By quincy0191

As the year wraps up and HoN Tour Season 3 winds down, it’s time for yet another edition of the prestigious Honcast Community Awards, honoring the year’s best teams, players, and content creators in a wide variety of categories. We have 80 nominees in 15 categories, and we need you to help pick the best of the best in Heroes of Newerth this year.

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swindlemelonzz loved to say “win mid, win game” (or something to that effect). It’s the highest-trafficked lane, and with how hard a team can snowball in HoN, getting a great early start on your mid player can have an enormous impact on how well your team does. Mids open up the map for carries, keep the other team on their toes, and often play the most crucial role of all: starting those huge, game-deciding teamfights. Winning games can and often does come down to getting a big stun onto three heroes, and the best gankers are some of the most important and skilled players in the scene.

Superkge (BMG)

Often referred to as the hook master, his Devourer is legendary, but focusing on that is a bit unfair to his versatility. The guy can play pretty much everything from bursty heroes like Pebbles and Wretched Hag to teamfight initiators like Kraken and Magmus, and do it all at a high level. We’ve even seen him branch out a bit to suicide and carry heroes like Scout and Vindicator, but no matter what he does, he’s one of the best at finding pickoffs and contributing in teamfights. Now more big hooks, please.

swindlemelonzz (sG)

Okay, so everyone loves to talk about how good swindle was as a captain. A great leader, a great drafter, and that’s no doubt a huge part of his value. But the guy could actually play some HoN, and the iconic fraternity in mid with Zfreek scored a ton of early-game leads that put games away quickly for sG. Towards the end of his HoN career he explored the suicide role with some success, but it’s safe to say his years of great play in the middle lane will be his enduring legacy.

m`ICKe (SynC)

Mentioning m`ICKe’s amazing ability at such a young age is warranted, but let’s make it clear: he’s not just a good player for someone so young, he’s one of the best players in HoN, period. That naturally requires him to be one of the best mid players in the game, and the epithet of “ganker” may fit him better than anyone else in the scene this year. Sure, he can play more teamfight-oriented heroes, but m`ICKe shines brightest when he’s on Pebbles, relentlessly killing opposing heroes all over the map, or flipping around on Monkey King. Playing against m`ICKe means never being safe.

Limmp (sG/BMG)

During Superkge’s hiatus from BMG and towards the end of sG’s run, Limmp stepped back into his more familiar mid role, and he was Limmp. There isn’t much more that needs to be said, but let’s point out that he was one of eight players and the only non-carry to average over 400 GPM in Carnage in Caldavar. Though maybe we should just call him a carry and be done with it, because he basically became a second carry in the majority of games. It’s probably not out of line to say that most teams would appreciate having their mid do that well on a regular basis.

probusk (SynC/Rea)

Here we’ll have to unfortunately ignore probusk’s significant contributions to Dawn and instead focus on his significant contributions to SynC and Reason. Though he left SynC before the Thailand finals, he was instrumental in getting them there in the first place, and did his best Limmp impression for most of his time with Rea. If you like high-farming mids, then probusk’s 397 GPM in CiC and 392 GPM as a member of Reason in HTS3 should appeal to you, but most impressive is his propensity to stay alive. Without sacrificing kill involvement, probusk managed to keep his deaths to a reasonable 2.5-3.0 range between Carnage and HTS3, and died the second-fewest times per game in CiC among all players.

Because playing competitive HoN isn’t hard enough, some of these guys decide they want to do more. That means research and scouting as well as developing strategies and testing them in games. It means corralling a bunch of gamers, many of whom have to balance work or school schedules with scrims and games, and convincing them to do things over and over again. Often while trying to concentrate on what they’re supposed to be doing as well. A great captain can turn a team of good players into something much better, and we’ve seen enough issues with leadership take down extremely talented players that the top captain award is one to be coveted.

swindlemelonzz (sG)

swindle's enduring legacy is almost certainly going to be as one of the best captains in HoN history, very possibly the best the game as ever seen. He had an understanding of the game that was unrivaled, consistently outdrafting opponents and winning games before they started, paired with leadership that convinced a bunch of foreigners to move to Miami and spend all their time becoming the best in the world. If you have any doubts as to how good swindlemelonzz is, listen to him co-cast a game sometime. It’s basically a university course in HoN.

Handsken (BMG)

It’s no coincidence Handsken was leading a team that quickly grew into one of the best in the game, and the only one to consistently topple sG. You don’t go up against a team that talented without bringing your A game every time out, and it’s to his credit that LIONS/BMG was one of the most stable teams in terms of roster that we’ve seen in a long while. Apart from the switch from Flensmeister to fUzi, Handsken was able to keep the band together, and while all his players were very skilled individually, it’s awfully tempting to give him a lot of credit for their ascension from a good team to a great one. After all, they didn’t just upgrade their roster with better players, they were able to unlock the potential of the guys they already had, and Handsken is at the center of that.

Flensmeister (SynC)

Flensmeister has recently ceded his spot to iNsania, but we’ll get to him in a minute. For now it’s worth recognizing a player that took his newfound free agency and turned it into a place on another top team, and then captained that team to #1 overall. Carry players in general often don’t make great captains – they have to focus on their farm, positioning, item progression, and opportunities too much to direct four other players. Yet Flensmeister managed to accomplish that and push SynC further and further up the ladder. If that means he’s actually been underperforming prior to stepping down, enemies beware.

iNsania (KNX/SynC)

iNsania has presided over two of the most dominant performances SynC has had so far in Season 3, and his addition to the team prior to HTS3 took some pressure off Flensmeister even if he wasn’t the nominal captain. But his work with REXXARS is more impressive – this was a group of TMM stars that had done fine in the competitive scene, and weren’t considered a top team. It took him a few weeks to turn them into the third-place team and secure a series victory over Reason in the Carnage in Caldavar Pro League Cycle 1. He clearly had talent to work with, which is a great way to start. Turning that talent into a cohesive team in so little time is nothing short of amazing.

Fusen (tree)

Look at tree’s roster. Five players, all very good. None of them were well known names except for the hardcore fans (perhaps excluding baltazar`). Six months ago they got into the second cycle of CiC and this was their first real taste of the top level of competition. Now they’re the consensus #2 team in HoN, and they’re beating established veterans in BMG, Reason, Night Raid, and even SynC every so often. Fusen and his teammates have been playing together for years; they trust him, and he earns every bit of it. He’s also probably the most strategically innovative captain on this list, both in terms of game and hero decisions. willowkeeper have a decided advantage over their opponents thanks to the surprise factor Fusen manages to maintain.

Zlapped (SynC)

Zlapped hasn’t been the captain of SynC for quite some time, but he was leading the team when they beat Bad Monkey Gaming in the Season 2 playoffs. This was an event most would have argued wasn’t really worth playing; BMG were going to win. That was it. sG and BMG were the two top teams, sG was already in, and BMG would be shortly. Except nobody told Zlapped. It’s difficult to imagine what one has to say to their team to convince them they even have a chance in the context they faced, or how well you have to draft, or the calls you have to make. Evidently Zlapped met all these challenges, and somehow came out ahead. They could probably make a Disney movie about this, and that’s a pretty good sign of a great player and captain.

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quincy0191 is a HoN veteran with a focus on the numbers. Fascinated by quantifying and valuing human beings, he shunned the world of finance in favor of sports and competition. When not on Honcast you can find quincy playing games like Civilization and Pokemon, or watching movies, writing, pondering, or catching a game of baseball.