The World of Tanks Gold League North American Finals have been completed! Four of the best teams in North America showed up to the live finals at the ESL Studios. After the intense matches, one team was able to stay a step above of the rest to claim $95,000 and a berth at the Grand Finals 2017 in Moscow, Russia!
ELEVATE VS TOP TIER
Most people came into this match thinking that Elevate would roll over Top Tier in the opening match of the night. Elevate had been one of the best teams in WGLNA history after their undefeated season. The only team to take more than one game of them in a match was eClipse which reinforced the feelings that Elevate would dominate this tournament.
Top Tier had come into this live finals as the new team on the block. This was their first season in the Gold League and most of the had never even met in person before. This compares to the other three teams who were all at the live finals the previous season. However, Top Tier’s captain, Rude_Awakening, refused to think that his team was at a disadvantage.
Elevate started off on a tear by winning the first three games in this best of thirteen match. Top Tier just wasn’t able to keep up with the precise movements of Elevate. Top Tier was finally able to find a win on Mines when Elevate was unable to find a hole in Top Tier’s defense. Up next was Himmelsdorf, one of the maps Elevate was undefeated on.
Unsurprisingly, Elevate won their Himmelsdorf attack after enveloping Top Tier’s defense until they controlled all the angles. With that win Elevate increased their lead to 4-1! On the other Himmelsdorf game, Top Tier slowly worked over Elevate and ended up winning with 30 seconds left on the clock to make the series 4-2!
After winning on Himmelsdorf, Top Tier seemed to be rejuvenated while Elevate failed to put out much emotion at all. The looks on Elevate’s faces were reminiscent of the WGLNA finals two season ago in Vegas where they were the favorites but lost the first round to the fourth seed team! With their newfound momentum Top Tier continued to roll onto another two wins to tie the series 4-4! Elevate was able to split the next map, Murovanka, 1-1 to bring the series to Ruinberg with both teams tied at five wins.
Unfortunately, the comeback was not to be as Top Tier lost both sides of Ruinberg to give Elevate the win 7-5 on the series. Top Tier still won about four more games than anyone was expecting them to which is impressive in its own right. Even more importantly, Top Tier showed that Elevate was vulnerable and they could be beaten.
ECLIPSE VS DARE RISING
As former WGLNA Champions, Eclipse was the slight favorites in this match. They were the only team to do any damage to Elevate this season and barely had the second best record on the season over Dare Rising. They did suffer a rough loss to Dare Rising early on in the season which lead many people to believe that this game was a toss up between the two teams.
Dare Rising started the season on fire, defeating key teams like eClipse and Top Tier before slowing down a bit in the middle of the season. They showed that they can hang with anyone and most people expected no different as the Eclipse vs Dare was the most anticipated matchup of the night for many fans.
Dare struck first blood with a defensive win on Prokhorovka but eClipse was not phased by the early loss. eClipse stuck back hard as they not only tied the series but kept winning until they lead 3-1 after dominating Dare Rising on steppes.
Two close games followed on Himmelsdorf where both matches were close games. Both teams were unable to break the other team’s defense so the score ended up at 4-2. It was the opposite story on Ghost Town as neither teams could shut down the precision attacks from the other team. Both teams won their attacks to make the score 5-3!
Next up was Ruinberg, arguably the most defensive sided map in the league. eClipse tried to break through the Northern Cap but were met with a hail of gunfire from Dare Rising who shut down the push immediately for the win. It was a similar story on Dare’s attack. They tried to spread out more than eClipse by putting tanks in the North and South of the map. It proved to be futile however as eClipse cleaned up the attacking tanks of Dare to make it 6-5, match point in favor of eClipse.
Dare Rising had to win both sides of Murovanka or eClipse would advance to the final match and Dare would go back to the third/fourth round match. The winner of this match would also go to the Grand Finals in Moscow alongside Elevate. With all of this on the line, eClipse and Dare went into the last map of the series. The first game was terrifyingly close as the teams traded damage evenly until it was a 2v2 with with both teams under a thousand health points. Dare was forced to try and cap while Ledif and DarkGodZim of eClipse came sneaking around the edges looking for resets. What followed was an incredible game of cat and mouse that you have to watch on the Twitter highlight video above this paragraph. When it was all over, MyLittlePutin had clutched the game for his team to keep Dare alive in the series.
The next round of Murovanka, Dare just had to have a successful defense to force overtime on Mines. With just over a minute left, a 4v4 fight broke out while eClipse tried to cap it out. Then with twenty seconds left on the clock, Aggressor tried to go for the reset that would save the game and force overtime. Photofinish of eClipse had other ideas and fired the key track shot that stopped Aggressor just before he got the shot off around the corner. eClipse wins 7-5 and secure the second trip to the Grand Finals in Moscow along with a place in the WGLNA championship match.
ELEVATE VS ECLIPSE - WGLNA CHAMPIONSHIP!
The championship match was comprised of Elevate and Eclipse who both won their semi-final match earlier in the day. This would be a rematch of the previous season’s finals where Elevate beat out eClipse in overtime 7-6 for a nail biting finish to the series. This match was expected to have a similarly dramatic finish as both teams were set to start the match.
The teams started out on Cliff which was the first time cliff was played all evening. eClipse was the team to strike first blood as they finish game one in style as DarkGodZim gets the goomba kill onto Elevate’s Oxmathus. However, Elevate wasn’t about to let eClipse pick up a 2-0 lead as Elevates’s caller, Wallhacks, carried his team to victory while doing almost three thousand damage in a tier eight artillery piece.
The story was similar on Ghost Town as both teams fought both games to the bitter end. The first game on Ghost Town was one to remember as Drawkcab flipped his Maus in a critical moment of the game! Even while he was on his side, Drawk continued to do damage and eClipse was able to prevail in the end after both teams were down to around 500 hit points! The next match on Ghost Town was once again dead even as both teams ended up under 500 hit points once again. Only this time Elevate emerged on top to tie the series 2-2.
The next games on Prokhorovka were mostly uneventful compared to the excitement of the first two maps. Elevate and eClipse split the map once again to tie the score up at 3-3. Things got more interesting on Murovanka though. Elevate won the first round with a fast cap on the one cap while eClipse scrambled to respond on the eastern side of the map. Trying to push their advantage next game, Elevate pushed hard down the eastern side of Murovanka to try and catch eClipse off guard. However, eClipse was ready for them and for the fourth time the score was even.
Next on Steppes, Elevate started to run away with the match. They cruised to not one but two victories on Steppes after outplaying eClipse both matches. This brought the match to match point on Ruinberg with Elevate attacking first. Elevate were able to take the win with a rare southern attack that eClipse failed to respond quickly enough to.
Elevate win the WGLNA Championship and take home $95,000 and will head to the Grand Finals 2017 accompanied by eClipse! Congratulations to Elevate!
The Grand Finals 2017 will be happening in Moscow the last week of May featuring teams from all around the world!