Well, first of all, I thought I’d just let you know that the Quarter Finals, the Last 8, has taken place over the past week, and I’ll run through the format that the knockout stages of this championship will be taking.
First of all, the Quarter Finals have just been played. They were played between the top two in each group in the group stage. The top of group 1 played the second in Group 2, the top of Group 2 the second in Group 1, and so on.
The winners of the quarter finals would go through to the semi finals. Each of the winners of the semi finals would go through to the 3-clan final, where each clan will play each other once and the overall winner will be the clan with the most wins.
But for the losers in the group stage, they would get a second chance. The losers in the Quarter finals will go through to the “repêchage quarter-finals”, where there would be two games where the winners will get through to the “repêchage semi-finals”, against the losers of the semi-finals. The winners of the “repêchage semi-finals” will go through to a repêchage final, and the winner of that will make the third team in the three-team final.
Confusing? I hope not. If you are still confused, take a look at this image, which should make things clearer (it includes all results up till this date).
And what format will these battles take? Well, most of them will be standard no-supplies, twenty-five-minute long CTF battles, like all the other battles so far have been, with one twist. Unlike the previous games, it will no longer be counted on aggregate flags over the two rounds. Now, the winner will be the first side to win two games outright. For instance, if Clan A win the first battle, they will be 1-0 up. But then if Clan B win the next game, the score will be 1-1 and will go on to a third. Ties will not be counted, so matches could potentially go on for hours (as they have done in some battles in the Russian clan championships!). However, the finals will be CP battles, rather than CTF.
So that’s enough on format, introduction, and all sorts of other things. Let’s dig into the Quarter Finals. Just to note: you can watch replays of all of the Quarter Finals on the cybersport channel: https://new.livestre…m/tankisport-en (excluding Dare Devils vs Dragon Slayer)
QF1 – Vengeance against Georgian Clan Crusaders
Before this game, they were undefeated in the championship. They had won all their games in the Qualifiers, and in the group stage they had also negotiated all obstacles successfully, two of them being via forfeit. They came into this as huge favourites.
Georgian Clan Crusaders
Having been an unknown quantity before the championship began, GCC showed that they were no pushovers. More than that, they showed by beating Red Devil Fighters in the group stage, and Ironclads in the qualifiers, that they could beat anyone on their day. They came into this as the underdogs, but far from weak underdogs. More than capable of the surprise, they were confident of victory.
The battle was in the map Bobruisk, and it was the most closely contested out of all the quarter finals. Both clans gave their all to try and win the battle and qualify for the semi finals. The first game ended as a 0-0 stalemate, with GCC showing their famous prowess for defence against the cosh.
The start of the second game was hampered by a seventh Vengeance player accidentally joining the battle – despite the fact that by then Vengeance had captured an early flag. Because of that, the game restarted and that flag was not counted. Vengeance would end up ruing that mistake on their part.
The second game started much the same as the first had gone. wdani for vengeance almost got away with the flag, but the first breakthrough came for GCC, with their ricochet-viking, avtosgio, running in and taking advantage of a very weak Vengeance defence and capturing an early flag. GCC doubled up soon after, with a comfortable second capture when Vengeance were overstretched in defence. Supernick and ciokko working together did manage to pull a flag back for Vengeance, but GCC held on for the victory.
The next game started with GCC thinking they had already won! Forgetting the new format of the battles – namely, first to two games, rather than best of two games – they almost threw away their victory! Fortunately for them, they were notified just in time, and a third game started.
It was a stalemate for a long time, with both clans not being able to get the opposition flag. GCC’s defence was desperate at times, and Vengeance appeared to have the upper hand. But then, out of nowhere, justoriginal, the GCC captain, went into the unprotected Vengeance base and brought the flag out and captured it. Vengeance paid a huge price for their overconfidence, and now will have to hope that they can manage to perform well in the repêchage – otherwise, they are on their way out of this tournament. GCC, however, march on.
QF2 – Kings of Arab against White Red Squad
Kings of Arab
Kings of Arab came into this as huge favourites. They had won all their qualifying round matches, and whilst their group stage had not gone completely to plan, they still had qualified top of their group. They were hoping to make a mark against WRS and show that they were still on top of their game and top favourites to win the championship.
White Red Squad
White Red Squad had won all four of their qualifiers without being tested, and they weren’t tested at all in the group stage – they did not play a single game! They forfeited against Vengeance, agreed to a tie with Ironclads, and won via forfeit against Hurricane of Fire – qualifying on flags difference without needing to play a game. But the fact that they qualified masked the fact that they were in fact very fortunate to be there, and were massive underdogs against KoA.
It took place in Red Alert and, as expected, it was extremely one sided. Right from the off, KoA were right in the face of WRS and it did not change. They won the two battles required with an accumulated score of fifteen flags to one, and laid down a marker for their semi-final opponents, Georgian Clan Crusaders, whom they had already beaten in the group stage. White Red Squad, however, will have to hope that they can pull of a shock victory in the repêchage against the clan they did not want to play in the group stage – Vengeance. To do so, they will have to play far better than they did here.
