The end of this season's WGL APAC-Asia tournament draws close. The playoffs stage is now concluded, and ELong and Charlotte Tiger remain. Both teams will soon travel to South Korea for one last bout at the Grand Finals against their Korean counterpart.
Who will win? We can't say for sure yet, but what we do know is that understanding the past can sometimes help in predicting the future. To help you with that, we have provided recaps for the playoffs stage matches, shown below.
|Match 1: Team Efficiency vs Charlotte Tiger|
The first game was played out on Mines, which saw a re-iteration of the prevailing trend by a push of a single tank from Team Efficiency to the east side of the map. This time however it was not an AMX 13 90, but a T49 with a 152mm cannon. Another highlight of the game was clearly the act of killing a AMX 13 90 by a T1 Cunningham. As the 1 minute mark approached, the tempo and advantage of the game swung majorly in favour of Team Efficiency, chasing down the last three Tier VIII tanks fielded by Charlotte Tiger. With 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Team Efficiency took the win.
The second game in this Best-of-7 series that was played on Prokhorovka was nothing short of intense, as both teams fought tooth-and nail for the win. But with two seconds remaining on the clock, Charlotte Tiger emerged victorious.
The third game was played on Cliffs and was once again brimming with intensity. The initiation first came from Team Efficiency by using an AMX 50 100 to shield two T1 Cunninghams in the capture circle of Charlotte Tiger. All three tanks eventually fell, but it would be the only casualties incurred by Team Efficiency as they proceeded to eliminate their opponent's forces, leaving only a sole surviving AMX 13 90. Defiant to the last, Mubesi executed a series of perfect snipes in an effort to get the reset. Mubesi's tank was eventually rammed by Elite just as he was being shot at by another member of Team Efficiency, the latter consequently absorbing the friendly fire and destroying his vehicle. Nonetheless, Mubesi falls with ten seconds on the clock, putting Team Efficiency up two to one.
In game Number 4 on Himmelsdorf, the offense began with two Tier VIII tanks from Charlotte Tiger, spear-headed by a T1 Cunningham. The game soon ended in a capture victory from the Titans of Tokyo. The score was now an even 2:2. Game number 5 on Steppes saw both sides of the map reluctant to make the moves necessary to execute a win, ending the game in a draw with both sides only losing three tanks and turning the score three to three
The final game was played on Ensk. Towards the end of the game we saw both sides try to initiate a capture, but with ten seconds on the clock remaining, it became more and more clear that Charlotte Tiger was struggling for dear life to go for a draw and not lose their last two tanks. With both sides at four points, Sand River was to be played in Assault mode as the tie-breaker game.
In the assault mode game, Team Efficiency was on defense, but rushed to the F7 area of the map, losing three of their Tier 8 tanks in exchange for only two on Charlotte tiger. Team Efficiency still retained both of their T1 Cunninghams while Charlotte Tiger lost one of theirs in the process. At 3:30 on the clock, it was all up to Team Efficiency’s last T1 Cunningham to beat three Tier 8 tanks. With the stacked odds against him, Charlotte Tiger took the tie-breaker and the series.
Match 1 Winner
|Match 2: PVP Super Friends vs ELong|
In game number 1 on Mines, we saw something a bit unexpected: ELong had a very nice light-tank composition as opposed to their opponent’s heavy tank composition, but this is the one scenario where we didn’t see this work as they were out-maneuvered and out-played by the very tanks they were attempting to counter. Game number 1 goes to PVP.
The exchanges were relatively even as we began game number 2, but towards the end of the game it became painfully apparent that Antare would need a miracle to win a 1 vs. 3 Tier VIII fight. ELong eventually takes game number two with ten seconds on the clock.
Game number 3: Prokhorovka. With 120 seconds left, PVP Super Friends managed to lose both of their T1 Cunninghams, thus making a tie scenario much more difficult to achieve. Exploiting this advantage, ELong rushed in and systematically took down down everyone on team PVP, with victory coming in at 00:18 for ELong.
To add further woes for PVP Super Friends, Antare became disconnected from the server in game number 4 on Himmelsdorf, although that was not the turning point of the game. We find Ayswuter on the hill to the east side of the map trying to snipe in an AMX 50 100 and bagged many excellent shots, but it was just not enough to get his team a win in the end. The score went to 3:1, putting ELong on the verge of victory.
Game number 5 was on Cliffs and ELong simply could not take Tedamaru out of the game for the longest time, sniping the ELong team one by one in an RU 251 before being shut down. With only a T1 Cunningham on the team remaining from ELong, victory was all but sealed for PVP, bringing the score back 3:2. After a brief disconnect in game number 6 on Steppes, the game was remade and ELong commited to a full defensive strategy in their base, exploiting their one point lead. As time wore on and the exchanges played out, PVP looked more and more likely to lose the set vs. the, statistically speaking, strongest contenders in the Gold Series of Season 2. The set was eventually taken by ELONG with an end score of 4:2.
