While the fierce competition in the Sound Blaster Heroes League takes a break, the six best teams from this HoN Tour Diamond Cycle meet on Championship Weekend to determine the best team of the two-week span. Hontour.com breaks down the storylines and teams for the upcoming continuation of HoN Tour action at its finest.

[sG]stayGreen vs. [aL]Absolute Legends

Unknown territory for one team, routine for the other team. Absolute Legends enters the Upper Bracket Finals for the first time ever on their third appearance on Championship Weekend. The weekend will also go even further for the innovative team around Kookiez, who will make it to the great finale of the weekend no matter the outcome. On the other side of the spectrum is the experienced Stay Green who appeared on every single installment of the Championship Weekend.

Both teams don’t have a lot in common and don’t have a battling rivalry, so the Upper Bracket Final will be carried by the action on the servers and not by the surroundings. The teams met twice in the Diamond Division before, twice ending with a 2-1 for Stay Green. A little bit of a rivalry might occur after all with the first clash of those two teams ending in some drama. Back then swindlemelonzz of Stay Green accused the team formerly known as Fortune Bakery of not pausing when a player of his team had connectivity issues. The match was played and afterward Stay Green claimed to have won the match 3-0 instead of 2-1.

So some fuel is in the clash, but both teams should have their eyes on the price. Stay Green is chasing their second consecutive and third Diamond Division Championship in total, while Absolute Legends still has the chance to improve their seeding for the big Qualifier for Las Vegas. Stay Green might be the clear favorite with a winning streak of 7 in HoN Tour matches and 8 in tournament matches overall after their crushing performance in the Sound Blaster Heroes League. Still Absolute Legends showed their capabilities in sparks and flashes in the past, and are very well equipped to make it at least tough on the Miami Powerhouse.
You make the call, who will move on to the Grand Finals?

[LION]Lions eSportsKlubb vs. [AiD]Afraid

Now it's a clash of the new breed that HoN has discovered through the constant competition in HoN Tour. Before the league was officially introduced, the spotlight was always on the established teams like [TteS]Tt eSPORTS, [coL]compLexityGaming, [tdM]Trademark eSports and newcomers didn't have a great stage to get exposure. HoN Tour has changed that and the first team that benefited from a wider audience, toughness, and high-level opponents to prove their real strength was Lions eSports, who emerged as a powerhouse of their own. In the month before HoN Tour the team was a household name due to their extensive and shining history in HoN, but the new team left some question marks. Performances by that team nowadays prompt a lot of exclamation marks.

An even younger team is Afraid, formerly known as Shit Happens or CutForBieber. With their captain and high-profile carry Jollem, the team has seen plenty of success in recent history – the run through the HoN Tour Brackets in this Cycle being their most masterful accomplishment so far. For the first time the team will play the Championship Weekend, enter the Upper Bracket Semifinals, and the team will enter the Honcast Community Rankings as a Top 10 team when the dust on the battlegrounds has settled. Not even the early exit in the Sound Blaster Heroes League against [ORGE]Orange eSports will change that fact.

As for this particular HoN Tour match, both teams will be eager to enter this rematch from the first round of the Upper Bracket. In that match Afraid edged out the mighty Lions, to send them into the elimination match against [357]QsQ, while securing their place in the Upper Bracket for the tournament. The Lions might be furious about that defeat and have their eyes set on revenge – will they get it? Vote here for your prediction.

[xCet]Team Excellent vs. [coL]compLexityGaming

Absolute Legends, Afraid and now Team Excellent; three unfamiliar names this deep in the tournament, and three rising teams in HoN Tour. Everything that was written about Afraid can almost be applied to the other great newcomer team of HoN. Team Excellent was never in the Championship Weekend, Team Excellent defeated the four-time Diamond Champion Trademark eSports to get to this point and has suffered defeat at the hands of a Top 10 team in the Sound Blaster Heroes League – in the rematch against Trademark eSports.

Their HoN Tour résumé overall is one of the more impressive ones in the debut season of the format. The team claimed the Silver Division title in the first season, going on to place third in the succeeding Gold Division to make a complete walk-through to HoN Tour. After that they never went down again, establishing themselves as a high-caliber team, but never making the push into the spotlight. Only once in the four Diamond Cycles before this one did they make the jump into the single-digit placement – in their debut in Diamond. After that, three consecutive 9th/12th placements followed, so the big hype around the team did not happen. This is about to change right now.

The performance of the team in this Cycle and now their debut on Championship Weekend against one of the glamour teams of HoN will open the eyes of a lot of HoN Fans. The team might not be the fan favorite, but it is a serious contestant. complexity might still be the favorite after their own surge in success lately with the Grand Final appearance in the second GSL qualifier and the sixth Cycle of HoN Tour, but the odds would only be marginally better for coL at best.

Not even the history of HoN Tour can give any indication of what this match might look like. Both teams have never squared off, neither in HoN Tour nor in the Sound Blaster Heroes League or the GSL Qualifiers. So the assumption is that it is going to be a tightly contested match with excellent individual players like MoonMeander, FIbEli3, probusk and bkid, but in the end nuances might be the determining factor of success. Yesterday Trademark eSports showed a patient game plan against Team Excellent, with miraculous defensive stands turning the game around late. If compLexity Gaming has perfected and is known for just one thing over the last month, it is their impeccable ability to orchestrate defensive holds even down by a landslide. They are one of the most patient teams out there, lurking around, keeping games close and in reach, pouncing on every small mistake their opponents give them. Team Excellent might not make mistakes, but when they do compLexity will exploit them – the same way Trademark eSports did yesterday. Who will make the fewer mistakes? Make your vote!

- Sören "Fantasy"