By quincy0191

Turns out winning four straight cycles is kind of hard to do. In HoN Tour Season 1, Stay Green rattled off three straight cycle victories to end the league before taking the finals in Las Vegas. They followed that up with three more cycle wins to start HoN Tour Season 2 before losing to Bad Monkey Gaming. And while this BMG team is in no way similar to the previous iteration, they seem just as bent on stopping a rampage by one squad.

If it wasn’t particularly clear based on that paragraph, SynC eSports was finally dethroned in Cycle 4 as the new BMG took their first cycle victory and led us into the second half of HoN Tour Season 3. Now we have some hard questions to ask – is SynC capable of bouncing back to regain their title? Is this the level of play we should expect from BMG going forward? And on a non-Grand Finals related note, what are we to make of surprising performances from teams like Dawn, Night Raid, tree, and Reason? This season just got a lot more complex, interesting, and unpredictable. Luckily I don’t have to make predictions right now, I can just examine the records.

Cycle MVP – probusk
SynC continues to dominate the MVP award with…wait, what? Not playing for them anymore? Oh. Huh.

Well anyway, cycle champion Bad Monkey Gaming wouldn’t have gotten where they did without the great performance of – hold on a minute, that’s not right. What’s a Dawn? I had no idea a soap company was sponsoring a HoN team. Seems weird.

Yes, for the first time this season, we’ve got an MVP that not only wasn’t on the eventual winners, he wasn’t even in the Grand Finals. But it’s impossible to ignore how amazing probusk was in Cycle 4, or how much he meant to his team. probusk led all comers in kills per game at 10.1 (a new single-cycle record), in GPM at 572.1, in XPM at 634, in K:D at 4.17 (also a new single-cycle record), in K+A:D at 6.72, and in CK at 345. He was also 4th in deaths per game at 2.4, because why not. To put that in context, Dawn as a team averaged 20.2 kills per game. So probusk had half their kills. I don’t think I’ve had an easier time deciding an MVP before.

I grabbed a quote from Dawn captain L4byrn1th about what the addition of probusk has meant to his team: “Before probusk was on the team, things were very chaotic and uncoordinated. Everyone wanted to do their own thing. Now we're much calmer, and we're not as confrontational amongst ourselves. We used to have problems with that even when we were winning, but probusk has helped bring us together. And of course he's a really damned good player”

Best Hero – Empath
The downfall of Rhapsody continues. Not only did she follow up her miserable Cycle 3 performance with yet another stinker – 9-12 overall – but she’s been passed up by Engineer (55.6%), Glacius (52.5%), and now Empath (52.4%) in terms of overall winning percentage among supports, dropping to 51.1%.

But this isn’t about Rhapsody, this is about Empath, who trucked to a 9-2 overall record and a ludicrous 15.4 assists per game. That’s a single-cycle record for any hero, and nearly 2 assists per game more than the previous title holder, Cycle 2 Pharaoh at 13.6. An overall 2.5/3.5/15.4 record doesn’t seem too impressive, but hey, support hero.

Nobody had a particularly bad performance with Empath this cycle – WhaT_YoU_GoT and iNsania both went 1-0 with her, Dawn support YUGOBIC managed three wins in four tries, and RootOf_z went 1-1. But of course the best time was had by none other than Support, whose signature hero went 3-0 and averaged 20.3 assists per game. As usual, that was the best player-hero assist count for any combo that showed up more than once.

Worst Hero – Pharaoh
I gotta say, this was a surprise. The second-worst hero was Torturer at 2-11, and he’s a veteran of the bottom of the leaderboards. But Pharaoh’s 1-7 record was abysmal, and nearly half the win% of Tort, so there’s basically no way he doesn’t win this. Before this cycle, he was at a 53.9% win, so this is definitely unexpected.

Breaking down his performance doesn’t really enlighten. Seven suicides and one initiator don’t paint a different picture, as he was 1-6 as a suicide and 0-1 as an initiator. Six players went 0-1 on Pharaoh – Z4NE, FuzzySloth, Kracke, Xibbe, BOXl, topped off by Superkge and an 0/14/12 line that set a new record for the most deaths without a kill. YELLOWREXXAR was the only one who managed to win, going 1-1. It seemed like it didn’t matter who played Pharaoh in Cycle 4, the hero just lost.

