fragster: Hello Breaky, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about the big HoN tournament in Sweden. One of the main storylines is going to be fnatic. They are a three time champion at DreamHack, but switched recently to Dota 2. How do you think they will do in the DreamHoN tournament? Is this lack of practice going to hurt them?
Nick 'BreakyCPK' Caras: Thank you for selecting to interview me, I always have fun answering questions like these. First off, I want to clarify about the idea that fnatic RaidCall "switched" to Dota 2. As far as I am concerned, for a team to have been considered switched or moved on to, they shouldn't be participating in the previous game, in this case HoN. I can say first hand that fnatic has participated in a majority of the online HoN events since they made this "announcement", so as far as I am concerned they are a team that just happens to play both games.
As far as how I expect them to do, if you had asked me this question just last week I would probably have said that I am a little concerned on how they would perform at DreamHack. However, with what I have seem from them in just the last couple of days, I am fairly confident that fnatic will still be the team to beat as they have had some very impressive offline results as of late. Also, fnatic has a track record of doing this in previous DreamHack events, where it seems like they don't have the greatest results going into the event and then all of a sudden they win the whole thing.
Ok, challenging fnatic are the two top teams Tt eSports and Trademark eSports. Let's talk about the Australians first. They look extremely dangerous and ready to win this tournament. Do you think they are the absolute favorite?
BreakyCPK: I have found myself to be a huge fan of Tt eSports since they played at the DreamHack Winter event. Not only are they a very skilled team, but a bunch of just fun guys who are also very passionate about their success. With that said, I do think they have to be one of the favorites as well, but I don't think they are above other teams like Fntc, tdM and BxF by any means. It is no secret they aren't using their "A" roster as according to the rules they had to run with 4/5 Australians, but I still think their preparation for this event is going to be one of the best of all the teams.
And Trademark will definitely make a run for the championship as well. They haven't practiced a lot recently and kind of performed poorly as well in the major tournaments. Do you think they can rebound come DreamHoN time?
Trademark eSports (96)
Tt eSports (79)
It's Gosu (75)
BreakyCPK: Trademark is a very interesting team when it comes to this DreamHack Summer event. Bkid was on vacation for about two weeks and Diablo 3 just came out, so it is true their preparation and practicing probably hasn't been as strong as it should be. But I will say their tournament results haven't necessarily been as bad as some of the community likes to make it out to be, tdM has actually done fairly well and as suggested by the most recent Honcast community rankings, they are still the top team.
I will say out of the team list of Fntc, BxF, TteS and tdM, Trademark is the team I am the most curious about as to whether or not we are going to see their true power, or have them flop.
Those three teams are considered the absolute front runners in this tournament, but lurking in the second row is the new European powerhouse team Blackfade.org. They streamrolled the competition in the EU qualifier and have looked very strong after that, although struggeling a tiny bit lately. What do you expect from the up and coming team around KheZu?
BreakyCPK: Blackfade are the new kids on the block come this LAN event. Khezu made it clear that they are a young team and have little to no LAN experience which is very likely to play a role. Their run in the EU DreamHoN Qualifiers was very impressive, but these last couple of weeks prior to the event, they too have been struggling. Apparently a couple of their players have been going through graduations and what not, so it has put a damper on their practice schedule. I do think they have the skill level to win this event, but we will have to wait and see what kind of start they get to the event.
The DreamHoN tournament ist kind of a World Cup with teams from all over the world joining in. The SEA scene is widely unknown territory for folks around here. Can you even predict teams like Orange eSports and MuFC?
BreakyCPK: I have been very excited about the format of this event ever since it was being thought of some months ago, simply because of the global feel it gives. I am very intrigued by the SEA teams, simply for the unknown factor of what they actually are going to do. I will say that I feel a lot of the EU/NA teams are largely underrating these teams and I wouldn't be surprised if either one of them make it to the top four. The region has concurrent players of 50 to 60k at times, which is just huge and I find it very hard to believe that the best players/teams from that number can't at least participate with the best in the world.
What are the strengths of those two teams? Can the "unknown quantity" matter be their biggest advantage?
BreakyCPK: The strengths of these two teams is once again the unknown factor. Every other team in this event that I have had talked to have basically said the same thing about the SEA teams: "We haven't seen them much if at all and really don't know what to expect." Yes, it is true, ORGE has played in a couple of online events and haven't done too well, but when you factor in the latency/time difference they are dealing with, it most certainly plays a role.
As a result of this, as silly as it probably seems, I see the possibility of either ORGE or MUFC doing a lot better than others expected and catching the teams off guard. I am also looking forward to the fun picks and strategies that these teams no doubt will bring to the table as well.
The last contender in the tournament is the CIS team "GA". They come in as a clear underdog. What do you think of the team? Do you have any intel about them?
BreakyCPK: Team GA is in a similar boat as the SEA teams, but personally I don't think they will do nearly as well or have as good of a chance. The region they come from (CIS) is much smaller than that of SEA and the competition level I am sure represents that. From my understanding as well, they have no experience outside of the CIS client in terms of competition, so the lack of being able to get that experience and at least participate at the highest level will be unfortunate for them. I will say that the possibility of at least winning one or two games is definitively there as I did get the chance to catch a couple of their games with the coverage that went on of their qualifiers and they didn't look too bad.
Next to the main tournament the BYOC will be interesting to watch with teams like Monomaniac eSports (former sGty), Ayyy Man, BX3 Multicasters, Team It's Gosu, HoNPortal and FIT all participating and competing for that last coveted spot. Who do you see as a front runner there?
BreakyCPK: The BYOC is really what helps make this DreamHoN event that much better. The list of teams in the BYOC is really a lot better than I expected and because of that I find it unfortunate we won't be able to cover any of it just simply because of lack of time. As far as who the favorites are in the BYOC, Team It's Gosu and FIT are the two stand out teams in my mind. Team It's Gosu has a bit of experience amongst their players and I can see that working to their advantage, and then there is FIT who have been looking very good lately in offline play so they will have a bit of momentum. It really wouldn't suprise me though if Ayy Man or Monomaniac advance on as well.
Could those teams even make a run in the tournament against the pre-qualified teams?
BreakyCPK: The biggest problem being a BYOC team that qualifies in this event will be the very intense schedule. Not only will they be playing nonstop on the first day from the BYOC event alone, but then the second day is basically the same thing of just nonstop playing HoN. As skilled as some of these teams are, and again I have no doubt in my mind that on a skill level the winner of the BYOC can compete with the rest, it's just the schedule will screw them over in the end.
And last but not least I have to ask you for specific prediction. Which four teams do you see in the semis and who will meet in the finals?
BreakyCPK: In all honesty, it's just another reason why I am really looking forward to seeing this event. I just don't know not only who will take the whole thing, but who even will make the top four. I can see any combination of teams besides Team GA and the BYOC team making it the top four, that is the best I can give. We will see though, I would especially love to be surprised after saying that, heh.
Thanks a lot for your participation, have a great weekend in Sweden.
BreakyCPK: Appreciate it and thank you for doing your coverage on the event as well, always good to have more coverage for such a big event like this.