Two Dark Horses Can't Hold Pace in Sprint to Thailand
It was a black weekend for WOP DASH and Druidz. Going into the first outing in the HoN Tour Season 4 playoffs, the teams were not favorites to march straight to Bangkok, but they were at least having some momentum on their side. Especially WOP DASH came into the event with the positive energy of a Top 4 placement in the DeadEye Bounty League playoffs. Ironically back then it was Team Druidz that got eliminated at the hands of WOP DASH, a little anecdote they can rehash on the sidelines of the HoN Tour playoffs now.
The other side of the medallion is the surge of Reason Gaming and Polymorph. The moment the bright lights turned on and it was the fight for survival, both teams showed up to fight. Both squads came into the event winless at the DeadEye Bounty League and both teams had to suffer early setbacks in the Upper Bracket matches. Polymorph ran into the buzzsaw that was compLexity Gaming, for Reason it was the reigning World Champion Bad Monkey Gaming sending them into the Lower Bracket. Especially for Reason Gaming the Upper Bracket experience was nothing short of a spectacular blowout, as Fusen and his boys dismantled them in under one hour of game time.
To then come out on Sunday, fight for survival and win – a feat that the audience should not underestimate. Mentally it was a tough task, in the Forest of Caldavar they made it look easy thoug. Two quick and decisive matches against WOP DASH later, Reason Gaming survived to fight another weekend. The same goes for Polymorph, who had a fight on their hands with Druidz. The Swedish organization was not looking to go out without putting up a massive fight, as Fresh had already experienced on Saturday. As the only team forcing a third game on the entire weekend, Druidz showed resilience and poise – ultimately to no avail. After two long and hard matches, the last one almost eclipsing the one-hour mark, the dream of upsetting all of Newerth with a magical run through the bracket bursted for Druidz.
No Problems For Favorites
Going into the event the big four teams in the competitive HoN scene were without a doubt compLexity Gaming, Fresh, Evil Corporation and the reigning World Champs of Bad Monkey Gaming. Throughout multiple HoN Tour cycles and the DeadEye Bounty League Season 2, they've emerged above anyone else that isn't answering to the name Sync eSports. So it was not really a surprise to see several sweeps being handed to the lower ranked teams in the opening games.
First and foremost it was Bad Monkey Gaming and Evil Corporation making a statement on opening day. Both teams obliterated their opposition in under 50 minutes of game time. Primarily in a mood to wreak havoc was ECx jungler Tankafett, who lead both games in kills – first with Ophelia, then with War Beast. BMG went more for the approach of “Sharing is caring” with Makke leading the charge in Game 1, Boxi taking over for him in Game 2. Overall BMG impressed on every front in the Bo3 series against Reason Gaming, only allowing a total of 11 deaths – 5 of them on Makke, only 1 each for Fusen and Boxi. With play like that the dream of a successful title defense seems realistic again, even though Evil Corporation will have a thing or two to say against that next weekend.
For the big favorites going into the event, coL and Fresh, the weekend was more “business as usual”. compLexity finished off Polymorph in under an hour of game time, with Formless and FuzzySloth leading the way on the scoreboard. Nothing spectacular, nothing to worry about, just a nice overall performance of the North American hope for Thailand.
Whether there is cause for concern with Fresh or not is up for debate now, as they were the only favorite to not sweep their opponents. Druidz put up a fight and forced a third game, making the reigning DeadEye Bounty League champs look vulnerable. A quick 20 minute win by Fresh to start the series, followed by two longer games, one chalked up in the loss column. It's not enough reason to panic straight away, but with compLexity Gaming as the next opponent a step-up has to happen for the Fresh boys around veteran carry probusk.
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.