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.

37 comments:

  1. fuck off fat man, this is all crap and you're a biased fanboy. No one gives a fuck about HoN. as you said the best players already left the game, what happens when the best leave? There is a skill void. Trash like Pew and heimer would've never seen the light of day in HoN's old competitive scene, because they are players of a lower tier. Skill is all relative, you don't get better at something necessarily just by doing it over and over again, you do it by playing against equally or better skilled people. How can HoN have gotten more skilled when the vast majority of the top skilled players left the game?

    Get a clue and hopefully (for your family) a fucking job.

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    1. You seem angry. Having a bad day ?

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  2. Can you prove that there is a skill gap? You're basically every other person who comments without exercising brain power. No one is allowed to get better and just because your favorite players left the game it's impossible to replace them.

    Sorry, seems like you're the one who needs to get a clue.

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    1. You don't get better by doing the same thing over and over again with reduced competition. You get better by playing against people BETTER THAN YOURSELF. What do you think happens when the best players leave the game? The overall talent pool diminishes. Here is a similar example (not entirely to the point but it should give you something to wrap your tiny brain around) If Michael Jordan went to College in Europe and then entered the NBA draft, do you think he would be as skilled as he was coming out of North Carolina? Or how about this: if the 15 best quarterbacks in the NFL left the game, in a few years would the quarterbacks that replace them be better than the old ones just because time had passed? Would John Skelton be better than Tom Brady?

      You're so fucking dumb.

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    2. Oh to put it in some terms that your dumbass may be able to understand, do you think that the SEA play any less than the international hon teams? in scrims/serious games? or that they are less skilled or talented? that they don't practice as hard? The best talent in SEA doesn't have competition to practice against to improve themselves, while international does. Every single fucking tournament you get dumbasses like yourself and Breaky hyping up the asian upset while everyone knows whats going to happen. You know why it is this way? Orange/MRR/S2Y or whoever aren't necessarily worse than EU teams, in terms of talent or work ethic- they just don't have people to play against regular on similar ping to improve themselves. they dont have people better than them that they can regularly play with. What do you think happens when 20 out of the top 25 players leave the game? the skill level drops. people aren't as pressured, and "good" at that point isn't as impressive, or equatable, to "good" when those more talented players were playing the game (in fact its less)

      Again, by your logic, John Skelton would be better than Tom Brady if Brady and 14 other top NFL QBs quit and five years passed and the replacement QBs played the game in their stead. You would be on air acting like a dumbass like Dennis Miller or some other useless, uneducated fuck in awe of John Skelton's numbers 5 years past Brady's reign, and claim that Skelton had surpassed how good Brady was back in his prime

      Sit down in your chair fatass

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    3. Tl;dr. Get less mad before posting son.

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    4. Haha HonGossip got told

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  3. My call is you can't really compare two teams of two different eras. Look at how HoN was played back when Fnatic was dominant and then look now. It's a complete different game, with a whole new competition

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  4. Bull fucking shit. The competitive scene today is fucking far off in comparison with the scene back when real sponsors were around. Let me fucking tell you why:

    Just because you have fucking random new shitty teams popping up doesn't mean they are able to compete at the highest level against other top tier teams. For example, you are claiming fucking teams such as AL and EXCL are on the verge of being in the category of one of the top teams in HoN just b/c they had a 5 minutes spotlight, thus making the competitive scene better than before. Good fucking joke. There is a word for this, is called consistency. Just because low tier teams win a game once in a fucking while doesn't mean they have the ability to be considered a #1 team.

    Are you fucking serious fat ass? You fucking cry about people not using their brains yet yours is full of shit. Back when MSI, EG, SK were still dominant the scene was simply better. And it isn't because there are big sponsors, is because the teams were fucking consistent and you can never tell who the fuck is going to win. That is the MAIN fucking reason why the scene is better back then and tighter. You fucking know it in your heart, accept it. If you fucking open honcast I dare say 90% of the time if you see SG playing another team, you would know SG would win. Don't fucking deny it.

    Last but not least, there is a reason why the big fucking sponsors left. Is because the scene in this game is complete shit. Think about it shithead, why aren't there any big fucking sponsors sucking SG's cock if the scene is so good? Because it isn't. The scene is still inconsistent as fuck and it is pretty obvious one team would always win: SG.
    In sum, to say that the scene today is tighter and better than before is absurdly ignorant and fucking lack of common sense. Just b/c shitty teams win a few games doesn't mean they can be #1. If you haven't noticed all the newer teams that had their spotlight for about 5 fucking minutes eventually died down. Why? B/c they aren't fitted to be considered TOP TEAMS. Get your head out of your ass before you post garbage like this, thx.

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    1. I heard that saying "fucking" every two words makes your argument valid. Clueless and nostalgic kid on the internet. There's nothing more to expect, really.

