Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tralfamadore changes name to Singularity, continues to be bad

Tralfamadore has been the subject of many posts not only on HoN Gossip but also on the forums. Widely known as Tralfamathrow, and other negative names, he has decided to change his name to Singularity. Unfortunately, this has earned him the nickname STINKULARITY as he continues to perform poorly and lose games vs Pew.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Skyzoe to replace Sender for the Swedish Pride Tournament!

Inside sources from team LION eSportKlubb revealed to me today that Skyzoe, formerly of Team stayGreen/GaryJohnson will be leaving the organization after what seems like an incredibly short stint with the team.

According to a certain LION player, Skyzoe did not take the losses very well and became quite emotional as the games went on, leading to a near blowout in the series vs coL. The player is well known to be one of the most versatile and passionate players in HoN, and the LION team is used to a more laid back atmosphere.

With Skyzoe becoming available and the recent announcement of the Swedish Pride tournament, Team iG, who Skyzoe has a history with, must dump one of their non Swedish players to participate. This leave iNsania a choice of Sender or noobg. I love both of these players, especially Sender, but with Skyzoe now on the market, it seems like the perfect match.

I questioned iNsania about this speculation but he was not available for comment. Remember, when iNsania announces Skyzoe replacing Sender, you heard it at HoNGossip first!

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Blog @ teamstaygreen.com / iG upsets coL in Dreamhack Qualifiers

Since the direct link is currently the only way to access the new blog I'm gonna post the link here until we get access to it on the main site:

http://teamstaygreen.com/?p=451

Enjoy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Beef with Tralf

This has been slowly building up over the past 3 or so months, and I'm pretty tired of being asked about it on streams, on skype, and even by fucking text message; and I'm just gonna air it out on my last blog post on hongossip before I move to the stayGreen website. So here goes:

I never really understood why Tralf decided to get so mad at me for seemingly no reason. At first I thought it was because I blogged here about him. Shortly after those blogs went public I started to get people coming to my stream telling me that Tralf called me a faggot. Understandable, I guess in some way, as I had basically outed his intentions of playing competitive HoN again. But at the same time, I wasn't really posting anything in an inflammatory way about the guy.. just the information I was getting. And it's not like I was the first and only person who was talking about it.

Then I posted the second blog post, which speculates about him posting under the name T90ly, where T90ly (who is supposedly Tralfs former roommate) praises Tralfamadore in a few threads and also disparages his at the time teammates, including current (assumed) teammates; Moonmeander and Bkid. I ended the post saying that if it were actually Tralf posting on T90ly it wouldn't surprise me. Again, this is hardly anything offensive.

My third post about Tralfamadore was about his very controversial exit of the clan One Trick Pony, which lead to a flurry of hate posts on the HoN forums. I simply picked posts out of the threads and left some remarks as to what I thought about the posts in general, as well as had some very obvious sarcastic comments like:

 "Luckily for OTP, CM decided to let Xibbe have Chipper both in both games 2 and 3, leading me to believe that Milkfat asked CM to throw to allow OTP to stay in Diamond while cursing the name of Tralfamadore under his breath."

Again, nothing really spiteful or even untrue. Everything I posted about Tralf quitting the team and the way he did it was completely factual, which was supported in the fourth blog post about Znoowy's response on the official HoN forums.

So, as this continues on, I start losing focus on HoN Gossip. Yet while streaming I keep getting people coming to twitch.tv/S2phil and telling me stories about Tralfamadore talking copious amount of shit.

"Phil is a sad person. He's such a faggot. Why would someone who got fired still try to support the company by keeping the S2 name. Why is this person still allowed to be on podcasts. I can't stand the guy."

The entire time, I'm thinking about my history with Tralfamadore. So I'm gonna talk about it here. I never really knew Tralf that well when he was in SK. I was pretty friendly with Cardinal and we TMM'd in low brackets every now and then. Sometimes I would see Tralf but never really talked to him until we launched NASL Season 2. Of course by that time I was working for S2 Games but it hadn't been made public (Honcast was acquired by S2 Games in July 2011). My times talking with Tralfamadore were pretty minimal as Swindle was the captain of the team, but we spoke every now and then. I started to get more involved with the event coordination of things and Breaky mostly took over the administrative roles for NASL and I basically tried to back him whenever I could but my heart was mostly in casting the games and working with the marketing team on the new Honcast studio, the NASL Finals and the upcoming  MSI Beat IT tournament which would lead into Dreamhack Winter 2011.

I knew that Dreamhack Winter was going to be my last Dreamhack spent casting, as things were getting rough around the office with the Director of eSports position. So when Dreamhack Winter 2011 rolled around, I made sure that I started talking with the players. I made sure to meet with Bkid, Sender, Tralf, Swindle, and all of the vocal members of the competitive community who were in attendance. I wanted them to know that things were in the right hands now, and even though I said a lot of things and made a lot of promises that took a long time to appear, I truthfully meant what I said. I wanted the best for those players and for competitive Heroes of Newerth. In December when I was appointed as the interim Competitive Director I tried my best to show that I could be of worth as more than a shoutcaster, and in January after a successful CES event I was offered the position full time. I knew that I had to get out of the casting role because the scene had been left in complete shambles. This is a bit off-topic but I want it to be said here plainly: It takes time to plan events guys, especially at the time because S2's upper management wasn't really buying into the eSports/marketing venture after watching NASL's 3 week turn around post production errors.

I knew that we needed to make a change and some of the competitors were already on the move. Rumors of Fnatic leaving for DOTA 2 lit the fire under our asses at the office, and I can't count the amount of times that Breaky came into my office asking "what can we do to save HoN." This was around the time when I left casting and Breaky was stuck with the King of the Hill tournament that we were trying to get off the ground but the teams were just so unstable due to lack of events. This is also the time when Breaky started casting with Zyori. Now, I don't want to sound like a huge dick, but I was never a fan of Zyori's casting. I didn't think he was a better caster than me. Maybe a better main caster and certainly a better cameraman, but he didn't bring anything dynamic to the team and when they were talking about bringing him on I was not a fan. Want to know who I was advocating before he even expressed interest?

Tralf.

It doesn't really matter though, because he didn't know that and I'm sure my desire to have Tralf brought to Honcast wouldn't have made any influence at all into the hiring decision, but I'm still gonna put it out there. I was supporting Tralf before he asked for my opinion on him possible casting. When Tralf and team sent in their deck to Complexity Gaming do you know who they asked first about the team? Yep, it was me. I told them, they will be the best team in HoN for you to pick up. This is the only team who can give Fnatic a run for their money. Ask Jason Lake or Jason Bass, Tralf, ask them what I said about you personally. That you were a stand up guy who could lead your team to success.

Then Dreamhack Summer 2012 rolled around and man we had problems. Not Tralf and I, but the tournament had problems. I'm not gonna go into why, but still, we all toughed it out. Tralf and I would go out and smoke cigarettes during breaks and just shoot the shit. He asked me about the quality of life at S2, and I told him he would be a great addition. I wanted my friends to get hired at S2, because who wouldn't? Who wouldn't want to have that kind of work environment. And so it was. You got the job as the new co-caster and we all couldn't wait for you to get there.

And when you got there everything seemed great. We talked all the time at the office, I even offered you and Lisa the option to sleep in the spare bedroom that I had if your apartment wasn't ready. When I left, I sold you a $1,500 bed and box spring for $200 because I wanted to help  you out. I know my desk and chair weren't in the best shape, but I offered them to you for free, because that's what friends do.

So tell me Mark, at what point did I get "annoying." At what point did I wrong you so badly that "you can't stand the sound of my voice?"

I might troll, and I might be caught in a place where I'm in love with a game that is run by a company that hates me, I might play Legionnaire every game and still be fucking awful at it... but those are my problems.. not yours. To my recollection, between the two of us, we've never had words. Nothing but a smile, some light humor, HoN talk and bummed cigarettes ever passed between us... yet I get to hear things like this:

http://www.twitch.tv/tralf/b/398769032?t=30m30s

Listen to yourself.

Congratulations. You've won the hearts of 1,000 stream viewers, all the YEA PHIL SUCKS and LOL'S PHIL FAIL LEGIONNAIRE comments are the wind beneath your wings. But remember, that guy who "you don't like" was always one of your biggest supporters. I'm sure you won't lose any sleep over this; but once HoN is gone, once your ability to press buttons on a keyboard has faded away, I hope those people will still be there...

Because I won't be.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CEO of S2 Games Confirms: Two Will Lose Their Jobs

And the lucky winners AREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Nathan Garcia: Director of Operations for Heroes of Newerth
and
Laura Baker: Director of Marketing for S2 Games


According to my sources within S2 Games, both employees were terminated earlier this afternoon and a post on the forums by Maliken helps to confirm this bit of gossip:



Laura aka S2LuLu has been a part of HoN since the very beginning. LuLu has made appearances and been the leader of HoN's eSports events since all the way back to Dreamhack Summer 2010, and probably prior to that. She was the first person I ever interacted with from S2 Games and was one of the major people involved in the acquisition of Honcast. I would like to thank her for everything she taught me while I was with the company, and for being a true friend.

