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#1 2015-05-07 21:27:58

Black Adder
League Administrator
From: Praha, Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-11-15
Posts: 7470

CZ Defend the AoC Gold! A Summary of Season 36


A week ago, the last match of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League, Season 36, the fight for the Bronze Banner, closed the doors and turned off the lights after yet another great run for the titles of the best three clans in the whole of AoC. We hosted many teams vying for the prestige and fame of becoming the Champions, be it groups of friends looking to test their skills, battle-hardened pros, or even a first proper HD clan, but the winner can be only one - read on to learn the story of what it takes to become the best of the best, the famous skillers, the holders of RTS League's Golden Banner!

It all starts with Divisions

Even though War is Coming, the event with the highest prize pool ever in AoC history, more or less copied the progress of this season, we had no trouble attracting a good amount of clans and many of the very top expert skillers from our community. And same can be said about the impressive number of streamed games both through our own efforts and the great Voobly TV - a total of 46 streamed matches is the highest yet!

The amount of skilled clans meant the real fight would begin right in the group stage, and even though CZ Clan was placed as a top favourite, being the defending Champions from Season 35 and all, their division wasn't a piece of cake by any means - they had to face clans like Berserkers (vids, recs), Master Clan League (vids, recs) or even Run Forrest Run (vids, recs), such was the division they played in! This resulted in some heated matches that could have thrown D1 into total disarray, but apparently the Czechs would have none of it, and dominated without a second thought. Simply true Champions proving their Gold was no mistake.

WOLOL0 (real line-up), an équipe following in the footsteps of previously successful teams like Dream of Winners, took to their quest for glory in a similar manner, not really minding they had to face New Chapter (recs), Bronze medalists, a clan always ready to dish out punishment on Migration, or Argentinian Killerz (vids, recs) in Division 2. Their performance was so strong and utterly commanding that no one really expected them to finish without an award. It was just a question of what quality will the banner be.

Postseason decides the best

Due to their 0-loss performance (as the only two teams), both CZ and WOLOL0 advanced from the first spot, ensuring a free way right into the Quarterfinals where their Playoff battles began.

The Priests faced off against a bit upredictable clan, Rulers of Rome (vids, recs), who are capable of great feats when the conditions are right - as proven by their advance to the second round of Playoffs over strongly playing VIK this season (vids, recs) - but they weren't ready for what was to come here. They arrived proudly to the battlefield, confident to give their best, but even their best was not nearly enough to take just a single game from their Bo5. WOLOL0 weren't messing around. At all.

Reasserting their position as the team to watch, next round, the Semis, stood them against another hugely tough hurdle, RFR (vids, recs), who were upping their game the whole season, culminating with a quality win against strong t1tan in the Quarters (vids, recs). This was a match where pretty much everyone expected WOLOL0 to finally register their first loss of the season, and quite possibly even a loss straight away. Well, heh. Couldn't have been more wrong. Even though the Scandinavians really did all they could, the games weren't easy for the Priests, the manpower WOLOL0 fielded was simply superior in every way and confidently cemented their superstrong position for the upcoming last fight of the season - whoever was going to play them next had a lot to think about.

CZ faced the Spanish-Mexican Vikingos Nomadas in Quarters (vids, recs) and knew this is a make-or-break moment. VN are always a threat due to their stacked line-up and always aim for the top spots, and their ambitions were abundantly clear by the time they won the first game - they were up for revenge for the elimination in last season's Semis! The clan from the heart of Europe had to muster all their strengths to tackle their opponents, VN really wanted to advance further, and even though the remaining games were all close and took considerable effort, they managed to control the rest of the match and take three straight wins to place them into the Semifinals.

There they met New Chapter (vids, recs), the Germans looking towards the piedestal pretty much every season. CZ again lost the first game after a lengthy battle (starting a suspicion that it might be a tactic to make their opponents lower their guard), but then they geared up and pretty much rolled over nC in a series of three quick water battles - the longest took just 30:44 game time. It sucks when you prefer water maps, but your opponent is simply better on them smile

Grand Finals

With both Finalists now known, it was obvious we were in for quite some entertainment and quality time. CZ defending the title, proving they have what it takes to battle at the top, and WOLOL0 with pristine record challenging them, hoping for a rare feat - claiming the Title without a single loss.

