By Beef

We’re less than 36 hours from the opening ceremonies here in Thailand, and competition is in the air. 10 of the world’s best HoN teams are all under one roof, and tonight they dined at the same table. The 50 players were joined by HoN Team and Garena Staff, friends, family, and even journalists at tonight’s welcoming party. There the players not only met their competitors, but also caught up with old friends, and most importantly, discovered who their opponents would be in the group stage.

The 10 team event was broken down into two groups of five each. Each team housed one NA/EU representative, one of the two Wildcard Representatives, and one Thai representative, while the final four teams were randomly divided into two groups. The resulting Group A houses Sync and two of Thailand’s strongest competitors, while Group B came out with a core of competitors that make it anyone’s to win.

The groups were drawn and placed onto this board infront of a crowd of over 100 eager HoN fans.

With Group A’s trio of strong competitors, the two spots in the semifinal will be hotly contested. Many squads feared both the lesser known Acer.Dogg (Champions of Thai HoN Tour) and MiTH.Hybrid (Champions of the SEA Wildcard Event), and adding Sync eSports (HoN Tour Season 3 Regular Season Champions) will make this group an exciting race for the top. Rounding out the group are Team WE from China, the “Dark Horse” of the competition in the eyes of the Thai community, and their frequent scrim opponent and MSHL Champs, Malaysia’s YouMeetWrongOppenent. While these two teams are lesser known and lack the credentials of their groupmates, none doubt their skill, and the top three are certainly not guaranteed.

Group B might not have the clear cut top three that their counterpart has, but instead this team seems to be very evenly matched. The international representative in BMG lacks the allure of invincibility that Sync boasts, and they’ve even dropped series to Cats Gaming in recent Garena RU Invite Cups, but they may still be the strongest team in this group. Meanwhile, Neo.MRR, breakout stars of last year’s World Finals look to be the favorites for second here, but they will have to push through TEL Champions Chiang Mai Warden and Indonesian stars DCeS.OneStepCloser. With many teams on the same level or at least closer, Group B should be the one to watch as even one upset can knock a team from the semifinals, and their shot at HoN’s largest ever prize pool.

With just one day to prepare its time for teams to hit the replay footage, but one team, Neo.MRR, already took steps to prevent their replays from being accessed. Account resets have been known to remove replays from being tracked, so many other teams are scrambling to follow suit, hoping not to give their opponents a competitive advantage. In any case, all ten teams will head out tomorrow for an all day training session at Neolution e-Sport Cyber Cafe. There they will get their last games in before showing up at BITEC, home of this year’s World Finals.

One more day until these teams take the stage, on the quest to be crowned a World Champion.

Group A
Sync eSports (EU)
Acer.Dogg (TH)
MiTH.Hybrid (TH)
YouMeetWrongOpponent (MY)
Team WE (CH)

Group B
Bad Monkey Gaming (SE)
Neolution eSports MRR (TH)
Chiang Mai Warden (TH)
Cats Gaming (RU)
DCeS.OneStepCloser (ID)