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#1 2017-10-29 20:31:37

Black Adder
League Administrator
From: Praha, Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-11-15
Posts: 6355

How Frantic Became Champions - AoC S40 Wrap-Up

https://i.imgur.com/8E4OAEq.png

A month into Autumn is a pretty good time to start another season of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League, but before we can do that, proper wrap-up to the previous instalment is in order - let's have a look then how it all went around.

40th Season promised to be an intriguing adventure with the reigning Champions Vikingos Nómadas not defending - this usually means a bit of a power vacuum, and clans are all eager to fill that void with their name and take a place in the limelight. This time however, the emptiness of space was decisively plugged by a clan of the toppest qualities joining for the very first time - Chinese skillers around Tim called Frantic. That was, of course, one hell of a challenge for the regular and established clans, but they took the glove up with grace and were very looking forward to proving their worth in the even more amped up competition of the new season.

Besides the Asian dragons, we saw an influx of other new clans like all-Finnish Fratres Fenni fidi, TaToH's Stinson bros, or big recent clans The New Hellhunters with Sick Tacticz, but we're proud to say the core of our regular participants also grows ever larger, and so we didn't miss none of the names the likes of CZ Clan, Arg, Rulers of Rome or Villains with kLu - there are too many to even mention here, and it's great to see so many of you coming back for more teamgame fun when RTS League is on smile

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Group Stage

32 teams formed 4 Divisions, and right from the start it was clear it's going to be a tough fight to get to the Playoffs - the level was really high this time around, and each div had about 2-3 clear favourites who were expected to battle against each other for the seeds. "Expected" being the operative word here. Paper predictions are one thing, reality another, especially when it comes to whole clans - they have a lot different dynamic than random teams you regularly see for other tournaments, and that's why it's always a good idea never to give up or even under/overestimate your opponents - proper training, teamplay, home map choice can go a long way even against otherwise "impossible-to-beat" clans - take a look at NHN, strong favourites for sure, but newly formed and not used to each other, resulting in their hard struggles and being left standing in front of the Playoff gates in the end (well and then there was this Migration disguised as Islands map :d); and now observe BlackForest, an established clan considered about just making Playoffs, but finally coming through this season and taking Division 1 (and NHN) literally by storm through their impressive teamplay and well-prepared home map, Migration - that's how it's done, and we are seeing this level of commitment deservedly rewarded regularly, just remember for example LeO last season.

The closest Division around the mid proved to be the second one, as we have seen similar levels of overachievement by a few clans there and it was a pleasure streaming so many top quality games (we have streamed a total of 83 matches this season!) - the trio of Train Improve Conquer, Weljet and Gaucho was on the edge till the last round, and it was just a bit of a shame the Argentinians couldn't make it through to show us some more of their signature Team Islands - we did, however, see plenty of them also from their B-team, and especially their brave struggle against Frantic was a real nailbiter, exactly in a duel you wouldn't expect it in, confirming not even the toppest experts are safe in RTS League - everyone is out to be taken down. Especially Tim it seems, as he was targeted hard in almost every game, and often teetered on the brink of defeat big_smile They couldn't have asked for a better serious preparation for the Nations Cup than this RTSL season.

The only clan to emerge unscathed this edition were The Jedi Masters Z, proving it was no coincidence reaching Silver last season - they casually strolled through D1 on their Nomad caravan and were looking strong as ever, ready to take on any challengers. In the other divs, CZs faced some real tests, the same as the Chinese, and each lost a game in their quest for glory eternal. Division 3 was the most open one then as far the top goes - drop of sT, supposed 2k clan, leveled the playing field quite a bit, and it sent the seeding fights into a real upheaval, especially when we consider another highly overachieving clan in The Slayers, an older group of friends getting together again for RTS League - that's something we love to see, as we're all about supporting the community feel and making the game more fun for everyone. After the intense battling, they took the 1st spot, while 2nd and 3rd became tied for a duo of common Playoff participants - Berserkers and Arg. This trio was with quite a distance the closest of all the divs in their points, especially considering their mutual matches - all of them ended 1:1 smile

Find all the streamed games on our YouTube or Twitch and recs in our archive

Playoffs

With the high level of Season 40, we decided to reward the efforts of the clans with advancing one extra from each Div as opposed to the original plan. This meant not only more fun games for the players for example from Birras y Tapas or Clan Colombia, but also a potential for some surprise here and there, and it almost happened - The Slayers had a real kerfuffle with Fratres Fenni fidi, and just made it past the Round of 16 even through fighting 1st vs. 4th. Otherwise the first round was already packed with plenty of match-ups you would otherwise expect maybe in Semifinals, but that just confirms what we keep repeating - the quality of this season was truly exceptional and clans had to fight for their spots very hard.

