BLitz North america recap
powered by Elgato Gaming
Here we meet again, this time for the vibrant and dynamic NA Blitz Playoffs. The day went off to a great start where we had four action-packed quarter-finals matchups, with the likes of Team SoloMid and Nemesis Titan making their presence known. All but one of the matches went with a 2-0 sweep, with One Piece making a strong stand but ultimately succumbing to the wrath of the Titans. It was clear from this opening display that the teams were determined and heavily committed to making it all the way through – expansive hero pools, fine-tuned mechanics and the attempt to successfully strategise a unique and novel game mode made it all the more exciting to watch. Momentum also played a crucial role, since teams who held the advantage held the psychological upper hand, and in a fast-paced series such as Blitz it can make all the difference.
MERAKIS VS RAGE PINGERS
Both teams started off the series with some strong presence in the lane, where they jostled around trying to make plays. Spectrique and Maurice popped their respective ults as captains, but their teams were unable to make anything of it. It was a constant back and forth, push and pull contest until TheBigDog was able to make ends meet with some solid plays. With a minute and a half left to play, either side had yet to pump up the scoreline as it stood even given a trade by Sanjaux. As the clock started ticking down, the teams made their way to contest the Gold Miner – a fierce teamfight broke out, with Sanjaux falling but a good pull by Spectrique and the follow-up from Seiyoku’s Glaive secured the objective. It wasn’t enough however, as the double kill by RP combined with the acquisition of the turret meant that they were able to take home the first match.
An interesting and highly questionable play took place as Merakis positioned themselves towards their opponent’s Crystal Miner – once RP found out there was no presence in the lane or the centre jungle, they took the initiative and secured a turret. After a forced teamfight, Merakis were able to push off RP and take the Gold Miner safely. As RP made their way into M’s jungle, a long and drawn-out fight took place – the Crystal Miner was the real MVP as Merakis were able to turn things around when Sanjaux was dropped early on. RP looked anxious as they looked to pressure the turret in order to get back into the match. As Merakis defended with only two players, Seiyoku had other ideas and secured both the Gold and Crystal Miners as RP were stuck in a limbo, unable to take the turret or fall back into the jungle – smart objective taking from Merakis.
The opening of this match was perhaps the most interesting and amusing one. Both sides crossed each other as one went to focus the Crystal Miner while the other the turret. The two objectives were secured. Neither side content with their pickings, RP went on to pick off the second turret while M the Gold Miner to tie the scoreline – how unique! As they met up in lane, an engagement opened – both teams dropped low in health, but clutch fountains and crucibles held the fight longer, but an advantage was evident to which RP secured a confident brace. Eddyal was able to pick up a triple-kill as a poor show by M led the way for a CP Skye demolition. M didn’t seem to learn their lesson as they rushed into another fight but it was rinse and repeat for the RP line-up as they dodged and danced around the battlefield and picked up the game.
Surprisingly enough, both teams opted for a ‘normal’ start, pressuring the lane then ambling down to the jungle shop to pick up some vital items. A lengthy teamfight ensued, where RP chased their opponents all the way to the Crystal Miner – while M appeared to be losing the fight, Sanjaux was able to sustain himself and trade it out. TheBigDog attempted his escape but was caught out (quite hilariously) by a perfect root and execute by the top treant. M took the driving seat as they secured the Gold Miner with a Spectral Smite and took down all three members of RP to go on and pressure the lane picking up the turret. RP were able to put up a good fight however, only losing eddyal while picking up all three of M. A clutch Buckshot Bonanza was able to stall the game for a few moments longer but Seiyoku and Sanjaux closed it up in due fashion.
After a strong start by M in the lane, RP were on the backfoot as they were stuck to their turret. Once a retreat took place, Sanjaux was able to catch out eddyal with an Impale but he himself was taken down by Maurice for a trade. RP attempted a move on the turret while M were in the jungle – they took it down to half-health before M erupted into the lane to force a fight and take down two members of RP. Some poor positioning from M made them sitting ducks for RP’s eddyal as they drove this advantage and secured the Gold Miner, picking off Sanjaux as he failed to contest. M knew they were running out of time and after failing to force a fight, waited for the Gold Miner to get back up – this delay allowed RP to clear out the lane and the turret before M could contest them and after they desperately tried to garner some points the timer fizzled out and congratulated RP.
