Minty Fresh With Hint Of Green
The opening bout of the important HoN Tour Playoff weekend was between none other than the two top teams from rankings after the DeadEye Bounty League. Fresh against compLexity Gaming in a Best-of-Three series for a spot in the Upper Bracket Finals.
As expected it was a hard-fought battle, in which shades of old stayGreen surfaced on many spots. At first it was in compLexity Gaming's draft, picking Deadwood, the hero legendary sG captain Swindlemelonzz used to terrorize people in mid with. Another thing giving flashbacks to the old days was the methodical play of coL, grouping up as five early, taking objectives and furthering the lead. In all three games that was the case, as compLexity Gaming grouped up early to push towers, giving them a lead in Gold right away.
What transpired after the early phase was completely different in all three games though. In the first one it looked like coL could push their way to victory, giving carry Formless a Harkon's Blade early to melt down Busk's Wildsoul consistently. This was only effective up to a certain point then Booboo and his master ran out of control and struck back. To pick one fight that stood out is impossible, as most ended as though they were scripted by George R.R. Martin with nearly everyone dying. Busk still ended up with the highest GPM, farming and sustaining himself to victory.
The second game was more of the sG style with the heavy push strat leading to an early victory within 25 minutes of game time. Madman and War Beast contributed greatly to the win, making Formless and WhaT_YoU_GoT the standout players of the contest.
What happened next was following the blue print of Game 1, only with the surprising global threat of Parasite, Shiver and Sand Wraith. compLexity couldn't safely do anything without being terrified of an infested Shiver showing up or Sand Wraith popping the ultimate. Just looking at the scoreboard it seems that DifferentGuy going 23/4/10 would be the MVP, but throughout the game it was DenverDaGOD doing so much work for them. It's not always the flashy statline, but the flashy play that makes you the star!
Corporation Moves On
This was another great series that doesn't quite tell the story by just looking at the scoreboard. BMG against Evil Corporation was a great game between two of the hottest teams in HoN, ending too quick in the eyes of thousands of HoN fans. Sadly, despite the matches being virtually even throughout the majority of game time, in the end it was ECx getting it done twice.
The first one started with ECx seizing control quickly in the bottom lane, as their Tri-lane setup worked out a lot better than the BMG defense to it. ImbaBoy, Nir and Mathias were running circles around balthazar`, iNsania and Fusen throughout the laning phase. This led to Magebane not taking off, while his carry counterpart Moonqueen was enjoying all the money in the world. Ironically, the game for the most part wasn't about the carry duel, but rather about Nir against iNsania one-upping each other in big team fights. iNsania's “thunder dome” trapped the corporation in precarious situations a few times, only to be countered by Nir's Rhapsody ultimate in clutch moments. MVP overall still goes to Tankafett for his Lord Salforis play.
No matter what happened around him in both games, he was the disruptive force that seemed to go unanswered. ImbaBoy, balthazar, Boxi, and Z4NE might have died in the fights but the Lord barely ever did. An honorable mention also goes out to Mathias' on Behemoth, as he provided the turning point in Game 2. With BMG ahead for most of the game, a team fight at 58 minutes game time, a great Behemoth ult initiation turned the fight, game and series around. The result was the middle Barracks exposed and ultimately the game lost a few skirmishes later.
Evil Corporation moves on to the Upper Bracket Finals, facing off against their maybe toughest task yet – Fresh. HoN Tour Cycle 8 Champion against DeadEye Bounty League winner. The two most recent titleholders collide for a chance to inch a few steps further to Thailand.
As the playoffs continue, more and more teams get eliminated from their Thai dream. This week it was time to bid farewell to Reason Gaming and Polymorph, who couldn't pull off the miracle after all.
Most of Reason's second week was spend in the fountain after respawn, as compLexity Gaming tore through them in under an hour of game time. MVP of the series is Oscah, no matter what. Whoever lands a picture perfect 4-man Magmus ultimate and Lava Surge from highground in the middle lane – well, he just takes the award right then and there!
As for the series between Bad Monkey Gaming and Polymorph, that one at least got contested in the second game. The first game was equally stompy as coL vs. Reason, but then it happened. Ahead by a significant margin in the early game, BMG almost got “cocky” and lost an important team fight. Clowning around ended up biting them in the behind for the rest of the game, as chaOs_master and his Oogie turned out to be virtually unkillable suddenly. Team fight after team fight was lost by BMG, Barracks after Barracks was taken by Polymorph. Still, the Monkeys had the split-pushing going their way and were resilient enough to even fight off mega creeps. Heroic TP cancels by Fusen and Boxi, Post Haste on the rest secured the game in a dramatic fashion – without a doubt the most hyped match of the weekend.
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.