For example Run Forrest Run vs. Train Improve Conquer with the mighty Chileans and New Chapter with Arg sporting a few new Arena experts took a decider, the same as Berserkers had a hard time with Rulers of Rome, who, on the other hand quite surprisingly, didn't choose their home walled enclosure and went a different route (which almost worked). All the while Win and Run, basically reformed Power of Japan, a known force to be reckoned with (and third team from the Nations Cup Silver League!), hit a wall with the already mentioned BlackForest - these guys are certainly to be watched going forward, as they're getting settled real tight and nC might have to start worrying about their top German station - I mean they're basically Germany A and they finished way behind Jap A, beaten by BF'.

Quarters condensed all this goodness and the first real heart-racer took place for RFR against SlayeR - 5 games of quality gameplay going to and fro depending on the water/land ratio, decided by a map with both - exactly how it should be. In the other matches, two clans finally found their betters, and these were BlackForest and surprisingly also The Jedi Masters Z - especially for them it had to have been a hard hit, as these were their first lost games of the season, and right as an 0:3 - well, New Chapter weren't kidding around and took even the famed Nomad from them, and that means something (well, Semifinals in this case). This puts a little dent into the BF' German supremacy plan of course, as those were eliminated in this round by CZ Clan, but, well, that's hardly any shame with CZ's exceptional all-around skill, especially considering they put out nC 2:0 in the group stage. Added to that, Schwarzwalders did manage to usurp Migra very fast from the Czechs (all the games were actually quite fast here), and so they went out with a good degree of dignity.

Semis followed and here we got to the realest of deals - three of these four will take home the prestigious Banners for the best clans in the community. If some match deserves to be called a marathon, it's definitely RFR vs. nC. Awesome 5.5 hours of top tier clan warring. First three games lasted over an hour gametime. Two of them over two hours. None of them were Black Forest. Singular, quite possibly the longest match in RTS League's history. Do yourself a favour and watch it if you haven't.

The second Semis were then an exact opposite, a handily dispatched sweep, in a match that was expected to be possibly premature Finals - Frantic vs. CZ Clan, the most successful clan of the past years. We've been a bit neglecting the Chinese road through the Playoffs, but that's kind of for a good reason - they kept sweeping their rounds right until the Finals, and so there was nothing to write than what we're going to write now - total supremacy. In all those matches and games against The Jedi Masters, Berserkers and now CZ here, little doubt was left as to who should advance - the tough training from the group stage paid off, and Tim's ensemble was solidly cruising for their well deserved Banner.

Find all the streamed games on our YouTube or Twitch and recs in our archive

Grand Finals

After two very different battles, the last two clans standing were Run Forrest Run from the left side of the bracket and Frantic representing the right. With their current form, Chinese were definitely the favourites, but one thing had to be seriously considered - RFR were the perpetrators of their only loss this season. In their group stage battle, they tied 1:1. It made plenty sense then that those two will meet again in the last fight of the season.

First pre-set map was Mongolia, a certain combination of Arabia and Black Forest, and it started super-promising. DarklyWise performed an excellent sneak on Tim (yes, it really seems everybody was targeting him the whole season on purpose :d), but maybe just wasn't careful enough and let his presence be known too early - even though he was literally camped inside blue's base, the damage in the end wasn't significant enough and the Chinese were slowly, but surely able to overcome the adversity, claiming the game for their side.

RFR home map was, of course, the one they succeeded on in the group stage - Black Forest, the anti-Chinese map. But maybe since they weren't the only ones to test this option against them this season, it lost its magic and possibly times are coming where there is no real weakness to the heroes of the East. Even through the dutiful walling doing their best to stop the homeless Monk flood into their bases (they tried to steal even Houses!), RFR just couldn't hold on properly, and when Frantic were already camped in the middle of their map and started overcoming the last, but very strong attempt at corralling the enemies, all the while also eating through the forest on the other side of the map, it was apparent where this game was going.

