By Fantasy

In the history of CIS HoN, Cats Gaming was the most dominating force in the land. An undefeated record in the CIS HoN Tour Season 1 cycles, the CIS title on LAN, the latter bestowing the honor of representing the proud HoN nation in Bangkok, Thailand. For the last two years they have been the gold standard in CIS, but they’ve also gone through valleys every now and then. The first one came around DreamHack Summer 2012, when a CIS team traveled over there for the first time. Cats messed up the qualifier and GA.ru flew to Jönköping with their Russian flag held high. Exactly one year later, after dominating the CIS scene once more, Cats slipped up a second time - once more costing them a journey to Sweden. This time it was iTS taking advantage of their weakness, as Cats tends to become complacent. iTS used that period, swooped in and went to DreamHack Summer 2013.

After that Cats Gaming controlled the CIS region once more, swept the competition in the first version of CIS HoN Tour, all the way to Thailand. The success outside of mother Russia never came, but domestically, they were the powerhouse.

That was up until the grand opening of CIS HoN Tour Season 2. The first cycle was projected to go like any other cycle before, Cats Gaming dominating the group stage and then bullying around the opposition in the brackets as well. The first part of that prediction became true, as Cats recorded one defeat during the early stage. In the bracket stage they first got upset by Meka and ultimately eliminated by SWAG in the Lower Bracket. Their reign seemed to be over and new sheriffs took over the town.

Law and order didn’t set in CIS HoN Tour, as Cats Gaming returned as a vigilante with a vengeance. This time the team pursued a different approach, showing weakness in the group stage. All the three “new” big teams in SWAG, Meka, and QaM placed higher than the “has been”, cementing the state of affairs in the region - presumable. The bracket dictated a rematch of SWAG and Cats, the very duel that pushed Cats out in the last cycle. This time, Cats came out swinging and with new energy behind their strategies, catching SWAG totally off guard. The winner of the group stage wasn’t prepared for the rejuvenated Cats team with CIS legendary carry FF leading the charge. Shades of G1-Summer of 2013 came back up, when Cats Gaming seemed to be down and out, but recovered in great fashion. Back then the situation was even more dramatic with them coming out of the Lower Bracket, this time it was the Upper Bracket and a 0-1 deficit.

The comeback kids struck once more, delivering two crushing blows to SWAG and send them down this time. SWAG couldn’t really get back on their feet in the tournament, defeating RTD in the Lower Bracket, but then falling all the way down to the fourth place. QaM couldn’t capitalize off of that momentum either, falling in the Lower Bracket finals to Meka - the very team they’ve beaten in the Upper Bracket finals the very cycle before.

The tides in CIS turned once more, the finalists of the debut cycle were eliminated; only the eliminated from last cycle were left standing. Meka and Cats - an unexpected final. Most unexpected, as weird as it sounds now, was Cats in it. Meka on the other hand had shown their potential throughout the group stage. In this one though, they couldn’t do anything. Just like the Upper Bracket finals, the Grand Finals ended in a slaughter of epic proportions. Cats Gaming was poised and determined to reclaim their throne and end the speculations about their weakness - doing just that in style. Meka couldn’t get any footing throughout and got swept right out of the finals without making much of a mark. A 2-0 victory in the UB Finals was followed by a quick and decisive 3-0 in the Grand Finals, securing Cats Gaming the title in the CIS HoN Tour Cycle 2.

This reversed order of the two cycle now creates a very interesting dynamic in the overall rankings. After half of the season is played out, Cats and SWAG are sharing the first place in the rankings with 5500 points, followed by Meka and QaM with 5000. It couldn’t be closer and so the emphasis has to be on the third cycle to push it into a direction. So far it looks like any team can take it on any given day, bringing CIS HoN Tour excitement beyond belief. Will Cats Gaming march through Cycle 3? Can QaM or Meka finally power through? Is SWAG able to answer the bell?

About The Author: Fantasy



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