By Fantasy

A lot in the HoN competitive scene has changed over the years, but the voice of Nick ‘BreakyCPK’ Caras remained a constant in high-level play. Before leaving for the trip to Thailand the popular main caster shared his thoughts about the playoffs, his predictions, the World Finals, and some of the best things about Thailand.

Leon casino,

Fantasy: Hey Breaky, thanks for taking some time out of your usual schedule to share some thoughts with the fans and the community. First let's talk about the domestic situation in the western HoN scene. What stood out to you this season?

BreakyCPK: Hey, of course! So the NA/EU had a very interesting season this time around for a couple of reasons. Now, going into this season I was very confident it was going to be that of the unexpected. Never before have we gone into a season with a lot of unknown factors of which teams and players would rise.

Yes, Sync eSports did dominate in the big picture and perhaps that wasn’t the most unexpected, but as far as other teams such as Willowkeeper, Nullstone Gaming, Fresh and Reason Gaming, who would of thought these teams would be near the top, and deserving!

Sync eSports is already in the main event, the second team is not sure. Who do you see as a favorite to take that seed?

This is a major reason why I and I am sure many others were really looking forward to these playoffs, because really it is very difficult to tell. With Sync eSports not being in the event, it opens up the door for 4-5 other teams to have a great chance.

If I absolutely had to choose, I would go with Fresh right now, because of their passion and the way they have been playing as of late has be very elite. However, Reason, Nullstone, Willowkeeper and I think even Shrek all have solid chances themselves.

The HoN Tour Portal says the race for that second spot is as open as it ever was. You have been covering and following the scene for ages, would you agree with that sentiment?

Ya, once again when you have one team so dominant and as a result already qualifying for the World Finals, it is bound to be the case. I can’t recall any of the previous playoffs being this wide open and uncertain about who is going to join the #1 seed at the Finals.

What do you think makes it so tight? What has changed over the long-run, that we have such a depth for the second place?

Well what I have brought up before earlier on in the season when we were seeing several teams emerging from what seemed no where, is that yes certain teams and players have left, most noticeably stayGreen and Bad Monkey Gaming of course. But with that comes very big opportunity for these new players and teams (and some still somewhat old) to shine.
Willowkeeper I think is the prime example of that, before this season we knew VERY little about any of there players, and now they are very well known names in the competitive HoN scene.

People sometimes forget that names that are considered iconic in competitive HoN history such as swindlemelonzz and Chessie, they too were at a point early in their career where they were unknown before they got the opportunity to gain recognition.

How do you see the playoffs shaping up? Who do you think will be in the finals and play for the honor of representing their region in Thailand?

I believe that the finals of the playoffs will be Fresh vs Reason Gaming, and Fresh will win it in an epic 5 games series 3-2!

Aside from the competition, a lot has also changed in the booth. After a time of uncertainty and solo-casting, you have found yourself a new microphone sweetheart in Mini. How is it to work with him?

Ya, a lot has changed. The biggest being that I no longer cast from a studio, but instead my own house! Which actually has its benefits to be fair. But we have made it work for what we’ve got, and are getting the content out which is what matters the most.

As far as Mini goes, hes been a great addition to the cast this year. As you pointed out, last season was very up and down at times. Because I never really had a permanent co-caster, there were some weekends I would have a couple different pro players on, and then others where none would be on. Not only was it frustrating not being able to rely on someone being there, but constantly changing the co-caster can make for some awkward times on the cast, just because of lack of history together.

Mini, brought both great reliance where every cast I know he would be there, as well as the knowledge you expect out of a co-caster. I know he doesn’t have the top tier playing experience such as some previous co-casters, but he does have plenty of very good information to give and is great at breaking down the game.

In terms of the roles and transition. How difficult was it to work with Mini and figure it all out?

Honestly it wasn’t really difficult, which is another reason why I liked bringing Mini on in the beginning. Seemed like we meshed very well together off the bat and has been the case all season.

You are not only involved with the casts, but also the Honcast Podcast and behind-the-scene stuff. What would you say do you enjoy the most?

