By Fantasy

The kings are back on the throne yet again. After failing to return back to the Diamond Division championship in Cycle 4, American powerhouse compLexity Gaming claims the fifth one for them - pushing them to three Diamond titles this season. So naturally their talent will get a lot of award recognition, followed by runner-up Sync eSports, reigning World Champion Bad Monkey Gaming and Fresh. Who is worthy? You can decide with your vote!

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In the last couple of weeks and nomination posts, the reasons for a hero to be entertaining have been discovered and explained over and over again. This time, for the first time, a nominee gets a mention in back-to-back week. Deadlift might not be the most glamorous of heroes in the pool and in the competitive scene right now, but he sure as hell seems to entertain the masses and gets the people going. Whether it’s provocative or not, no one knows what it really means.

Aside from Deadlift, the list of nominees goes from the water elementals with Riptide to the fiery depth of the abyss with Hellbringer. Somewhere in the middle you also see farming machines like Magebane, disruptive and weird forces like Grinex or the greedy genie from the bottle Salomon get a nod for their entertaining value throughout this cycle.

So which way do you lean when it comes to being dazzled and entertained by heroes? You like it agile, tanky or intelligent? You like water or fire? You like invisibility or blink-ability? Whatever it is your heart desires, vote for it!

Most Entertaining Hero and Best Game are hard to measure. A guy like quincy will look at the list of nominees and scratch his head, trying to determine numbers and algorithms to determine the right answer, the right nominees and the right award winner in the end. The fact of the matter is though, that these awards and nominations are a subjective matter. The entertainment value is not a number or a variable that can be measured and grasped, it is something different for every fan of the HoN competitive scene.

So once against, these awards and nominations are maybe the most telling and most notable ones. They are not swayed by flashy numbers of a carry, they are determined by the feeling someone gets when seeing a hero go wild or a game end crazy.

Making the list of nominees this time for Best Game are once again Fresh several times. The team and their games seem to have a captivating power that no other team possesses. No other team before is mentioned this often in this category - in wins or losses. This time the battle of Fresh against compLexity Gaming on Day 6 of the group stage, as well as the group stage battle between Fresh and Sync eSports got the attention of the nomination committee. Now two nominations in the same category is a lot you might think: So how about three? The elimination game in the Lower Bracket Round 1 between Fresh and BMG is also on the shortlist for the awards - turning this Cycle into the historic event of a team being nominated three times for the same award. Only match they are not mentioned in is the clash between compLexity Gaming and Sync eSports from Day 3 in the group stage, preventing the complete sweep of Fresh this time.

So was any of the Fresh performances and games the best in your book? Or was it the precursor for the Grand Finals of the Cycle between North America and Europe? You have the power, cast your vote now!

Time to get down to the nitty-gritty, the individual performances that made this fifth cycle so memorable. Just like it always is, to the victor go the spoils. The awards of the cycle are no difference in that saying, seeing as the majority of nominations and attention is usually going to the Cycle Champion.

This time with compLexity Gaming it’s no difference. Two of their players had outstanding individual performances throughout the cycle, earning them a mention in the Best Individual Game category. First up we have their carry player Formless on his Salomon. The farm-heavy hero with the gold bonus got the coL carry over the century mark, finishing the game with 1002 GPM and an overall scoreline of 7/0/4. His midlaning teammate FuzzySloth can’t quite compete with those numbers, but his mid Hellbringer against Sync eSports still earned him respect. Being involved in 25 kills, picking up 15 of those himself will get people talking for sure!

Outside of compLexity Gaming, Fresh was the winner of the cycle according to the nominations. With Probusk returning to this category and Differentguy making his debut. For the veteran Probusk it was his performance on the old carry classic Sillouhette that grabbed the attention of the jury. Against one of the toughest opponents in Sync eSports, Probusk was running wild with the hero - 750 GPM and 14/3/8 tell the story. For Differentguy it was the unorthodox hero Grinex earning him the nomination as the offlaner caused a lot of trouble with the slippery and wild hero. 12/2/3 and 470 GPM were seen to his name as the game against Evil Corporation ended - way enough to make his debut in this category.

So four nominees, two teams, one guy missing. And it is Zlapped. The HoN celebrity and streaming star is continuing to be a fixture to these award nomination articles, picking up nominations left, right and center. This time it was his Doctor Repulsor getting out of harms way constantly. The zero deaths might not be the most impressive stat ever, but they are telling a tale of smart movement, never overstepping his boundaries and yet pushing it to the limits with 14 kills and 14 assists.

