By Blaze

As part of our HoN Tour coverage we wanted to do something out of the ordinary. So I asked QsQ if I could join them as a sort of spectator, listen in on their games, see how true teamplay feels and what high-level eSports in HoN means—but also to find out who the people behind Q sQuad are, how they interact, where they come from and what they plan for the future.

QsQ were very positive about my idea. They set things up so I could join them and now let me take part in their daily adventures in the HoN eSports scene, be it tournaments, scrims or meetings to discuss things. I will report roughly twice a week about how things are going as part of the team.

And so with the start of the first HoN Tour cycle, my days among QsQ have begun.

Day 1: HoN Tour Cycle 1

I was very eager to finally meet the guys and join in on their game conversations. After all, I'm merely a pub gamer in HoN and really wanted to see how the top teams are working their magic. We met right before the first match of the day against [FbK]Fortune Bakery and there was not much preparation to it, as time was short and some of the players had been busy in real life right up to the match.

As you may have seen in the results, the matches were a total disaster. No one on the team was at their best and it seemed that nothing was going as planned. It was also very unorganized and although Insomnia did his best to tell his teammates about how important these matches were, in the end it was not enough.

What I found most noteworthy is that even though many mistakes were made, and some of them could be classified as completely unnecessary, there was never any rage or raised voice in the chat. It was a bad situation with bad choices, but it was done and the players acted accordingly, no blaming, no raging.

Instead there was some analysis from NoVa and Insomnia and the focus was put on the next match against [vtL]Vitriolic Gaming that was far more important—if QsQ were to lose again, they would be demoted to Gold Division and all they had worked for in the past months would be in jeopardy.

The first game was just as disastrous as those against Fortune Bakery and the situation became even more stressful. When the game ended, no one talked for a minute. Honestly, I would have been so annoyed and frustrated as a player in this situation, but it seemed they were more surprised. To quote NoVa, "I'm not even mad." A solution had to be found and everyone knew that things had to change.

At this point NoVa took charge of things. Instead of them all suggesting what to do next and just "doing their thing," NoVa made decisions for everyone and directed all actions. And it worked. QsQ had regained their focus and finally things went as they were supposed to go, at least from their point of view. vtL did their best to win but in the end QsQ prevailed and took the match 2-1.

Everyone was relieved when the games were over and demotion had been averted. It was painfully obvious that DreamHack Winter 2012 and the week after had taken its toll on their skill and teamplay, so everyone agreed to play a scrim right after. I was quite happy about that as I could finally watch them in action too, as I am not able to watch the HoN Tour games.

The first game was a massacre; I think they just needed to let some steam off. During the second game I could feel that the players had gotten tired. All the stress from the day finally got through to them, and the game itself was terribly slow and boring. After the match everyone agreed to stop and meet early the next day for some practice before the next Tour games.

Day 2

As planned we met early on Sunday, and after a little speech from NoVa, QsQ played against some friendly teams to warm up. Unlike yesterday, everyone seemed to have their head in the game now; nobody appeared preoccupied and everything felt smoother.

The first game was against [[OTP]One Trick Pony and it was completely different than day one. I think I finally met the "real" QsQ team, the one that earned its place in Diamond Division. Not only did the games go much better, there was organization, the players had fun and even joked around a little. In the end it paid off—QsQ won against OTP, who also did not play bad at all.

Insomnia, who NoVa and the others consider their secret weapon, analyzed the games for them and gave pointers on what to improve. And I think that works very well, having someone there just for things like strategy and improvement. He motivates the team, makes sure they are positive and don't fall into a rut or get angry and demoralize the team. He also has this "If you make that mistake again, you'll go to a Siberian work camp for the next 10 years" kind of voice and accent and that only adds to his efficiency.

The final match for the day was against old friends, [PUDG]Dendis jungldevos, who were eager to play. What followed were two pretty interesting matches. The first one took forever and once again QsQ had a lot of fun playing and joked around during the slow times. During the second game PUDG explained that they did not really have much time left and asked if we could reschedule the last game if there would be one.

This time constraint made it pretty obvious that they would now play a heavy push strategy and QsQ tried to draft and play accordingly, but PUDG did a good job and pulled it off, although it was pretty close. There was some analysis of the gameplay after and how to improve against that strategy while finding a new date for the last match.

Finally it was decided to play the final match against PUDG on Tuesday, after some scrimming.

All in all I really enjoyed this first weekend with QsQ. It was exciting and dramatic, fun and informative and I got to show off my amazing Riftwalker skills in a Mid Wars game we played during waiting!

I am looking forward to Tuesday’s match; scrimming is even more fun for me as I can not only listen to them but also observe the game at the same time, so I don't just have to imagine what they are doing or why they are cheering.

This will be a fun HoN Tour!

- Blaze

QsQ and PUDG are scheduled to play Tuesday, December 4th at 15:30 ET, 21:30 CET