By Fantasy

It wasn’t a Hot August Night in Bangkok, Thailand for the big showdown, the big finale of Season 4 - yet the heat was on, sparks were flying, and everyone involved struggled to stay cool, calm and collected. The fireworks that Neolution eSports.MRR and Snoop Dogg set off at the end the Grand Finals were nothing short of spectacular. In a cycle that virtually meant nothing for the overall standings, the teams were fighting for honor, bragging rights and a few more Thai Baht to their name.

Just like the old-school eSports tradition taught us, honor might very well be the most motivating thing to play for. This position was reinforced in the Garena Thai studios on Sunday afternoon, when the long-lasting rivalry of the two top Thai contenders went into their next chapter. The previous pages of the book were filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, sometimes even more back-and-forth than Ted’s and Robin’s relationship in How I Met Your Mother. It all can be dated back to the DreamHack Summer 2015 spectacle, in which Neolution eSports.MRR wrote history by becoming the first team outside of the NA/EU realm to win an international tournament in Heroes of Newerth. But while they were on top of the mountain in the international scene, back at home they struggled to consistently withstand the challenge of the new kids in town - Snoop Dogg. The young and aspiring team had denied Neolution eSports two Thai HoN Tour Season titles in a row, making it a very hot debate who was the gold standard in the Thai region.

After the first Cycle it looked like the DreamHack magic had worn off fairly quickly, with Neo.MRR missing the cut for the playoffs, essentially giving Snoop Dogg a walk-over victory to the bragging rights in the region. Neo.MRR retaliated in Cycle 2, but Snoop Dogg always stayed close. In the countless matches between the two juggernauts, the excitement and tension was always on - barely ever did it end in a stomp for one team or the other.

Nothing changed in that logic over the past weekend, despite Snoop Dogg getting a rather decisive 3-1 win to claim the Cycle 3 championship. Neolution eSports.MRR held on in most matches, pushing their young competitors to the limit. A favor that DDOG returned earlier today, by simply refusing to give up. “Never give up, never surrender” was a motto they lived by in the Grand Finals of the Cycle 4 playoffs. After Snoop Dogg eliminated Hybrid Gaming, as everyone expected, the path was clear for the rivalry to continue - a rivalry that looked a little different this time.

Historically it was Snoop Dogg who got off to good start and snowball from there, but in this series it appeared that Neolution eSports.MRR was hellbent on changing history. In quick and decisive fashion they conquered the first two matches of the series, making every following bout a fight for Snoop Dogg’s survival in the tournament. DDOG fended off two of the match points in great fashion, pushing the game to an all-deciding and deserving fifth game to settle the score.

The story couldn’t have been written any better, regardless of the outcome every ingredient of a mesmerizing tale and struggle for the Thai #1 spot in everyone’s books was already there. Determination, perseverance, comeback potential, agony, triumph and ultimately ending the struggle with a statement.

Neolution eSports.MRR did it in the final game. At the halfway mark it was even, maybe slightly tipping the way of Snoop Dogg - but the veterans and HoN legends around Chitawan`X and duqui never gave up either. They played their game, stuck to the plan and ultimately won a major team fight to turn the tides in their favor. By the time “GG” was called, Neolution eSports.MRR had dropped 54 kills on DDOG, who could only answer the bell 39 times. It was one of the biggest slugfests this season with a total of 93 kills were on display in under 50 minutes. A stunning near two-kills-per-minute count tells the tale of the final clash between these titans. A clash that was merely a battle, not the war. Neolution eSports.MRR goes on stronger in terms of confidence, but they didn’t do significant damage to the psyche of Snoop Dogg.

The last battle will most likely take place on November 22nd at the big Season 4 Grand Finals event, barring no colossal upset in the postseason brackets. Those brackets start this week already with the best six team from the four cycles fighting for the honor of becoming the Thai HoN Tour Champs - an honor only MiTH.s2y and Snoop Dogg have received so far. Can one of the other teams join the ranks of those two legendary teams? Will the stain on Neolution eSports.MRR’s resume finally be wiped out? Can Snoop Dogg make the hattrick possible? All of those answers will be answers in a few days when the Thai HoN Tour Season 4 postseason officially kicks off.



About The Author: Fantasy
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.