The HoN Tour Season 4 Qualifiers are in full swing after an intense weekend and this Saturday they will continue with the next rounds, getting us several steps closer to the regular Cycles that will start later this month. So far we have seen small skirmishes between lower level teams, but also exciting matches between top-tier teams in disguise - and the Qualifiers have only just begun. Let's take a look at last weekend’s events before previewing the things to come for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday
As with most tournament starts, free wins and opponents not showing up were expected, so the first round was bound to be a bit underwhelming, and only a few teams had to put up a fight here. Later that evening, round two brought much better games, as most of the teams arrived and for many hobby players, true challenges appeared. All the big teams made it through with ease alongside some of the hobby teams, winning a break on Sunday until the late evening while all the losing teams would have to play earlier in the Loser’s Bracket, a place no one wants to be in this early on.

Sunday
The early Loser’s Bracket was still sparsely populated at this point, so early Sunday evening did not see much action at all - only three matches were set and all were forfeit wins due to opponents not showing up. Late Sunday, however, brought intense action in both brackets, as the first of the big teams clashed and an unexpected duel took place that had all the drama and big plays one could hope for. This duel was [MysT]The Mystery Gang versus [ChoE]Choke Esports (previously known as Keita Gaming), and from the names in the team, it could have been an ex-Solaire Club inhouse match, with players of the old team in both of these new teams. The Mystery Gang was slightly favoured in this match due to their previous success in the Onslaught #2 event, but Choke Esports were absolutely able to hold their ground and give their opponents a lot of trouble. There was plenty of action and skill and this match was probably one of the best on Honcast in quite a while, with both teams deserving to win. But in the end it was the Mystery Gang who won the day after three long and brilliant games.

Other known teams also advanced as planned, though none of them had to fight as hard as the Mystery Gang had to. Me Are Rus, Dawn, Russian Dargons, Ringers, Lobsters, Shrek is Love, and The Undertakers all advanced to the next round and kicked their opponents to the Losers bracket, ready for more matches the next weekend and eager to advance to the final rounds and make it into Diamond Division.

The Losers Bracket matches were also played at the same time and at least some of these matches actually happened, as more teams were in it now and some of these had not lost hope yet, which they never should be. Getting dropped into the Loser’s Bracket may be an inconvenience and means more matches to play, but it also means more practice to be had and relatively easy games for a while, which can boost morale immensely. So a shout out to all the teams who did not lose faith and played their matches, hang in there, Gold Division is not too far away!

Coming up:

Losers Bracket
32 teams are standing ready to play this Saturday evening and the resulting 16 matches should be interesting to see, as some of these teams will no doubt land in Gold Division for the first Cycle. Some matches worth mentioning would be [NeoB]N Butterfly versus [ChoE]Choke Esports, where the Butterflies will have a tough time against the almost-Mystery Gang-defeaters, [z]izu versus [LOFT]LegendOfTomorrow, the team trying once more to get far enough to make a difference, [KING]See KinG PerfectioN versus [B0S]BloodShed, another challenge for the KINGs, who have been enduring the Loser’s Bracket for a while and [Sjol]Sjolopimperne versus [Zyg]Team Zenzyg, two old school teams who are pretty much unknown but have been around for ages.

Winners Bracket
16 teams are left here, so eight matches will happen this Saturday evening. Most of these teams have quite some experience, so each match will be worth watching:

[MysT]The Mystery Gang versus [IOYN]IOYN
Judging from how the tournament went so far, The Mystery Gang is the clear favourite to win this match. It's not that the guys from IOYN aren't good, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them in the Gold Division in Cycle 1, but the Mystery Gang has been playing stellar in the past weeks and they are ready for more. Their recent match against old friends and teammates only strengthened their resolve and so it would be a big surprise to see them lose this. But then again, this is HoN, everything is possible and will happen eventually.

[AZN]ChopStick Gaming versus [REVO]Revolution
Revolution is in for a tough time against ChopStick Gaming. The ChopSticks have some pretty high caliber players and plenty of experience on the Gold Division level, while Revolution has not been as successful. Their advantage lies in how long they have been a team, so better teamplay may be on their side. ChopStick Gaming is the safe bet here, but Revolution might make it very hard for them.

[MAR]Me Are Rus versus [Dawn]Dawn
Dawn has been remade for HoN Tour Season 4 and this match will be the first where they really have to prove that they have what it takes. Me Are Rus have plenty of experience, also on a higher level by now, so they will not go quietly and punish every mistake and lack of teamplay that might happen in a newly (re-)made team.

[DARG]Russian Dargons versus [sTPu]sTeamPunk
The Dargons, being almost an all star team, will be the favourites in this match and probably not have too many problems with their opponents. But a team going as far back as the sTeamPunk players will likely that they continue in the Loser’s Bracket for quite a while yet.

[RinG]Ringers versus [Yum]Lobsters
Just like Russian Dargons, the Ringers are a kind of all stars team, made up of high level players of past seasons. The team led by Panny will now face it's first challenge in the Lobsters, who have performed well so far and could definitely go further. Given the quality of the Ringers though, the Lobsters will likely continue their quest for Gold in the Loser’s Bracket.

[Ash]Phoenix versus [0527]Latin America
Two teams with a few well-known names in them. Both teams have performed well so far and have good players, so this match could go either way. It's probably the most balanced of the Winners Bracket matches of this round, so if you want to see evenly skilled games, watch this.

[Ogr]Shrek is Love versus [HOT]Sauna eSports
Oh yes, the Ogres are back and they are crushing everyone in their way. Their next opponent will be Sauna eSports, a team that may have a good chance against them, with markusmoi in the lead and some good players at his side. Still, the Ogres seem to be more likely to succeed here - they are highly motivated and will not have anyone stand in their way to redemption.

[CENA]The Undertakers versus [Hex]Polymorph
The final match of the bracket is also an interesting one. The Undertakers, made up of old Team Who teams, freshened up by some veteran Gold level players and nahoyMOFASA are up against a team that also has some very good players in them and who took out another very skilled team, [EM]Ember just the round before. This may be the most entertaining match to watch this Saturday, especially if you have a thing for Gold Division veterans.

As you can see, there's plenty of HoN to be watched after an internationally rather dull week, so get your snacks and beverages ready, the ride begins soon! The Losers Bracket BO32 starts on Sunday at 12:00 EDT |18:00 CEST, followed by the RO16 in both the Winners and the Losers Bracket at 15:00 EDT - 21:00 CEST. Honcast will cover the event live as always, so no excuses, just HoN it!

BlahC
BlahC is a senior Hontour.com 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 DawnOfWar.de. As one of the first HoN Tour writers, BlahC has focused on the less known teams, bringing their name to the forefront. When he isn’t writing about HoN, BlahC enjoys playing RPGs, writing fiction, and listening to Metal, Avantgarde, and Neofolk music.

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