QF3 – Dare Devils against Dragon Slayer
Utterly dominant in the competition thus far. Having navigated the Qualifiers comfortably, finishing top of the pile, they crushed all comers in what appeared to be a tricky group. To say that they were massive favourites to beat Dragon Slayer would be a huge understatement.
Arguably one of the major surprises to get to this stage. Not given much chance at the start of the championship due to poor results in previous clan wars, when they got through the qualifiers and came up against what was a very hard group, they appeared to be on their way home. Not so. They stunned KoT and The Mighty Midgets, and went through in second position. Even so, it would be a tough ask for them against DD.
And tough ask, so it proved. Dare Devils captured a total of twenty flags without reply, eleven in one game and nine in the other, with their star-studded line-up carrying them through to the semi finals. Dragon Slayer would hope that their repêchage opposition were not of such illustrious calibre, or else they will be out of this championship – not without an impressive performance, however, to get this far.
QF4 – Try To Stop against Best of German
Try To Stop
One of the favourites at the start of the championship, they proved that in their results up to this point. Other than a defeat to Vengeance, Try To Stop had been confident through the qualifiers, and comfortable in their group, which included a few tricky games which they navigated successfully. Like all the other group winners, they were the favourites for this game.
Best of German
A tricky qualifying campaign including a couple of defeats and a fortunate draw with Ironclads started Best of German on a bad footing, and being third seeds they were handed a nasty group. But they managed to shock their two rivals for getting through their group (behind Dare Devils), Domination and Kings of Mafia, inflicting crushing defeats on each of them. They may have been thrashed by Dare Devils, but they came into this game full of confidence and hungry for victory.
Unfortunately for Best of German, Try To Stop was one step too far for them. They overstretched themselves, and in Kungur, a more defensive mindset may have been more appropriate. As it was, TTS managed to run in comfortable victors overall, with twelve flags to zero being the overall score in the two battles.
In the four battles, the clan which had performed best in their group won comfortably in three of them. Dare Devils, Try To Stop and Kings of Arabs all comfortably won and will be the three favourites to get through to the final. The sole exception was Vengeance, who made some reasonably simple mistakes to let Georgian Clan Crusaders, who played extremely well in sticking to their gameplan, win. No game went to more than three battles, and no match had a score other than 2:0.
Repêchage Quarter-Final/Semi-Final Previews
Note: At the time of print, one semi-final (DD vs TTS) had already been played. I will, however, preview it, and give a match report next time around.
The previous round of Quarter Finals being quite boring, apart from the GCC against Vengeance tie, let’s hope that these next round of matches will contain far more thrills – it certainly has the potential to!
Semi Final Previews
SF1: GCC vs KoA
Both GCC and KoA were formed within a month of the clan championship starting. Yet both teams have managed to fight their way all the way to the Semi Finals. One of these two will be in the final. Who will it be?
GCC have gained a reputation for being able to defend like lions. A man down in the third game against Vengeance, sometimes two men down, they still managed to keep the game a stalemate and manage to fluke a flag when Vengeance got overconfident. They will be extremely tough to break down, but do they have the attacking nous to succeed? Their three captures against Vengeance would make it appear so.
KoA, on the other hand, will know what GCC bring to a battle. They beat them during the group stage and will hope to be able to beat them again. They certainly will not be overconfident heading into this tie.
Prediction: GCC may be phenomenal defenders, but KoA are just too strong. KoA to win 2-1 in 5 games (2 ties).
SF2: DD vs TTS
The two best clans in the championship so far, the loser of DD vs TTS will be the favourite to win the repêchage, and the winner the favourite to win the championship outright.
DD have yet to concede a flag in this championship. Utterly dominant in every single way so far, they will hope that TTS will not change that.
TTS, on the other hand, have more than enough attacking prowess to break down DD. Lots of experience in clan wars, coupled with strong leadership from RoyJonesJR, and they will be the most likely team to beat DD – if it will ever happen.
Prediction: DD are too good. TTS may capture one or more flags, but DD are just too strong. DD to win 2-0 in 2 games.
Repêchage 1: Vengeance vs WRS
Both from the same group, Vengeance will be hurting after a humiliating defeat to GCC. WRS, on the other hand, will be hoping to pull of a miracle upset. But it may be beyond them.
Prediction: Vengeance 2-0 in two games.
Repêchage 2: Dragon Slayer vs Best of German
Both without the easiest of qualifiers, but both came through their group in second place, putting out some illustrious opposition along the way. But BoG are the form team, whilst DS only managed to scrape through their group thanks to a forfeit from KoT.
Prediction: Best of German 2-0 in two games.
Next week, I’ll try to give reports on each of the games that have happened so far, as well as looking forward to the finals… but until then, Ta-Ta! ~skitee