TEAMSOLOMID VS NEMESIS TITAN
Two major organisations looked to show off a solid performance and impress the crowd in this series. After TSM made their way into jungle, it gave NT free reign over the turret – however it wasn’t long before TSM made their appearance and paved the way for VONC to pick up a kill. NT re-emerged quickly and were able to catch out the whole roster on the retreat. The next teamfight didn’t go their way however, with Zeal dropping early on and putting them on the backfoot. With just under two minutes to go, VONC was dishing out the damage as he showcased some excellent mechanics picking up a double. NT took the initiative as they pressured the lane and took the turret to give themselves the lead. As the clock ticked down it looked as if it was all over for TSM but some extraordinary luck and stutter-stepping from BestChuck meant he stole the match with practically no health.
As back-to-back ultimates came out from both FlashX and 19Wolves in the lane, neither side could pick up the kills as they dropped down into the jungle. An engagement took place in the jungle as a well-timed Crucible from FlashX denied Xpod from decimating TSM as they hammered away, picking up two kills and the Gold Miner. VONC pulled off a spectacular boomerang as they looked to engage but the NT composition proved too tanky and sustained the damage well. As they chased Zeal into the jungle, good defensive plays by NT gave TSM no other option than to disengage and roam into the lane. One teamfight later, the near-perfect juggling of targets by TSM allowed VONC and BestChuck to chip away at their leisure, doubling up on the kill advantage by securing a turret. NT were able to take the damage but not return it as TSM coasted through to the final match.
Good positioning and mechanics from NT allowed them to pick up two kills early on and the Gold Miner with ease, avoiding a potential contention from TSM. TSM weren’t too happy as they pushed the lane and took down the turret before giving up VONC as the sacrificial lamb trying to even things up. NT once again looked for the Gold Miner, picking it up in the midst of the fight as the deadly Afterburns from VONC laid their roster on a plate for BestChuck to eat away. They were able to take the Crystal Miner as a result of the teamfight and sauntered up into the lane which NT were keen on pressuring. Poor positioning and unfortunate item choices from NT meant that BestChuck was able to delete all three members fairly quickly as they moved quickly onto the Gold Miner to secure the match and their ticket to the Finals.
THIRD PLACE MATCH
Merakis vs Nemesis Titan
Both M and NT looked to make the most of it in the lane as a spectacular teamfight broke out, with wolves running riot and a barbed wire fence stunning up Xpod in the thick of things. NT stayed too long as they were too distracted by Spectrique’s unconcious Alpha giving M all three kills and the advantage early on. The Termination Protocol stole away the Gold Miner as Sanjaux took the turret simultaneously while his teammates were amazingly surviving the 2v3 encounter. As he dropped down into the jungle, Spectrique was a dominant force wreaking havoc upon NT’s roster – the Alpha was borderline unstoppable, sticking to targets and delivering the hurt with a two-tone on-hit combo of the Stormcrown and Aftershock. This huge advantage was only extended further as they were able to pick away the Gold Miner for the commanding finish.
As lane looked to be the area of choice for the initial engagement, a early Crucible by InFZ failed to take into account the full composition of NT as 19Wolves confidently dropped the Gauntlet to pick up Sanjaux, giving them the First Blood. NT looked to drive this advantage by starting up the Gold Miner – some great stutter-stepping by Xpod allowed them to push away the contention and pick up two kills however Sanjaux did his job and was able to steal it away before the inevitable. As NT chose to distract M in their jungle brush, they allowed Xpod to sneak away into the lane and secure the turret. At this point two separate fights took place, both on opposite corners of the map – the Glaives on either side picked up a kill as both teams chose to retreat. M were unable to keep tabs on Xpod as he soloed away two turrets and gave NT the advantage to secure the game in a close outcome.
A strong engagement by M in the lane with good performances by Sanjaux and Spectrique allowed them to hold a lane advantage – they then chose to rotate down toward the Gold Miner and narrowly secured it as NT emerged for a fight. Sanjaux once again dictated the fight, with the heals from Adagio and Lyra allowing him to sustain the fight and pick up Xpod, before dropping himself. M were able to dive confidently into the backline of NT and pick up all three kills as NT looked absolutely clueless – unable to mount an offensive and struggling to play defensive. They compounded this advantage by securing the turret and making their way towards the Gold Miner. With NT on the brink of defeat, it was up to Zeal to keep them in the match but he was shown no mercy by Spectrique as he cleaned up the objective as well as the player to cement the win.
