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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A most valuable player is difficult to define. In many sports it’s rare to see an MVP on a losing team – and all of our nominees have been very successful – but this is about that one guy. The one that pushes a team a little bit further than anyone else, and makes you wonder just how good they would be without him. Maybe he’s got the fastest fingers in the game, and his plays make you gasp. Maybe he’s the face of the team, calling plays and picking heroes. Maybe he’s just inexplicable, making an impact no matter how hard the opponent tries to shut him down. No matter what, there can only be one Most Valuable Player.

swindlemelonzz (sG)

You may have heard of this guy. You may have heard of him in conjunction with the MVP award. He is the last guy to win it, after all. swindle is a testament to work and love, a guy who puts in the effort day in and day out because he wants to be the best at what he does. You don’t get a reputation as the best drafter and captain in the game by accident; you have to earn it, and sG’s repeated successes have come directly as a result of how much he’s put in to winning. It’s simply impossible to imagine sG becoming as good as they did without swindlemelonzz, and that’s pretty much the definition of an MVP.

Limmp (sG/BMG)

The only player on the list to appear regularly for two of the three nominees for top team, Limmp was often regarded as only the best player in HoN. As in, the entire game. The Vanguard Brothers, Limmp and Chessie, had a sadly abbreviated stint together, but Limmp showed not only his individual skill but his versatility as well, playing both the suicide and mid role. A team like BMG had no difficulty bringing him in even though they had an accomplished suicide in Jonassomfan, because they knew the quality of talent he would add. When you have the chance to put that name on your roster, you do it and worry about things like “roles” later.

Jonassomfan (BMG)

Jonas is probably the most quiet on this list, which is a crying shame. There were a multitude of reasons BMG were so great, but this guy seemingly never got the credit he deserved, for bringing the amazing consistency of game play and ridiculous versatility for a suicide player. Jonassomfan played 17 different heroes in CiC, and had a sub-.500 winning percentage on only three, two of which he played only once. In 48 games, he was below 300 GPM just seven times. The ability to count on a player to that degree, to put them in just about any situation and not have to worry, is one of the greatest assets a team can have. Not coincidentally, so was Jonassomfan.

Handsken (BMG)

Handsken is the only guy on this list who regularly went up against swindlemelonzz in the captain’s chair and beat him. That on its own should tell you what kind of leader and drafter he is, but just for good measure, we’ll add that he was one of the best junglers – maybe the best jungler – of the past year. There was no area in which Handsken did not excel, and there’s a good authority suggesting that the reason BMG was able to reach the heights they did was primarily because of Handsken’s leadership. Though I doubt too many people were complaining about his Ophelia.

probusk (SynC/Rea/Dawn)

There are many iterations of probusk to consider. First up is the mid player for SynC. That’s the one that helped his team to a big win over BMG to go to Thailand, finishing top 3 in deaths per game despite playing the highly dangerous initiator role. Then there was the Reason Gaming mid player, who was top 10 in GPM for CiC at 397. Again, as a mid player, on average; the only mid to finish higher was Limmp. Finally, and perhaps most convincingly, there’s the Dawn carry that blew our minds as farmed the highest single-game GPM in HoN Tour Season 3 with 777. Any one of these players is valuable, but when they’re the same player we start talking “most valuable”.

KheZu (SynC)

Here we have someone whose exit from a team looked game-changing. KheZu, originally sG’s carry player, was moved to the suicide role as sLickZ came into the team. Since then, he’s shined as arguably the best long laner in the game, and when he and sLickZ departed it looked like sG could fall apart. Since joining SynC, he’s been integral to their gradual rise to the cream of the crop, and currently it’d be very difficult to call him anything other than the best suicide player in the game. Good enough that he’s often the “carry suicide” player for SynC, good enough that he’s 11-0 on Swiftblade (most games with a 100% win among all player-hero combos), good enough that he’s undefeated on 11 different heroes, and good enough for an MVP.

