcoming World Finals of HoN Tour is upon us. In all regions and all countries around the globe are teams fighting for their spot in the massive event - or already scrimming, practicing and preparing for the big day and the trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
After the three big regions declared their champions already, the additional pieces of the World Finals event are slowly but surely stacking up. In Southeast Asia, the fight just ended in the Wildcard tournament.
The two best competitors from Thailand and two teams representing the entire rest of SEA were brought together and competed over the last three days in a grueling competition for two spots. Hybrid Gaming and Neolution eSports.MRR walked into the tournament as the clear favorites. For a long period of time the talent in Thailand was considered to be superior in relation to the other countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. That trend was only marginally disrupted by Orange eSports and iMpunity back in the days. That it is still the case and other nations have catching up to do was clear during the Wildcard round.
In the Round Robin stage the Thai teams dominated both DasReich.Corps squads from Indonesia, finishing the stage with a 3-0 and 2-1 scoreline, with Neolution eSports.MRR dropping their only game against Thai rivals, Hybrid Gaming. The rest of the way, the Thai team with Chitawan’X and duiqi proved their skills and class, finally punching the desired ticket for the World Finals. The squad that ran rampant throughout the four cycles of HoN Tour was in shock after losing their first chance at the World Finals to newcomer squad Acer.Dogg - committing an almost costly error during the Thai HoN Tour playoffs. Now that mistake was redeemed and Chitawan’X and his guys will return to the BITEC Convention Center for a third year in a row.
The same can be said for Peter_Yedss and his Hybrid Gaming roster, who have been impressing lately. For almost two years the combo was backed by Made in Thailand as an organization and was billed as the best team coming from Thailand. Two DreamHack titles, two Thai HoN Tour trophies and several cycle wins supported that claim - although recently dropping off slightly. Now it looks like the sleeping giant has been awoken again. Not only their wins in the Round Robin tournament of the Wildcard events were promising, but their good record against Thailand’s elite in the new season of Thai HoN Tour boosted them into the role of a contender for the World Finals and the top spot in the Thai HoN hierarchy once more.
Whether they can validate that trend or will be implode in the face of International competition once more will be revealed during the World Finals - but the quest for a notable and impactful placement for a Thai team has definitely started.
Overall the question marks and results of the Thai teams are making good and accurate predictions of their strength almost impossible. The up-and-down of teams for the last few month is off the chart. Neolution eSports.MRR looked like the absolute dominating force from the HoN crazed nation, but lately dropped off significantly. Their loss to Acer.Dogg and Hybrid Gaming, as well as a mediocre third place finish in the new Thai HoN Tour season are raising concerns.
Even more concerns are surrounding the reigning Thai champion in Acer.Dogg. Ever since they clinched the spot as the best team in Thailand, ousting the entire old elite in their playoff run, they’ve been on a rollercoaster in terms of performances. During the HoN Tour qualifier tournament, they obliterated the entire competition, winning that tournament with ease, only to then wind up missing the playoffs in the first cycle of the new HoN Tour season. The mission to defend the title will be harder than expected, especially with Hybrid Gaming retooling and Get Together emerging as a force to be reckoned with.
Final results of the HoN Tour Wildcard tournament:
Hybrid Gaming : 3-0
Neolution eSports.MRR : 2-1
Fantasy is a journalist with four years of experience working in various eSports. He is currently the HoN Tour correspondent for the CIS and SEA regions, as well as an editor for both ESL Gaming and compLexity Gaming. In addition to his online endeavors, he studies Publicity and Communication, plays American football, and loves movies.
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