Nathan, better known as Zero_MnotW was at one time the marketing assistant to LuLu and having shown great promise he was promoted to Director of Operations after Brad Bower aka Konran departed to lead the iGames division. His Facebook page confirmed his departure from the company stating that "S2 Games no longer has any future for me." Nate was an integral part of the eSports scene and my right hand man when I was the Director of eSports, even though he did not answer directly to me he was always the person who I knew would get things done. The successes of Dreamhack Winter 2011 and 2012 can be partially attributed to his willingness to get shit done.

Both of these figures I considered friends at S2 Games and it is sad to see them go, especially because there is someone else who should be accountable as well, but he's one of the favorite pets around the office, so he wont be. And no, I don't mean Milkfat.

Friday, April 19, 2013

tdM Team Manager "AvuKamu" Talks About Dropping HoN and x-tdM disbanding

So apparently, Trademark eSports is officially done with Heroes of Newerth. Tonight in Tralf's TwitchTV stream chat the following was posted:


According to the Team Manager of Trademark eSports, not only was the split between tdM and their HoN squad "mutual" but the organization itself will disband. Avukamu went on to say that CEO of Trademark eSports, John Jenkinson, has decided to call it quits. Avukamu and noted Trademark eSports writer "Showtime" will continue on with the goals set down by Mr Jenkinson originally but this time with "better management."

Avukamu also made the statement that he believe that noobG and possibly Limmp will continue to play HoN, while Fittske and Zai` may test their mettle in DOTA 2. He speculates that Mynuts will simply retire.

With the future of Heroes of Newerth competitive scene still somewhat cloudy after the HoN Tour Finals, and a massive balance patch on the way, what kind of shake ups will we see?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pew Breaks Newest HoN Drama Involving Killerorange

As most people know, Pew is about half a chromosome short of actually being a human being. But while this turd is often a waste of internet and oxygen, occasionally he posts something of value.

You can head on over to Pew's blog to get all the info:

http://xcetpew.blogspot.se/2013/04/warning-drama.html



I didn't post the image here because Pew discovered it and he deserves to get a few blog hits, since I already get about 5000x as many.

Edit: KillerOrange responds (click for full size)


I really respect KillerOrange. Always have and always will. When we worked together, there were times when we didn't agree with each other, but we always aired things out and made sure we tried to do what is best for the community. He deserves all the credit for what Honcast became during HoN Tour, and the lack of his presence in Thailand and in Vegas was not only miss, but VERY VERY noted. We spoke briefly after he put his two weeks notice in and I pasted him part of the XanderK article I didn't publish, which resonates in the post he removed from the forums. I don't know exactly what Matt will do in the future but I hope I run into him again at some point so we can play some Euchre and drink a few beers and laugh at everything that happened while we were S2 employees.

Here is the excerpt from the XanderK article I never published:

"S2 Games is an indie company, as much as they want to believe differently. They have three games under their belt, two of which were relatively unknown and Heroes of Newerth. There's nothing wrong with being an indie company, some of the most loved games have come from or were inspired by concepts that were initially from indie companies. The negative stigma however, is that indie companies are "supposed to make mistakes, because they are just indie companies." This is the stigma which S2 has tried to distance itself from moving into the future. Needless to say, nepotism runs rampant in many indie companies, and S2 is no different. While some of these hires have paid nearly literal dividends, others have either continued to be illogically coddled at the breast of S2 Games executive members or dismissed due to consistent failure to achieve results which were either unobtainable or undefined."

HT Finals Day 1 - I Laughed, I Cried, I Came..hngggg

Like most HoN lovers, I have been waiting for the HoN Tour Finals since October. Having been one of the major persons involved with the planning (I was the person who suggested the Hardwood Suite once upper management decided on Vegas, though I lobbied for Orlando, FL for the Finals since Vegas offers more for the 21+ crowd than say a trip to Disney World or Universal Studios or something along those lines) I wanted to see what was going to happen when S2 had over half a year to plan and execute their first ever official LAN tournament.

Now, the first thing I'm about to say is going to make me look stupid, but in the interest of fairness I should disclose it: I wasn't sure exactly what time the first game was supposed to start. Sure, I should have checked Hontour.com or even /r/heroesofnewerth but instead at around 12:30 I went to Honcast.com at which point I read that the next upcoming match was scheduled for 6:00PM EST. Luckily, I was going to watch some FPV streaming of HoN for a bit while getting ready for the day when I went to the main Twitch page and saw that Honcast was live. While this isn't directly the point of this post, why is the Honcast site still a pile of shit? I mean, Tralf hasn't been with the company for what.. over 2 months now? Yet he's still listed on the Staff section of Honcast and his name is all over the descriptions of stuff. That's not even that important, but why is it when I go to Honcast.com and Honcast is live is the "Featured Video" section not automatically replaced with the Honcast Live Stream? Am I blind? But I didn't notice a "Honcast is Live" message either. Even the old balls python Honcast.com site had a Honcast Live button that you could click on.

Whatever.


I Laughed:

So I tuned into the Live stream and watched Breaky and Emperor chatting back and forth about the upcoming matches. First thing I noticed is that the step-and-repeat was really wrinkled. I mean it looks like it was sloppily packed, and then it was the last thing they unwrapped before going live and just hung it up as a backdrop. A similar thing happened at Dreamhack Summer 2012 when we wanted to reuse this big ass Monkey King backdrop and it looked like complete shit so we hung it on the back of our booth in a dark room to avoid total embarrassment. Then they said the words I was waiting for "The game is underway, let's jump on in" at which point I asked myself  "what's going to be fucked up this time."

I must have laughed for a solid 30 seconds without stopping. It was a genuine laugh, not because I was happy that Honcast's production crew has screwed up for the 5th event in a row, but because S2's employees had spent the previous two weeks talking about how the production was going to be top notch:

https://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?489797-Hontour-Finals-in-Vegas-open-for-public&p=15642093&viewfull=1#post15642093

And it reminded me of the shit I used to talk about when I was the Director of eSports. The truth is Milkfat knows about as much as I did when it comes to streaming/production/etc: Absolutely fuck-all. We're coordinators, event planners, and tournament organizers. When we make plans, we plan for the people put into their positions to execute their jobs properly. The issue with this is we always waiting until the last minute to start testing the streams. So I figured this time, having heard that certain members of the Honcast team were in Vegas a few days prior to the event, that the stream would be mostly flawless, at least the in-game portion. Man was I wrong.

How does this keep happening? I was in the competitors skype sharing a good laugh with the rest of the players who didn't get to go to Vegas and Beefpotpie said:

[4/17/2013 1:00:57 PM] Kyle "Beef" Bautista: they did test it
[4/17/2013 1:01:04 PM] Kyle "Beef" Bautista: theyve been in here for 40 hours straight
[4/17/2013 1:01:09 PM] Kyle "Beef" Bautista: but mistakes are happening =/

How is it that after 40 hours straight they were unable to reliably say "This looks good." What kind of "mistakes" happen that make a game look like this:

While the Garena stream looks like this:

Just awful.


I Cried:

So what else went wrong?

1. AceJR 

- I don't know why they chose to let this guy host the Finals. I see some people saying they should have hired a professional, but that's also pretty stupid considering whoever hosts this event needs to have an intimate understanding of this specific game. My problem with AceJR is he has absolutely nothing prepared for his interviews, he seems extremely nervous on camera, and is in general an awful public speaker. I would have rather seen S2 bring in someone like Tralfamadore or Zyori to host the Finals. Hell, I would have done it for free (although S2 would never let that happen) if they paid for the plane ticket and hotel.

2. Opening Ceremony

- I have seen Iraqi prison cells with better lightning. They called in the players and teams who came in through a fog machine but there was no one around them to welcome them in or anything like that. On top of this, they played VTZ music during the intro. Just what I wanted to hear, the same shit that Honcast plays nonstop already. This cherry on the top of this awkward ceremony was AceJR's horrendous announcing.

3. Interviews

- A good interview is done with the interviewer facing the interviewee at a slight angle in two separate chairs. See any talk show ever for confirmation of this. Having two dudes sit awkwardly next to one another on a couch that was no doubt used in a budget pornographic casting couch film with all the lights turned out was terrible. Again, AceJR showed his speaking prowess in these interview sessions. I mean, why would get you someone who very obviously understands little to nothing about competitive HoN to interview competitive players? Again, having someone like Tralf or hell, even Beefpotpie (who was already there) would have been a major improvement.

4. Delays Between Games

- It goes without saying that you have to plan for 5-6 hours between scheduled series when you have a Best of Five planned. But you also have to take into consideration that there's a possibility, especially between the #1 and #4 seed game, that a game is going to end early. So why not have content, or at least planned content, ready for the longer breaks. I don't have an issue with Honcast sticking to their schedule because that means reliability, but going to a screen with VTZ Beats music on for nearly 2 hours is just plain unacceptable, especially when you have 20 of the worlds best HoN players at your disposal. You should be asking questions, having [intelligent] interviews, and showing off what is supposed to be an amazing venue. Bringing me to my final point...