      The only team that died out after the "5 fucking minutes spotlight" was OTP. Take Loaded/WHP (Chu, Bkid, Yoda, Dodo, Fuji), one of the best teams back then and match em with xCet. They'd get freaking crushed

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    2. I think its funny how people compare the amount of competition from today to back then. Sure, MSI, EG, SK all did great. But there was no HoN Tour then. They didn't get challenged week in and week out like they do now. It's not just that the teams are better today than they are from yesterday skill wise (they are though) but the fact that they have to be great more often. You want to talk about teams with 5 minutes of fame, but don't acknowledge that back then you had 1/2 tournaments a month that took up only small amount of time, compared to now where we just had the SBHL, HoN Tour, Dreamhack is coming up and HoN Tour was played literally every weekend with the best teams constantly squaring off.

      You can try to deny it all you want, but you're wrong.

      As for "fucking sponsors sucking SG's cock" that has nothing to do with the level of competition in the scene, but it has to do with the fact that HoN has an absolute shit viewership. eSports sponsors are in it for the marketing, companies don't start up and continue to exist when there's no money coming in. So what benefits a new sponsor coming to HoN over DOTA 2 or League of Legends? There isn't any. If I was a professional team would I rather have my #1 team be seen by over 500,000 concurrent viewers in League of Legends or by max 20,000 in HoN? It's not exactly rocket science.

      Also, you're pretty funny asking me to "get my head out of my ass before posting garbage like this" considering this is my blog. I'll post whatever the hell I want, and you'll read it. Know why?

      Because you're a fucking pawn.

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    3. LOL @ this Kirito fucking trash kid.

      No one is taking teams from two different era and matching them against one another, you clueless shit. We are comparing the scene from before and the current scene and debating which one is tighter and more competitive. Just because you can't handle profanity on the internet b/c you been sucking your mom's cock since birth doesn't mean my argument is invalid, dumb fuck. If you can't handle the profanity, get the fuck out and read shit that is PG-13

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    4. Listen Phil you piece of fat fuck. You don't know jack shit about this fucking game.

      Just because shit teams are playing against shit teams weekly doesn't make the scene better than before, dipshit. You are basically saying high school basketball games are more fucking competitive than Olympics because high school games happen almost daily while Olympics happens once every four fucking years. Think about what you said, derp fuck. A fucking awful and random team playing another fucking awful random team weekly doesn't make the scene better, nor does it make it tighter.

      Seriously, do you fucking think before you post shit to embarrass yourself, holy fuck. You do realize before even though teams weren't participating in tournaments weekly, the tournaments they participated in are still fucking huge right? That is why there were more fucking sponsors attracted to this game, dumbshit. Not to mention teams before were fucking consistent enough to the point where no one could tell which team would win, where as now SG is the only fucking fag team that would win 99% of the time. Think about it, you bald-headed monk fuck.

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    5. Anonymous 4:55, that's exactly what everyone but you is doing, comparing teams. Who the fuck cares if Hon was evenly matched in a post about sG being better than Fnatic.

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    6. @ Anon 6:51 get a fucking life you fat fuck learn to play this game before you post stupid shit on the internet LOL.

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  5. You are truly fucking stupid to think the current scene is better than before. As the person before me said, the scene before was simply better. But it seems he did not explain it correctly, so I will elaborate fully for him:

    What he meant was the newer teams such as AL/EXCL cannot be considered to be top teams just because they won a few games. They have to be CONSISTENT enough to the point where they can constantly compete against top tier teams. Right now, as you've seen, newer teams usually do some shit crazy like beating TDM/SG, but then they will eventually die down and get bumped down to gold division and what not. This is what differs the current scene from before. Newer teams will never stand a chance against teams like SG, and 90% of the time SG will emerge the winner. Where as before, you can never tell which team would win, SK, MSI, or EG, you decide.

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    1. even if you compare the current "consistent" teams (TTes, Col, Tdm, sG, LION, QsQ) the scene is still bigger, and gameplay evolved. the fact that sG is so dominant is the actual reason of this post.
      i don't really know what are you trying to proof by saying that ExcL isn't a top team (it isn't) and sG will 90% win (they will). so what, point still stands.
      retard.

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    2. What point still stands you fucktard? Wtf are you talking about kid do you even know how to fucking read?

      Another fucking dumbass thinking more shit teams playing weekly is equivalent to scene being better. You do fucking realize shit teams playing more doesn't mean the competition is more competitive right? 90% of the time is SG crushing fucking shitties, so how is it more competitive when is just one team dominating, think about it you fat fuck.

      Get your head out of your ass, is not a fucking hat kid.

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    3. Yeah because EG and SK were quality, are you fucking kidding me you stupid retard? How is a fucking team with Testie better than any of the teams 2:05AM anon mentioned? Or a team with motherfucking Dodo LMFAO. Get a grip, the scene was total shit, not much better than when Fenald and Angel battled it out back in beta.

      Im almost 99% sure any gold league team would beat EG and SK 9 out of 10 games (back in their days 400 GPM was a huge feat), but I don't expect a 1500 shitkid to understand what he watches, and how teams today are much better.

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    4. Another fucking retard thinks i am comparing skill-cap. Holy shit. The concept of comparing the scene and not the skill-cap from before and current is just too much for shit kids to handle, o well.

      Calling me a 1500 shit kid yet I highly doubt you have get passed 1800 in your entire fucking life, gimme your in-game and let's 1v1 paypal for $10 fucking faggot?

