By Fantasy

With the CIS HoN scene once more opening it’s doors to the spectacle that is HoN Tour, the international HoN circuit is officially open again in all major regions. While the NA/EU and Thai scene have cycles already wrapped up, the CIS scene has just finished their debut cycle of the third season.

QaM Stop Cats’ Pounce

Once more the highest division in the CIS region was the golden one, giving eight professional teams the chance to prove their worth on the battlefields of Caldavar to earn points, money and in-game coins. Among those eight teams, the usual suspects once more stood out to the observer of the CIS scene, as Cats Gaming, QaM, Meka and DORN were gearing up for another season in the limelight. Gone of course are the spectacular names that dueled with Cats Gaming for supremacy in the past - such as and iTS a few years back. Now it’s a new breed of challengers, some that are pushing the old veterans to their limits.

Last season it was once more enough for Cats Gaming to make it to the World Finals in Thailand, but the fight to that wasn’t filled with gold as it used to be. Meka and QaM had caught up to them, taking cycle championships and points away from the old masters - while not following through completely at the Grand Finals of the season’s finale. So it was Cats once more in the spotlight at Worlds, with QaM and Meka plotting revenge at home.

This ploy has now come to fruition at least temporarily, as QaM walks out of the debut cycle of the third season with a win. At first it looked like the old, natural order was in session once more with Cats Gaming finishing the regular season on top of the leaderboard with only one loss and a tie, but the bracket stage brought novelty.

Not once, but twice the juggernauts of Cats Gaming suffered defeat at the hands of QaM during that stage, first pushing them into the Lower Bracket and then sealing their fate in the Grand Finals of the region. The 2-0 victory of Cats in the groupstage was nullified, the natural order in the CIS region broken once more. Before it was Cats losing in the Grand Finals here and there, but usually not suffering defeat twice in the bracket stage against a single opponent. This time they looked vulnerable, got pushed to a three-map series against Meka already, then being finished off twice by QaM. The new, young generation had won, had made it’s mark and started the new season of CIS HoN Tour with a bang.

A 3-1 finals victory, two normal, quick and painless CIS-typical 25 minute games and a marathon game to finish off the first cycle of the new season. With a 24 minute stomp and an over an hour long endurance victory, QaM showed the full array of their skills - possessing the virtue of being able to step on someone quick, but also have the tactical and strategical prowess when it comes to the late game. That part was usually when the new teams fell short against the savvy veterans of Cats Gaming, until now.

Obviously, the CIS scene has had many teams come close to Cats Gaming in the flash, but they’ve gone as quick as they’ve emerged. Until this day, the Cats have always known how to retaliate, how to get back on top again and how to secure their status in the scene and division. The next cycle will be one of the most interesting one, seeing if Cats Gaming turns into lions once more or if QaM finally found the recipe to turn them into cuddly kittens on a regular basis.

Final standings of Gold Division Cycle 1

1. QaM
2. Cats Gaming
4. Meka
5. AtA
6. NMG
7. Gunz
8. Crows

PvE effort reaches new highs

As usual in the CIS scene, not only the end results are important and highlighted to end a cycle, but also the individual greatness of some performances throughout the season.

The most stunning number of the cycle came out of the Grand Finals game with QaM carry Qooman channeling his inner WoW PvE sense. In the hour-long game he managed to not only kill 25 enemy heroes, but also 805 neutral creeps to get his bankroll going to a 784.6 GPM. In the end him and Dolmaq on Moraxxus were the only players on the QaM team leaving that game with a positive statline - while also leaving the game with the title in hand.

The 784.6 GPM from that game might seem impressive, but they are by far not the highest any CIS Gold Division player recorded in the first cycle. Leading that list was known carry player Tendy, now playing for the newcomer team AtA. Tendy, who played for QaM before, managed to get 914.1 GPM in a group stage contest against Meka - which ultimately ended up in a tie. Overall Tendy could only secure the fourth place in GPM average though, with Qooman leading that list with 712.4 GPM on average. The best XPM on average goes to Cats Gaming carry Shaddy, who has to fill the void of retired superstar FF in the team this season.

Other takeaways from the first cycle of the new CIS HoN Tour season is the hero pool. The 74 games of the season featured a wide variety of heroes, 88 to be exact. Most picked hero in the region was a support option in Empath, who saw the battlegrounds 40 times. Magmus and Midas visited Caldavar 38 times, Revenant made his appearance 34 times, while Deadwood tried to punch people in the face real hard 32 times.

None of those recorded the highest win-rate of heroes picked more than 10 times though, as that trophy goes to Moraxus with 29 appearances and 19 wins (66% win ratio). Sharing the second place on that list are Solstice and Prisoner 945 with 14 appearances and nine wins, followed by Dark Lady as a carry option with 23 outings and 14 successful ones.

Grand Finals VOD - Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3

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.