My job has changed a bit for Heroes of Newerth, where in the past I would be 100% focused on casting competitive HoN. Now, I am actually the Video Production Lead for Heroes of Newerth, so I help manage all the video content that HoN puts out including the hero spotlights. It has really opened my eyes and has been a great change of pace as well, with just the expansion of what I do now.

At the end of the day though, no doubt I enjoy casting good ol competitive HoN the most.

Let's switch it up then and talk about the World Finals. Two European teams will clash with the gathered elite from all over the globe. What do you think about the distribution of spots this time around?

I personally would prefer to see a third team from the NA/EU represented once again, as I think they deserve it with past success, including the most recent one getting top three, but at the same time I can see why that isn’t the case this time around.

Last year when you were in Bangkok, Neolution eSports.MRR was the highlight of all Thai teams. Do you think they will have a similar run and be able to surprise people once more?

I personally haven’t been able to do to much research yet on the Asian teams, but I know eSports.MRR has always been one to deal with as you pointed out. I really do believe this year we could see even more from them.

Overall, what is your take on the Thai competitors? How much do you know about them already?

Again, when it comes to research I haven't done too much other than the occasional article I see posted or some result on their Facebook page. But one thing is very clear: they are VERY active over there with constant events and tournaments, and a lot of competition exists. That really can only mean one thing, and that they are going to be the toughest challenge yet for other regions.

Do you see a Thai team or international squad in the finals, now that only two NA/EU squads make the trip?

Yes, I actually do. I have mentioned it a couple times already on cast and I know I have history of really trying to sell these teams in the past, but THIS really is going to be an event we will see it!

Will you spend time studying and do research about all the international teams?

Yes, at least as much as I can. It can be a little more difficult for us to get our hands on some research material for them, but I am confident I will at least know a good bit to share to the community by the time the World Finals are here.

What are you looking forward to the most in Thailand?

The hotel food. As weird as that sounds, OH MY GOD the food at the hotel is amazing.

Of course I am also looking forward to seeing all the players and teams once again, these LANs are always just a great experience for everyone, players and our staff. It really helps bring us all closer to be that family that we truly are!

How are you personally treated over there? Its a HoN crazed country and you've been the face of HoN over here for years - is there any love going on?

HoN in Thailand is HUGE, like insanely huge. I really wish there was a way we could show it to everyone, but without actually being there it is hard to understand what I mean. As far as myself, I would occasionally get the stop and wanting to take a picture, but really not that much, especially compared to DreamHack. Which to be honest, I can’t say I mind too much!

Anything you can give us a sneak-peak on, as to what we can expect in terms of
production and other areas of the broadcast from Thailand?

When it comes to LAN coverage, I know we have had a mix of good and bad results. I have been to plenty and I will be the first to say that yes we have had some bad times. But we have also had great times, including the later part of last year’s World Finals. I am very confident this time around that the production will be one of the best we have ever put on at any event!

Before I let you go, I have to ask you though. Who do you think is going to win the World Championship this year?

The ultimate question! Well, I gotta say, whenever I go into these big events, I find myself trying to believe that the obvious choice isn’t going to win, and they end up winning it. So this time around I am going to say Sync eSports, their experience and just in general overall play will be a lot to deal with for other teams.

Thanks a lot for your time, anything you want to share before we close the interview? Shoutouts?

I really just want to say thank you to the community, and I really do mean it. I have been casting this game for over 5 years now (still can’t believe it when I say it) and it really has been a massive part of my adult life as a result of that. We have been on quite the ride of
ups and downs, but in the end it goes back to we are watching and playing a game we love, and the game WILL be here to give that experience for many years to come, no matter what the naysayers say!

Also shoutout to you Fantasy for this interview!

About The Author: Fantasy
Fantasy is a journalist with four years of experience working in various eSports. He is currently the HoN Tour correspondent for the CIS and SEA regions, as well as an editor for both ESL Gaming and compLexity Gaming. In addition to his online endeavors, he studies Publicity and Communication, plays American football, and loves movies.