By quincy0191

Welcome to a special edition of the Power Rankings, where we take a look at the teams headed to DreamHack Summer 2015! We’ll get a great chance to see how the NA/EU scene stacks up against the rest of the world (AKA Thailand), with five squads headed to Sweden in Druidz, SynC eSports, compLexity Gaming, Reason Gaming, and Bad Monkey Gaming. Asia will be pretty well represented as well, sending along Neolution.MRR and Snoop Dogg, plus Chinese team World Elite. Collectively this looks to be one of the tightest knit groups of talent HoN has ever had at a LAN, DreamHack or not, so it’s time to begin untangling the mess by consulting the best and brightest the scene has to offer.

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8. World Elite (WE) – 13 points
All right, this isn’t the sort of thing that’s going to validate what I just said. There are really two exceptions to the whole “tight-knit” thing, and this is one of them. I’ll let you guess the other. World Elite had a fairly pitiful showing in Thailand, where they didn’t really look like they could compete against even mid-tier SEA teams. China’s a big potential talent farm, but they just got the game, and it’s a good sign that there seems to be at least one team that has consistent success. Until the Season 3 World Finals, everyone thought Thailand was well behind the NA/EU teams, and while it’s unlikely WE will make a deep run, with a little time they could easily be among the many Chinese powerhouses.

7. Snoop Dogg (DD0G) – 44 points
One of two teams to beat SynC eSports at the HTS3 World Finals, you just know everyone wants a rematch. DD0G are famously inconsistent, failing to regularly show their enormous potential, but when they have everything come together we’ve already seen what happens. The best part of a short event like this one is that a team like Snoop Dogg doesn’t have to keep up a crazy level of play; they can skate by for a little bit, get hot at the right time, then surprise everyone. It wouldn’t be the first time.

6. Neolution.MRR (MRR) – 45 points
And with the bottom three spots out of the way, we’ve already eliminated all the non-NA/EU teams. There’s naturally going to be some bias against them due to a lack of information, though it’s not ridiculous to expect them to bow out early. Except you shouldn’t expect an immediate exit or quick victories for familiar faces; MRR and DD0G are nearly tied, and just a few points behind the next two names. Then there’s the unfamiliarity factor that SynC ran into in Thailand; these teams run different strategies that higher-ranked teams may not be prepared for, and it would actually be more surprising to see neither of them advance beyond the group stage.

5. Bad Monkey Gaming (BMG) – 52 points
This is not where BMG wants to be. Not only are they the reigning LAN champs, they’re one of very few teams to actually have tournament experience against the SEA entrants. Those factors should give them a few bonus points going into DreamHack, and yet they’re hanging out in fifth, which is an expectation that they won’t even make the second stage. It’s not hard to see why, though; replacing Kracke with Makke may or may not have resulted in a drop in talent, and if it means better communication and superior teamwork we’re not seeing it regularly in games. BMG were one of two consistent Diamond teams to make no roster changes, and the other one definitely benefitted from that stability. Doing well at DreamHack would do a ton to silence the increasingly loud criticisms, with a win over SynC in the warmups a fantastic first step.

4. compLexity Gaming (coL) – 58 points
Just ahead of the monkeys is the only North American team of serious consequence (for now), who finally picked up the sponsorship pretty much everyone saw coming in a TV-worthy fashion: endless buildup while we all screamed “JUST KISS ALREADY!!”. The USAUSAUSA boys did very well in the DeadEye Bounty League groups, finishing with a 9-1 record and the first place seed. Since then it hasn’t been great; immediately being eliminated in the bracket stage of the DBL, then two draws and two losses during warmups. Whatever’s going wrong in America can’t follow them onto the plane, because they’ll also be losing the real reason they ever won anything: US East server ping. Uh oh.

3. Druidz (DRz) – 73 points
Here’s where I get to mention that every team on this list has a sponsorship. Druidz weren’t the last one and it doesn’t have much competitive significance, but the next two aren’t new, and it’s pretty essential to note. Not only are we looking at over $55,000 in prize money, outside parties are taking notice of HoN’s growth. Druidz have a really good chance to shine in their first shot at the spotlight, with the #1 seed and plenty of LAN experience on the roster, most recently Kracke. Their layoff didn’t do them much good, as they looked a bit rusty in the DBL bracket stage, but they were able to take a series off Reason and games from BMG and coL. Most importantly, they have to win only one series out of two against coL or MRR to advance past groups, because they likely won’t have much trouble dispatching World Elite, and could easily finish with the top see out of Group A.

2. Reason Gaming (Rea) – 86 points
They might be the only team right now that can regularly beat SynC. BMG took a series from the big boys, sure, but it was just warmups. Reason have been able to take down the #1 team with shocking consistency given their overall dominance, and that’s probably going to be essential if they want to win DreamHack. The only real problem is their Jekyll-Hyde dynamic; as good as Reason can be, they have a tendency to lose to teams they should beat easily. In fact, these rankings are a pretty good loop, as they have a lot in common with DD0G: amazing potential with the inability to tap into it when they need to. But if you’re not first, you might as well be last, so I’ll take a team that might win it all or might finish in 6th over one that is definitely placing third. Oh, and Reason finally get to go to a LAN!

1. SynC eSports (SynC) – 97 points
So I have a generic template I use for these, and I never have to change the #1 team. Entry (effectively) over. SynC are maybe a little more vulnerable than they have been in the past, losing series to Reason and Bad Monkey Gaming, but we thought they were dominant coming into Thailand. Recent issues means only consistent high placement except for some weirdo Kluckmuck, and not a sweep of the #1 spots. Still, they’re the first-place team. They win a ton, they have forever, they all have LAN experience, and now there’s much less of a surprise factor as they’ve played a good bit against four of the other seven teams. The only snag is that the pressure will absolutely be on, as they basically have to win this after their loss in the World Finals. If they don’t, the headline may change from “weird fluke” to “legitimate problem”.


quincy0191
quincy0191 is a HoN veteran with a focus on the numbers. Fascinated by quantifying and valuing human beings, he shunned the world of finance in favor of sports and competition. When not on Honcast you can find quincy playing games like Civilization and Pokemon, or watching movies, writing, pondering, or catching a game of baseball.