Zlapped (SynC)

Go ahead, name the second-best jungler in competitive HoN right now. First place is already decided, but even figuring out who occupies 2nd place isn’t an easy feat. WhaT_YoU_GoT and Tankafett probably have the best arguments, but they’re still running a race that Zlapped finished days ago. When a team can outclass their opponents so hard on a single role, it gives a huge leg up, and now it would appear Zlapped is bored of being the best jungler so he’s going to be the best second support player as well. Whatever role you put him on, he consistently excels.

m`ICKe (SynC)

“Address the chu`” was a common strategy, and while the player has changed over the years, every so often you do get into a situation where you just need to stop one guy or he’ll run over your team. m`ICKe no doubt holds that title now, and has pretty much all year – SynC will often still find a way to beat you even if you reduce m`ICKe’s impact, but if you do nothing he will become a thorn in your side the size of a tree branch. When an opposing team’s strategy often boils down to making sure one player doesn’t beat them on his own, that’s the kind of name that is going to appear on this list and may end up continuing that trend of seemingly beating a whole bunch of other players on his own.

There’s nothing quite like being #1, and this year we had three different teams hold that title, splitting the year pretty evenly between them. These are the guys that made their opponents nervous, brought new and unpredictable drafts and strategies to the forefront, amazed you with their team coordination and individual skill, and repeatedly staked their flag at the top of the mountain.

stayGreen (sG)

Also known as the only team to win a LAN this year, sG fended off a late-season push from Bad Monkey Gaming to earn a direct seed to Thailand for the HoN Tour Season 2 playoffs, making them still the only team to ever win the HoN Tour Finals (though something tells me that streak will end this season). Towards the end of HTS2 it looked like BMG had their number, taking four of the last five cycles, but an early points advantage held and they got revenge when it mattered: on stage at the Season 2 finals.

Looking up and down a roster of swindle, Zfreek, Limmp, Mynuts, and Chessie, it’s pretty hard to find a hole. Their opponents would probably say the same thing, considering how many games they won, but it’s a testament to their dominance that they left the scene in the spring and are still a top contender for this award. Considering they won it last year, they might even be the favorites.

Bad Monkey Gaming (BMG)

For the purposes of this exercise, we’re discussing the HTS2/CiC version of BMG, consisting of Handsken, Sealkid, Jonassomfan, fUzi, and Limmp/Superkge. With no disrespect to the current iteration, I think it’s fair to say the older squad was a superior team, and with sG exiting the scene after the Season 2 playoffs, their games were more or less automatic wins. Even during the end of HTS2 and in the playoffs they were probably considered the better team by a lot of players and fans, considering they beat sG more often than not leading up to the finals. Their defeat at the hands of Denial in the Thailand qualifiers was probably the biggest upset we’ve seen all year, and once they got another shot with the Redemption matches it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that they would find their way to southeast Asia.

After Season 2, and no longer possessing a true rival, BMG stomped their way through Carnage in Caldavar. Only two CiC teams won more than half their games: SynC went 37-18, and BMG were 43-8. One of those is very good, and the other is complete dominance. In fact, they only lost to two teams more than once: Reason (10-2) and SynC (11-4). Probably the other major contender for the biggest upset of the year is when SynC defeated the monkeys in Cycle 1 of HoN Tour Season 3, and it capped a more than six-month run as arguably (and then definitely) the best team in HoN.

SynC eSports (SynC)

If the first half of the year was defined by a rivalry for the ages between sG and BMG, the second half has been defined by SynC eSports. The only team on the list to persist throughout the year in a somewhat recognizable form, SynC is on the short list for the most domi..nant team of their era, right up there with end-of-HTS1/beginning-of-HTS2 sG and Fnatic. Anyone who’s watched a HoN Tour Season 3 Grand Finals has seen SynC eSports, and barring a single exception, has watched them win. There’s a lot of uncertainty starting with the silver medal, but just about nobody is prepared to give center stage to anyone but SynC eSports right now.

It took them a bit of time to get here, spending most of the year as a top five team, but never the best. In that respect they differ from the other two nominees, as they were around while not really being in the conversation for the best team in HoN. It’s probably fair to say the addition of iNsania before HoN Tour Season 3 truly completed the roster, and it wouldn’t be out of line to suggest that they possess not only impeccable team play and draft and game strategy, but the highest skilled players at each position in their roster. iNsania, Flensmeister, KheZu, Zlapped, and the inimitable m`ICKe are all contenders for individual awards this year, and each would be well deserved if won. As, of course, would this.

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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.