- Best answers
SEMI FINAL: MATCH PREVIEW
UNITY vs. KROWA
The semi-finals of the BladeCast Masters are at last upon us. This match will be the first clash between two invited teams; the second seed KROWA vs. the third seed Unity. Both teams put in stellar quarter-final performances, comfortably dispatching their qualified opponents. Who will come out on top of this titanic match is unclear, but it is certain that this match will be a spectacle worthy of your attention. There is no underdog here, just two of the top Warband teams ready to tear each other apart.
Although the result of such a high level match is impossible to predict, a certain level of theory-crafting can allow for some detailed predictions to be made. For instance, one can assess how the infantry rosters of each team stack up against one another. In this regard I foresee KROWA taking the advantage in terms of both skill and experience, but not necessarily in terms of teamplay and groupfighting. Anchor, Bloody_Death, Bruce, Habimana and Sotamursu are very strong individual players, but they have been playing with each other for a much shorter period of time than the Unity infantry have been. I expect the Unity switches to be smoother, and for each infantry to be more familiar with his role in each fight than the KROWA inf will be. I may be proven wrong on this point, as Unity have their own newcomer Eder, as well as the returning Kellermann, who may not be totally familiar with their place in each engagement. However, all of the infantry in this match are skilled and experienced enough to adapt and take command of any situation which presents itself. It will simply come down to who does this better.
In terms of rangers, it is impossible to say which side will shoot better. KROWA have fantastic archers such as Matt, Razer and Sotamursu, all of whom have the potential to ping consecutive headshots. However, the Unity rangers have been in stellar form recently; one only needs to see how well Maximou was shooting in the match against Malta to understand this. It will be very interesting to see which side's archers cause more havoc in this match. What can be said for certain is that the Unity archers have an advantage in terms of their melee skills. Maximou and Caius are both strong infantry and duellists, so neither will go down easily if they are pushed. On KROWA's side, both Razer and Sotamursu are strong infantry players, but Matt has been plagued with a reputation of poor melee ability. Perhaps this match will be his chance to destroy that reputation once and for all.
The KROWA cavalry side appears to be stronger than that of Unity. Shemaforash, Nomes and Kawaii (EviImay) are all very strong cavalry players, and Bloody_Death is more than capable of playing cavalry at the level which will be necessary for this match. Unity will struggle to contain these players, despite their own accomplished cavalry roster of Brian, Firunien, Paulo, Subzer0, Thorr and Woj. However, rarely is a match decided by the individual ability of a team's cavalry players. Instead, it will be the co-ordination of these players and how well they enter the fight which will decide the victor. It is impossible to predict how such things will play out in a match, so we will have to wait until that first fateful engagement to see who has the edge in this regard. One thing is certain, we are going to see top cavalry play from both sides.
KROWA and Unity are both on form, are relatively equal in terms of skill and have prepared appropriately for this match. Only one of these titans can emerge victorious from this battle.
MAPS AND FACTIONS
The maps and factions for the semi-finals are not particularly balanced, and one side is favoured rather heavily on each map. This creates the potential for a draw and another exciting Winterburg showdown similar to the one we saw between Aequalitas and Blackened.
On Frosthaven, Swadia has a clear advantage over Rhodoks. The long awlpikes for the cavalry, as well as their better gear and stats, provides the perfect environment for each team's cavalry to thrive. It would not be surprising to see the cavalry players top-fragging on the Swadian side. Furthermore, Swadian infantry with their awlpikes are very effective anti-cavalry units; awlpikes in the hands of players such as Habi and Kellermann are deadly tools. On the Rhodok side, each team is going to have to play tactically and use the advantage of cleavers and marginally better crossbowmen to the fullest. To this end, one should expect Rhodoks to be the side which begins the engagements, seeking to pick up quick kills with the infantry whilst avoiding a prolonged engagement where the Swadian cavalry will be most potent. Both teams have the potential to do this properly; KROWA have infantry such as Bruce and Anchor who can pick up quick kills, and Unity have Eder who can do the same. However, Unity's other top slayer, Brian, will likely be playing cavalry on the open map. Therefore, KROWA may have the advantage in terms of the sheer slaying power of their infantry on the Rhodok side. This map will be a case of which team can get 1 or even 2 rounds on the Rhodok side and go into the closed map with an advantage. However, given the quality of players in the match, it would not be surprising to see Swadia sweep 3 - 0 both sets.
On Verloren, the second map, there is a similar story to Frosthaven. Nords should dominate Vaegirs, especially if the javelins are properly used to shut down the Vaegir archers. However, Vaegirs could prove to be very strong on this map if the archers are utilised properly. Two of Verloren's flags, excluding the market spawn, have excellent positions for archers to get into and from which they can cause huge damage. I expect that Caius, Maximou, Matt and Razer will prove crucial in allowing the Vaegirs to win rounds against the infantry power of the Nords. Both teams have such strong infantry cores that it is hard to see which one would come out on top in an equal battle, but as it is highly likely both teams will run 5 infantry on the Nord side and only 4 on the Vaegir side, we are unlikely to see an equal battle. Instead, the Nords will be looking for a decisive engagement in which they can roll-over the Vaegir infantry before their archers have time to deal damage. The longer the fight goes on, the more shots the Vaegirs will make and the more difficult rounds will become for the Nords.
This match will determine the first finalist in the BladeCast Masters. Both teams are going to give it their all, tactically and individually. Tune in at 19:30 BST for some top level Warband.
MATCH BROUGHT TO YOU BY BLADECAST, ARTICLE WRITTEN BY GIBBY, FORMAT CREATED BY TARDET, GRAPHICS BY ROSSLINGTON