All eight teams that will travel to Bangkok, Thailand in the upcoming month to compete for the biggest HoN event of the year are set. While the NA/EU region needed a bit longer to figure out their second representative, all other regions had their teams for a while.
The majority of teams competing in the capital of Thailand are once more hometown favorites, trying to defend their home turf. The last World Finals featured three teams from G-League fame and another team from a regional clash of the different districts of Thailand. This time the format was changed with four teams from the upper echelon of the G-League making it to the prestigious event.
Leading the charge for the proud region is two-time HoN Tour Thai champion Snoop Dogg, who did not only win the Winter season, but also the Summer one. The rising team has been the dominant force for a while now in domestic competition, despite lacking the big accolades on the international stage. That honor is with Neolution eSports.MRR, the winners of the most recent DreamHack Summer competition – winning a thrilling game over Reason Gaming on the big stage of the Elmia.
Both of those squads, as well as the Made in Thailand brand were the beckons of hope for Thailand the last World Finals, reaching the Semifinals over the likes of Sync eSports, World Elite and Cats Gaming. They MiTH team will return just like the other big two of Thai HoN, being accompanied by the newcomer to the international stage – Kimochi. Ever since the Garena Star League 2013, in which the world got to know the Thai teams for the first time, Kimochi is around and well in the Thai scene. Sadly, throughout their recent drought, they've not been able to contest the top teams efficiently enough to come close to a DreamHack or the last World Finals. Now they are back in action, back up the ladder and the standings of G-League and after the Wild Card success of finishing third – back on the international stage. Interestingly enough two of their GSL 2013 members are still on the roster, giving them a second try at a first impression against the best teams in the world.
In addition to the four Thai teams representatives from the CIS region and Malaysia will come to Bangkok as well. For CIS it will be a brand new experience as for the first time a team other than Cats Gaming will visit the Thailand for a HoN competition. Throughout the history of competitive HoN, Cats Gaming was a fixture on the CIS market, despite them losing out on two DreamHack trips every now and then. When all the chips were down though and it was time to shine for a trip to Thailand and the World Finals, Cats Gaming always showed up as the record winner of CIS HoN Tour titles. Now the international scene will get used to a new name from CIS, as Meka will bring their unique brand of HoN to the World Finals.
It's also not a big surprise that it won't be Cats Gaming this time, since the passing of the baton in CIS HoN was in the making for a long time. The more HoN Tour seasons came up, the bigger the competition of the young guns in Meka and QaM got. Now the youngsters have their big chance to shine in Thailand, avenging the past bad results of CIS HoN on the grand stage. One guy that has lived through all those past failures was ArtMeister, as he served as one of the players on Cats Gaming in 2014 and 2015. Now he joined forces with Meka to get to his third World Final in a row. The rest of the bunch is experienced as well, but more in the regional level. For Myrrenoo and Speedman it will be the first World Finals, after playing two regional HoN Tour CIS Grand Finals in the past year. Another interesting side-note will be the apperance from Myrrenoo as he is loyalty personified. Throughout his illustrious career in CIS HoN he has never switched teams. He founded and stuck with Meka through thick and thin, good results and shattering losses. This World Finals will be his personal crowning moment for all the hard work he invested into this project – Meka.
Only team missing now is the representative from Malaysia, who was actually the first squad that had the ticket in their palms. As Wingbow Gaming upset You Met Wrong Opponents last November for the Malaysian Singapore HoN Championship, the fact that Wingbow Gaming also locked up their seed for the World Finals was almost overlooked. They are now stepping into the footsteps of YmwO to try to put their region back on the map. The entire SEA area outside of Thailand has had struggles ever since iconic squads like Orange eSports, iMpunity or DCES stepped away from the game. Since then the results have been marginalized and the public attention vanished. Once the flagship of Asia became an afterthought with Thailand reigning supreme. Now it's onto Wingbow Gaming to regain the trust and maybe upset another set of teams – this time upset the best teams on the planet.
The final eight teams for World Finals are:
Thailand – [Sig.DD0G] Signature.Snoop Dog
Thailand – [MiTH.MiXs] MiTH. Phoenix Mix dafa
Thailand – [Neo.MRR] Neolution eSports.MRR
Thailand – [Kc] Kimochii
Malaysia - [wiBs] Wingbow Gaming
Russia – [Meka] Meka
NA/EU – [Sync] Sync eSports
NA/EU – [coL] compLexity Gaming
Fantasy is a journalist with four years of experience working in various eSports. He is currently the HoN Tour correspondent for the CIS and SEA regions, as well as an editor for both ESL Gaming and compLexity Gaming. In addition to his online endeavors, he studies Publicity and Communication, plays American football, and loves movies.