They call it "The Linebacker," and it just may have been the best thing to ever happen to iQ. Augie "Big McHugelarge" Salick has created a Hammer Warrior that's one part spike damage, one part Warrior shutdown, and about ten parts aggravation, sporting five (FIVE!) knockdowns all told. He's had such a profound impact on these finals, in fact, that War Machine even brought a Warrior with Shield Bash to counter the Counter Blow! Perhaps this was War Machine's turn to over-think themselves.
Idiot Savants definitely came to the match worried about the triple Energy Surge threat, sporting two Monk builds with significant healing ability outside of protective Enchantments. But that was the extent of their modifications, as they took bits and pieces of builds they'd used over the course of the tournament so far. War Machine, on the other hand, looked like they were banking on iQ running something weighted heavily in one direction, while they themselves opted for a fairly balanced build, with a tendency to spike, albeit infrequently. They relegated their Axe Warrior to running duties, while their Elementalist stayed with the primary team for additional Warrior defense, alongside the Trapper.
iQ pressured at times, but found their greatest success when they spiked during moments when the Ward Against Melee was down. Some spikes telegraphed more than others, and only the rare Warrior collapse resulted in kills, but it was more than WM could claim—and the kills eventually began to add up. By 14 minutes, War Machine had to back away from the flag stand and re-think their strategy, allowing iQ to grab their first morale boost at 16 minutes.
The Koreans decided on a 5-3 split, sending a team out their back door to try to split up iQ and test their mobility. But WM found themselves far weaker in split formation, as iQ sent back four to deal with the three at their back door, killing them off with ease, even as their flag stand four were pushing back WM's five. This dance continued for quite some time, though, with WM testing the waters with a 4-4 split of their own, then a 6-2, culminating in the DP'ing out of their Shield Bashing Axe Warrior. But this is War Machine, and morale means nothing as long as they still have keyboards and mice in their hands.
Issuing another team of three out their back door, WM resurrected their fallen Warrior, and briefly caught iQ by surprise, pushing them back into their own base before sufficient defenses returned. When those defenses did arrive, they played right into the hands of WM, chasing them out and pushing without reason while their flag control was put into question. With War Machine having capped a flag, iQ was tardy by only three seconds, allowing a disastrous morale boost and rejuvenating War Machine's flag stand troop just before VoD.
"Pulling an iQ," WM sent their Trapper into the middle of iQ's NPC core when VoD hit and, aided by a healthy dose of Smite, he dispatched the entire lot. iQ fought back hard with their split, taking down both of WM's Bodyguards, but when the dust settled, WM had six Archers, and iQ had nothing.
Then a curious thing happened. The split battles coalesced just inside the walls of iQ's base, and WM decided to push. Instead of waiting for 35 minutes and utilizing the support from their decently sized Archer team, they tried to press on 8v8, and oh how they fell. iQ poured on the offense, putting together a string of kills on WM's Monks, spreading the damage around liberally, until War Machine was forced to turn completely around and run for the hills. Even as the Koreans received another morale boost, iQ was taking care of the remaining Archers, and put themselves in a position where they could once again fight their opponents head-on.
The final battle began, but it did not take long to see where this one was headed. War Machine's damage was almost non-existent with the exception of spikes, each and every one of which was caught by iQ's Monks during crunch-time. iQ's brute force and muscle once again overtook WM, eventually turning this decisive stand-off into an all-out rout.