By Fantasy

HoN has aged, HoN has developed, HoN has evolved, and HoN is still fresh. This year the HoN community is celebrating it’s 5-year anniversary in North America and Europe, over in Southeast Asia the game is played and loved for 4 years - a long time for a video game in the competitive setting. Plenty of things have happened in the past, veterans moved on and conquered new frontiers, new people enriched the scene, powerful shifts in meta and regions took place. All in all, Newerth is an ever-changing place with a rich and great history, while looking forward to the future ahead.

What better to celebrate the anniversaries this year, than to give everyone a blast from the past? Look back at one of the more memorable events, one of the more memorable circumstances in HoN’s proud history. Featuring unique and exotic guests at one of the staple events that put the game on the map and will forever be relished as a HoN event - DreamHack. Veterans will slip back into nostalgia, while newer fans can see what happened in the past.

The original vTi.Dynasty right after qualifying for DreamHack

Around that Time

We are towards the end of 2021 with all that this entailed. DreamHack Summer 2021 was in the books and had opened the chapter towards a global showcase of talent from across the world. For the first time, teams from the core region of Heroes of Newerth were present, meaning not just North America, Australia and Europe, but also the segregated regions of CIS and Southeast Asia. This paved the way for the international showcase that DreamHack Winter 2021 had in store for every HoN fan.

It’s important to remember the void at top of the leaderboards. For the first time in two years, DreamHack Winter would not have a winner named fnatic, as the legendary squad just announced its retirement from competitive Heroes of Newerth. Teams like compLexity Gaming, Trademark eSports, Gary Johnson 2021, Tt eSports, and the community initiative of QsQ with its leader NoVa were all fighting for a chance to take the coveted title at DreamHack - months before the first ever HoN Tour Season started.

In the midst of that climate came the surprising and thrilling news that DreamHack Winter 2021 being the most global event to date. Not only was the mysterious-yet-often-talked-about Thai region primed to send its first representative to an EU LAN, but Latin America received this opportunity as well - the region that just received their own servers, their own management team. DreamHack Winter 2021 appeared to be the perfect opportunity for them to show their worth on the grandest stage of the time.

All ten Brazilian warriors repping the Brazilian flag with Tralf, Milkfat and BreakyCPK

Brazil Invades the Elmia

And there it was. For the first time in HoN’s history, DreamHack was a showcase with teams from every inch of the globe. Not only the well-known NA and EU teams fought for their share of the prize pool, but two Brazilian teams, a Thai team, a legendary Malaysian team, and the Tt eSports boys from down under gave the event a unique charm.

To get to the event, the two Brazilian teams had to qualify and earn their spot. In the MOBA-crazed region the competition was stiff and tough, so only the best teams and some of the more well-known players from that region fought it out. To give the competition even more flair, the regional qualifier was held in a LAN setting. A total of four teams traveled to the spectacle that was the Brazil Game Show, an event similar to GamesCom or E3. vTi.Dynasty, paiN Gaming, Insight Gaming and NewEra all rolled into the convention with their hopes and dreams dangling in the balance. Two spots were on the line, only two of the teams could pack their bags and board the plane for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe. vTi.Dynasty and paiN Gaming obliterated their opposition, but surprisingly before this date never played in the Grand Finals of the event. A power outage at the booth prevented the Finals from playing offline - they never rescheduled and instead played it online. Only bragging rights were on the line regardless, as both had their tickets punched, carrying the Brazilian flag all the way to Sweden.

Once they touched down in Sweden, the stories and reception was mixed. In an interview with GosuGamers, vTi.Dynasty captain Tale` talked about the problems of communication and the stigma the Brazilian region had in general. Overall it wasn’t an all pleasant first impression for the boys from Latin America - at least at first.