The players danced back and forth in the lane as ultimates and abilities flew out all over the place. A well-timed Verse of Judgement by 19Wolves was what made the impact however as Zeal was able to lock down the opposing carry, Sanjaux to which they secure the turret and the advantage. Some good plays and item-pops by NT kept them alive as they rushed down into the jungle to top themselves up for the next engagement. Weak positioning by M allowed NT to hard-engage successfully on top of their composition and take all three kills without any sacrifice, compounding this lead with the addition of the Gold Miner. M took advantage of the retreat by NT by pushing down the turret but suffered the onslaught as they were chased down by a relentless Zeal and Xpod. They took away the Gold Miner once again and secured the match by cutting down InFZ.
This final match went off to a spectacular start as a drawn-out engagement just below the lane was won by M with some good micro-management by Spectrique turning the fight around to give them the advantage. M were able to effectively out-poke NT between engagements and maintain consistent pressure on key areas of the map. After Zeal was left idle in the jungle by himself Spectrique was able to pick up the kill and allow them the Gold Miner. A nice turnaround engagement by NT got them back into the match as M were forced into a fight and dropped like flies. They pushed this recent advantage into material gains as they took the turret. They appeared to lose the teamfight as M looked strong but Xpod was able to surprise steal the Gold Miner and give NT the points advantage. M failed to take into account timings and this played into NT’s favour as they claimed third place.
TEAM SOLOMID VS RAGEPINGERS
The two teams strode confidently out onto the Fold, eager to impress and take home the trophy. As TSM walked into their lane bush, little did they know what RP had in store for them – a perfect engagement by TheBigDog and eddyal dropped the health-bars of TSM as FlashX was dropped in a last-ditch attempt to protect his carries. RP pressed their advantage by taking the turret and retreating back to update their inventories. Tremendous damage output from RP allowed them to dictate the outcome of their fights as they decimated the line-up of TSM to follow up with a Gold Miner. BestChuck was able to come back and pick off TheBigDog and with the support of his team the Crystal Miner but it was too little too late as time was running out. RP were once again doing the right things in engagements and picked off all three members of TSM to take home the first match.
TSM wanted to start things off in the correct fashion as they began applying pressure to the lane. Some good poke from VONC and BestChuck was then absolutely overturned by the tremendous damage output from TheBigDog’s Big Red Button which dropped them low and allowed eddyal to pick up with two kills. RP then drove this advantage further by safely securing the Gold Miner before shopping. MauriceDaBeast played a pivotal role in the next engagement as his item control and macro coordination gave RP the advantage to repeat the success. TSM moved down to try and contest the Gold Miner – a well-placed Gauntlet encircled RP’s carries, but they were just naturally out-drafted as RP secured the Gold Miner and swept away FlashX and BestChuck although VONC was able to trade a brace. Defeat was inevitable however, and RP took home their second match.
Opposite movements were made by the teams as once one team rotated the lane, the other dropped down into the jungle. TSM decided to commit to an engagement in their opponent’s jungle brush but were forced to retreat under the sustained harassment of RP. They came back however and through a strong push took down TheBigDog and were able to take control of the center of the map as VONC soloed a Gold Miner – but this left the rest of TSM outnumbered as FlashX and BestChuck were caught helplessely at the mercy of RP. RP took the lead by securing the turret as VONC tried his best to contest but was ultimately burned down by TheBigDog. BestChuck came back with a passion with a convincing double kill which was topped off with FlashX securing the last member. TSM were able to press this advantage and through good decision-making took the match.
RP kicked things off with a solid engage into the unsuspecting TSM at the jungle shop, picking up a kill. VONC was able to trade it back though and both teams agreed on a favourable retreat. RP were looking for the constant poke pressure and exerted a tonne of pressure around the map as TSM dipped in and out of engagements. RP rotated up to lane with a perfect Gauntlet by MauriceDaBeast as he stunned all three members. TSM reversed the pressure however and the peel from VONC and FlashX allowed BestChuck to hammer home a double kill. They upped their advantage by taking the Gold Miner and retreated back into safety, biding their time. RP saw their absence and took the initiative by taking the turret but were on the run from the inevitable onslaught from TSM. An incredible dive which saw them cross multiple turrets gave them the kills and the match.
It had all come down to this; the mexican stand-off between two worthy sides would now be decided through the outcome of this match. RP wasted no time jumping straight into the backline of TSM but they were able to disengage without suffering any casualties. The Gold Miner was started up immediately and taken as RP enjoyed the early advantage, picking up a turret in due course. Objectives were prioritised and the match continued to be a tug-of-war, with neither side truly holding the advantage. It all came down to the knife’s edge when RP only needed one more point to win – TSM were on the backfoot as both VONC and BestChuck were dropped precariously low but it was the incredible juggling of damage and superb mechanics allowed them to miraculously turn things around and destroy the turret to throne them the first ever NA Blitz champions.