Who of these awesome players had the best outing on the battlefield? You can vote now!

The honor of being mentioned in this category is only eclipsed by the MVP award. Being the Most Improved Player of a cycle is a big deal, it means you have made strides towards a brighter and better future. In most cases it recognizes you as a player, person and teammate, as your improvement is very likely also improving the team’s success in any given cycle and game. This time six players can put the nomination on their resume. Who will win it though?

From compLexity Gaming we have `love making his debut. The “new” player to the organization and North American powerhouse is slowly but surely growing into his role and into the team. As the replacement for Babaganoush he was never really in the spotlight, but now he makes his mark on a cycle and a nomination article. Whether he will win or not is undecided yet, as he is facing stiff competition.

Competition from several rookies and newcomers to this award. Basically everyone but Peksu from TwoZero is new in this category, making it almost like a “Rookie” award of some sort.

From Bad Monkey Gaming Teltook is nominated, going on the magic ride with the reigning World Champions through the Diamond Division. That ride was ultimately stopped in the Lower Bracket Finals by Sync eSports, it was still enough time to get his name out there. A similar story can be said for Differentguy, going for the daily-double in awards. Nominated for an individual performance and an individual award, the Rookie made one of the strongest impacts right away this cycle. His team unfortunately couldn’t make a deep run in the postseason, but the future looks bright for the former Diamond Champs to return to their glory.

Outside of the playoff spots we have nominees in CatLoMein, Pexu and Shorkan. The fact that a veteran like CatLoMein can still improve is admirable, the fact that Pexu keeps on improving is splendid, the fact that Shorkan can come out of the booth and back on the playing field is great. Some people might have wished he had made some improvements to his casting back at DreamHack Summer 2021, but it is what it is. He is now recognized as a standout player for the fifth Cycle, maybe walking home with an award and the honor of being the most improved player.

Will he get it though? That is entirely up to you. Your vote might be the deciding one, pushing one of these fantastic players over the edge towards the award.

The big one. The most prestigious title outside of the Diamond Division Championship. The biggest honor an individual player can achieve in Heroes of Newerth this side of the servers. As the season goes along and the best teams clash over and over again, the names will ultimately end up being the same. The standout players that this team has to offer are putting in their hours, working hard to improve and keep up their level. So it comes to no surprise that with Formless and Probusk two former MVPs return to the mix.

The compLexity Gaming carry got the award after his team won the third cycle, while Probusk clinched his MVP award two weeks earlier when he led the Fresh squad to their first and only Diamond Division Championship. Now they are back for more, back to make history. No one has ever managed to win the MVP award twice - can they do it?

Trying to spoil the party are coL offlaner `oscar, Sync eSports members Xibbe and Zlapped, as well as the Most Improved Player of Cycle 3: Boxi. This quartet can make history of their own, while preventing Probusk and Formless from being the first ever to reach two MVPs in HoN history.

For `oscar, Xibbe and Boxi the MVP nominations are new and uncharted territory. Never before have they received such an honor. In this group even, only Boxi has brought an award home so far, despite the fact that both Xibbe and `oscar are highly rated and acclaimed on their position. Now they are in the spotlight, in the discussion for MVP. In `oscar’s case he is the third coL player to be nominated and considered for the MVP award, alongside previous winner Formless and runner-up FuzzySloth. He would also be the first South American player to win an MVP trophy.

For Boxi the history of being a “Most Improved Player” and then making it to Most Valuable. Plenty of people before him got nominated in both categories and had legitimate chances to win one of the two awards, but no one has done it until now. So while Boxi and his team didn’t quite win the cycle or got to the Grand Finals yet, he is still a serious contender and the backbone of his rising team.

And Zlapped? Well, he is always in the discussion, but never lucky. For the fourth straight cycle the Swedish player from Sync eSports is nominated as MVP - without success yet. So is this the moment for him? Is this award cycle different for the Swedish player? Well, for every Zlapped fan out there: He was never before nominated in two categories up until now. Positive signs?

Ultimately it’s you who decide the MVP of this Cycle. Who deserved it most? Who played the best HoN this cycle? Who helped his team the most and was valuable to the success and structure? Decide now, cast your vote.

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.