Match 2 Winner
|Match 3: ELong vs Charlotte Tiger|
Game number 1 was played on Ruinberg and, as usual, both sides piled in to the east-side village and played their best picks. In the end, Charlotte Tiger just didn’t have what it took to win. The first point thus goes to the team from China. Things did not pick up for the Japanese team as game number 2 on Mines became a tie after heavy exchanges between both sides.
In game number 3, however, we saw Charlotte Tiger really show their strength. ELong was camping on the north side of the map, playing off of their one-point advantage what they did not expect was the most efficient rush that Charlotte Tiger managed to pull together, surrounding all of ELong and crushing them up one by one. With three minutes left on the clock, Charlotte Tiger Initiated a capture with two tanks as opposed to the single T1 Cunningham on ELong. With a clear lead, Charlotte Tiger takes the point.
As the series turned to a 2:2 tie, we were eager to see just what was going to happen in game number 4 on Prokhorovka. After a rush up the center of the map, Charlotte Tiger slowly emerged as the victor of the engagement. Total victory arrived soon after that. With this victory, Charlotte Tiger need only gain another win or draw in the next game to advance to the season finals of the WGL APAC Asia.
The final game was played on Steppes. It has been observed that most teams in the course of the tournament lacked practice with this map, so it was assumed that a draw would soon follow. Little did we suspect that with just 2:00 on the clock, Elong attempted a push towards the passively defensive Charlotte Tigers. ELong won the Tier VIII tank engagement, but Charlotte Tiger wisely kept a T1 Cunningham far away from the rest of the team as insurance (which evidently paid off). The game ended in a draw, and Charlotte Tiger advanced.
Match 3 Winner
No replay available due to Walkover
|Match 1: PVP Super Friends vs Team Efficiency|
Game number 1 was played on Himmelsdorf and we saw Team Efficiency advance against the defensive PVP Super Friends, whom seemed to have much much slower reflexes than usual. However, it is known that the entire team were - at the time - located in China for WCA’s World of Tanks tournament, which meant that the latency was almost unbearably high.
It was clear that the unstable connection was affecting their play quite adversely. Game number 1 swiftly went to Team Efficiency in a fashion that could only be described as 'tyrannical'.
Before game number 2 could begin, PVP Super Friends had no choice but to accept their fate, forfeiting the match and their hopes at becoming champion due to ongoing connection problems.
Match 1 Winner
|Match 2: Team Efficiency vs ELong|
Perhaps the most critical set of the entire playoffs due to the fact that the winner advances to the Season 2 Finals, the first game to be played was on Himmelsdorf and standard loadouts were the clear choices as AMX 50 100s and IS-3s filled the slots of both teams. Clutch moments abound in this game; Team Efficiency once achieved 100% on the capture meter before it was resetted by their opponents. This event was duplicated once again when they achieved 99% on the capture meter at a later stage before getting reset once more.
Elite became the last AMX 50 100 on the field vs. another AMX 50 100 known as GRB from ELONG, the latter only just a shot away from destruction. But Elite had literally no time to convert this advantage to a victory, as only 90 seconds were left on the clock, allowing ELong to pull out a draw by staying hidden from PVP’s final AMX 50 100.
Game number 2 was played on Steppes. ELong unfortunately lost both of their T1 Cunninghams after the two minute mark allowing Team Efficiency to make their move, but it soon became clear that ELong had no intention of handing their opponents a win. Even as 00:00 hit, Team Efficiency was still chasing down ELong’s tanks, but to no avail; the game ended with a draw.
Game number 3 on Cliffs was where we saw the plays finally being made by ELong. They first baited out shots from the auto-loaders on Team Efficiency by putting their tanks in the center hill. Once ELong was sure that the entire enemy team was in the midst of reloading their guns, they charged in and unleashed their fury. At 4:00 it was only two T1 Cunninghams vs. 5 Tier VIII tanks and a single T1 Cunningham. With no hope left, we saw ELONG take the game, bringing the score to 3:2.
In game number 4 on Prokhorovka, we saw Team Efficiency take their time, electing to attempt a rush at about the 2:00 mark. They took the Tier VIII tank fight quite decisively, but with the final two tanks on ELong being light tanks and just moments to spare before the end of the game, they hid on the south-east corner of the map for the final twenty seconds, earning ELong a draw and thus advancing to the season finals with an end score of 4:3.
Match 2 Winner