By Blaze

HoN Tour Season 3 is almost at an end now, with only one cycle to be played before the Playoffs for the World Finals, and last weekend, the first half of this cycle was played. In Diamond Division, eight great teams once more set out to beat the competition, earn money and Tour points. With all eight of them in the top ten of the ranking, one might have thought that they could take it easy now for a change, but since rank determines your opponent, every team was eager to earn as many points as possible in order to face a weaker opponent in the future. Let's take a look at how the teams did last weekend and who made it to the last rounds of Cycle 8:

Winners Saturday

[SynC]Sync eSports were the first in the bracket once again as the returning Champions and their first task this weekend was to play against [Ogr]Shrek is Love, who just made it back to Diamond last cycle. The match consisted of two games that both lasted around 40 minutes and had a good bit of action in them, both teams had their chances and both times, Sync was one step ahead and won in the end, no big surprise there. The Ogres now had to fend for their place in the Diamond Division the next day, while Sync moved on to the next round. The match [Mint]Fresh(ex Dawn) versus [Hoo]Team Who(ex Prime Icarus) was a little shorter and a little more clear when Fresh went full strength on their opponents and sent them packing after two games in favour of Fresh.

Match three of the day was between two well known names, [Rea]Reason Gaming and [BMG]BadMonkeyGaming, with Reason Gaming as the team in front and BMG as the returning team from Gold Division - certainly unusual positions for both. The first game was open for both teams for a long while, they both had chances and got kills, but Reason Gaming kept their cool and eventually gained an advantage and used it to win the game eventually. It seemed that they were still motivated by a brilliant Cycle 7 and it showed in their gameplay. Game 2 was evidence of that even more, with BMG being taken apart by Reason Gaming in a rather one-sided game. Off to the Losers Bracket with BMG, onwards for Reason. Last but not least was the matchup of [tree]willowkeeper and [Null]Nullstone Gaming, in which the Nullstonies showed strong plays once more while the trees seemed a bit unorganized and played way too experimental for their own good. The result, a solid 2 game win for the american team and a very early entry into the Losers Bracket for willowkeeper.

A few hours after the first round the teams left in the Winners Bracket continued with the WB semi-finals. In the first. Sync eSports and Fresh met up for another interesting match and here Sync showed once more the reason why they were Champions almost every cycle. Game 1 went very much in their favour and they won it easily, but in game 2 it looked pretty tough for them on several occasions. In a match that almost lasted 80 minutes, they had to show every bit of skill they had and win an uphill battle, which they eventually did in a spectacular endgame. Too bad for Fresh, they did very well once more, but now it was time for them to go to the Losers Bracket and continue on the hard route to the Grand Finals.

The other match this round was between Reason Gaming and Nullstone, a frequent matchup that Nullstone Gaming only won once in this Season. The two teams were both highly motivated because of earlier wins and so it turned into a 3 game match. Reason Gaming managed to secure the first game after half an hour, followed by a comeback win by Nullstone in game 2, with both games not being very spectacular. Game 3 now was the decisive game and here both teams made quite an effort to win. 50 minutes after the start, the game was finally at an end and it was Reason Gaming who were victorious, sending the strong Nullstonies to the Losers Bracket with love.

Losers Sunday

On Sunday it was time again for the four losing teams from round 1 to fight for survival in the Diamond Division, and even though this was the last cycle and they would not really get demoted, it was still a matter of pride and points to not lose in this round. Shrek is Love and Team Who were the first to play here and the first game was a rather short affair, with the Ogres going medieval on their opponents and winning easily. The second game had plenty of action and skill on both sides and Team Who fought back with all their might but it was not enough to defeat Shrek is Love. So the Ogres would advance while Team Who had to end their Cycle rather early this time.

The match between BadMonkeyGaming and willowkeeper had a bit more bite in it and went all three rounds. willowkeeper had been struggling with many things in their earlier match and this was still going on in the first game, resulting in a rather devastating loss. In game 2 they finally got things together, changed their lineup and actually won this one, although it took them almost 55 minutes to do so in a very close and entertaining game. The final round had the old and dominant willowkeeper back, who made a few interesting picks and integrated these into their playstyle while BadMonkeyGaming were unable to keep up with this playstyle, leading to another drop out of Diamond for BMG and a hard earned victory for the trees.

Round two of the Losers Bracket was played three hours later and had the winners of the first round face the new dropouts from the Winners Bracket, Nullstone Gaming and Fresh. Nullstone Gaming was set to play against Shrek is Love and another long matchup ensued that took all three games and a lot of effort from both teams. The Ogres managed to win only one of these three games, so it was Nullstone Gaming who moved on to the next round. Their opponent was decided between willowkeeper and Fresh, another long and close match that also went for three rounds. willowkeeper struggled again for a game here and needed some time to get into their usual shape, but once they managed that, they were almost unstoppable, taking two games from Fresh and winning the match. And with this, they would move on to play against Nullstone Gaming next week and maybe even further than that.

Moving on, next weekend we will have the Finals coming up for Cycle 8, after which the big part of HoN Tour Cycle 3 will end. On Saturday we will have Nullstone Gaming play against willowkeeper at the usual 12:00 EST | 18:00 CET, followed by the Winners Bracket finals Sync eSports versus Reason Gaming at 15:00 EST | 21:00 CET. Honcast will be covering all matches live as always, so get snacks and beverages ready and enjoy the show!

About the author: Blaze

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