The final of Wargaming.net League Gold Series Season III was over yesterday. The tankers of Natus Vincere became its winners. This article covers the pass of the Born to Win to the champion's title.
The pass began from the regular season. Our players joined it with a postponement due to the participation of Natus Vincere in Mianyang City Cup in China. Na`Vi demonstrated excellent performance in Celestial Empire which resulted in taking first place at the tournament. The games proved that Na`Vi will claim the victory in the third season of WGL2014.
Natus Vincere burst into the season and started destroying the rivals one by one until reaching the top of the tournament table. Sometimes they had hard games against the middle teams and easy games against the leaders. The Born to Win took the first place in the championship until the last tour, when they were defeated by HellRaisers. The match was most exciting and amazing.
Then the Grand Final came. After the opening ceremony, the match of HR vs WP.TYL began. Young lions couldn’t defeat their more powerful rivals and lost with 0:5 score. Next was the match of Natus Vincere against Santa Claus & Six Deers. Everyone predicted an easy victory of Na`Vi over their rivals and were ready to watch the upper brackets final of Natus Vincere vs HR. It seemed to be so in the beginning, as Na`Vi easily protected the second base in Prohorovka map and won the first round. However Santa and the Deers managed to capture the base and won the second round. Na`Vi chose Object 416 in the setup of the third round and were defeated due to the poor performance of the vehicle. The score was 1:2 and the players needed to fight back. They changed the setup, attacked the second base and won the 4th round.
The first map proved that SC6 is not the easiest rival. That is why everyone expected Santa and the Deer to apply an extraordinary strategy. The team met all the expectations by conducting an aggressive counterattack while playing for the defense. TheAnatolich and his teammates weren’t prepared for such strategy. Our guys were loosing 3:2, which required to make changes in the setup, so our players managed to win in the next round. Next was the attack of SC6. They decided to play fast and in a minute after the beginning of the match three tanks were riding to capture Na`Vi base with no preliminary reconnaissance. Na`Vi were far away from the base and they had to ride really fast to prevent the capture. The deer caught the tank of our team’s captain, that was riding with no support. They managed to send him to the Garage in several seconds after a short encounter 3vs1. The capture line was about to reach 100 points, when Inspirer managed to prevent it (in the last milliseconds). Unfortunately he lost all the health points and SC6 won the round having gained substantial advantage in the game. Anticipating the repetition of such round, Na`Vi decided to counterattack, but the deer turned up to be prepared to it. They had more advantageous positions and thus they managed to bring more damage to Na`Vi tanks forcing them to retreat. SC6 decided to finish the damaged vehicles of the rival at once and attacked killing Na’Vi tanks one by one. As a result 3 Na`Vi tanks remained in the field against 5 SC6 vehicles. Afterwards Inspirer, LeBwa and SL1DE were destroyed one by one. Natus Vincere lost with 3:5 score and went to the lower brackets.
Having acquired an inspiration and confidence after the victory over the leaders, SC6 went to the upper brackets final against HR. Everyone expected that more experienced players will show the newbies their place and defeat them, but they were wrong. SC6 won 3 rounds in Murovanka map and lost only once. They also won the first round in Prohorvka making the score 4:1. This forced HR to gather their strengths and win 3 match-points. This resulted in tiebreak. The Deer chose the defense in the Steppes. The round began in a calm ambience, the teams realizing the price of the mistake. HR decided to play vua the first base. SC6 went behind the railway to prevent it. After first spotting and fruitless skirmishes, Santa immediately lead his team into the defense positions. HR didn’t mentioned the maneuver and sent the spotting tanks close to the second base. The deer caught T 37 and destroyed it creating an advantage of 7 vs 6 vehicles. Having seen that most tanks are located near the second base HR decided to engage 3 tanks to capture the base, forcing SC6 to ride fast to protect the base. The deer grouped and went to protect the base. Upon spotting them HellRaisers abandoned the base and went to meet the rival face to face. Their encounter turned out to be more successful to the SC6. As a result HR were defeated at 5:4 score. Santa Claus & Six Deers made a miracle by going to the final and sending HR to the lower brackets. Nobody had expected that!