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    5. HOLY FUCKING SHIT YOU ARE STUPID!!!! THE ONLY REASON PHIL IS COMPARING SG TO FNTC IS BECAUSE THEY ARE DOMINATING!
      THATS THE FUCKING POINT!!

      1 team beats the shit out of 5 strong teams almost every single time, these 5 fucking teams would fucking wreck old teams anyday and can also beat each other...
      get it now?
      1 team beating everyone doesn't makes the scene less competitive, the scene is still competitive and the fact that 1 team is above all the others (for now)is admirable, they play close to perfect games very often. are you trying to say that if they were worse then the scene would be better? or more competitive?

      So what do you think about the scene a while ago when they weren't right there and anyone could win [sG/coL/tdm]. was that better? the whole point is that sG being better than the rest doesn't makes them all shit.
      you are even admiting there's a skill gap so why the fuck would you say "SG crushing fucking shitties".?

      srsly, get a clue. learn to fuckin read.

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  6. Guy above is an ass but he's right. Back then the scene was at its peak...now it's just getting worse ad worse.

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  7. ^ all 3 are written by the same fag

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  8. Scene now is much better than before and arguing about that is just plain dumb. Also, there was no explanation, WHY scene was supposedly better back then, all I read was rambling and fucking.

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  9. Old Dreamhacks just don't compare - up until DHW 2011 the shitty prize money meant that it wasn't even worth it for most non-European teams to compete, so it was basically a Nordic and then European tournament up until then. And MSI got the free qualifier each time.

    Let's spend 10k+ on flights, food and accommodation to go to compete to possibly win 7k for 1st.

    Let's just hope that loveable guy Milkfat learned a little from his visit to GSL 2013 as that completely shat all over any LAN S2 has ever done, even with most of the logistics already handled at Dreamhack.

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    1. The only decent prize money tournament from an individual players point of view was The Malaysia Hon National Championship which had $100,000 for 1st ($20,000 per player) but was limited to Malaysians. No other Hon tournament has come close to even half of that for 1st place.

      Although Dabeliuteef never won a Dreamhack and has now retired, he's still earned more in prize money than any other Hon player even after GSL. Orange eSport best team ever. GG =D

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  10. GSL was done on a cheap country, probably the whole event costed half as much as the dreamhack winter 2012 setup. Doing that in USA or Sweden would not just be incredibly expensive, but it would also be useless cause half of the seats would be empty.

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  11. have fun watching John Skelton vs Mark Sanchez in the CFL while I watch Manning vs Brady in primetime

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  12. Phil, I think the overall quality isn't as high and balanced like it was some time ago. Today, when I watch a game it's like: okay, sG wins against everybody, tdm wins against everybody (except sG and coL) and coL wins against everybody (except sG and coL). These three teams are simply above every other team in my opinion. In the past, the spread of skill wasn't that big imo. Sure MSI was on top, but teams like EG, SK, Empire, DWI, Drdz, Duskbin, OK and some brazil team (dunno the name anymore) were pretty much on the same level, if i remember correctly. More upsets happened, even the infamous DRD with ol'man daggius beat DWI.

    Sure HonTour is a good thing for the scene. But imo, there's more quantity than quality.
    Last but not least, one thing I really disagree with: the region lock. I don't think it helps Asians and Latinos to play only in their region, I would like to hear your thoughts about it.

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    1. No, just no. Empire didnt win a tournament in Hon for their entire existence, that should tell you a thing or two about the old scene.

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    2. Well, they won HonCast Tournament VII. Not a big tournament, but at least they've won something.
      Who won something in the recent time except coL, tdM or sG? Lions won the Las Vegas Qualifier. That's it afaik.

      I think a big thing why people think Hon isn't getting bigger is imo the uprise of Dota2. You hear every week about new tournaments, while in Hon you have HonTour, Dreamhack + qualifiers, GSL and not much more. Hon is maybe getting bigger, but it's overshadowed by the growth rate of Dota2 (plus more casters). I mean, just look at it, the current tournaments are: EG RaidCall Dota 2 League Season 2, The Premier League Season 4, SLTV StarSeries Season Five, Dreamhack Dota 2 Invitational, WePlay Dota 2 League, RaidCall EMS One Season. In Hon we've got right now Hontour and not more afaik

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    3. That depends on whether you give a shit about Dota 2 or not I guess. I don't, therefore Hon isn't overshadowed by anything.

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    4. just saying Empire on HoN had only 2 good players which are now playing Dota 2 ^^

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  13. Phil you were released from your duties at S2 because you lacked the skills to do your job. You were relevant but now you're anything but. Maybe if you weren't a biased admin and showed any sort of professionalism, you would still be working at S2 instead of balding and working behind the counter at McDonalds. It seems to me that you write these little articles to take your mind off what is a lack of purpose you have in life.

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  14. Holy shit so much hate! Good read Phil! He can talk shit like the "anonymous" :D

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  15. who better testie moon

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  16. So let SG play vs fnatic; both HoN and Dota. The best goes with $100,000.

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