Best Single Game Performance – Loser’s Bracket Round 2 Game 2, KingPlato on The Dark Lady
Loser’s Bracket Round 2, Game 2, back against the wall as Night Raid faces elimination against one of the season’s best teams in willowkeeper. Handsken on Soulstealer had just gone 14/5/10 with 696 GPM to put tree up 1-0 in the series. NR needed a huge upset to stay alive and possibly move on. What better way than to give KingPlato what is rapidly becoming his signature hero in The Dark Lady?

A hero kill score of 13/3/6 is very good, it’s not that great. 752 GPM is great, there’s no denying it. And 343 CK is just pretty good. But this game took only 36 minutes – he was getting heavily involved in teamfights and farming like a madman (or like a Dark Lady) for all of it. That’s best exemplified by the 906 XPM he managed to accumulated, the highest single-game mark in HoN Tour so far, and the only player to cross the 900 barrier. The ability to rack up 750 GPM in such a short time cannot be overlooked either; the only other game to cross 700 GPM in a shorter time was a 22:45 performance from probusk on Drunken Master way back in the Ro8 of Cycle 1, when he was still playing for Reason. KingPlato is becoming a staple of these awards, and for good reason.

Best Single Game K/D/A – Loser’s Bracket Round 1 Game 1, Fusen on Glacius
It’s not quite the 0/0/22 that `Drentz managed awhile back, but 2/1/22 is still quite the performance from a support hero. Dying only once in a 47 minute game as the slow and often easy-to-kill Glacius is remarkable in and of itself, but Fusen managed to get himself involved in just about every fight he could manage over the course of the game.

More impressive was the fact that he was able to do so in unfamiliar territory – tree took the Cycle 2 and 3 silver medals, and losing in the first round to Dawn was probably not high on their to-do list. They faced demotion to Gold right off the bat, and they needed to step up against a legitimate contender in Reason Gaming. Fusen’s performance was no doubt critical to their victory and continued presence in Diamond.

Best Single Game Farm – Loser’s Bracket Semifinals Game 1, probusk on Soulstealer
And we have a new single-game farm champion, as probusk managed to get to 777 GPM in just 36 minutes against Night Raid. Last time out I said nobody farms like Dark Lady, but the resurgence of Soulstealer is proving that assertion wrong. Of course, maybe it’s just probusk being that good – he’s already the MVP for the cycle, and something tells me he’ll be winning another award before this recap is done. Sorry, should have called spoilers. Regardless, a 12/1/5 line and 361 CK – or just under 10 CK per minute and the second-best CK/min pace this cycle – led the new Dawn carry to a divine number.

Best Single Game CS – Round of 8 Game 1, probusk on Maliken
Hey, look, my prediction came true! It’s almost like I can see the future. probusk gets yet another crown as he picked up 767 CS (748 CK, 19 CD) in a ridiculous 73 minutes and 32 seconds against willowkeeper for the first of two huge upsets. He was nearly 100 CK ahead of the second-best performance, baltazar` with 668 CK in the same game. After that things tapered quickly – 509 CK from Flensmeister and 459 from probusk again. He didn’t just outfarm his competition in this game, he beat them badly. Oh, but he had so long to do it, this was the longest game of the cycle. Except he managed 10.1 CK per minute, and remember how I said his single game farm in the LBR1 was the second-best? Well, this was the best farm pace of any game this cycle. By volume and by rate, probusk is the best.

Here are your leaders from Cycle 4 of HoN Tour Season 3 (all played at least five games):

Highest Win% – Empath, 81.8%
Lowest Win% – Pharaoh, 12.5%
Most Picked – Magmus, 23 games
Executioner (Most Kills) – Silhouette, 9.5
Cautious (Least Deaths) – The Dark Lady, 1.4
Savior (Most Assists) – Empath, 15.4
Best Farmer – The Dark Lady, 634 GPM
Best Experience – The Dark Lady, 746 XPM
Best Ricer – Soulstealer, 329 CK
Best Denier – Cthuluphant, 26 CD
Highest K:D – The Dark Lady, 5.43
Highest K+A:D – The Dark Lady, 9.29