Last week could very well have been the best week of Battlerekt action, with the European division settling in more and more in terms of power rankings, while their North American brothers took their most serious attempt at overthrowing the kings yet.
Two major storylines went on in the European portion of Battlerekt’s fourth week. One was undeniably the third title in four weeks for Intolerant, making them the clear-cut front-runner in the European power rankings. The second major story was the shake-up of the contenders, who rearranged their teams to make them more competitive in the long run. The most glaring example of this was Vergazbo, who reached the Top 4 just last week. This week, no mention of the team as their core members split up and went their separate ways. For Bo4 that separate way landed him once again in the Top 4, this time on the team In Pace alongside 213213 of U Choose and Broken Comp Sori fame.
The new team could make a deep run into the tournament, even defeating former Top 4 team Bruce Lee in a nailbiter to end the Wednesday action of Battlerekt Week 4 – but ultimately they couldn’t overcome the Daebak heal-train. That series however was a highlight of Thursday’s entire day of competition, as In Pace pushed the double support combo of Daebak to the brink. At some points it even looked like In Pace had more stamina in drawn out matches with their Poloma, Bakko and Varesh composition, forcing Daebak’s hand a bit. At certain points the 3v3 arena was split up into three separate 1v1 battles, a style that did not favor the support composition of Daebak at all. The first game was as close as it gets, but once Daebak could adjust to the way In Pace approached the game, they stabilized. In the end the first game showed a glimmer of the potential for In Pace, but proved the value of a stable and in-sync roster.
While the first semifinal was close, the second turned into a blowout. In the rematch of the Grand Finals of Week 1, Project Horizon challenged Intolerant. What was a close fight four weeks ago, was a complete display of dominance now. Intolerant was in total control of the game from the get-go, dictating the pace and showcasing a firm grip of the map. In the drawn-out fights Project Horizon was constantly on their back foot, getting pushed around and pushed back. That domination of map positioning resulted in a 21-1 Mid Orb score in the 5-1 contest of Game 1, only slightly bettered in Game 2 with Project Horizon leveling that margin a tiny bit to 25-9. The Orb advantage snowballed into a health and energy advantage, giving Project Horizon no room to maneuver around. Paired with the tremendous Chaos Grips by Joltz on Ezmo, the dominance spelled doom for Project Horizon’s hopes to get to the Grand Finals one more time.
So for the second time in a row, the Grand Finals was Daebak against Intolerant. Could Daebak equalize the title score or would Intolerant cement themselves as the clear No. 1 team of the continent? Intolerant answered this in style. Once again, similar to their performance against Project Horizon, Intolerant controlled the pace, the map and their opponents. At certain points it was a Chaos Grip in the beginning to completely disrupt all of Daebak’s plans and leave them scrambling to pick up the pieces. A clean and clear 5-0 sweep. A prompt switch away from the double support into a Raigon for Godof. On the scoreboard that switch showed a slight improvement, but overall the entire Intolerant Grand Finals was the “Ezmo Show”. Joltz relentlessly kept haunting Lucie or Taya in the backlines, completely demolishing everything in his way. A 5-1 win, a third Battlerekt title and a clear answer: Intolerant is the team to beat in Europe.
No Margin Of Error Left
Europe finally figured out it’s undisputed top team. It’s time for North America to try and figure out how to beat theirs. Onslaught has been the embodiment of dominance for this season of Battlerekt and well before that even. The biggest team’s nemesis seems to be Deadly Insplosion, who have been solidifying themselves as the second best team in a region that is controlled by exactly four teams. The semifinals of the Battlerekt events have always been with Excel Wizards, Unsung and the two top dogs – little to no fresh blood breaking through.
The rivalries it creates and the composition trends it generates are fascinating to study, nonetheless. Changing up their style completely this week were Excel Wizards. In previous weeks they’ve relied on Poloma, Bakko and Varesh, this week they entered the arena with Ezmo and Shifu as cores, while the support rotated given the opposition. Poloma, Lucie and Pearl all found their playing time in the Excel Wizard lineup – with the Wizards going the route of Unsung last week, who also tried Pearl against Onslaught. Similar to Unsung last week though, the success was only temporary. On the first map Excel Wizards had no shot against Onslaught, who themselves deviated from their normal composition and replaced Taya with Jumong. The Beast Hunter proved to be an X-factor throughout the series, as he destroyed Excel Wizards on the first map, going untouched – then became the main target of the Excel Wizard aggression on Map 2. Onslaught found a way to stabilize though, mostly by punishing aggressive dives and positioning Jumong a bit further back – giving them the edge and the win once again.
Composition switches was the story in North America, as Unsung also tried something completely new after suffering a shutout by Deadly Insplosion in Game 1. They didn’t want to let the 5-0 shame sit on them, so they brought out Lucie, Iva and Ezmo instead of their normal Ashka, Croak and Pearl lineup. Yet again though, the success was minimal and the only two points they could put on the scoreboard was Deadly Insplosion getting overzealous. First it was Iva jumping in way too deep and overly aggressive, then it was Shifu going too hard on the backlines. In the end it was still a 5-2 domination victory by Deadly Insplosion and their third appearance in the Grand Finals.
The constant exposure to Onslaught and the Grand Finals seems to also have helped their confidence, as they stuck to their lineup this time. After they’ve experimented and tinkered around with individual champions to smooth out their composition against Onslaught, they went with their comfort picks again – and it led to an intense and interesting series.
At first everything went according to “plan”, as Onslaught once again zeroed in on Lucie, forcing her into bad spot, bad plays and bad decisions. A 5-1 victory for Onslaught and no real glimmer of hope for DI. That all changed on Map 2, when they switched their approach and instead of being hunted, became the hunter. Shifu aggressively went on Taya in the backlines several times, causing chaotic fights and wins for Deadly Insplosion. A narrow 5-4 victory did the unthinkable, as Onslaught had to go three maps for the first time in four weeks. The challengers pushed the champs to the brink and sometimes even further, but in crunch time it was Onslaught coming up big and punishing the aggression from Aughplosion on Shifu relentlessly. Ultimately though, the entire last map and especially the last round showed that Deadly Insplosion is only inches away from the upset – in the end, a counter away from the win. For now Onslaught could hang on, but Week 5 of the Proving Grounds is shaping up to be straight fireworks in North America.
North America VoD
EU – Intolerant Chaos Grips
NA – Grand Finals, Game 3 Round 9
Join the action!
Think you should be in the spotlight and upset Onslaught, not Deadly Insplosion? Then show your skills and enter the Battlerekt: Proving Grounds competition for Week 5. Challenge the top teams in Battlerite and have your chance to alter the narrative. Your time is now.