DHW13 Qualifier Groups Drawn

HoN Sören “Fantasy44” V.
One of the biggest HoN events on the calendar is moving closer and closer, hence the qualifiers are going into the intense phase. Yesterday the two groups for the NA/EU qualifiers were drawn - with Lions in Group A, Internet Gangsters and Too Much Sugar in Group B.
Two spots are already filled with stayGreen and Made in Thailand already secured in the big DreamHack Winter 2013 tournament in Jönköping, Sweden. However eight spots are still vacant, so the NA/EU group stage drawing for the second phase of the qualifier was highly anticipated. A total of three teams will emerge out of this qualifier and therefore set half the DreamHack competitors in stone. After a 128 team Single Elimination bracket only eight teams were surviving with the chance of clinching a DHW spot - this number will be reduced all the way down to six at the end of this group stage.
Four teams were drawn in each group, while the four top teams in HoN Tour Lions eSports, Internet Gangsters, Too Much Sugar and Team Excellent were in drawing pool "One", Team Kagge, Justice League, Masked Muchachos and Absolute Legends in drawing pool "two". That procedure eliminated the chance of a real "group of death" and so two rather balanced groups are the results.
Group A will feature Cycle 4 champion Lions eSports as the heavy favorite to win the group, as the Swedish team has been nearly unstoppable in the recent history. Still, Team Excellent, Justice League and the underdog Masked Muchachos will try their best to contain the roaring Lions and maybe hinder them from getting the easier ticket for the upcoming deathmatches. The race for the other two spots leading out of this group might not look exciting on paper, because Masked Muchachos are the heavy underdog, but during the SBHL qualifiers the team has shown some promise. However, Team Excellent and Justice League are in a slightly favored spot and should, on paper, reach the final stage of the massive qualifiers. 
The second Group seems more top-heavy with two of the currently best teams within. Too Much Sugar reached the podium of the HoN Tour Diamond Division in Cycle 4, Internet Gangsters achieved that in the most recent Cycle 5. Both teams are primed to reach the deathmatch stage as the best teams of this group. The presence of two wildcard teams though is making Group B into a very interesting affair, since Team Kagge and Absolute Legends are not to be trifled with. aL announced their step back from competitive HoN earlier this year, when the HoN Tour Season 2 announcement came out. The former Diamond Division squad did not receive a direct invitation into the Diamond Division again and hence did not make an effort to qualify. Study reasons and potential switches to other MOBA games were the reasoning behind that - although it seems that the squad can not pass up on a potential trip to Sweden.
The danger of aL's unpredicatability was always one of the biggest things during Absolute Legends' active time, now this factor has even enhanced, because no one really knows what to expect from them. The same story can be written for Team Kagge, who have a lot of talent, but not a lot of results thus far. With established players like Jollem, MrLing and DreamHack Summer 2013 participant Support in their lineup, the team is looking like a real contender for one of the spots. However their most recent stint in the Diamond Division was not really earning them positive headlines and so question marks are hanging over the team.  
Whatever happens during the group stage, one thing is clear: Three teams will move out of every group and face off in the dreaded deathmatches for a DreamHack spot. The winner of Group A will face the third place of Group B, the two runner-ups will go at it and the champs of Group B will take on the third from Group A. After that final Best of Five, three team will get the ticket to DreamHack, while the other three squads need to wait for the Nordic qualifiers or attend the BYOC.
DreamHack Winter 2013 NA/EU Qualifier
Group A Group B
Sweden Lions eSports Europe Internet Gangster
Sweden Team Excellent Other Too Much Sugar
Europe Justice League UnitedStates Absolute Legends
Europe Masked Muchachos Europe Team Kagge
Sören “Fantasy44” V.
<p>[b]Favorite Teams in HoN:[/b]</p> <p>[f]Malaysia[/f]<span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 1.2;">Orange eSports<br /> [f]Thailand[/f] Turtle Master<br /> [f]Indonesia[/f] Insidious eSports</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 1.2;">[f]United States[/f] stayGreen<br /> [f]Europe[/f] Internet Gangsters<br /> [f]Sweden[/f] Lions eSports</span></p>