5. No Venue Cameras

- I supported HoN having a private/VIP event for the HoN Tour Season 1 Finals. But at least make me jealous that I'm not there. Aside from seeing half of the half court in the Opening Ceremony and the rape couch in the interviews, where are the other shots? I know there's a sweet social area in the Hardwood Suite with TV's and a full bar and all kinds of seating... so why aren't we getting to see that? Especially during downtime I would like to see people mingling with each other, pro players having a good time and the S2 staff that is in attendance enjoying themselves. Instead I get to see a motion version of the background graphic from Hontour.com and listen to VTZ Beats! WOOOOOO!

I guess it's to be expected though. No matter how hard people seem to be working, something is always fucked up with Honcast. It's kind of sad because I know people who were planning on tuning in for these matches who are DOTA 2 players just to watch a game they used to play (like SUNSfan, DetonatR and others) to support how far they've come and messaged me with a simple "LOL" and "How have things actually gotten worse?" It's gotta be embarrassing for S2 that hundred of thousands of dollars in production gear, employee salaries and event costs over the past year has yielded this result. Sure, the production of the HoN Tour online events was decent, but if you can't pull off a live event, you're never going to garner the respect of any third party who is invested in eSports (team sponsors, event sponsors, tournament organizers, etc).


I Came:

I do want to say there were some things that went well. Emperor looks much better wearing his blazer and button up than he did with a wife beater on during the GSL stream. Breaky continues to be as energetic as always and actually seems to be genuinely having a good time casting these games. I feel bad for Breaky because when we used to do shit like Dreamhack Summer 2010, DYA and Dreamhack Summer 2011 we had the time of our lives sitting there with a webcam and casting off two laptops, and he was so obviously frustrated at the technical difficulties his production team caused him once again. I thought the games themselves were extremely entertaining and even the games with few hero kills were intense all throughout. I bet the will to win is palpable in that Suite from the teams who are there, especially Stay Green who are on their way to winning the first ever Triple Crown in HoN (GSL, HoN Tour Finals, Dreamhack Summer 2013) and shattering any questions on whether or not they are the undisputed world champions of Heroes of Newerth.

I'm looking forward to Day Two.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is Stay Green better than Fnatic?

I haven't been on HoN in a little while, but I was able to catch most of the GSL matches live and figured the community was going to have plenty to say about Stay Green and Trademark eSports following the finals. Most of the posts were either congratulatory or "so and so is the best" and of course there was the "sG is the best team of all time" posts that were immediately counter argued by those who were around during the dominance of  Fnatic. While most of the time I find these posts to be pretty much unintelligent or otherwise boring, I wanted to give my input. So here goes.

https://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?489277-I-know-we-shouldn-t-compare-but-sG-has-proven-to-be-as-good-or-better-than-the-old-Fnatic-MSI

Fnatic had two things that set them apart from other teams:

1. Fly's drafting and ability to innovate strategies was for a long time something top teams could only emulate.
2. Fnatic as a team was terrifying to most of its opponents.

A lot of people today look at the top drafters and compare them to Fly, he's basically the go-to guy when discussing drafting and "meta" innovation. Fnatic/Fly was responsible in some part for three of the most popular shifts during their reign: They brought the tri-lane to HoN which included Pandamonium, Gladiator, and many other popular heroes at the time. This same shift also introduced HoN to the suicide role, of which during that specific time, Freshpro was probably one of the most dominant players (completely underrated  imo as far as that role is concerned). This was followed by the tank meta and included heroes like Zephyr, Kraken, Moraxus, and others as first pick material. Despite many people claiming that they brought dual mid to the table, there were many other teams who had already been using it that were lower tier like unZ and Wahlin. I give Fly about half credit for the jungle strategy because they were probably the first to perfect it. The other half of the credit would go to Swindlemelonzz and perhaps a small split to Tralf as well. Fly constantly threw new heroes into his lineups and Fnatic wasn't afraid to lose games in online tournaments or scrims. While there are many stronger singular examples of hero/players combos (fuji/balph, emp+loda/elec, phe`v/nh+keeper, korok/dr+chipper, and many many more) Fnatic had players who could, and often times did, play a vast myriad of heroes and showcased many times the strength of lineups which took teams off guard.

This feeds into my second point:

Teams were afraid of Fnatic.

No matter what any player or team might say or think, Fnatic had a huge mental edge on the competition. When you checked your schedule for a tournament and saw you were gonna be playing Fnatic in the first or second round I guarantee your heart would sink a little bit. It didn't matter that Fnatic proved to be much more vulnerable online, they were the best team and everyone knew it. Something about Fnatic just made you play differently. Teams played a little more passive, they tried to make a few less mistakes. And if you were at Dreamhack? Forget it. Fnatic owned Dreamhack. It wasn't the consecutive titles, it wasn't the European fanbase, it wasn't the sleeping schedules or jet lag... When Fnatic came to Dreamhack it was like the entire event came to life, all 5 players wearing their fnatic clothing, setting up their fnatic mousepads, using the fnatic headsets... despite what people say about sponsors like SK, EG, Dignitas or whatever.. Fnatic does it right and always has. They were a real professional team and they had stupid amounts of swagger. Yea. If you were at Dreamhack, you were shitting your pants when it came time to go one on one with the great ones.

So what merits Stay Green being compared to the mighty champions of HoN? I think the first thing is just where the game is at. HoN has always been a faster paced game, requires quick thinking and the ability for your fingers  to sometimes act before your brain knows exactly what just happened. If I had to label HoN like people label shooters, it would be the "twitch MOBA." LoL is TF2, DOTA2 is CS, and HoN is Quake (my opinion of course, not really something I want to debate) but unlike those shooters, each game releases a new Hero into the mix every so often. Let's take TF2 as an example just because it works best. If you took a group of 8 guys and gave them vanilla only weapons and made them play against 8 guys who had access to all content that has been released for TF2 thus far, both groups being similarly mechanically skilled, who would win? Another example, in TFC it took about 4 years before bunnyhopping was common place,  ~6 years before ramp sliding was discovered and even after that new ways to play the game developed. Now, what I'm comparing here is not sG to Fnatic, but sG's competition to Fnatics. People are always making arguments over which era was stronger in a competitive sense, but I can't help but wonder if people are actually thinking or just spouting off at the mouth (or fingertips) ready to defend their favorite team or player.

Let's be real about this:

Just because HoN doesn't have sponsors like SK, Fnatic, EG and others who either left HoN or never got involved; just because HoN doesn't have players like Chu, Fujiapples, Tarano, Phe`V, Scandal, Loda, Akke, H4nn1, Trixi, Era or the dozens of others who left to chase other games or move on with life; just because those entities are gone does not mean the scene and stood still. Players didn't stop getting better. Teams didn't stop getting better. Tournaments didn't stop getting better.

HoN didn't stop getting better.

It's not about watch you like or dislike about the game, its balance, its staff, its community. It's about progress, and we've ALL made it. From the 1200 player who learned after 500 games that Stun > Chuck is the correct way to do Pebbles combo, to the 2050 MMR competitive player who realized that an early Astrolabe and a Barrier Idol can trump that Portal Key rush on Tempest.

So where am I going with this? I read earlier in this very post that the level of competition just isn't on part with what Fnatic had to deal with and to that I say... are you kidding me? I know it's usual for me to say things to get a rise out or people or just be inflammatory for no reason but... are you kidding me? Even back in the day when all the greats were playing we still only had three real super teams. EG, SK, MSI was the chant for seemingly forever. DWi got thrown in the mix more often than others and of course there were teams who hit the limelight for periods of time. Teams like LIONS, DM, Reason, and Fray were all great teams who met with good success during Fnatics reign, but never before in HoN has it been like it is now. sG, coL, tdM, QsQ, LIONS (this time a different one), and TteS are all super strong contenders for being the "#1 team in HoN" and you follow that closely with teams like aL and EXCL who are all right on the cusp of being in that group. This isn't like it was with Fnatic where you had one or two superteams and some new challenger arise randomly. All of these teams exist at the same time. Never before in the history of HoN has it been as tight as it is right now. And certainly not with the calibre of players that these teams are comprised of.

Yet still, sG looks to have risen to the top of this group.

Now, this post isn't here to serve as a huge blowjob for Stay Green, because frankly Stay Green needs more than just wins to prove they're the team who will replaces Fnatic as the "best" HoN team of all time. But they have the ability to do it. They have 5 guys who are dedicated to winning, but that's the easy part. The hard part is staying dedicated to each other when winning doesn't seem to be an option. The hard part is continuing to innovate new strategies and integrate new heroes and items into the game as HoN and HoN Tour continues to mature. The hard part is winning the matches that matter when the competition runs deep, and in 2013, it's deep.

