Redemption, Revenge and Russians on Day 4 of SBHL
|SBHL Round of 16|
|QsQ|| nxL Focus eSports|
|Recent Result: no head-to-head|
If you would have asked the question for the favorite and the sure winner of this match a couple of weeks ago, most of HoN fans would have went with QsQ as their favorite to win it. Times have changed though recently with QsQ coming off a horrible performance in the seventh Cycle of the HoN Tour Diamond Division. They couldn't record a single victory and therefor were send packing into the Gold Division - the worst outing the team ever had.
That demotion was just the most major event in a recent history without much improvement in the results. QsQ always was among the Top 6 in the Diamond Division and always made it relatively far in the GSL Qualifiers, but the major success and the big results didn't come anymore.
They will face a widely unknown Indonesian team that had exactly one big outing in the international scene with their match against the CIS Champions Cats Gaming to qualify for this SoundBlaster Heroes League. Not many people did hear of this team before, but quite some people were rather impressed with their performance against Cats. In the end they still lost to Cats Gaming and had to have Dendis jungledevos to pull out of the tournament in order to get a spot in the big time. It is their moment to shine and the circumstances couldn't be better. The opponent is struggling but still has a big name attached to them. A victory here would boost nxL's status and bring them one step closer to the Championship.
|SBHL Round of 16|
|Pikachu|| Cats Gaming|
|Recent Result: 1:0 (CIS Showmatch Tournament)|
Cats Gaming and Pikachu have been around for ages in the competitive Heroes of Newerth scene. Both traditional clubs have played in numerous tournaments with various degrees of success, now they square off in the first round of the SoundBlaster Heroes League.
The Russians are the undisputed reigning and defending champion of the entire CIS region, but had to suffer defeat at the hands of Pikachu just a couple of weeks ago in their own prestigous CIS Showmatch Tournament. Both teams met there and after a tight and interesting match, Pikachu eliminated the CIS Champs from their own tournament - playing on a Russian server as well. They will meet on EU soil for the rematch to determine whose tournament will continue and whose dreams of getting to the SoundBlaster Championship went up in flame.
Previous results of the week might even give Cats Gaming the edge with their currently ongoing G1-Series Winter Championship. The picture-book Russian team marched through their first opponents in that elite CIS tournament and is looking to add a third consecutive G1-Series title to their CV. Pikachu on the other side went out of the seventh Cycle of HoN Tour rather unceremoniously with a 2-5 map score and a finish on 9th/12th. Can the Russians keep the CIS fans happy or will Pikachu eliminate them once more out of a big tournament?
|SBHL Round of 16|
|Trademark eSports|| Team Excellent|
|Recent Result: 0-2 (Diamond Division Cycle 7)|
It was one of the major storylines of the seventh Diamond Division Cycle with Team Excellent (former Team Mistral) defeating the four-time Diamond Champions Trademark eSports. That loss did not only paved the way for Team Excellent to reach their highest placement in Diamond Division history, but it also brought the worst placement in Trademark's HoN Tour history with the 7th/8th place.
Now the two teams meet again and the anticipation and expectations are rising. In an interview with GosuGamers.net tdM captain Mynuts explained the loss with a lack of motivation for the remainder of the HoN Tour Diamond Division. The spot for the Offline Finals in Las Vegas is already clinched for the reigning DreamHack Champion and so their emphasis was on other things. That loss in the Diamond Division still might serve for a much needed boost in motivation on top of the prestigious tournament title and a lucrative purse for a win here.
Regardless of a lack of motivation or any other excuse, Team Excellent has made tremendous strides in the recent history with stellar performances in the Diamond Division and other leagues. They were the second team overall to qualify for the SBHL, they have a Silver and a Gold Championship on their résumé and recently cracked the single-digit placement in Diamond Division. Trademark eSports might still be the favorite, but Team Excellent is no team to be triffled with.