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GRAND FINAL MATCH PREVIEW
FRONTLINE TACTICS vs. KROWA
After three weeks of intense competitions which saw several unforeseen results and the revelation of some promising players and teams, the BladeCast Masters come to its logical conclusion with Frontline Tactics and KROWA facing each other in what promises to be an intense and back and forth grand final. Presented as the two strongest competitors among the invited teams, KROWA and Frontline Tactics asserted their status of favourites by defeating every opponent on their road to the grand final and even though their path to greatness has been slightly different in that competition, it makes no doubt both teams fully deserve their place here.
Frontline Tactics's run in the main event was slightly bizarre, to say the least. They were given the default win in their quarter-final against Rising Rivals and their semi-final against Aequalitas was a complete whitewash where the Germans - who faced a few connections issues - simply couldn't handle the FT squad. If such a dominating performance in the semi-final tells a lot about the skill power of Frontline Tactics, it also raises a few questions about their capacities to handle a real opposition like the one KROWA is expected to give them. All things considered, Frontline Tactics has never been truly tested in that tournament and if they still are the undisputable favourites of this event, the gap between them and their opponents has never been that slim as KROWA has assembled a group of players largely capable to take them down.
On their side, if their quarter-final against Inversed Brains was a rather one-sided affair, KROWA's match against Unity held on to its expectations as the Frenchmen nearly managed to crawl their way back and take it to Winterburg. The match offered some really intense plays and clutches, proving the quality of both teams. Eventually, KROWA was the strongest out of the two and if winning with such a small margin against Unity isn't necessarily the best of the omen coming against a team like Frontline Tactics, such a match can also have the effect of boosting their morale as they managed to overcome the challenge which was given to them and certainly makes them hungry for more.
We could not have dreamed of two better teams to end this edition of the BladeCast Masters and make this grand finale an unforgettable moment. The greatest players of the warband scene are going to clash and offer you a full display of the highest level of competition on this game. Will Frontline Tactics continue their legacy and take their second major trophy to definitely establish themselves as one of the very best teams in warband history or will the terrifying squad from KROWA crush their dreams one for all and announce a powerful return in the scene as the undefeated champion? The answer is tonight!
MAPS AND FACTIONS
The grand final will take place on Frosthaven and Mountain Fortress, with Winterburg as the usual decider map. Frosthaven is KROWA's pick, the same map they played against Unity in their semi-final yesterday. The factions, however, are not the same, and going from a Swadia versus Rhodoks contest to Vaegirs taking on Nords definitely changes the way you can approach the map. Both factions have their advantages and while Nords are usually considered as stronger on closed maps, both teams know how to make a good use of the javelins, be it as cavalry or infantry. Moreover, FrostHaven is definitely not as open as Field by the River or River Village can be, so the infantries on each team will certainly have a strong role to play here. It will be interesting to see if both teams decide to go for unusual set-up as both factions allow that kind of fanciness. With their strong infantry roster, Frontline Tactics could definitely go with one ranger only and try to force their opponents into fights which minimise KROWA's ranger's impact. On the other hand, Matt and Razer were both absolutely lethal in their match against Unity, so I am not sure KROWA will be interested in benching one of them for an extra cavalry or infantry as Nords. On the Vaegirs's side, however, they could decide to opt for a three archer combination with Sotamursu as the third one. While such a set-up can be deadly when used well as it creates numerous crossfires really hard to break, it could very quickly backfire on a map like FrostHaven, and it is yet to be seen if KROWA decides to go for such a gamble, since Matt and Razer seem to be enough of a threat on their own. The cavalry coordination, between themselves but also with their infantries will also play a huge role on each side as pretty much all flags get the infantry rather exposed to stomps from several different sides. While Peter, Dume, and SirAlecks already formed a terrifying squad to go against, the addition of Ciiges after the Warband Summer Cup undoubtedly makes Frontline Tactics even more dangerous in that department. With that being said, KROWA has nothing to be ashamed of, as their own cavalry have been competing at the top level for a long time and EviImay (Kawaii), Shemaforash, Nomes, and Bloody_Death will be looking to make the difference for their team as well. It is, therefore, logical to expect an intense cavalry battle with whoever coming on top asserting the dominance of their team. Kane and Menethil, the pair of rangers for Frontline Tactics will also have a lot to do and it will be interesting to see what kind of difference they can make as Vaegirs and if they can potentially give FT a comfortable early lead.
Frontline Tactics on their side have picked Mountain Fortress. The map appeared during the second week of the qualifiers, but neither team played it yet during the main event. The reasoning behind picking such a map isn't illogical though, as Frontline Tactics possess the most powerful infantry squad of the whole circuit, and Mountain Fortress is a heavily infantry-dependant map where FT can unleash Scar, Arni, Gibby, and Charlini to their full extent. The Sarranid cavalry are rather fragile, and despite their high manoeuvrability, there won't be much space for the cavalry players to express themselves. Going for a five man infantry set-up could be tempting for Frontline Tactics, with Peter known to be extremely deadly even dismounted. On KROWA's side, Anchor, Bruce, Sotamursu, and Habimana’s capacity to handle FT's infantries will be a decisive factor to keep them alive. Starting as Rhodoks, Matt and Razer will once more be a huge asset for KROWA, and their performances on FrostHaven as Rhodoks crossbowmen will be something to replicate if they want to have a fair shot at taking the trophy home.
The only thing which we can be sure of is that this match promises to be as exciting as possible, and with both teams having the objective to take the trophy and nothing less, we can expect a close and thrilling series which could very well take us to Winterburg. You don't want to miss that one.
MATCH BROUGHT TO YOU BY BLADECAST, ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TARDET, FORMAT CREATED BY TARDET, PROODREAD BY JARVISANDPI, GRAPHICS BY ROSSLINGTON