Is Stay Green better than Fnatic? Not yet. But I believe 4 Dreamhack titles can be overcome in a short period by continuing to stay dominant during this time, which is unquestionably the most competitive Heroes of Newerth has ever been.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bella/Savannnah and Clan Epoch involved in Juicy Drama

So I got some fuckin SWEET drama today that has to be posted.

http://icylog.blogspot.ca/2013/03/icy-leaves-epoch.html

This site is a copy and paste of private IRC logs between high ranking members of the S2 Games backed clan Project Epoch, a circle of turds dedicated toward "mentoring" players. While some of these people are stand up guys, the vast majority of Epoch members are no better (skillwise or attitude wise) that any other 1500 level rager. This specific topic has to do with a girl who has been hanging out with Khezu and the sG gang in Miami. The topic of discussion? Whether the girl is a whore or homeless. Icy, who dislikes the way that high level community members who are supposed to be "above flaming/drama and setting an example" resigns from his position after witnessing what he calls "corruption."

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/554916_4826943466068_326750850_n.jpg

That is a picture of said Andrea who they are talking about.

Then, I get another link to a private forum:

http://z13.invisionfree.com/savannahlogs/index.php?showtopic=7&st=0&#last

I won't go into details on this because it's short and worth it for you to read on your own; but here's a little picture to get your loins on fire:



Now, I have also heard people are getting banned for talking about this information. I will let you all know if I get banned from HoN for reporting this drama.

VEGAS PLAYOFF BABY!

It's fucking MARCH MADNESS for Heroes of Newerth. It's UNBELIEVABLE BABY!

With the regular season of HoN Tour finally over we're moving into the HT Finals Playoffs to determine who is gonna move on to the big show and which teams are gonna be stuck sitting at home waiting for Season 2 details to be announced. So let's go over the teams and brackets:



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Q sQuad 357 vs Pikachu

QsQ (now without a clan name at all) comes in at the 1st seed having met with some success earlier in the tournament then fizzling out in the middle. QsQ also had the most shocking results of any Diamond Division team as they were knocked back to Gold in Cycle 7 and even found themselves in a rough patch there as they were knocked into the Losers Bracket in the 3rd round by Bloodbath N Beyond (+1 for creative name/pun). Still QsQ has a good team with solid players on it. My issue with Nova's drafting is not that he drafts poorly, it's that he lets other teams draft extremely powerfully. I don't think he takes enough preventative measures against other top teams to make sure they aren't getting "God Comps". I also think QsQ struggles with good decisions on where to lane their heroes as well as putting the free farm onto the wrong heroes. NoX misses a lot more last hits than he should when given the safe lane free farm. The strongest skill QsQ has is their unpredictability in hero drafting, where they have many times made the best out of underplayed heroes (Voodoo Jester, Bombardier, etc)

Pikachu has a very under the radar season ans only comes into this tournament due to Absolute Legends dropping out. Pika has been around in some form or another for over 2 years, first as a pub clan, then making their way into the competitive scene after picking up former Infused player Buch. Despite them hovering around in Gold for the majority of the first seasons of HoN Tour, Pika has some solid players who have been together for a long time, but not always on Pika. Recently I believe fUzi and Xibbe from OTP joined the squad. Rounding out the long timers Buch, OwnedMe, Nir, Bassets (?) and TPSPriceless. Though this team has met with only the most mediocre level of success their players are mostly mechanically solid. My concerns lie with the lack of time this team has played together, questionable drafting and sub-par individual performances. 

The Match: QsQ should ban Chipper if they want to increase their chances of winning. Recent games show that Xibbe continues to be a real force when playing that hero specifically. Conversely, Pika should keep in mind that QsQ is one of a few teams who really favor melee carries still and watch out for The Dark Lady and Monkey King specifically. QsQ runs a similar strategy to Trademark, which focuses of farming up 4/5 players to around the 300+ gpm mark. Pika runs more jungling strats than QsQ does but QsQ runs Malle on Parasite pretty much anytime the hero is available.

Winner: My gut tells me that QsQ is gonna pull through, but this match could be very tough for them if they let Pika dictate the drafting phase. The key players in this matchup will be Jonassomfan, Style, Xibbe and Buch. I'm gonna go with an upset here and choose Pika over QsQ, but a 2-0 victory for QsQ wouldn't surprise me in the least.

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We Are Spies vs Afraid

We Are Spies received a little bit of attention shortly before the GSL Qualifiers kicked off when Tralf began practicing/scrimming with the team. While they have never had any real amount of success in Diamond, they secured enough victories in Gold division to stay as part of the Top 11 teams. I don't really know TOO much about them aside from their records but I know that Cakes (from CM) plays for them. I was gonna do a bunch of research into this team, but the truth of the matter is they don't belong in this tournament, and only got here because winning Gold is worth way too much.

Afraid started off under a lot of people radar but quickly proved that they are a team to not be taken lightly. They've gone about halfway through Diamond division in Cycle's 6, 7 and 8 and are, in my respected opinion, one of the favorites of this tournament. During this last cycle they even took down Stay Green in 2 games in the Winner Bracket, before being knocked down by Tt eSPORTS and then out by Absolute Legends. With aL out of the tournament before it begins and being on the opposite side of the brackets as TteS, this team stands a very good shot at making it into the Grand Finals. Afraid is captained by Jollem (formerly of FIT) who does the drafting for the team. He drafts pretty well for his team, but suffers from some of the same problems QsQ does, which is by not taking enough preventative measures in allowing their opponents to pick up strong lineups. Additionally, Afraid recently added MrLing to their roster, which as a last minute addition could lend to some instability for the team.

The Match: If We Are Spies wants to have any shot at all in this match they are going to need to pray that Afraid makes some serious drafting mistakes and then makes some serious in game mistakes. Afraid favors heroes like Artillery, Aluna, Rally and Master of Arms (in both the Carry and Support role) so expect to see some combination of those. Afraid doesn't always just out to the best starts, so if oo7 can come through in the laning phase they might be able to ride into mid game and sneak away a victory with the proper heroes.

Winner: Afraid should dominate We Are Spies in 2 games.

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LION eSportklubb vs Team Excellent

LIONS has been a tough team to beat all season and their most recent performance in the Sound Blaster Heroes League showed that they are a strong contender for the #4 spot in the overall rankings for competitive HoN.

****************BREAKING NEWS WILL CONTINUE THIS IN A SECOND*****************

Monday, March 18, 2013

HoN Forums: They are complete shit

A few months ago everyone was up in arms about Leyst moderating the forums super strictly. Now, I understand some of the complains because there was all kinds of shit getting locked that didn't need to be. But how is it these fucking morons like RO_PRO_KID and BR_PRO_KID are allowed to continue making threads. No one wants to go to the forums anymore because it just gets flooded with hundreds of retards making multiple threads about the same shit, starting topics about clans disbanding when they have lose a single game, and all kinds of morons "confirming" things (which is akin to planking on the forums).

Today I missed the coL vs tdM matchup so I wanted to check the forums to win. What did I find? People arguing about Haxxeren's ability to farm 680 gpm on Armadon. sG vs QsQ scrim topic: cool what happened? Oh nothing about the actual game in here folks, just talking about how sG is disbanding while TheRetardMikey "confirms" and offers some 9 year old shitkid fake explanation. I truly miss the days of old CD when forum trolls just got outright banned. When people had to have all their topics approved before they would go up on the forum.

Milkfat/Chavo/S2/Whoever. I will moderated every topic that comes to CD and approve every post. I will do it for free. Please, consider it, so that we may end the reign of dipshits on the only subforum I read.

I am banned from Twitch

A few of you readers enjoy my stream from time to time. Mostly because I am bad at the game and instead of you having to only watch my shit plays, I stream youtube videos and sometimes even full movies. Of course, this is against the ToS, but I didn't think we were gonna be seeing a full out ban from Twitch in general. As of this moment, I can't even watch Honcast on my IP :E

Anyway, just letting you guys know that I am AFK from streaming for a bit until this gets sorted.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Real Talk: Beefpotpie is not a good caster

So, I know I am gonna take a LOT of shit for this post but it's been on my mind for awhile, and since I've mostly just been reporting on drama and news stories lately I wanted to take a break and write about something that I have had on my mind for awhile.

Most of you who read this know that before I worked for S2 as the Director of eSports I was one of the four influential members of Honcast (Breaky, xanderK, and HunteR being the other 3) and one of the first two (simultaneously with Breaky) to be hired by S2. During my time with Honcast I functioned as the primary co-caster and had a lot of fun doing events like DreamHack and NASL and other online tournaments, and even though a lot of people didn't like me for being an asshole, not having enough insight, etc... I was successful at what I did. Of course, when I started with Honcast I was just a lowly, EM player who pretty much regurgitated what I had heard from other casters. But as I continued casting I made friends with pro players (like Zetpro who was known as Piratkuk then) and they let me scrim and even play some matches with them as I began to get better at HoN, and was able to pick up some first hand knowledge as well as having people like HenryD, Grace, and a few others who would give me great tips during and after my casts.

