The Last Pride dismantled Korean rival War Machine in two games to win the first seasonal playoffs in the Guild Wars Factions Championship series. For this match, both guilds chose the Frozen Isle, a Guild Hall that favors split-team strategies and teams like WM and EvIL that can control the flow of the game. Unfortunately for WM, EvIL did all of the controlling in this match.
WM's team build featured a mix of Warrior and Elementalist damage, supported by energy denial and anti-Warrior Hexes such as Shadow of Fear and Price of Failure. EvIL's build featured a more Warrior-centric offense with Energy denial damage from skills like Energy Surge and Mind Wrack, with support from an Elementalist with Water snares and a Ranger who could Cripple, Poison, and Blackout targets or assist in running flags.
EvIL started the game by splitting into groups of four, allowing them to anticipate a split by WM, a guild notorious for its devastating split strategies. WM, however, started the game by playing for the flag stand. With a slew of anti-Warrior skills at their disposal and Blood Ritual to fuel the offense, WM seemed to have the tools to make a serious push for flag control after killing EvIL's Energy drain Mesmer. However, WM got a late start in countering an EvIL flag stand capture. Then the defending champion used Water magic Hexes and body-blocking techniques and kept WM from recapturing. That's how EvIL earned their first morale boost at 5:08.
Several of the top teams use a combination of players to bring a flag to the flag stand, using a speedy caster to bring the flag to the battle area and passing the flag to a high-armor Warrior who can survive long enough to plant the flag. EvIL takes this technique further, having different players run the flag or assist the flag runner depending on the situation. WM learned about EvIL's flag-running effectiveness the hard way when they sent a Warrior to prevent EvIL's sword Warrior from running a flag. EvIL's Ranger and E/Mo followed the Warrior and threatened to make a kill. WM sent their Windborne Speed E/Mo to assist the Warrior, but EvIL's squad turned and killed the caster instead. Three minutes later, WM tried again to disrupt EvIL's flag running, this time resulting in the demise of both WM attackers. Down two players, WM could no longer keep EvIL off the flag stand and had to fall back to their base.
Boxed into their own base, WM could ill afford to send a split group to attack EvIL's base. WM's Warriors built adrenaline by attacking with a wand and using "To the Limit!"—anticipating any opportunity to turn the tide. With their powerful adrenaline attacks fully charged, WM feigned splits on a couple of occasions to expose an EvIL player to a "spike" of damage. However, EvIL's control of the flag stand wiped away any death penalty every two minutes.
With Victory or Death looming, WM's Warriors made one last push for the flag stand, disrupting EvIL's control and killing EvIL's Ranger in the process. EvIL recovered quickly and downed WM's W/E. EvIL then attacked WM's NPCs to delay their march to the flag stand, allowing EvIL's unscathed NPC army to reach the flag stand first to take advantage of the high ground. With their own NPCs now marching to certain doom, WM could only try to take down some of EvIL's NPCs at the flag stand to even the odds. EvIL soon overwhelmed the weakened WM with the added damage from Victory or Death, finishing off the WM Guild Lord at 33:15.