I'm sitting here somewhat dumbfounded at what I just finished watching. Te came to the table with a thoroughly unexpected build, and WM showed that they either did their homework extremely well or they somehow have the ability to see into the future.
Once again, the map selection was a surprise, as Te opted for a condition-overload pressure build, hoping to work away at WM's Monks' energy pools and muscle their way to victory. But who could have planned for Life Bond on two characters, Mend Ailment on three, and an almost completely turtled War Machine team right off the bat?
Even so, Te should have had this match—of that, there is no doubt in my mind. They lost because they brought what I can only describe as a wasted Necromancer Skill Bar: no Well of the Profane, and no Death Nova. As soon as WM realized that the only corpse control they would have to deal with was Putrid Explosion, they had a field day with Te's pets. Bob and Paladin, playing Thumpers in this instance, were thus rendered only weak Hammer Warriors for the majority of the match, and I really wish I knew who to point the finger at for that one.
As soon as the gate dropped at the start of the match, WM had a clear strategy in mind: Delay until VoD, and make certain that Te wouldn't have any Bodyguards left when that time came. Life Bond went on the Assassin by way of the Mesmer, and off to the races he went, straight through both Flame Curse Sentinels, coming out on the other side by the skin of his teeth while the bonded Mesmer sort of evaporated. Oddly, he was only able to take out one Bodyguard, dying in the process, and putting a bit of a damper on what should have been a game-breaking move.
The next 20 minutes saw a great deal of fighting, but in all reality, they would have accomplished the same thing if they'd taken a page out of the EviL and iQ book and just stared at each other. Nearly all of Te's damage output was negated thanks to Life Bond, Mend Ailment, and Heal Party, alongside the DP thrust upon the poor pets, totalling up to a fantastically unproductive battle. Much credit has to go to Planeswalker, who played his Elementalist to perfection, always staying out of harm's way and able to switch off between shutdown and support. But around 25 minutes into the match, back went WM's Assassin, intent on finishing the job he started early on.
Scooting across the lava towards Te's base, accompanied shortly after by an Illusion Mesmer, WM's gank crew made quick work of Te's remaining Bodyguard and a handful of Archers before a response was sent back. But the damage had been done, and Te now needed some kind of miracle to overcome the odds.
The Victory or Death shout arrived, and Treacherous Empire's Thumpers rushed up to greet War Machine's almost completely untouched NPC armada. They held the NPCs up for a bit, but then the decision was made to fully engage. Trapped in a tight space, and taking heavy damage, they became weak targets for WM's spike and dual-Surge pressure, suffering death after death as they lost control of the flag stand and were forced back into retreat.
Where was the Well of the Profane? Where was the Death Nova? This series should have been heading for a third game, but instead an unfortunate gaff meant the potential for an all-American final flew out the window. The massive crowd boomed, the announcer shrieked, and the Koreans exploded into cheers as they put the killing blow on their opponent's Guild Lord just after the 38th minute.
Once again, Te fought their hearts out, and kept pushing until the very end, but they were simply unable to make a dent. War Machine proved to the world that they are still the most dangerous, unpredictable, and disciplined Guild Wars team on the planet, and will surely enter the championship match a hefty favorite. They're not here to make friends, they're here to win.