By Blaze

Cycle 4 of HoN Tour Season 3 had two intense weekends full of great Heroes of Newerth matches on the highest level in Diamond Division. Motivated by the once again plentiful reward money thanks to the Community, all eight teams fought with everything they had and the result was surprising in many ways. Let's take a look at what happened there.


Early Rounds

[SynC]Sync eSports opened up this Cycle again with their match against [PI]Prime Icarus. Of course the winner of the first three Cycles was heavily favoured here, but Prime Icarus put their faith in their unusual playstyle and their crazy Oogie, played by [Pl]sertas. And indeed they were able to field Oogie right away in the first game, but it did not help them much at all, Sync eSports were as effective as they were merciless and defeated the newcomer from the Gold Division in two easy games, Oogie or not. Too bad for Prime Icarus, but even they expected that it would go that way, so they probably already focussed on the much more important match in the Losers Bracket next round.

But to go on with the matches in the first round, the second of those was an all american affair when [NR]Night Raid and [Null]Nullstone Gaming faced each other. As expected, both teams did not hold anything back and after some fireworks and two nice games, Night Raid came out on top, moving on to the next round while the Nullstonies had to go to the Losers Bracket to fight for survival the next day.

Third match of the round was between [tree]willowkeeper and [Dawn]Dawn. They delivered two very, very long games that were dominated by a stellar playing [BUSK]probusk, who made all the difference in the end, first in the 70 minute marathon of game one with Maliken and then in the hour long thriller that was game two, where he showed his Silhouette skills. Certainly an upset loss for willowkeeper, who seemed so strong just last Cycle and were thought of as the number two team by many people at that time, but now they were in the Losers Bracket and had to fear for survival, while Dawn moved on to the next round, very satisfied with this outcome.

Last match of the round, [BMG]BadMonkeyGaming versus [Rea]Reason Gaming had two struggling teams playing against each other. Reason Gaming really needed some success after being rather mediocre in the past three Cycles and BadMonkeyGaming was still not as good as they should have been with that lineup. But this Cycle would change all that for one team, and it was for BMG, who won both games. They were in control most of the time and Reason was unable to really do anything, thus BMG moved on to the next round while it looked grim for Reason Gaming.

Later that Saturday, the next round of the Winners Bracket was played out and here we had Sync eSports playing against Night Raid and the surprise team Dawn set up against BadMonkeyGaming. The first match wasn't much of a surprise, Sync had everything under control and while the americans tried, they were unable to beat the Champions of Cycle 1-3, thus Sync moved on to the WB finals, while Night Raid was sent to the Losers Bracket. Now the other match, Dawn versus BadMonkeyGaming was a match to behold. Dawn already caught willowkeeper by surprise in the previous round and now BMG seemed to suffer the same fate, as they got rolled over by Dawn in the first game - and that with a Night Hound pick by Dawn! Unlike the trees though, BMG was able to recover from that shock in game two, where it was now their turn to roll over Dawn, taking them out in the same manner. A third game had to be played and finally it was a well balanced game where both teams had their chances. BMG was the more experienced team of the two and this was one of the factors that led to their eventual victory here, having the teamplay edge in the very late game. This result moved BMG to the WB finals, while Dawn had to continue in the Losers Bracket.

Sunday was the Losers Bracket day, four matches in two rounds, and the first round deciding if a team was to play in Diamond or Gold Division next Cycle. First of these matches was Prime Icarus against Nullstone Gaming and this did not look too good for the newcomers of Prime Icarus either. They once more got their Oogie on the field, but Nullstone Gaming was able to counter their Oogie play and win the first game rather easily. The second game was also a bust and this meant the temporary end of the Diamond ambitions of Prime Ikarus. Nullstone Gaming however were able to move on, hoping to have another all american matchup in the near future. The other survival match between willowkeeper and Reason Gaming, truly an unexpected matchup at this point, was a pretty even affair, but willowkeeper had the upper hand in the end and managed to win both games, avoiding disgrace and moving on to the next round, while Reason Gaming was sent on their way to Gold Division, where they would have time to rethink their current strategies.

The last two matches of the day were less lethal but quite intense nonetheless, Nullstone Gaming took on Dawn and willowkeeper were set to play against Night Raid. Dawn were still on a high after making it to the second round in the winners bracket, and they put their motivation and high spirits into the game. Well, they certainly needed the motivation, as the first game was extremely slow moving with very few kills. And the second game wasn't that much better, both games were slow and not very pretty, but Dawn were able to get the job done, stopping the Nullstonies from rolling any further. The other match was much, much more interesting and showed two great teams fighting for the bacon. willowkeeper was the favourite to win this, but Night Raid were doing great in both games and decided both in their favour, thus causing the next surprise in this wonderful Cycle, by kicking out willowkeeper relatively early. They will certainly have to rethink some strategies there themselves for next Cycle.

Finals

The Winners Bracket Finals saw a matchup, HoN Tour fans will know all too well: Sync eSports versus BadMonkeyGaming. Here we had three pretty intense games, in which both teams showed just how good they were. The first one was won by Sync, who had the upper hand all the time while BMG still seemed a bit confused. This changed in the next game though, when BMG finally found their form and taught Sync eSports a lesson in what Silhouette and Cthulhuphant can do. The third game had Sync falling apart for a bit, while BMG became more and more dominating, ending it after half an hour in their favour and surprising everyone by kicking Sync eSports to the Losers Bracket. Well done!

The Losers Bracket still had one match to be played before the finals, with Dawn taking on Night Raid. Another three game thriller followed and Dawn did extremely well in the first game, where Soulstealer alone, played by probusk, got more than half of the teams kills. Night Raid fought back but to no avail and the first game was won by Dawn. Game two had the roles reversed and Night Raid were the dominating players, while Dawn was struggling, ending with a deserved win for Night Raid. The last game was once again in the hands of probusk, who played an amazing Maliken game once more, destroying Night Raid in basically every fight. Night Raid were unable to turn the tide and in the end they dropped out as fourth overall, which was indeed not bad at all.

Dawn on the other hand now had to face Sync eSports in the Losers Bracket finals, another very unlikely matchup at this place. Game one was very intense and interesting, probusk was once again the strongest player on the map, but unlike their previous opponents, Sync did not care too much about that. They played their game and even though they suffered losses, they got their way in the end, turning the game around and winning it. Maybe this crushed all hopes for Dawn, because in the second game, they picked a not so typical lineup for themselves and got pretty much stomped by Sync, who found back to their old dominant selves. 15 minutes in the game and match were decided and Sync eSports advanced to the Grand Finals. But congrats to Dawn for making it #3 and winning matches against teams that surprised everyone. Keep it up!

The Grand Finals were a familiar sight again, just as if the previous two Cycles of HoN Tour Season 3 never happened: BadMonkeyGaming versus Sync eSports. BMG was one game up because they won the WB finals, so Sync had a long way ahead of them. This match was a back and forth, as Sync took the first game with ease, not letting BMG get any candy at all. The second game was less one sided and saw BMG winning the upper hand and eventually defeating Sync, putting them in the lead again. Game three could have gone both ways for a long time but Sync managed to get ahead and win after 40 minutes, forcing a fifth and last game. And this game was long and spectacular, as both sides were pretty much even until very late in the game. It took about an hour to finish and in the end it was Haxxeren who let the Puppets dance, winning the last game and deciding the match in BMGs favour, which was probably the last surprise of the Cycle: a new Champion! Congrats to BMG for the incredible win and finally finding your rhythm.

Read more of Diamonds Shine Through in Part 2, featuring a preview of Cycle 5.



About the author: Blaze

Leon casino,