The Mighty Four

A new year has begun and the finest Heroes of Newerth teams are still going head to head in the Diamond Division Cycle 3. The question now is if the top teams will be the same as last year. In the three major events in Hon Tour history, the first four places were always taken by the same four teams – [tdM]Trademark eSports, [coL]compLexityGaming, [sG]Stay Green and [357]QsQ. Will the new year have some different names and surprises in store for us?

One thing seems to be clear, Trademark eSports is the absolute favorite in the scene, after winning all three HoN Tour events and their World Title at DreamHack Winter 2024. Even though the year has changed, Trademark eSports remains the same.

CompLexityGaming and Stay Green are probably wishing that the new year will bring change to the top of the HoN spectrum. Both teams will need to claw their way through stiff competition (in the form of Trademark eSports) in order to get to the promise land. These teams have engaged in a tough little rivalry themselves with Stay Green coming close to defeating coL several times, until they finally managed to grab a win last cycle. However, coL would respond almost immediately in the Consolation Final. The teams seem to be on the same level which will make for an interesting clash if the brackets line up right.

Fourth among the elite teams is QsQ, who will be looking to break out of the pattern from the last two cycles. Team captain, NoVa, will be looking to go against the saying of the European traditional sketch “Dinner for One” as, “The same procedure as last year” will not be enough for his quest to take the QsQ project to the next level – a major tournament victory. Still, the competition in the Diamond Division is tough and fourth place is not secured by default for anyone.

Breaking the Pattern

Just as the top teams are looking to better their placement, the rest of the teams in Diamond are looking to break up the “Mighty Four.” More importantly, those teams need to show that they are improving and that they’re consistent. [aL]Absolute Legends and [LION]Lions eSportsKlubb went into the second cycle as promising candidates, but faltered fairly quickly. [OTP]One Trick Pony started the first cycle promising but then ran into strong teams and got eliminated prematurely – only to flourish in the second cycle. The same goes for [TteS]Tt eSPORTS, who went to a rollercoaster themselves, starting with the crushing loss of their star player sLiCKz. They managed to stay in the Diamond Division but then got blown out by Dendis jungledevos to start the second cycle, only to fight themselves into a Top 6 finish in that event. All these teams have the opportunity to shine now and, with more consistency, rise up in reputation and recognition as a top Diamond team.

Consistency is also the name of the game for [PUDG]Dendis jungldevos, who have shown flashes of greatness, followed by deep downfalls. In the first cycle, they didn't record a single win in a tournament game, but still ended up in the Top 8 due to forfeits. Then they stormed out of the gate in cycle 2, demolishing Tt eSports in under 40 minutes, only to fall to Trademark eSports and their new nemesis One Trick Pony. Unfortunately for them, they will have to face their four-legged nightmare again this cycle. So either the losing streak against Streufutter and his boys ends or Dendis jungledevos will face an early elimination game.

Avoiding Demotion

The threat of being demoted is constantly present for a good amount of teams in the top league of Hon Tour, as every team is strong and capable at giving peak performances at any time. It is like the old Oliver Stone movie - “Any Given Sunday” just adapted to Heroes of Newerth. On any given weekend, teams like [FyKu]Fack You Kurdi, [DrDz]Druidz eSports, [C1K]Call It Karma, [oo7]We Are Spies, [vtL]Vitriolic Gaming or [PNIS]Pencils can respond to the challenge at hand and deliver with some splendid HoN. Only a few teams are pretty safe to avoid elimination, but the rest of the Division is totally up for grabs.

Naturally teams that recently got promoted are focused on in these discussions, but every promoted team has a lot of upside in this cycle. Pencils and Vitriolic have the experience and retribution factor on their side, as they already played in the Diamond Division before and now they have the chance to redeem themselves again. Druidz eSports has shown stellar performances as they rushed from the Silver Division straight into the premier league. And We Are Spies not only defeated a former Diamond Division team in Pencils twice to win the Hon Tour Gold crown, but they also have been playing on a high level against good opponents for two consecutive cycles in the Gold Division.

The last huge question mark is the two promoted teams from the first Gold Cycle that managed to retain their status – Call It Karma and Fack You Kurdi. Both teams didn’t have great outings in their debut in the Diamond Division. Call It Karma had an extraordinary amount of points in the rankings, which saved them from a demotion. Fack You Kurdi finished in the Top 8 due to several forfeits but were inefficient in the games they played. Now, these teams are presented with another chance to make a first impression in their second appearance.

Extra Spice For Fans

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