As the match opened up, I could tell this was going to be an epic battle between two top guilds. Both teams were running very similar builds, yet there were subtle differences in lineup and tactical decisions that eventually determined the winner and who moved on to the final round of the seasonal playoffs.
The first match was fought on the Warrior’s Isle and once the timer counted down the gates opened and both teams headed towards the flag stand. EvIL got there first using ‘"Charge!" but decided to hold off on capturing the flag stand first. Both teams sent players to grab repair kits. Once the kits had been delivered to the respective bases, RenO captured the flag stand and the teams engaged.
RenO drew first blood around 1:45, when one of EvIL’s Mesmers overextended herself and got caught with heavy focus from RenO’s Warriors. The Monks were unable to save the Mesmer and she died. During this part of the battle, both teams captured and recaptured the flag stand. RenO used one of its Elementalists with Windborne Speed to quickly get a new flag to recap the stand. EvIL, on the other hand, used one of its Warriors in a 2-player split style where, while running, one would drop the flag for another player to pick up.
Barely two minutes after RenO’s first kill, EvIL scored one of its own. One of RenO’s Warriors was caught using the skill Frenzy. (Frenzy increases your attack speed but doubles the damage your character takes.) EvIL realized that the Warrior had used frenzy and quickly switched focus to score the kill.
An epic back and forth stalemate ensued at that point for more than 10 minutes. Both teams fought on each side of the flag stand as they were both running flags efficiently and effectively. No team was able to secure the boost. EvIL slowly started to push RenO back to its Guild Hall. Using knockdown skills on the Hammer Warrior, EvIL singled out one of RenO’s Monks, and just before the 13 minute mark, player 4 on RenO died. Once EvIL eliminated the first Monk, they quickly switched all their focus to the second Monk. The Mesmer employed Energy Surge and Mind Wrack along with knockdowns like Bull’s Strike devastated the remaining healer. RenO had no choice but to retreat back into their base to regroup.
EvIL next pulled off a great tactical move by body-blocking the front entrance of RenO’s Guild Hall. RenO was desperate to capture the flag stand for the ever-important Morale Boost, but they couldn’t get out of the base. RenO focused on the Elementalist blocking the path, who died after enduring massive damage from Warriors. RenO pushed toward the flag stand but it was too late. EvIL secured the Morale Boost giving it the necessary edge to win the game. Once there RenO’s players incurred the death penalty, they became easy targets for the efficient Warriors of EvIL. RenO started to buckle once the healers died numerous times. Seizing this opportunity, EvIL pushed into the enemy’s base and killed off the Bodyguards surrounding the Guild Lord before targeting the lord himself. Because there was over a minute until the next resurrect, and RenO had no healers remaining, the Guild Lord was left vulnerable and at 17 minutes and 45 seconds, EvIL won the first match.