And so it ends! Battlerekt has brought the toughest competition in North America and Europe to the Proving Grounds of the Battlerite Arena every single week with rivalries forming, upsets occurring, and dominance shaping up. The last week was no different as the big finale, the grandiose conclusion, was happening.
The European region has been about one thing all season – change. As the Scorpions whistle Wind of Change in the background, let’s just take a moment to walk through them all. What a difference a week makes, as from Week 8 forward everything seemed upside down. The dominant team of Intolerant was suddenly falling off, missing the Top 4 cut in Week 9 and 10. That was followed by other teams picking up the slack, especially with Banana showing steady improvement. The pick to be consistent and challenge the EU elites, Impact, disintegrated just as quick as their meteoric rise from the bottom. Only fixed elements throughout all this? Daebak and Functional Sociopaths. Overall it was Daebak for most of the season consistently scoring a Top 4 finish, while the revolving door around them spit out new challengers on a weekly basis.
For Functional Sociopaths it was the crowning achievement to end their run and avenge their loss from last week. With Intolerant out of the picture last week, they were the clear cut favorites without Impact upstaging them in crunch time. Now they had to show that they are potentially the best squad in Europe with the last chance they had. In yet another win over their rivals Daebak they showed their comeback qualities, followed by a unique meeting with U choose in the Grand Finals.
U choose has been around for a while, but hasn’t been able to make it to Championship Thursday for quite a while – last time was Week 2. Individual members like Hansalel and CorrupteD were in Week 6 on their stint with Bruce Lee, but in this final week they came out of nowhere. Their match against Banana was tightly contested with both teams having a nice shot at the Grand Finals spot. In the end it came down to U choose using their bullish behavior to secure the middle area. Banana was struggling for answers and had to fully retreat more often than not. So the Grand Finals was set up: Functional Sociopaths against U choose for the first time.
The match actually developed into an entertaining clash between the two squads with both sides trying out different champions as they went along. At first it was U choose bringing new champ Blossom into the arena, only to see her tree cut down faster than she could yell “Shifu.” After a rude awakening for U choose, they switched from the forest to the sea, banking their hopes on Pearl. What looked to be a complete wash at first turned into a momentum swing. One big ultimate by Pearl in Round 4, down 0-3, seemed to be all their psyche needed. From that point forward U choose was on point, put kills and points on the board and forcing a Game 3 to finish the European portion of the Battlerekt Proving Grounds. Sadly for them, Functional Sociopaths found an answer quickly and so the last map turned into a “Pearl against the World” affair. More often than not she was left alone by her teammates, being stranded in unwinnable situations. Functional Sociopaths coasted to victory in the end – 5-1 to get their second championship after Week 4.
LOUD NOISES! That was the reaction by Gecks and FindableCarpet after Unsung had taken Game 1 against Legendary. Their enthusiasm was electric, the biggest upset and a major storyline to close the Battlerekt festivities was in the air. It wouldn’t be Legendary though, if the chance of change wouldn’t be squashed just as fast as it quelled up. In Game 1 Legendary switched their tried and true composition up, putting in Croak instead of Shifu – which did not work. ReapWhatUSow couldn’t engage and disengage at will, punishment that Unsung brought hit harder, it just wasn’t what Legendary had in mind. What then followed was the return of Shifu and hence the return of dominance.
A sweep in Game 2 set the record straight, and a 5-2 destruction in Game 3 to advance to yet another Grand Finals. Unsung, the team that had beaten Legendary back in a weekly cup around Week 3, was once again defeated by the top dog of the North American region. The team that took home all nine titles until then, changing their lineup here and there, sometimes their compositions, and even their name. All the changes that occur on the top of the North American scene are internal in Legendary and sometimes their drafting screen – everything else they displayed has been pure and utter dominance.
And just like they had dominated throughout the season, they saved the most devastating act for the finale. Deadly Insplosion was once again their opponent, once again eager to make their mark and finally get over the hump. This time there wasn’t even a sliver of hope. Legendary was on point throughout, had returned to their Sirius/Shifu/Taya lineup, and weren’t going to let anything stand between themselves and the full Battlerekt NA sweep. A 5-0 to start, a 5-0 to end, a full donut for Deadly Insplosion. At every turn Legendary was ahead, in any engagement Legendary came out the winner. Of their final 22 rounds played in the Battlerekt competition, they won 20 – just an exclamation point to a flawless season. Deadly Insplosion was chasing them throughout, some battles were closer than others, but in the end they just couldn’t find a formula to solve the problem that is Legendary. It started with Onslaught, it ends with Legendary – ten-time Battlerekt Champion – hats off.