The Czechs stood true to their tactic and let the first game on Highland slip, but, truth be told, it almost seemed as if they actually wanted to win here! For some time it really looked like they could do it, mounting an impressive offensive on the left side, getting through the river crossing, but then it somehow fell apart for them and Priests pushed back with vengeance to grab the win.

Champions' home map was kind of expected from their last match and confirmed their awesome strength on water - Islands were a lot tougher this time, but still, they remained a team to beat there and also became the first team ever to beat WOLOL0, showing that it can actually be done! But as if to prove that statement wrong, or maybe jinxing it, right on the next map we saw something that doesn't happen all that often in pro play, but I'm sure each and every one of us has done it in the past. TC delete. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that happened. And yes, it was fun big_smile Now we can all say we've seen it all in AoC, even this in the Grand Finals of a big tournament smile

The Priests were now one step away from the ultimate glory, impatiently awaiting the moment when they can start sporting the Golden Banner, but since we were in the Finals, it wasn't to be as easy. Nomad can be tricky and good team coordination is a must here, and when you're facing a clan with such team experience as CZ has, you might run into problems - and they did, with CZ taking the game pretty soon, evening the score for the second time, forcing a decider.

The Blind Random picked a fun map to determine the winner, Crater Lake, and, interestingly enough, it had a similar progress to last season's final game on Baltic. A tough battle for water resulted in WOLOL0's win there, but contrary to what would normally ensue, land dominance wasn't as straightforward, even though they were pushing very, very hard against CZ's bottom. But then the saviour came. His name was Skull. He who led his clan to victory last season did it again, steamrolling over his side of the map, punishing his enemies (except the wolves that killed his landing), imprinting his name in the annals of history for good. Together with his brave clan mates Janik and Mango they beat the odds and came back to claim the Golden Banner for the Champions of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League for the second time in a row:


The honoured Finalists:


Watch the Grand Finals on RTS League YouTube

Download the Grand Finals recs and discuss them at AoCZone

Bronze Banner Match

But that wasn't all this season yet, we still needed to see one match resolved, the truly last games of Season 36 - New Chapter and Run Forrest Run had to battle for the last banner available. This set of 4v4s was a worthy clash of skilled teamgame players, with especially memorable game on, for some maybe unexpectedly, Black Forest. Even though it was RFR's home map after losing the first game rather soon, nC played seriously well here and were convincingly heading for a win again - up until the Nords sneaked a unit of mounted assassins right into the middle of their trade route. And suddenly the game was gone, torn from their hands in the most vile manner imaginable. This seemed to bolster RFR's spirits immensely and allowed them to finish the match without losing again, deservedly claiming the Bronze Banner:


Watch the Bronze Banner match on RTS League YouTube

Download the Bronze Banner match recs and discuss them at AoCZone

Congrats CZ, WOLOL0 and RFR!

And thank you to all the participating clans without which RTS League would not be the greatest AoC competition ever that it is!

As in previous seasons, we again want to thank all the casters, admins and other organisers behind Voobly TV, and most assuredly also the casters who helped us on their own, as your help in streaming the fun clan wars RTS League hosts is deeply appreciated, and we are glad the community can enjoy seeing themselves and their friends battle for the fame and glory eternal with your commentary!

I expect many of you are also eager to learn when the next season, 37, will start - well, it'll be here sooner than you think! Sign-ups should start in a week if all goes well smile

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RTS League is the foremost and longest running "Age of" clan competition ever, with a history of hosting numerous other strategy games (like StarCraft II, Empire Earth, and Dawn of War) in the past. Fun and friendliness are the prominent aspects of RTS League, with the unquestionable prestige and fame the triumph brings to the top finishing clans following close behind.

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