When it comes down to it, Tournament games live and die by Victory or Death, and more often than not, the team that makes the right calls during crunch time comes out victorious. It was apparent that Game 1 was heading to VoD from the fist meeting between the teams, and the argument could be made that Te were the aggressors in this particular endeavor (because of their push to double-capture the flag the entire game), therefore granting them some semblance of an advantage as the 30-minute carnage played out. But in what felt like a blur, this game slipped away, and when the dust settled, I found myself a culprit–red handed.
Both teams left their razzle and dazzle at home, opting instead for reliability in their build structures, and thus the metagame within the match was a pointed and familiar one: Warrior shutdown. All credit in this match should go to Te's Monk team, who held up through an onslaught of degen at the hands of a Necro, Illusion Mesmer, and Crippling Shot Ranger, sustaining only a couple of losses before VoD hit. On the other side of things, EW were almost untouched the entire match, primarily due to a lack of timely interrupts on their Warrior-hate Hexes (Shadow of Fear, Reckless Haste, and Faintheartedness are all long enough casts to shut down).
For 30 minutes, it must have felt like trying to fight against a brick wall for Paladin and Bob the Angry, who could barely hit a thing the entire match, let alone attack at a normal rate. So Te's famous Monk pushes, while extremely well executed from a technical aspect, were almost completely wasted because of their hampered Warrior duo.
When VoD arrived, both teams made unhindered rushes to the other side's Catapult in hopes of breaking through the stalemate with a lucky shot. Te struck first, nailing a Bodyguard, and were then able to stall long enough to take care of the second Bodyguard as well. Meanwhile, EW were unlucky in their one chance at levelling the playing field, as Acid went all alone, and was able to launch the catapult only briefly before he was tracked down and dispatched.
A full eight-man push headed straight to Te's back door as soon as they were assembled, and with 35 minutes fast approaching, the victory seemed almost elementary for the Americans. Meeting head-on and engaging battle inside their own base, Te needed to just stall for a few minutes while EW's Guild Lord made his futile stroll to the flag stand, certain to die against Te's massive NPC army.
Caught, red handed–ignorance! Bob the Angry left the team, and headed to meet up with the Guild Lord. But as he reached the flag stand and waited, EW's Lord simply stood still. Confusion reigned. Following the match, I learned from Izzy that neither Guild Lord will push to the center until their doppelgänger has reached a specific marker in front of their respective base. So while Te's Lord was stuck fighting in his own base, EW's was content to twiddle his thumbs and yawn. So Bob pushed forward, and called for backup in order to finish the game, but no backup came. No call was made, no support was given, and all the while, Te was losing the battle in their base. They had the choice to either fight 8v8, or send two Warriors off to finish the Lord–they chose neither, and ultimately collapsed because of it.
For the vast majority of the match, EW was at least one Warrior down, as they tried to keep up with the flag-capping assault from Te, so it was possible that Te simply underestimated the damage output of their opponents when the gank arrived in full. But either way, they crippled themselves by losing damage when Bob left, and crippled themselves again by not helping him in his given task of killing of the Guild Lord.