Another week, another set of stories across Europe and North America. While the NA region continues to create rivalries within their stable Top 4 teams, Europe further marches ahead with their unpredictable nature at the top of the scene. In three weeks a total of seven different teams have reached the Top 4, illustrating how wide open that division is.
We can’t tolerate two supports
The double support strat of Daebak was the hero of last week’s Battlerekt competition on European soil, marching undefeated through the bracket. It looked like no one had a good answer for the sustainability the lineup that Lucie, Oldur, and Taya brought – especially since the Daebak crew also found ways to switch up the pace in their game despite the limitations of burst damage or even chain control. It worked out in the end and teams couldn’t quite figure out what to throw at Daebak to make them nervous.
For a while it looked like that story would continue once again for a second week in a row, with Daebak dismantling Project Horizon in the first game of the semifinals. The Week 1 runner-up tried the same approach U Choose came up with last week – switching to a double melee composition to get close to the sustaining heals. Nothing would stick though in terms of long-term damage done to the heal squad. Superior control of the middle Orb and better positioning were all factors which saw Daebak comfortably leading, shutting out Project Horizon on the first game. Adjustments were made and the double Melee approach was replaced by the standard lineup that brought Project Horizon to these Semis and the Grand Finals two weeks ago. Sadly for Project Horizon, their success was limited once more. They made it closer, but still couldn’t break through. Daebak walked away with a 2-0 sweep and the double support strat was still alive and well.
That was until it ran into the buzzsaw that was Intolerant. After a week of absence in the Top 4, the champion of Week 1 was back in high profile Battlerite action with a new approach. Lucie and Iva remained parts of the lineup, but Ezmo had to hit the bench for Jumong. That change showed effects straight away and made Intolerant a strong contender again. In their bout with Vergazbo, Intolerant showed their great communication in target selection, paired with a lineup that could bring the pain, as well as the control. The interesting mix led to an explosive and action-packed match against Vergazbo, who made their debut on the Top 4 stage in the Proving Grounds.
So the stage was set for a novelty final with the two champions of the European region so far. Intolerant with their control and burst against Daebak and their sustainability – who would win? The answer was Intolerant and the way was fascinating to watch. Throughout the first game the two teams were sizing each other up from range, poking and prodding for a perfect opportunity to jump. Intolerant found more of these, especially zeroing in their attacks onto Synoo, who was commanding Lucie. The first rounds went to Intolerant because of their aggressive approach towards Lucie, but the longer the game lasted, the better the positioning and protection of the red-haired support got. Still, it wasn’t enough to win the first game and the assault onto Lucie would only get worse in Game 2.
Ezmo made his return to active duty for Intolerant and helped them to overcome the dreaded double support of Daebak. In a close match to end the EU portion of Battlerekt Week 3, the turning point of the game was Round 4. Previously Daebak had won all three rounds, smacking around Ezmo in the frontline. Intolerant adjusted and didn’t do full frontal attacks anymore, but rather tried to engage from the side. Lucie being targeted early on forced her to blow most of her defensive skills early on, which then opened the field up for all targets being vulnerable. A 0-3 deficit turned to a 5-3 victory and the second title of the Battlerekt series. Now will Daebak adjust? Can other teams follow Intolerant’s example of how to beat them? And what have teams in store for Jumong? The answers will all be provided in the next iteration of Battlerekt EU.
One of these days
The opposite of the fluctuation in Europe is the consistency of North America. Ever since the Battlerekt series started, four teams have constantly placed Top 4 with Onslaught winning both previous tournaments. The runner-up was different, but that was about all the change the NA region underwent in the past weeks. Now with Week 3 on the horizon the picture wasn’t altered at all. Once again it was Onslaught and Unsung to face off in the Semifinals, while Excel Wizards and Deadly Insplosion had their third installment of the rivalry.
And all those went according to the standard set last week as well. Unsung, the only team to beat Onslaught in recent history, seemed to have little chance against the NA juggernaut once more. The first part of the Semis turned into a massive rout – a shattering 5-0 defeat: a display of total dominance. The switch from Oldur to Pearl in Game 2 of the semis yielded short-term results and made the NGE casting crew excited about witnessing the historic upset, but the bubbles bursted as quickly as they had ascended. A 2-0 lead of Unsung turned into a 3-5 defeat and the end of their run through the Battlerekt tournament. Onslaught had clinched a spot in the finals for a third time in a row, on pursuit to their Battlerekt hattrick.
The only teams to stand in their way were their previous opponents, either Excel Wizards, who Onslaught had beaten in the Enter the Arena Grand Finals and the Battlerekt Week 1 Grand Finals, or Deadly Insplosion, who were their new foe from just a week ago. While Onslaught’s dominance was the big headline, the rivalry brewing up between Deadly Insplosion and Excel Wizards almost overshadowed their triumph in recent weeks. Consistently facing off in the Semis and almost reliably going the distance in their series, the two teams delivered excitement, adjustments and parity. This third meeting in three weeks produced stable lineups for the first time, with tactic adjustments prevailing. The opening game it was neewha shining on Poloma. The swaps were on point and helped propel Excel Wizards to a 5-3 win. Deadly Insplosion had to rethink their approach and they did. With a more aggressive pace they overwhelmed their opponents, so that the swap would not have as big of an impact anymore. Neewha still had great games, but Deadly Insplosion as a unit was taking over the map and ultimately the series.
So it was Onslaught and Deadly Insplosion for the second week in a row with DI clearly learning their lessons. It seemed as though they will use this experience as benchmarks for compositions, switching it up to see what yields the best results. Last week in the finals they’ve learned the hard way that Lucie won’t fly against Sirius, Taya, and Shifu, but had a close match by running Shifu, Pestilus, and Jade. So DI stuck to what worked a week ago and the match turned into an absolute slugfest. Both teams got up close and personal with each other, wanting to force the issue, play aggressive and make things happen. Onslaught ultimately prevailed, shutting down the composition which gave them the most trouble just a week ago. A 5-2 victory brought them within striking distance of their hattrick and Deadly Insplosion reacted with a substitution for Jade. The trial and error phase of DI’s pursuit to solve Onslaught was now on their third iteration, with Iva debuting in the series.
Sadly for DI, Iva was not the solution either and so the dominance of Onslaught manifested once more. A 5-1 victory, a third title in a row, and no signs of stopping yet. What creative idea will teams come up next week? Will Onslaught continue to dominate or will Week 4 mark a turning point? Soon, we will see.
North America VoD
Think you can beat the best?
Think you and your squad have what it takes to take a shot at the kings of Onslaught and Intolerant? Then sign up now and enter the Proving Grounds of Battlerite! Always remember though, if you come at the king, you best not miss. Come join Battlerekt and showcase your skills.