Additionally, this was during the time when there were multiple casting groups: GameReplays, Gamestah, GosuGamers, CybernetixTV, and NevaTV were all rival organizations who we constantly had to battle it out with for viewers. I don't think it's being too arrogant to say that, while Breaky was the main driving factor for Honcast, I played a large part in Honcast becoming the dominant casting organization. True, HunteR did have good contacts within S2 Games that helped Honcast on its way, but Honcast would have never become what it is today without Breaky, myself and xanderK committing thousands of hours of unpaid time to the project. People often talk about the "Honcast Monopoly" but the truth is, we were just better than everyone else. We had more content, better casters, bigger tournaments, and a better website than any of the other guys and we did it with less people. Over time, people lost the drive to compete with Honcast because we had basically cornered the market. This led to a lot of false accusations from people at HoNReplays.org and a few others who claimed that S2 Games showed favoritism to Honcast over other casting organizations, but if you think about it, what did you expect? For S2 to promote streams that were bad just to give everyone their fair shake? I don't know what people were thinking back then, all I knew is that I was on top back then and I wasn't afraid to admit it, and I'm still not. But this post isn't about a trip back to the glory days when I was still a relevant fixture in the HoN community. This is a post about Beefpotpie and coLcast (by extension) and why I don't think it's up to par.

A lot of people really love Beefpotpie, and what's not to love? He's got a jovial personality and look about him, he's extremely friendly to everyone, he's legitimately passionate about HoN and he's got a pretty good sounding voice that suits casting (he sounds exactly like Ayesee who, along with Draskyll, are my favorite DOTA 2 casters). So what's my problem? Well, to be honest I don't think he has enough talent. He's just not good enough.

I was talking with someone else about this the other day (from the pro HoN scene) and they said:

"He's very eager and driven, but I just don't think he has it in him to be what he wants to be."

And I couldn't put it any better than that. It's not that I question his dedication, passion, loyalty or desire in any way. I think he's sincerely wants to be an amazing caster, but if the talent isn't there.. well it's just not there. I'm not gonna harp on his lack of competitive insight, or somewhat shoddy camera control. As a main/head caster those are things that I find the lack of as being acceptable. What I don't find as being acceptable is the inability to control the cast. Ever listen to Beefpotpie do a solo cast? Someone on my blog put it perfectly once in a comment when he said it's like listening to a Monty Python skit. I don't have a problem with taking breaks from talking, sometimes there's nothing interesting to talk about. But don't just babble on and jump from one topic to another like a crackhead with ADHD. When he does have a co-caster the cast seems to flow a little more smoothly, but then you still have to deal with his play-by-play, which is incredibly hit or miss (often times more miss than hit). He tells the most awkward jokes and laughs at things that I just don't find any humor in. And finally, he has no edge at all. There's not a single bad bone in this guys body, and often times the co-caster becomes the "star" of the show because Beef has such little range of emotions. It's either nice and cheery or nice and cheery.

The worst part about all of this is that Beef is going to be the main caster of the 8 team HoN Tour Finals Qualifier, and it's pretty much the tournament I'd been looking forward to since the beginning of HoN Tour. Now I'll be forced to either endure cringe inducing casting or just watch the replays. Hopefully he takes this and the criticism that recently popped up on the forums as a sign that he hasn't made it quite yet and really needs to work on his craft.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

HoN Tour Administration Drops the Hammer; PPD reacts UPDATED 3/12/13 @ 10AM

UPDATE: The end of this post now has my actual thoughts about the decision, but the top is still nice and full of shit talk. Also I apologize for the small text on the forum excerpts, blogspot is kinda dogshit.
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So I am out at dinner with some friends on a Monday night for food and euchre (the local restaurant here (Skyline) knows most of us by name) when I get a text message about something happening in HoN Tour and how I need to check it out ASAP. Since we haven't started playing cards yet, I decided I would check out the forums and see whats up. Low and behold, drama has once again descended upon the Forests of Caldavar, and I was greeting with dozens of posts. Dozens of poorly written, barely comprehensible posts. It seems like after reading these posts (while listening to Mozart to offset any potential IQ imbalances) most people can be separated into two camps:

1. Those who SUPPORT the HTA decisions
2. Those who OPPOSE the HTA decisions

First, let's rewind to Sunday. Sunday night I met up with my main group at my friend Ryan's apartment. All of the people who are in my group of friends are gamers who have all played at least a bit of HoN, most play(ed) DOTA/2, but are still interested in watching some of the games from HoN Tour. We all have our little jokes about watching the games ie: Stay Green is called TruGreen (the lawn care service), once we were watching a really boring football game and I said "Let's see how Complexity's doing" and that is a running inside joke whenever we get bored with whatever we're doing, and a few others. So when I got to Ryan's place we were sitting around arguing about which game was worse: Diddy Kong Racing or Duke Nukem 64 and my friend John asked me how HoN Tour was today. I responded, "It was the worst cycle I've seen thus far. There wasn't a single enjoyable game today." Then I told them about the coL vs aL series and how annoyed I was with the casters, the players and the people in Twitch chat. Of course, none of them actually cared that I wasn't happy about how HoN Tour Cycle 7 ended, but that didn't change the fact that it is actually how I feel. Annoyed. I wasn't there for the first series (coL vs aL) live, but it was available shortly before they switched over to do the finals so I watched it on VOD while waiting for the Grand Finals. All I knew is that aL 2-0'd coL and coL was getting ready to play Team BYE for the SBHL.

What a disgusting display it was. Only exacerbated by Emperor talking in all chat while Breaky was just yelling and laughing like "AHHH WHAT A GRAND TIME WE'RE HAVING, IT'S SO FUN!" No Breaky, it's not fun. It's fucking embarrassing.  It's sad that people bitched and pissed and moaned for months and even YEARS for S2 Games and HoN to get its act together in regards to the competitive scene, and now when people actually have a strong reason (and capability to some extent) to try and play HoN for a living, the players and spectators treat it with disrespect. "Oh but Phil, it's just a game, you're overreacting" No. I'm not overreacting, but let's move on anyway.

So as I said, there are really two trains of thought and then a couple people talking about Fnatic and DOTA 2 because apparently moon said he was going to start playing it again. Forgetting about the DOTA 2  talk (because frankly who gives a shit), I want to focus specifically on the people who support coL.HoN not being punished. I could talk about those who support the punishment, but it's really all there on the top.

So in case you read my blog and not the forums for updated news (I feel bad for you if you do) here's a direct copy/paste of what happened:

For all-chat spam, unsportsmanlike conduct and blatantly throwing the series in both games, compLexity Gaming receives 1 (one) warning and the 50% points and prize money loss will be applied for Cycle 7 (for intentionally conceding both games at 15min).

Most of the people who are opposed to this ruling are making completely idiotic and ignorant points. Let's single out a few of these nuggets



 So these guys feel that since the games were "entertaining" and "fun" that they should not be penalized. Therkel feels that HoN Tour is a "tournament for the sake of the viewers" and definitely not a high profile prestigious tournament that should be approached with respect or reverance. This next guy goes a step further:


 Hell yea bro! Let's reward them. Let's reward these teams for showing a complete lack of respect for one of the biggest money tournaments in online eSports history.


Yes, it is Milkfat's fault that Riser_ and his teammates are unable to keep to a schedule that had been known about for a week. It's Milkfat's fault that a team who couldn't show up to a tournament that THEIR OWN SPONSOR ORGANIZED was forced to reschedule to a less than ideal time. I really wish Team BYE would have forced coL to forfeit that match in SBHL, not because I hate coL, but because players need a reality check. CHEERIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!you're an idiot.



Varane is a well known sub 70 IQ Competitive Discussion forum dweller, so pointing out his stupidity kinda feels like I'm making fun of a handicapped person, but I'm desperate for a couple more forum images so I let it slide this once. He starts off by making it seem like it's all good, but follows it up with an ignorant backhanded comment about how the "rules were created because of Experience Gaming" and how Complexity got punished for something completely beyond their control. Then when he gets called out by another forum poster he reaffirms that he actually has no idea what he's talking about. At all.

Let me be clear to anyone who might be mystified about what happened with coL and BYE in the SBHL. Riser, who apparently hasn't learned to read yet or doesn't care enough to actually check the schedule on his own, showed up 45 minutes late because his team basically gave him the incorrect information on the match. Team BYE then took a FF win, but changed their minds (speculation can be made here about why they changed their minds) and decided they would reschedule. The only time Team BYE was willing to reschedule to was 1PM EST on Sunday. I imagine this was by design by BYE so that coL would have to choose the lesser of two evils: forfeit HoN Tour costing them 50% of their winnings and earned points for the cycle, or costing them the change to win much more money in Sound Blaster Heroes League. Regardless of how Team BYE approached this situation and what HoN Tour Admins allowed or did not allow to happen, the ONLY people who can be blamed for this situation occurring is CompLexity.HoN.

Not all posts were without reason however. A few people tried to make a case without looking stupid.