Home map for Frantic was then maybe slightly unexpected, but made a whole lot more sense when combined with Nations Cup - BCC3@Fortress with Kings flying around. RFRs, knowing their heads are on the blocks here, went into the game with right proper fervor, the same as in the first one, and it actually caught the Chinese significantly off guard again. Yellow colour was yet again chosen as the bearer of bad news, and, quite frankly, he was very close to putting an early end to one of the opponents - he just unfortunately didn't know how close. Maybe with an early snipe it could've worked, but that's always going to be just a maybe, and since Frantics weren't to be truly phased by any of this and didn't even admit the possibility of failure, they survived through this threat and are going to be known henceforth as the Champions of RTS League's Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Clan League, Season 40:

https://i.imgur.com/edQB0tb.png

Their only conquerors this season:

https://i.imgur.com/XGAjKO2.png

Watch the Grand Finals stream

Download the Grand Finals recs and discuss them at AoCZone

Bronze Banner Battle

Before the Finals closed the gates of S40, the Semifinalists CZ Clan and New Chapter fought for the Bronze Banner. As we've said already, this was a full-on revenge match after the 0:2 the nCs suffered in their divisional clash, and so we of course expected a worthy battle. Well, it was exactly that. The Germans apparently became fond of the prolonged format, and so we yet again witnessed an epic 5-game run, with different special moments in. First Mongolia is definitely one to watch, as that ending is truly epic and a definition of a stolen game, while Crater Lake yet again showed why it's one of CZ's favourite maps. BCC3@Fortress was a tight skilled performance by nC and Scandinavia, second pre-set, showcased what it means to punish enemy mistakes - it means Scouts and Castle in their face. The decider on Baltic then was a highlight of how deadly can early surprising push be on a map like this, and confirmed that this clan is yet again going to be holding a Banner when all is done:

https://i.imgur.com/nr2SvWO.png

Watch the Bronze Banner Battle stream

Download the Bronze Banner Battle recs and discuss them at AoCZone

Congrats awarded clans and, of course, thanks to each and every clan and player who took part in this season, making it a reality, moving the community again forward. A very special thanks then also belongs to a small crew of very dedicated casters bringing you the valiant battles live - MajorQueros and klavskis have streamed so many games, and col_mongo with Genette competently seconded their efforts, while Mango yet again helped me commentating some of the games with his expert knowledge - thanks to all of you guys! (Btw clans, we've added the Banners to your Voobly clan pages as well!)

Okay, that's going to be it for Season 40 it seems - but there's been enough rest already for all of you clans, so prepare your rosters and get ready for Season 41 - sign-ups are coming as soon as this upcoming week!

--------------------

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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 smile )

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 smile ) with your ideas and how do you think you could help us and the community improve!

About us:
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.


[nex]Black__Adder (@BlackAdderPlays)

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#2 2017-10-30 06:46:36

Forever
AoC Clan Operator NHN
Registered: 2016-09-21
Posts: 248

Re: How Frantic Became Champions - AoC S40 Wrap-Up

Very nice, impressive summary about last season. You are totally true about our lack of experience and struggles during the season.  Hope that changes in the next one smile

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#3 2017-11-04 15:15:26

el_Sancho
AoC Clan Operator kLu
From: Mexico
Registered: 2013-10-09
Posts: 148

Re: How Frantic Became Champions - AoC S40 Wrap-Up

congrats

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#4 2017-11-04 17:09:02

Abraxas
League Staff & AoC Clan Operator Gaucho
From: Cairo, Egypt
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 140
Website

Re: How Frantic Became Champions - AoC S40 Wrap-Up

Excellent analysis! thank you for your efforts, we enjoyed season 40 a lot. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to playoffs, but we’ll try harder in season 42 smile RFR and Frantic were in the same group as Gaucho B. Those games were really though! Islands against Frantic is one of my favourites of this season smile They’re very strong teams. Congratulations to the winners and let the new season begin!

Last edited by Abraxas (2017-11-04 17:10:02)


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