By Blaze

In less than 24 hours the HoN Tour Season 3 Playoffs begin and the first matchup in this event already promises great entertainment when willowkeeper, currently one of the strongest team in competitive HoN takes on CoolIo. Not everyone will be familiar with both teams, so here is a summary of both teams and their competitive history.

[tree]willowkeeper - #2 Seed
Almost everyone has heard of these guys by now. The team as it is started during the later cycles of Season 2 but the players have a lot more history, which you can read all about in an interview with team captain Fusen during the Carnage in Caldavar event. Even though they failed to win a single cycle, Season 3 has been quite successful for them, as they established themselves as the number two team in HoN during that time, often reaching second place and showing a strong performance. Their exact placements in the last 8 Cycles are as follows:
Cycle 1: Diamond 3rd place
Cycle 2: Diamond: 2nd place
Cycle 3: Diamond: 2nd place
Cycle 4: Diamond: 5/6th place
Cycle 5: Diamond: 3rd place
Cycle 6: Diamond: 2nd place
Cycle 7: Diamond: 3rd place
Cycle 8: Diamond: 3rd place
During this time willowkeeper has become an integral part of the competitive scene, bringing several rarely used heroes into the mix and showing viewers of Honcast some great plays with their signature heroes like Riftwalker, Gemini and Kinesis. For a top team, their play style may seem a little too experimental at times, but they can pull it off more often than not and defeat their surprised opponents quickly. Another important fact about them is that they rarely if at all pick jungle heroes, instead making great use of a secondary support hero, which puts immense pressure on their opponents in most cases. But their greatest strength might be the consistency in their lineup, which hasn't changed at all since start of the Season, something only a few teams can claim. It has improved their teamplay immensely and certainly added to their confidence, going into matches. Here is their lineup for the qualifiers:

[tree]Fusen: Captain, Support
[tree]RootOf_z: Secondary Support
[tree]baltazar`: Carry
[tree]Kracke: Solo/Mid
[tree]Boxi: Suicide

Going into the Playoffs, team willowkeeper looks to be the favourite to make it to Thailand in the end, despite a slight drop in performance in recent weeks. Their strongest competition will be [Rea]Reason Gaming, who has managed several straight wins in the head to head matchup, putting them into third place the last two cycles. All other teams will have a hard time facing willowkeeper and need to give their all not to get completely dominated in strange and fascinating ways.

[C00L]CoolIo - #9 Seed
This team is at the same time a very old and rather new one. They started as "Moes Tavern" during the Carnage in Caldavar event, a name that dates back to the first Season of HoN Tour, and evolved both in name and in players ever since, going through a WOP WOP / WOP DASH phase during their stay in Diamond Division and ending up with their current team name and players as they are now. They have been mostly in Gold Division but also smelled some Diamond air for two Cycles. These are their exact placements:
Cycle 1: Gold 2nd place (as Moes Tavern)
Cycle 2: Diamond: 5th/6th place (as WOP WOP)
Cycle 3: Diamond: 7th/8th place (as WOP DASH)
Cycle 4: Gold: 3rd place (as WOP DASH)
Cycle 5: Gold: 9th-12th place (as ChatrouletteboyZ)
Cycle 6: Gold: 3rd place
Cycle 7: Gold: 3rd place
Cycle 8: Gold: forfeit
As you can see, the team has been very strong in the Gold Division but struggled with Diamond teams, so they did not get much further than the threshold between Gold and Diamond. But that does not say anything about the quality of their play; the team members are all veterans of HoN and have played in many strong Gold and even Diamond teams in the past. Indeed it seems that with their current, relatively new lineup, they may have found the perfect mix of players to make some big plays happen, they certainly have the skills and experience for it. Their lineup for the Playoffs will be this:

[LION]ArchiTigeR: Captain, Jungle/ Second Support
AddroW: Support
markusmoi: Carry
[WaYn]Streufutter: Mid/Initiator
[LION]TiMe2DiE: Suicide

Admittedly it is unlikely that they will win the whole Playoffs and go to Thailand - it would take a huge miracle to do that - but if they are able to play out their individual strengths and work together as a team they will be a tough team to face. All of the players have experience playing as the underdogs and together they might do some real damage to the confidence of the current top teams that they will be facing in the course of this event.

As you can see, two very interesting teams are matched up in this first day of the Playoffs, Diamond Darlings versus Golden Allstars. willowkeeper will have to work hard and deal with the pressure of being the favourite in this match, they have to prove that they have it in them to go all the way, so pressure in on them while CoolIo can go relaxed into this, they have little to lose and much to gain, and even if they don't win, they can show all Honcast viewers one more time that they are in the Playoffs for a reason. The match will start this Tuesday at 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET and it will be a BO3. Don't miss it, it's going to be quite entertaining, and this is only the beginning!

Leon casino,

Blaze is a senior writer focusing on the NA/EU Diamond and Gold Divisions. After making a name for himself in the Dawn of War 1 scene, he began his career in journalism at As one of the first HoN Tour writers, Blaze has focused on the less known teams, bringing their name to the forefront. When he isn’t writing about HoN, Blaze enjoys playing RPGs, writing fiction, and listening to Metal, Avantgare, and Neofolk music.

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