This week of ANZPL was where the competition really started to heat up. With a Grand Finals spot on the line, and two teams fighting for their right to stay in the competition, every game mattered.
South Sydney Skorpions vs North Sydney Sentinels
The rivalry between the two Sydney teams is as old as the ANZPL itself, and with a ticket to LAN on the line, both teams were ready to kick it into maximum overdrive.
Starting off on Cliff, I deployed the advanced technique of flipping my CS-63 to confuse the Sentinels. It’s a skill that many aspire to emulate but to no avail. Unfortunately JT scrambled to un-flip my tank and not utilise my superior tactic of distraction, getting taken down in the process. The Sentinels proceeded to set a cross-fire, shredding the remainder of the Skorpions and secured the first win without losing a single tank.
Swapping sides, the Sentinels opted to bring three autoloading heavy tanks, with two Kranvagns ready to hold down the middle of the map. Meanwhile the remainder of their forces had set up cross-fire for the hill brawl, leaving the Skorpions pinned down and allowing Wym0 to climb the ramp uncontested. The Skorps tried to salvage the game by going for a middle brawl but the intense cross-fire saw the Sentinels once again claim a victory without losing a single tank.
Moving to Himmelsdorf, the Skorpions defended by sending an IS-4 into the G3 hull down and also into G7 to spot out rotations on the 8 line. The genius play by the Sentinels to keep two E100s unspotted meant that when the push on the hill was spotted out, an ambush was ready for the re-push. Getting the elimination on one of the IS-4s started the snowball for the Sentinels, flanking around to get the elimination on the second IS-4. With a two-tank lead, the Sentinels pushed their way to victory, with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Match point saw the Sentinels now defending and the Skorpions looking to pick it apart from the railyard. Wym0 got caught in crossfire early on, narrowly escaping with 535 HP. The Sentinels replied by issuing two 1v1s on either side of the courtyard. With the E100s slow to the fight, the Sentinels managed to trade effectively before getting into defensive positions and winning the northern brawl. The Skorps scrambled to get another kill and level the score, but it wasn’t enough allowing the Sentinels to not only get a clean 4-0 victory but also secure the first spot in the ANZPL Season 4 Grand Final, live from Fortress Melbourne.
Perth Panthers vs Christchurch Conquerors
Both teams entered the playoffs on the same number of points, but the Panthers had the advantage in the head-to-head. Facing potential elimination, both teams were prepared to do whatever it takes to stay in the competition.
The clash began on Murovanka, with the Panthers opting for a very unusual tank – the Obj 705A! Setting up in a hull down position on the K line, the 705A proved effective giving supporting cross-fire, getting great shots onto the Conquerors who had pushed up the 4 line. Realising Twit was isolated in E1, the Conquerors pushed two Kranvagns and a Batchat 25t to take him out, but at the cost of a significant portion of Bluey and twoplustwo’s HP. Once again, the Conquerors looked to get a pick and the cross-fire allowed them to level the HP, taking out Goober swiftly. A mistimed push from KritaKil saw the Panthers retake the lead, with the Conqs unable to recover, giving the first win to the Panthers.
Game two saw the Conquerors set up in the open to punish a 4 line crossing. A blitzkrieg of Kranvagns and Batchat 25ts was not what they were expecting to be charging right towards them and Whippet evaporated instantly as a result. The Panthers bunkered down and sent their double Batchat to kill a flanking Bluey. The Conquerors replied with an aggressive push, sending JS home. The Batchat clip was too much for Merry, getting eliminated as he looked for damage and the Panthers pulled off an incredible, albeit unusual attacking side win.
With the Panthers up 2-0 and now on their stomping ground of Tundra, the Conquerors were going to need to work hard to get back into the game. A triple cap attempt certainly caught the Panthers off-guard but a last second reset strike coming from LightningMan kept the match going. The resulting knife-fights saw Godmode’s turret reach for the heavens and Whippet lose the 1v2 brawl. Some expertly executed flanks from JS saw the Conquerors struggle and once again the Panthers took home another win.
With dreams of the Grand Finals fading for the Conquerors, they resorted to a very static defense in the hope they could turn it around. Taking their time, the Panthers settled on a single tank pressuring the 2 flag, with the rest of the team ready to farm the re-push. The Conquerors tried to stay low in the river-bed on their re-push but some great focus fire saw KritaKil’s HP go up in flames, leaving him out of the main brawl. Twoplustwo was the next target with the Panthers having the high ground advantage, shutting down the Conquerors hopes of a comeback and JS leading his team to the Consolidation Finals.
Fantasy Team Of The Week
No surprises to see the Panthers and the Sentinels up top after a dominating night last week - let's see who's going to fair better tonight!
Remember to submit two rosters - you've got a short amount of time, but you can do so at fantasytanks.com for both an ANZPL and ANZBL team!
Matches for Tonight
We have the ANZBL Finals up first, with the Cairns Comets taking on the Bundaberg Badgers - with the winner being promoted into the ANZPL!
And of course, a blockbuster to close the night. Will South Sydney Skorpions win and take centre stage at Fortress Melbourne on the 25th of June, and earn themselves another shot against the North Sydney Sentinels? Or will the Perth Panthers complete another fairytale season, and earn their chance to go one step better than their Cinderella Season 3 run? You gotta be watching to find out! So get in here tonight at 7PM AEST, live only on twitch.tv/worldoftanksANZ!