The rivalry and sense of competition is more present here than it was in Dogs vs. Cats. The weekly updates to the standings is keeping things exciting. Team identity is also more apparent. People joke around about what kind of players are in each House and how the Houses interact with each other. With these Trials, it feels like we're part of something.
The rewards also make the House Trials feel like a better "Versus" event. The Spawn Ceremony and the Finishers (brief though they were) proudly announce which House you are fighting for. Meanwhile in the Dogs vs. Cats, the best you could really do is use one Summoner Icon or the other.
Anyone else feel this way?