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This season of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League was special - it was a season of firsts for both clans that made it all the way to the last fight of the Playoffs. One of them reached the Grand Finals for the first time in their history, the other claimed the prestigious Golden Banner for the first time in their history. And both deserve all the accolades for their achievements - it's no small feat to top all the community and become the two best clans of them all!
Season 39 yet again served as a proven way for clans and players of all skill levels to have fun in a proper competitive setting, with all the service such as live streams and social media exposure coming with it - we're glad we can show your heroic efforts to not only your clanmates who regularly populate our streams, but also to the whole wide world that can learn a thing or two from your special strategies prepared for your home maps - we have seen a marked increase in such games this past season, and that's a great thing to witness, as it means you're embracing what RTS League stands for, which is supporting the clan spirit and working together as a true team to make your time with Age of Empires even better and much more fun.
The tight battles for supremacy took a bit (well, let's face it, a lot :d) longer than anticipated due to Christmas messing with things, but nonetheless, we saw a ton of good or downwight great games and matches, and everyone could've found their favourites to cheer for amongst the multitude of clans involved. Plenty of them featured the very top experts you see regularly competing for big money prizes, or even players who are recognised community personas and skillers, but with limited time, they prefer to compete with their friends and us rather than anywhere else - Edie, FeAge, Janik, MbL, Millo, slam, Vinchester are just some of the names who find it fun to play for the prestigious RTS League banners, and it's awesome to have them here and give the very rare opportunity to play against them even to players who wouldn't otherwise get the chance - due to our community-friendly format, everyone gets a chance to play against literally anyone
Let's now have a quick look at how everything in Season 39 went along:
All four divisions included some heavy favourites for the Gold, and all four saw some very intriguing or unusual games. LeO's surprising success against FOX Gaming or Birras y Tapas' tense battle with Berserkers were some of the highlights of the mentioned strategy preparation, while New Chapter against Rulers of Rome with Run Forrest Run facing The Jedi Masters Z were of the expected top level quality. After quite some time we even saw Michi played by THERI in the very first match versus The New Hellhunters, but that was hardly the only occurence of non-standard maps this season - clans really are using the opportunity to prepare and play truly on their home turf, just like Villains did with Soul
Out of all the 27 participants, only CZ Clan managed to score a perfect record, and, quite frankly, you wouldn't expect any less from the Defending Champions and a clan that has a record of 3 Golds and 1 Silver of the past 4 seasons. This positioned them first going into the Playoffs, but no easy job expected them there, as all the other favourites passed as well, complemented by some well deserved advancees such as Clan Colombia and BlackForest crowning their good seasons with getting to show us more of their skills in the elimination round.
One more noteworthy clan advanced through as well though, and that was LeO - at the start of the season, possibly nobody would've guessed they had it in them, but as soon as they caught off guard FOX in the first round with their strat, they started gaining traction and it resulted in a great achievement for them, passing the bar for the big boys and for the first time tasting the thrill of Playoffs.
Find all the streamed games on our YouTube or Twitch and recs in our archive
The next stage was down to the best of the best, and it was, of course, showing - we saw no surprises in the Round of 16, which meant the top 8 featured pretty much the clans you would expect at the start of the season - but that doesn't mean group stage would be just for fun (as if there was something wrong with that :d), these first-stage fights decided who's going to be battling whom when the time comes, and it has just come.
The biggest Quarterfinal battle took place amongst Run Forrest Run and Berserkers, which took all five games to decide - such close encounter it was, and it was also that good, as with the clans' line-ups, you couldn't expect anything less. Another real intriguing match-up was then between always-with-a-banner New Chapter and veteran Vikingos Nomadas - the Spanish-Mexican mix is a clan that possesses many a talent, but lately they had troubles turning that into a success, as opposed to exactly the German equipe - in Season 39 though, they put a lot of effort into preparing for their match-ups, and it paid of royally, resulting in their, quite frankly, surprising, yet convincing victory over one of the top team game clans in AoC, even though nC confirmed their skill in a curiously short Black Forest.
VN's run continued also in the Semis where they handily dispatched Berserkers, supporting their strong performances and securing only their second Grand Finals in history, while their opponents came from a very expected match-up featuring the OP (as in "overpowered" :d) CZ Clan and strong Nomad players The Jedi Masters Z. Due to all kinds of scheduling issues, the match unusually ended up as a 2v2, but that didn't mean any less fun, as we still saw a nail-biter with close games and cool plays. CZ were undoubtedly the top favourites for the Title, but TheJedi performed amazingly well and especially the fifth battle was a rare one with a brave cheeky strat that simply worked out, and an unexpected final duo was therefore born.