Tale` with the Brazilian flag after Day 1

The perception of the region was at least somewhat turned around by their greatest ambassador team, vTi. While their Brazilian brothers of paiN Gaming with known players like YoYoBallz or Pride` struggled to get anything going against teams like Orange eSports, compLexity Gaming, and Gary Johnson 2021, vTi.Dynasty was the cause for many uproars of the at-capacity crowd at the large viewing area at the Elmia. Albeit, they couldn’t decisively win against any of the teams in the “Static-2” format, but they put their region in cheers by tying against two of the biggest teams in HoN at that time. Against DreamHack Summer 2021 finalist Tt eSports they managed to edge out a draw, as well as causing the fan favorites QsQ to close out the tournament without giving them a chance to get to the playoffs.

The results of the Brazilian boys caused QsQ to miss the playoffs, paving the way for Trademark eSports, Tt eSports, compLexity Gaming, and Orange eSports to advance to the semis of the event. Tt eSports was on the verge of going to back-to-back Finals, but couldn’t overcome Trademark eSports led by iNsania and Mynuts alongside zai, KheZu and noobG. The other Semi saw the cinderella story of Orange eSports come to an end, crushed by the dominant compLexity Gaming squad with Moonmeander, PPD and Haxxeren. DreamHack Winter 2021 started on an upset with the Brazilians, Thais, and Malaysians causing chaos in the NA/EU hierarchy. And just like it started, it ended. Trademark eSports took a commanding 2-0 victory over the clear favorite compLexity Gaming, costing fan favorite Moonmeander a title and caster Tralfamadore his hair.

For the Brazilian scene, two wins and a close series against Trademark eSports and MRR were enough to make Twitch chat, the forums, and the competitors at the arena raise their heads and look at Brazil with another view. Suddenly the region wasn’t just the butt of many jokes, but had produced a formidable team, capable of going head-to-head with the NA/EU giants. Tactically skilled, mechanically versed, despite a lack of real practice partners - the future for Brazil on the global HoN scene seemed to go up, sadly that trend was crushed shortly after.

What Happened After?

The aftermath of the courageous showing at one of HoN’s biggest stages sadly couldn’t force a massive shift in the Brazilian region. After HoN Tour Season 1 launched, teams outside of NA/EU and Australia were excluded to compete in it. With no access to the NA servers, no real domestic competition, nor big tournaments to make a scene flourish, Brazilian HoN regressed after its heyday at DreamHack. Tale` admitted later in an interview they couldn’t find scrim partners, couldn’t make a living off of HoN, and so going pro and become a real threat for NA/EU’s dominance was never an option. With the more memorable words - “wait and see”, he described the prospects of his team and the Brazilian scene.

In the end it was tdM winning DreamHoN 2021

The wait might soon be over with HoN experience a renaissance in the Latin American community, but for Tale`, YoYoBallz, KINGRD or Pride, the opportunity is long gone. Shortly after Trademark eSports hoisted the check at the DreamArena, the teams disbanded and went their own ways. Some stuck to HoN for a while, playing in Axeso5 tournaments and prepping for a return to DreamHack, while others left the competitive scene to finish college, focus on real life or pursuit the pro gamer dream in other games.

What remains from this DreamHack are great pictures, a group of people being proud of their heritage against all odds, as well as proving the stereotypes are not true. “We proved that Brazil has good players” was the remark Tale` made. The general public might have never figured that out in the midst of all the bashing and trolling on the forums. Brazil came into DreamHack as the exotic foreigners, smiled at and ignored by some of the major teams prior to the event, but they left with more dignity and respect in the entire scene.

Memorable plays like Tale` living with a sliver of life against Tt eSports, triggering Geometer’s Bane, Shrunken Head and Satanic and going ham for one of the biggest turnarounds in the tournament and the HoN scene. Tale’s play might have gone forgotten by the time, but this is also something HoN history is striving to do - pay respect to the truly great past stars of Heroes of Newerth.

Now credit where credit’s due - the five Brazilians that were sent out to conquer Sweden.

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.