The problem is that you guys are arguing over the semantics of the rules, looking at the verbiage instead of the tone. Rules are designed by institutions to express intent. The intent of the "Sportsmanship" rule for instance, is designed as a catch-all. InnerSpike makes the comment that "we can all agree that everyone has a different view as to what that is" to which I reply, "It's whatever Milkfat deems it to be." You see, as the Head Admin and the overall Director/Commissioner of eSports for S2, Milkfat has final ruling and may choose to make decisions without conferring with his administration team. I'm not saying that is what he did, I'm not saying that if that is what happened that it's the best way to handle a situation, but the fact of the matter is, Milkfat makes the final decision. No one else, not other S2 employees, not even Maliken, influence how Milkfat runs HoN Tour.  Still, I appreciate you making your opinion, even if it's incorrect, in a mature and intelligent fashion. You may continue to post.


THE BOTTOM LINE:

Obviously, most of you know where I stand on this issue. I feel Milkfat was completely in the right. I feel that any team who signed up to play in HoN Tour, Sound Blaster Heroes League, Clan Milk Amateur Fun House, Bob's HoN Team Super Challenge, whatever; deserve the full amount of respect of the players. If you can't make it to a game, it's YOUR fault. If you don't have a substitute player on your roster, it's YOUR fault. If you decide to try and play pocket lawyer with administration by saying "well TECHNICALLY" and get burned for it, it's YOUR fault. Deal with it.

Edit: PPD just released a 16 minute long video response to the HoN Tour Administration decision, be sure to turn ad block on.


This video basically explains what happened in detail, but changes nothing of what I've said. It's a good look into the minds of the Complexity HoN team, as well as the fact that PPD thinks that Absolute Legends should have conceded at the 15 minute mark because they were losing. If you can stomach the arrogance and delusions of grandeur which rival only my own, it's worth a watch.

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Edit 2: After rereading this post a few times over the past 12 hours I came to realization that a lot of things that the topic really is supposed to deal with went unexplained as I uncharacteristically dipped into troll mode. I think the important thing to take away from this situation is that both parties have some level of blame to accept. While I agree with the ruling, because I truly believe that Complexity understood the spirit of the forfeiture rules and were attempting to save themselves the loss of $1,000, the case must be made that the rules need to be fine tuned and communication between administrators and teams could be better.

I believe that HoN Tour admins, and Milkfat in particular, made this decision to protect the integrity of the tournament. I also believe that protecting the integrity of the tournament is the most important thing, more-so in some cases than the teams who are playing in it. This is one of those cases. Complexity openly admitted fault that the situation occurred because of their miscommunication with Riser_, but that doesn't change the situation that became of it, and doesn't excuse them from the punishment which the HoN Tour Administration (or Milkfat solely) levied against them. While many will argue that the enforcement of this rule is questionable, I ask you to be honest and think about the spirit of sportsmanship, and whether this type of activity would be looked upon in a positive manner by any professional organization.

Having listened to PPD's video a couple of times now, I think he brings the thoughts of Complexity up in a sincere fashion. While I completely disagree with using personal/private Skype conversations, the irrelevance of Roland vs Insania (which occured nearly 8 months ago), and the usage of the DoP vs coL example (which took place prior to the forfeit rules being expanded upon), I can understand the frustration of the Complexity players. However, keep in mind what I was saying earlier, I also see the frustration of HoN Tour Administrators.

HoN Tour must be respected. The tournament was the culmination of years of ideology and was developed because of the rabid desire for HoN's players to have a predictable and sustainable tournament model. Respect HoN Tour, or you disrespect what everyone who has ever been involved in it has worked for; whether you be a player or someone behind the scene. coL threw away games on purpose, regardless of how they approached the match initially, by the time the 15 minute mark passed and they knew aL wasn't going to concede they should have just called it right there. I actually think the admins would have even shown some slack, perhaps not even reducing their winnings/points, had Complexity approached it this way. In the end, one thing is for sure: HoN, despite having come such a long way in the last year, still has a ways to go; both its players and its administrators.

Let us look at this as a hard learned lesson for both parties, because that's ultimately what it is.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I don't usually mind fanbois but man...

It's getting REALLY fucking annoying on the forums and twitch chat recently. Let's talk about a couple of things that have been discussed:

1. Swindlemelonzz vs Emperor

So we did Real Talkin' (thanks to the 2800+ viewers that tuned in) a few days ago and I brought up the fact that despite ten years passing since AngryTestie got caught cheating in StarCraft: Brood War, people still try to use it against him like it's some sort of badge of shame he must endure his entire life. This began a completely off topic discussion/argument between Swindle and Emp that became relatively convoluted due to both parties talking at the same time. The topic of the discussion doesn't really matter, and both parties brought up both valid points and biased points. But it was how the fans of AngryTestie reacted on the forums and in Twitch chats that really needed to be addressed. People were heading to the forums and defending Testie's honor or just straight up flaming Swindlemelonzz including making absolutely absurd claims like saying: Testie is a better player than Swindle, Swindle is a terrible drafter/player, Testie could have NEVER cheated (despite the fact that it'd been proven and he admitted it long long ago), and that Testie is one of the most humble players in HoN.

Let me provide a reality check for you guys, none of that shit is accurate; ESPECIALLY the last statement. I would concede that Testie is one of the most demure players in HoN, but certainly not one of the most humble. Testie has an extremely high opinion of himself as a gamer, he's stated many times that his believes his track record speaks for itself in both SC:BW and HoN. He's stated many times that he has nothing left to prove to himself and nothing to prove to anyone else about his gaming abilities. This is not how humble people think. Testie looks at himself as one of HoN's all-time premiere players, and if you asked him, I bet he would tell you the same, because Testie is about as humble as he is prone to lying/bullshitting.

2. Moonmeander post GSL Qualifier Two

Man, I really like Moon and I sincerely hope this doesn't affect our friendship, but your fans are getting out of control. I can understand being upset or even sad about missing out on an opportunity to travel to Thailand. Not necessarily because he just want to go to Thailand (which is badass btw, I've been there twice myself) but because HoN is one of, if not the biggest game(s) in Thailand. The way Korean's approach SC2, the way the western world approaches League of Legends, that's how Thailand looks at HoN. It's massive there. So yea, for Moon I can understand being upset about not going. What I can't understand is the idiotic fanbois that Moon has talking about how "Moon deserved to go to Thailand" or "coL deserved to go to Thailand" or "sG will win it all now because tdM is full of chokers and coL would have been better"

Man... shut the fuck up. You know who deserved to go to Thailand? Trademark eSports. Why? Because they beat coL. They beat them 2-0. When I asked one fanboi about why Moon deserved to go over any of the other 65 players who weren't already going or part of coL's roster they said "well Moon loves HoN and he put his whole heart into winning GSL." Oh man.... he really wanted to go? Well shit, might as well send him.. I'm sure no one else REALLY wanted to go...oh wait... everyone else wanted to go. What kind of dumbass reason is that?

While we're on the topic, people seem the be getting the impression that I am a "coL hater" which makes NO fucking sense because if it weren't for me at the time, coL wouldn't even be involved in HoN. I would have loved to seen Complexity at Thailand and the HoN team to represent their organization well there. Let' me be clear here.. I don't hate Complexity. I don't even dislike any of their players (Franzzii might be the exception but that's mostly because the guy is a slimy turd who bans me from the ComplexityHoN chat whenever I get unbanned, and acts like a whiny douche in game) and have had great relationships with them since before I even worked for S2. I call them out like I do because I expect them to be better than they are. I expect the team that was #1 for 6 months straight in 2012 to not have 8th place finished in HoN Tour cycles. That's not being a "coL hater". That's someone who looks at teams and the scene through an experienced, if not somewhat jaded at times, perspective; looking at a teams history and asking "what happened?" The sooner people learn the difference the sooner I can stop wanting to punch my own eyeballs when I read the forums/twitch chat.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Real Talkin Ep 3 Monday before GSL Qualifiers

Hey guys, just letting you all know swindle contacted me the other day and we will be doing another episode of Real Talkin on Monday before the Garena Star League qualifiers take off. Be sure to join us and leave any questions you'd like answered in the comments section!

Cheers :]

Monday, February 18, 2013

Honcast Podcast: The Best 1.5 Hours of Sleep You'll Ever Get

If there is one thing I miss most about Honcast, it's being on the podcast. And I don't want this to come across as arrogance, but man... the podcast sucks now that I'm not on it. Now with Tralf gone, I fear it will be even worse. Tralf didn't mind giving his real opinion on matters, but now with him gone we have:

Breaky - The host of the show. Breaky is fine in the podcast, he has a good grasp about what is going on. He brings up topics and isn't afraid to play devils advocate from time to time. He also doesn't dodge serious questions.

Milkfat - S2's Director of eSports. Milkfat is a good source of knowledge as far as what is going on with HoN Tour and other eSports stuff at S2. The problem is he doesn't really ever offer any opinions or insight on topics.

Beefpotpie - The new xanderK of the podcast. It's a 50/50 shot at whether or not whatever Beef says will make sense. On the positive side, Beef knows more about what actually happened the previous week in HoN Tour/Sound Blaster Heroes League than everyone else on the podcast combined.