Find all the streamed games on our YouTube or Twitch and recs in our archive
Vikingos Nomadas. The Jedi Masters Z. Two Finalists probably no one would've guessed just a few months ago. And yet, it happened, and it was damn well deserved.
The last battle of the season started on pre-set Double Migration, which is an unusual map where you start with two TCs - RTS League Playoffs are a high-level affair, and we need to test the clans' skills properly to determine who deserves the prestigious Banners VN yet again proved they took this season very seriously and their strategical preparation yielded the much-needed results, as even though TheJedi for a long time looked like they could actually pull things off with their good main island control, when everyone was finally camped there, the tactics kicked in and almost double the eco with double the Huns prevailed.
We continued with TheJedi's home map, which couldn't have been anything else but Nomad. The undoubted skillz the Aussies (plus a few guys around the world :d) possess on this tricky map are just amazing, and yet again resulted in a funny economical advantage that can usually carry them right down to the victory lane. This time, however, with a bit of luck on the map spawn VN used perfectly, their opponents were able to withstand the oft-crushing initial push and sell their abilities in a controlled defense until they had enough to go for the kill.
With VN's home map coming up, TheJedi were in trouble, as overcoming 0-2 against such a top-level foe is not a small mountain to climb. The battlefield of choice were Islands, a water map where the leading team felt comfortable, and decided, after another careful strategical preparation, to unleash a very unusual and daring gameplan - an early landing. What a surprise it must've been when they learnt TheJedi had the exact same idea. Literally. The same exact idea on a map where everyone just Galley Rushes or Fast Castles. And the two players executing it were poised against each other, therefore landing each other. Wow. What are the odds, right? :d Well, as you would expect, it pretty much resulted into better execution and also a bit of skill in scouting deciding the match-up, and so, after a long season and exceptional performances along the way, the Champions of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League, Season 39 are:
The clan deserving similar accolades for their season and claiming the valuable Silver are:
Congratulations to both clans on your mark in history!
Watch the Grand Finals stream
Download the Grand Finals recs and discuss them at AoCZone
Bronze Banner Battle
CZ Clan, who've been ruling over RTS League almost completely for the past few years, were in a position they're not really accustomed to at the end of the season - having to win to have a new Banner to their vitrine. On the other hand, Berserkers reached a stage they haven't reached before - this was their first opportunity ever to claim a prestigious Banner for their impressive team game efforts. This combination of influences promised a thrilling battle with both clans giving it their very best to succeed, and who saw the live stream, you remember how heroic were Vinchester's efforts on all the maps, looking like they could, together with the indispensable contribution of his teammates, secure the win for their side (well, the third game played out pretty funny for him :d). However, CZ were in no mood for any surprise, and even though they truly had to work for it, they did not falter and after some good plays claimed yet another banner to their name:
Congrats, and also gj VIK for coming this far for the first time and confirming your qualities!
Watch the Bronze Banner Battle stream
Download the Bronze Banner Battle recs and discuss them at AoCZone
So that was the story of RTSL Season 39, and we hope everyone enjoyed the stay and also the streams and vids and such coming along with it - thanks Mango and Genette for joining me in casting some of the games, and I sure hope we'll be able to supply many more entertaining nights to the community not only through the live casting, but also simply by giving you, the clans, a good place for some competitive fun for everyone
And of course, big thanks to all the clans who joined us for this season, we hope you'll do so again for the number 40 starting soon!
Always Looking for Staff!
We're always on the lookout for community members eager to help their fellow players enjoy the game we all love even more!
Currently we would quite welcome help from a skilled webmaster to improve on our web, so if you have experience with creating and running websites (especially PHP) and would like to leave your mark on not only the "Age of" community, make sure to contact us! (You'll need a forum log-in, and careful to replace the addressee line with my nick - Black Adder - yes, this could be one of the things you could help with fixing )
We could definitely also find use for various other talents you might have, especially concerning graphics, streaming or other content creation, and our League Staff team could also accommodate another enthusiast to make sure our Leagues function as well as possible!
So if you'd like to help us bring RTS League and the fun it offers to the community to the next level and join our team, be sure to message me (you'll need a forum log-in, and careful to replace the addressee line with my nick - Black Adder ) with your ideas and how do you think you could help us and the community improve!
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.