Extraordinary gameplay has been a staple for this Battlerekt tournament. Week after week they slug it out, week after week the show on NGE delivers. This time the excitement came partially from the teams, but also from the new balance patch – how would it impact the competition and would it topple some of the established teams and their hero composition?
Last week it was a story that Europe regularly delivered throughout the Battlerekt season. A new face in the Top 4 with questions about their longevity. While North America had stayed relatively stable throughout the first 8 weeks, Europe was delivering at least one new Top 4 team each week. Last week that team was Impact, having a nice debut by taking a map off of Intolerant. This week they validated that first impression by pushing Intolerant out of the tournament on Wednesday and marching straight towards the Week 9 crown on Thursday.
Their passive approach in the middle area of the map is something unique, with them leveraging the position into aggressive pokes whenever they desire. The ability to pounce on the opponent or go for a secure center orb gives them flexibility in the way they can approach rounds. Throughout this week one could observe the team passively hovering around the center of the map, not commanding it completely like teams like Daebak or even Intolerant like to do. The approach worked against everyone on the European server this time around, netting them the first title in team history and becoming the fourth Battlerekt Champion from the European region.
Their use of Ruh Kaan in the mix made it all the more special, as the two main storylines of this week’s Battlerekt competition came together perfectly. Not just a new team, but also new champions surged to glory. Ruh Kaan and Jumong took center stage for Impact, while Functional Sociopath tinkered around with their Jade and Freya once again. On top of that was team Banana, who went for all the variety in the world by running three completely unique lineups throughout the tournament. Together they made Europe’s tournament very special.
Almost overshadowing the Grand Finals was the clash between Daebak and Functional Sociopaths. In the Match of the Week the two teams went above and beyond cool plays, having incredibly close rounds with individual performances breaking rounds wide open or shutting them down completely. In one round K3b4b1 did K3b4b1 things, followed in the next round by Godof one-upping his teammate. Once the last map approached FS looked in control, especially since they relentlessly pursuit the Taya. The moment K3b4b1 fell, the rounds were out of reach for Daebak. The focus fire was too much to handle, the coordination just too good, and the punish was just not there. Functional Sociopaths took it once more, leaving Daebak on the outside looking in once again.
The Grand Finals between Functional Sociopaths and Impact then saw another champion make an appearance, the prime Intolerant pick Ezmo. With his help Impact ultimately overcame the strong challenge from Functional Sociopaths, who fought tooth and nail to add their second title. Mounting a great comeback victory in Game 2 to push the Grand Final to all three maps came off of a more aggressive approach towards their passive opponents – but given the flexibility that Impact seem to have in their play, they could once more adjust and get the last laugh. A 5-2 on the deciding map told the story, the story of a dominating Impact in just their second week together as a team.
With them climbing up the ladder now, seeding will change and a duel between Intolerant and Impact before the Top 4 could be avoided, meaning we might get the third and final installment of a cool rivalry in the making. Not just Impact will be a focal point in the final week of the Proving Grounds though, as Banana is also a team to watch. Last week they were close to the Top 4, this time they punched their ticket for the big dance on Thursday. Mini has been putting together Top 4 rosters one after another, but consistency was lacking. Can he and his mates make it to two Top 4 spots in a row? All those questions will be answered next week, for sure!
Close, but still no cigar
It’s the same old story in North America. Looking at the bracket after the event one can see Legendary winning, but losing a map in the Grand Finals. Hopes come up, people on the edge of their seat wait for next week – the week when the dominance might end. It would be the third time in just nine weeks that wait would take place. It creates attention and suspense for a region that sorely needs it, as Legendary seem to be just a more consistent team. In crunch time, when the chips are down and the nerves are bare – Legendary players deliver. It was that way in avoiding a game losing counter in Round 11 of Game 3 in Week 4 against Deadly Insplosion, it was that way just two weeks ago and it was that way once again this week. When it was time to step up and perform, at least one player of Legendary is stepping up to the plate and hitting a homerun. In some weeks it’s Arakune, in some ReapWhatUSow, this time it was Ninjas.
The designated Sirius player of the successful team went big several times in the Semis and the Grand Finals, playing a pivotal role to the success this time around. Against Unsung he delivered some crucial plays on both maps, securing the 5-0 sweep in Game 2 with some clutch plays. Then in the Grand Finals, once against against Deadly Insplosion, Legendary seemed to fall behind a bit here and there, but they can always come back it looks like.
A 5-3 win was followed by a 2-5 loss on Map 2, making it look like DI had the upper hand – at least psychologically. They seemed to once again have cracked the code, the puzzle that is Legendary – this time through out-aggroing the hyper-aggressive approach by Legendary. Several times Shifu and Iva dove deep into the backlines of the reigning Champs. Usually Legendary is able to punish those kind of plays and trade out in their favor, but this time the forceful nature of the moves caught them off-guard. At least for a moment. The break between maps came and Legendary used it – at least the results and play changed.
Legendary didn’t try to outperform the aggression, but rather tried a nice balance act between offense and defense. Several time they poked in and out, leaving their position sometimes and going to a “controlled” retreat here and there. No one got really caught anymore, Legendary was back in control of the pace and the retaliation for the aggressive over pursuits came in – in typical Legendary fashion the punish was hard, the rounds were quick and the title went their way. A 5-1 statement win, a ninth title and a demoralized Deadly Inplosion yet again. Can anyone challenge them or will they complete the complete Battlerekt sweep?
North America VoD
Join the fray!
If you think you can stop Legendary from getting their tenth title, or you analyzed Impact and concluded they have weaknesses, then sign up for your last chance. The last time Battlerekt: Proving Grounds will be held, the last chance to make history and become a Battlerite Champion. The Proving Grounds are waiting!