Emperor - The newest guy to the podcast. I can't really say anything negative about him except that thus far he hasn't really shown much personality. But he's also new to what he's been doing as a caster recently so I'll chalk this up to nerves/not knowing the limits for the time being.


Where is the attitude?! Frankly, I blame it mostly on the fact that Honcast is looking for a permanent co-caster for Breaky and I'm pretty sure both Emperor and Beef are interested. This means they aren't going to be stepping out and calling people shitcans anytime soon, if at all. I'm not saying it has to be like that, or that people need to be bad mannered. I'm saying someone there needs to bring the real talk. The obvious "solution" is for me to start my own podcast since Swindlemelonzz apparently doesn't have time to keep doing Real Talkin, but the truth is I'm way too lazy. Unfortunately, I don't know if or when this trend of sleepy podcasts is gonna end, but I hope it does.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

[OTP]Znoowy Real Talks Why Tralf Left OTP

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?482858-One-Trick-Pony-The-Story

Basically, Znoowy lays it all out on the table from the side of One Trick Pony. They key points he makes are:

1. Tralf began practicing/scrimming with OTP but they had poor performances even against mediocre teams.

2. Tralf practiced and played tournament matches (GSL with oo7 for instance) with other teams while he was supposed to be with OTP. This made OTP feel uncomfortable with him.

3. Tralf "apologized" to OTP and they got ready for Cycle 6.

4. OTP gets crushed by Mistral 2-0 leading to Tralf leaving the clan and Skype without even letting OTP know.

5. Tralf agrees to play for OTP to try and keep them from dropping to Gold, but only after the community begins to trash talk him.

6. OTP beats Clan Milk 2-1 in the Losers Bracket, but is forced to forfeit Losers Bracket Round 2 to QsQ because they aren't comfortable playing with Tralfamadore and can't add a member to their roster during a cycle.

7. Znoowy posts on the forums stating that OTP's future is uncertain and that they will take this week to figure out if they want to continue on as a team.

Any More Posts About Tralf And He's Getting His Own Blog...

Man, its hard to write about a topic that, for once, Leyst has let linger for more than 2 posts. Even the first sentences of this article eluded me for a good five minutes. I guess the best thing to do here is to get into the nitty gritty, down to brass tacks, straight to business. So here we go again...

Well, I can't say that I'm surprised. Hell, anyone reading this blog probably isn't very surprised either. Tralfamadore is in the public eye once again, this being my 3rd post about him in the month of February alone (any more and I might have to start a blog just for him!) The reason he is the talk of the town once more is due to the drama surrounding his recent departure(??) from One Trick Pony (OTP) after just one HoN Tour match.

Tralf played vs Mistral Gaming in HoN Tour Diamond division for OTP and ended up getting crushed 2-0. This lead to Tralf quitting the team in between the Winner Bracket and Loser Bracket, which basically forced OTP down to Gold. After the public backlash, Tralfamadore agreed to play the losers bracket match vs Clan Milk (CM) however he refused to log into voice chat and played pretty sloppily in game one, going for early Alchemist Bones into Helm of the Black Legion then finished off with a Genjuro. Luckily for OTP, CM decided to let Xibbe have Chipper both in both games 2 and 3, leading me to believe that Milkfat asked CM to throw to allow OTP to stay in Diamond while cursing the name of Tralfamadore under his breath. Game 3, Tralf played Silhouette and dominated but so did the rest of OTP.

Forums have exploded with flame against Tralf in this thread. There are a few posts there that try to offer explanations and mitigation for how he behaved, but the majority is against him/his actions. I will pull a few out that stuck out to me.


I loved the beginning of this post. I think the analogy is so spot on. Unfortunately the post ends up feeling completely disingenuous after the first paragraph, like a father who wasn't part of their child's life trying to offer up some personal advice. Oh well, good analogy.


Innerspike posted this. Probably the best post in the actual thread.


None of this post makes any sense, or adds any value to the forum post, but I added it because it shows how completely asinine some people are, posting just to post. By the way, GanbaruJapan is probably the single dumbest poster in any thread he posts in, including this one. Just putting that out there.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tralfamadore??????????????

As everyone already knows, Tralfamadore has left S2 Games of his own accord to support his girlfriend's decision to accept a job in Vancouver, BC, CA. Preceding this announcment, we talked a bit about Tralfamadore scrimming under the name "StarStuffing" with OTP. Since then it seems like some things may have changed. While this post is mostly speculative, I have had competitors and people who claim to be close to Tralfamadore bring up some information.

This thread from the forums shines light on the clan We Are Spies (oo7) adding a "surprise 7th" to the roster. This person is listed as a T9oly. A forum goer decided to look into the post history of this account and found some interesting things.

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/search.php?searchid=686446

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?362979-HON-All-Star-Team&p=14609260&highlight=#post14609260

Places Tralf on his All Star Team roster after his performance at Dreamhack Winter 2011

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?369977-Tralfs-stream-should-be-on-this-list&p=14680354&highlight=#post14680354

Asks for Tralf to be placed on the list of streamers

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?411917-How-and-why-YOU-should-support-the-competitive-HoN-scene!&p=15054109&highlight=#post15054109

T9Oly calls S2 Games a "complete joke of a company" who "failed to pay out a $100 prize from King of the Hill." This was 3 days after Tralf posted his goodbye post on Reddit back in April.

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?427287-tdM-worst-competitive-team&p=15141464&highlight=#post15141464

This post calls out all of tdM "except Tralf" for doing poorly in performances. The main culprit being Diablo 3. The post directly criticizes Moonmeander for feeding and questions why Bkid should be drafting over Tralf

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?428060-DreamHoN-Scrimmage-Updates-and-Expectations&p=15146535&highlight=#post15146535

Nothing interesting, just a report of the bootcamps of teams. Information leads one to believe it's coming from someone who is on site for the bootcamps.

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?433433-Dream-Team&p=15186370&highlight=#post15186370

The entire "new" tdM (coL) roster (tralf, franzzii, hax, bkid, moon)

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?435661-New-tdM-gt-new-Fnatic&p=15199403&highlight=#post15199403

Meh, just a post about tdM beating fnatic in a scrim

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?435661-New-tdM-gt-new-Fnatic&p=15199712&highlight=#post15199712

Same thread but this time calls out Zfreek for his poor performances at Dreamhack Summer 2012

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?437587-TDM-vs-Fntc-scrim-moon-s-stream&p=15215101&highlight=#post15215101

The thread is about how tdM loses to fnatic in a scrim, and T9Oly defends tdM by saying "This is exactly what I knew would happen. When Tralf was still in tdM - they scrimmed Fntc and beat them, and then it was "well they never play Hon and had a ringer!!". Now, it's "HAHA you lost and they don't even play HoN!" Retarded fanboys."

http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?481736-oo7-new-5th-may-make-them-a-darkhorse-in-the-GSL!&p=15569531&viewfull=1#post15569531

This is a post from Tralf explaining that the person in question is actually his former roommate and he used the account to sign up for oo7 because he wasn't sure which team he was going to play for. Tralf, on T9Oly, played for oo7 during the SB Qualifiers while still on OTP's roster as StarStuffing. In fact, up until a couple days ago, both T9Oly and StarStuffing were on HoN Tour rosters at the same time.Now, from these threads we can devise one of two things:

1. This person is actually Tralf. Talking about himself in the 3rd person and bashing on other competitors and  his own teammates of the time.

or

2. This person is Tralf's biggest fanboi and former roommate.

Neither would actually surprise me.

Also, the reason Leyst locked the thread was because it was "really insensitive towards Tralf considering what happened to him just recently." Can anyone explain what happened to Tralf that posting about him possibly fluffing himself is "really insensitive?"

I dunno, the whole thing is funny to me. What do you guys think?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ken "xanderK" Smith Released from S2: An Introspective Reasoning

This is the third draft I've written about this topic, and the one I chose to release. Why? Because I believe that whatever I write is going to come across as either being butt hurt, or vengeful. And while I love to get gossip out there, whatever I write is going to based off of my experiences with S2 Games, and that makes it hard for me to be objective. While I like to get gossip out, I don't like to just smear people for no reason. I look at personal experience, at facts given to me. I may just be some washed up nobody, but I still have respect for myself and for proper journalism. Hongossip has had renewed life and interest for me over the past week, and I'm happy to be writing again.

So let's get down to it.

The truth of the matter is, Ken is a great guy. I've known him just as long as I have known Breaky, and as far as community servants go, I can't think of anyone more passionate about Heroes of Newerth. In fact, aside from Breaky, I can't think of anyone who did as much for Heroes of Newerth both on and off the radar as Ken. For that, his release from the company is definitely a travesty. It's hard to see someone who was as public as a figure as Ken was removed from his position. Once again, the reason we're getting is "S2 is moving in a different direction" but that's just the easy way of saying, "We think we found someone who can do what you're doing better." And you know what..

They are probably right. But before you guys all call me an asshole, let me fully explain.

