Marking the halfway point of the Battlerekt: Proving Grounds festivities, Week 5 was highly anticipated due to the top notch gameplay Week 4 produced. The Battlerite community was waiting with baited breath to see whether Deadly Insplosion could come even closer to dethroning Onslaught and if Daebak had what it takes to pick off Intolerant.
The European region has struggled for a while to find an undisputed champ similar to what North America has with Onslaught, but most recently it’s Intolerant that emerged as the best of the best from the continent. This week’s installment was no different as Intolerant once again dispatched the competition with their usual composition of Lucie, Ezmo, and Iva. Their team play and coordination was again on point and everyone was pitching in. Whether it was massive Goos from Lucie or Joltz with his Chaos Grips, Intolerant just hit their stuff at the right times to dismantle their opponents.
This week also showed that they can fight their way out of sticky situations and can mount obstacles, as the Semifinals against Functional Sociopath especially was a very “un-Intolerant-like” game. The team hailed for their control of the arena was pushed around quite a lot by the aggressive pressure of their opponents. Several time the Orb advantage went to the side of Funtional Sociopaths, while Intolerant sat back and waited out the aggression, capitalizing on every single mistake.
In the Grand Finals it was Daebak coming out of the gates all fired up and ready to go, with Raigon zeroing on Ezmo throughout the first game. At first Intolerant seemed to be outmatched by the relentless pursuit of Raigon in their backlines, but the longer the game went on, the better they adjusted to what was thrown at them. Daebak seemed to have figured something out from their loss last week, bringing the Raigon lineup once again and even taking a game off of Intolerant, but they could only win the battle, not the war. That win went once again to Intolerant who overcame the 0-1 deficit and rallied for the comeback – once again without really getting control of the map and the orb. Intolerant realized they had to play more patient and let the game develope, let Daebak run into them, and then punished once mobility was forced out. With that approach they turned the 2-5 demolishment of Game 1 into a 5-4 nailbiter win and a 5-2 for the icing on their Hattrick cake.
Intolerant was not the only storyline of this week in Europe with a new team hitting the Top 4 – as it is almost tradition week in and week out. This time it was Pikachu as the new name, but featuring known names as players. Mini and Gazhag both played on Vergazbo back in Week 3, also playing in the Semis. From there they went different ways – Mini stood in for KlernY last week and got the title. Now they are with Rutha, trying to become a new powerhouse in the European scene. Early playstyle places them in the running for crowd favorite, as they brought the pain against Daebak from the get-go. In overcoming Project Horizon in the Quarterfinals, their first marquee win is already in the books, now the process in shaping up the communications and gameplay begins – hopefully with plenty more Top 4 appearances in the future.
“How close is it really?”
The quote was basically what Rainy said on the cast after Onslaught was crowned the Battlerekt Champion of North America for the fifth straight time. Once again it was the consistency of Onslaught and their impeccable ability to punish opponents mistakes that led them to victory. So Rainy discussed on the cast that the games might look close, but who cares? In the end, if you win every week, how close is it really? When you are consistently winning, it’s not really that close.
That being said, the North American region has been trying to catch up ever since the dominance in Battlerekt started, throwing out several innovative ideas on how to counter the juggernaut team. One idea that stuck around for the third week now is Pearl as the support option, as Unsung first, then Deadly Insplosion, now Excel Wizards tried to counter the dominance with a little Jaws magic. Sadly, Excel Wizards didn’t bring a big enough boat, even though the game was one of the more entertaining series of this week. In several close rounds Excel Wizards tried to isolate Shifu early in the game, which resulted in a 1 for 1 trade in almost every single round. 2v2 was the name of the game and Onslaught clutched out more close situations than their opponents – especially after focusing their efforts on Ezmo. A 5-3 and 5-4 victory made it look close, but as written above.
For the fourth time in a row their opponents in the Grand Finals would be Deadly Insplosion, who qualified for the big dance by eliminating Top 4 newcomer Team RMS. For the first time since Battlerekt NA opened five weeks ago, someone other than the big four teams made it to the Thursday show. Team RMS with last week’s caster InTheFlesh upset Unsung in the Quarterfinals to break the monotony. What had gotten into them? Basically a flashback into the good old times of Battlerite, with an oldschool composition featuring Jade, Croak, and Oldur. It took them a while to get going under the bright Thursday Night Lights, but in the end they produced a highly entertaining clash with DI. What looked like an absolute humiliation in the beginning turned into a tight contest and then back to a blowout. Deadly Insplosion went up 4-0 quick in Game 1, but had trouble finishing it out. The 5-3 success was followed by a 5-1 statement win, as they headed to another date with Onslaught.
Unfortunately for them, their fourth date went about as successful as the previous three. In a very quick match the teams exchanged plenty of good and quick rounds, but Onslaught seemed to be in control for the majority of it. ReapWhatUSow on Shifu went deep into the opposing line almost every round and miraculously could almost always come out alive to tell the tales of his adventures. A 5-4 win in Game 1 put Onslaught a step away from their fifth title, but Aughplosion had other ideas. Him going big to level the rounds in Game 2 3-3 was a thing of beauty, as the series rose to a battle of the Shifu players. In the end it was ReapWhatUSow and his team with the better end, as they clinched the fifth title in a row.
North America VoD
Full Show North America – Part 1
Full Show North America – Part 2
EU – Intolerant turnaround
NA – Onslaught VS Excel Wizards 2v2
Join the action!
Think you can make it a closer game and even overcome Onslaught? Then sign up for Battlerekt Week 6 and enter for a chance at all the glory, bragging rights and a cool 500 bucks. InTheFlesh went from the casting desk to the Top 4, can you make it from the spectating chair as well?