By Blaze

Going into the second match of the Winners Bracket of Group A in the Playoffs, two very interesting teams are going to face each other on the battlefield. Both have done very well in the past Cycles and upset several good teams in Diamond Division, even though they visited the Gold Division every now and then. Now they are here in the Playoffs and hope to upset some more teams, starting with each other. Let's take a more in-depth look at both of them.

[Mint]Fresh - #5 Seed
Formerly known as Dawn and coming from the Carnage in Caldavar event, where they were one of the up and coming amateur teams, these guys had several ups and downs during Season 3. Qualifying directly for and thus starting out in Diamond, they had an amazing ride this Season, going to Gold Division only to get back the next Cycle and blast their way through Diamond as if they do that every time. After another visit in the Gold Division in the later half of the Season, they managed to establish themselves as a true Diamond team at the end of the Season and are now in a good position to dominate the weaker teams and threaten the big ones, maybe even winning the Playoffs and going to Thailand. These are the exact placements during Season 3:
Cycle 1: Diamond 5/6th place
Cycle 2: Diamond: 7/8th place
Cycle 3: Gold: Champions
Cycle 4: Diamond: 3rd place
Cycle 5: Diamond: 7/8th place
Cycle 6: Gold: Champions
Cycle 7: Diamond: 4th place
Cycle 8: Diamond: 5/6th place
Fresh is indeed a team that brings freshness to Heroes of Newerth, with unusual heroes and innovative strategies they make their opponents squirm and outplay them if they aren't able to counter quickly. They may have a little weakness for prolonged games, where it boils down to decisive team fights, as their strategy and heroes sometimes do not bring as much to the table as the traditional ways, but if they manage to gain enough ground eary on, this won't be of any consequence. The team has seen some changes in the lineup from their earlier days in Carnage in Caldavar and have become a very strong team, who have learned to work together and use everything they got to their advantage. Their current lineup looks like this:

[Mint]cerenia: Captain, Support
[Mint]Xibbe: Offlane
[Mint]L4byr1nth: Initiator
[Mint]probusk: Carry
[Mint]ICELANDGOGO: Jungle, Second Support
[KNX]BigArlong: Substitute Carry

Their very first match in these Playoffs will probably determine their fate already, if they manage to win, they will gain enough self confidence to take on the strongest of teams in the tournament, but if they lose, it will be a tough ride in the Losers Bracket and many hard and long games will be ahead of them. Of the top teams above them, they have beaten all but [Rea]Reason Gaming in the past an and since Reason is in another group, their chances of success are quite high for now.

[NR]Night Raid - #6 Seed
Night Raid is one of the few Northern American teams in the Playoffs, who have come a long way to get here and start in the Winners Bracket. After some changes in the old team The Last of Us earlier this Season, Night Raid was the result and since then they have been competing with the best and pulled off some interesting wins. Their record in this Season is not too impressive, but they did collect enough points to make it quite far up the seeding and will probably remain in the Playoffs for quite a while. Here is the exact placement list of Season 3 for them:
Cycle 1: Diamond 7/8th place (as The Last of Us)
Cycle 2: Gold: 2nd place (as The Last of Us)
Cycle 3: Diamond: 4th place place (as The Last of Us)
Cycle 4: Diamond: 4th place
Cycle 5: Diamond: 7/8th place
Cycle 6: Gold: 5/6th place
Cycle 7: Gold: 4th place
Cycle 8: Gold: Champions
Night Raid has several good and well known players who are well equipped to handle whatever is dealt to them. They may not be as successful as their NA-brothers or some of the european teams, but they had their moments and if you let them do their magic, you'll find yourself as the rabbit inside their magicians hat soon enough. After the grand reshuffle of the North American players early this Season and not too long after the demise of the biggest of NA teams, complexity, Night Raid has seen some player changes, but ultimatively created a very good and stable team, only sometimes falling victim to scheduling issues or the "can't be bothered"-syndrome. Here's their list of players for the Playoffs:

[aL]KingPlato: Captain, Carry
[NR]mzry: Mid
[aL]Present25: Offlane
[aL]Kookiez: Second Support
[aL]NlGHTMARES: Support

The tasks ahead for Night Raid are not easy ones, but with their latest Cycle being quite successful and having a history of upset wins against bigger teams, they are a force to be reckoned with in the Playoffs. They may not make it very far in the Winners Bracket, but the Losers bracket will probably see a lot more of them and if things go well they may be one of the few remaining teams after two weeks. They have pulled a tough opponent for the first round and it will only get harder moving on in the Winners Bracket, so the Losers Bracket may very well be the best way to go, collecting some more confidence along the way.

There we go then, two high level teams from EU and NA, this should be fun! The match will start a bit earlier than usual this Thursday, at 11:15 EST | 17:15 CET, so set your alarm clocks and go home from work on time to enjoy quality coverage by Honcast, who will cast this match live as always. And this is just the second match for this week, four more are up this weekend as the first step to decide who gets the trip to Thailand and who will remain home to watch it on stream. Good Luck and Have Fun to both teams!

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, Avantgarde, and Neofolk music.

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