I love Ken and value his friendship, but honestly, he probably wasn't everything S2 needed as a Community Manager; just like I obviously wasn't everything they needed as a Director of eSports. At the time, I focused so much of my efforts on stabilizing the competitive community and making sure that the competitors knew I was approachable, that I lost the big picture and the ability to be an actual Director or Manager. I think Ken was like this as well. I've known him long enough to say that Ken always had his heart in the right place, but not always his head, just like me. On the flip side of that though, you begin to wonder about why so many roles that lack definition have such high turnover. Ken and I weren't the first people in our roles at the company, for instance; we replaced others.

The roles for our positions were never really defined. I was never sat down in a performance review type of setting with goals and outlines dictated to me by a superior, they simply let me work on whatever it was I wanted to work on. It makes it hard for an employee to understand what the employer wants when the employer seemingly doesn't either understand or know exactly what they want. Now, I can't speak for Ken in this subject because I've been gone for nearly 5 months now; but I remember going to work without knowing exactly what was in store for me. This was compounded by the fact that, like Ken, I reported to a myriad of people and had my hat in so many different rings I hardly knew who was in charge of me and which items took priority. To be short, and blunt: there was a failure in the chain of command at S2 Games when I was there. One that, I truly believe, has been corrected. And this is why Ken met his end with the Company.

I believe that S2 Games is finally looking at the big picture, and I believe that AceJR's achievements will surpass xanderK's as a Community Manager;  just as I think Milkfat's achievements will surpass mine as a Director of eSports. Not because these people are more passionate about the growth of S2 Games or HoN, but because these employees have seen their predecessors' faults. This is the time for S2 Games to prove it's moved on from being "just an indie company." If these community servants fail, it will be because S2 Games failed them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

HoN Tour Season 2 Speculation

Woah woah woah, calm down Phil. Talking about Season 2 already? Season 1 hasn't even finished. Yea, it might be a little early to call anything out, but with Milkfat and co already confirming there will be a Season 2, I figured I'd get a little bit of a jump on things. I haven't seen any information about Season 2, so if anyone has anything please post in the comments.

So, I want to first talk about what I proposed for the future when I was working at the office. Not for Season 2, but for the future of HoN Tour.

HoN Tour World Tour

The idea behind the World Tour was to get involved with each of the regions, and pitch HoN Tour to them. So LA, CIS, and SEA would each run their own version of HoN Tour. Either using the same format as INT or using their own method, whatever they wanted to do. Then you would take the Top 4 teams from each region and make a huge 16 team tournament where each region threw in money, say $250,000 for a grand total of $1,000,000. Like DOTA 2's International, only without the biased invites.

What else could HoN/S2 do?

Well, look at what is currently in the works. You got the Garena Star League and now CIS has announced show matches between CIS and EU INT teams. What this says to me is that the partners are getting more invested in promoting their eSports alongside the NA/EU client. Maybe the Star League will be the beginning of a series of LAN arrangements? Similar to what League of Legends has been doing by having a series of LANs at upcoming venues. S2 recently announced with the departure of Tralfamadore that they are looking for a new co-caster that there are plans to attend events like PAX East, PAX Prime and others. There are MANY video game conventions that are held throughout the year where tournaments are possible. HoN has had events at Quakecon, GamesCOM, PAX, DreamHack and then add in things like the Insomnia Series in the UK and the Thailand Game Show, Brazilian Game show etc. There could be something like an 8 stop LAN Tour. Sounds expensive, so if this were the case, S2 would almost HAVE to partner with at least Garena, if not other organizations. Hell, maybe this will be the year we see HoN @ MLG? Who knows.

What about you guys? What kinds of format changes would you like to see if any?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Complexity.HoN: The Road to Vegas begins to Fade

Could this really be the downfall of Summers unbeatable juggernauts?

Since Dreamhack Winter 2012, Complexity has continued to face increasing competition with current #1 team Trademark eSports dominating them from Dreamhack Winter 2012 Grand Finals through Cycle 3 of HoN Tour, including the 1st and 2nd Cycles as well as the HoN Tour Qualifier. For the first time since anyone can really remember, Complexity found themselves legitimately knocked out of the Winners Bracket prior to the WB Finals by the Stay Green. The sG vs coL match itself garnered its fair share of raised eyebrows as well as drama due to an early "GG" taunt by Moonmeander. Once the match ended with sG coming out on top and Swindle typing "Yo Moon, GG" the meme took off on the forums as well as the Honcast chat. Then, January 12 at 3:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, Q Squad reminded people that they were still around with a 2-0 Victory over Complexity Gaming, knocking them into a 5/6th place finish. To my knowledge, this was the first time Complexity did not finish in the Top 3 of ANY tournament in the last 8 months. This lead to more than a couple raised eyebrows from competitive HoN spectators and players alike.

When Cycle 4 began, hopes weren't much higher for Complexity as sG announced the acquisition of arguably Complexity's best player, Chessie. This placed coL in a tight spot and brought in the last minute addition of LezzQQ, formerly of Blackfade who was away serving in the military until recently. Upon starting the cycle, Complexity struggled to win a Best of Three series against the rag tag Domain of Pain team who had just lost Fittske to Trademark eSports. In Winners Bracket Round 2, coL once again found themselves in a scramble to keep up with a impressive LION squad who inevitably took coL out 2 games to 1. This is the earliest coL had ever been knocked out of the Winner's Bracket of any tournament since their creation (not counting the FF loss they took in the HoN Tour Qualifiers). Things were looking bleak already in Cycle 4, but they were able to rally back hard in the losers bracket with 2-0 victories over DoberonDamp, Pencils and Q sQuad. In Losers Bracket Round 6 however, they found themselves once again up against LION's looking for a bit of redemption. It wasn't to happen however, as LION's eliminated Complexity from Cycle 4 in just two games, forcing coL into a 4th place finish.

Once again, the time between Cycle 4 and 5 saw an adjustment to the roster of Complexity. LezzQQ was out and Riser from Tt eSPORTS was in as the new jungler, allowing coL to return to many of their normal roles. Hopes were high for Complexity as Riser is one of the top players in North American HoN and even Beefpotpie had them taking it all the way. As Cycle 5 started, coL looked very strong with a 2-0 victory over DmSn. Round 2 of the Winners Bracket was like deja vu all over again for coL however, as they faced off against the seemingly unbreakable LION's squad once more; and once more in a three game series LION's came out on top, knocking coL down to the Losers bracket where they would face off against The Fire Rises, who were able to take Trademark eSports to three games earlier in the Cycle. A lot of speculation about the possibility of coL being knocked into a 9-12 place finish was being had in HoN twitch chats. Ultimately, coL was able to dispatch TFR with relative ease, finishing them off in two games. coL then came up against sG for the first time since their loss in Cycle 3. sG showed their abilities to not only think outside the box in picking but also outplayed Complexity in games 1 and 3 of the Best of Three series, leading to another sG win and Complexity to a 7/8th place finish; their lowest of all time.

Surely Complexity must still be a favorite in competitive HoN as we approach the final cycles of HoN Tour, but with Trademark and Stay Green all but securing themselves a slot at the Grand Finals in Vegas in April, that guaranteed 3rd slot is starting to look mighty tempting to a few other teams, notably Q sQuad and LION eSportsklub who are both still competing in Cycle 5 and have the opportunity to catch up on some much needed points. In fact, if QsQ can upset sG and take a 4th place finish they will be at 8,250 points, compared to coL's 8,475 points. If QsQ can finish top 3, they will surpass them. LION's can only make that kind of headway with a total cycle win, but a 2nd place finish would put them at 7,150 points, and within striking distance over the last three cycles.

With the game changing around Complexity, they seem to be struggling to find what roles they are best at. Moon was attempting to transition from suicide into the jungle and now to some other role. Bkid has been playing suicide and it seems that really only 2 members of coL know exactly what is going on with their roles. Franzzii will always be support and Haxxeren will always be the farming carry. I feel like Complexity is going to have to start practicing much more than they have been and their are going to have to look at their drafts as well. I also have concerns around Franzzii as the meta switches into something more aggressive and fast paced. When the game was slow and farm heavy he was able to constantly keep vision up in the right spots and set up calculated ganks. Honestly, I don't know if Franzzii can keep up with an aggressive meta and react to ganks of opportunity rather than preplanned action. He has really only played the dedicated support role for the last 8 months or so, all with Complexity. When he played with his own team, Ayy Man, and prior to that Infused, he played a myriad of other roles, all at a level that was sub par to what he has accomplished with Complexity. If he can't keep up with this meta, he very well may be on the chopping block.

Moonmeander also needs to be looked at under the microscope, as his abilities and technical precision have come into question due largely to his involvement with his girlfriend. Personally, I don't blame the guy, but if you want to be a part of the best team in any sport or esport, you have to have time set aside to hone your craft.

In the end, only time will tell whether Complexity.HoN can get their act together and return to being the top team we all saw over the summer and fall. But for now, there seem to be plenty of teams willing to not only take their place, but give us spectators the exciting lineups and games we've been waiting for.