The second tournament’s day began with the match of Natus Vincere against the Young Lions. Natus Vincere had watched the replays of their games vs SC6 and worked on their mistakes. The teams decided to enter 7vs7 battle in the squares E2-E3 of Prohorovka map. Our players won in this battle due to the reasonable distribution of the damage brought and own HP. Na`Vi decided to protect the second base in the second round. The teams divided the map along the vertical line and play basing on the reconnaissance data. The lions put 1 tank to capture the base, provoking Na`Vi to protect it. The guys left the village and went leftwards. They were shot by the rivals a couple of times. The lions counterattacked and break Na`Vi. LeBwa was left alone in the Bulldog against 2 T-54. But for the fire of Straik’s tank, Na`Vi could’ve won the round in the situation 2vs2. However, LeBwa who had taken right position made mistakes while shooting and thus was soon spotted and quickly destroyed by the rival. In the first round for the attack the players decided to go via the hill. Having spotted that the rival didn’t control the second base, Na`Vi stretched along the railway and after a short spotting decided to move out via the village and destroy enemy tank. This went good, but then Kirilloid’s tank set on fire. Furthermore the lions managed to destroy T37 soon enough. After short thinking, Na`Vi decide to go further and to press the rival, which results in their advantage. Though only Straik and SL1DE remained against 3 rivals, they had advantage in HP, which enabled them to acquire more damage and destroy rival’s vehicles. During the second attack the players tended to play fast. They went promptly to the second base and put 3 tanks to undertake capture and simultaneously make the block. The lions reacted immediately and went to protect the base. Na`Vi tried to lure the rival in the trap but gained to much damage. The score became 2:2.
Na`Vi played for attack in Ruinberg. They had 2 IS-3, 2 AMX 13 90, 2 AMX 50 100 and T 37 and played via the first base. They sent 2 IS-3 closer to the second base, after short waiting they send AMX 50 100 to the bushes at A3, T 37 to capture base and 2 AMX 13 90 to A6. They also destroyed the spotting tank of the rivals. This forced TYL to ride to prevent the base capture. SL1DE at AMX 50 100 performed excellently. Due to the spotting data of Inspirer, Dima shor one shell after another at the rival’s tanks, while supporting ISs prevented the enemy to come any closer to him, which enabled him to recharge and finish the last IS-3 of the rival. The guys changed ISs to AMX 13 90 and T 54 in the setup of the next round. They attacked the first base once again, but this time they took other positions. 2 AMX 13 90 and T 37 went to the base at once, 2 AMX 50 100 and T-54 played via the central road, while Inspirer at another French vehicle went around. This time LeBwa didn’t begin the base capture. Instead he took position at A3. 2 AMX 13 90 clamped A6-A7. The lions tried to press them with 4 tanks, which was used by Na`Vi. They burst into a small town and destroyed IS-3 and AMX 50 100 of the rival. Though they lost one AMX 13 90 due to the fire. Having destroyed the AMX 13 90s of the Born to Win, the Lions hurry up to assist their dying HTs, having completely forgotten about LeBwa at T 37. Upon entering the small town TYL killed Na`Vi’s 54, but SL1DE brought enormous damage to the vehicles of the rival from E5 position. As a result Dima had time to retreat to town and reload, while LeBwa was bringing damage of 100 HP per shot to IS-3 of the rival. The HT was forced to retreat and SL1DE decided to take advantage of it. He killed the rival’s tank with one shot and evened the quantity of vehicles of the rival parties. He undertook the capture of the base simultaneously controlling the pass via the town. Meanwhile “dad-LeBwa” went to A7 for spotting. He spotted 54th at the fountain and remaining unseen overcame the rival. Na`Vi began the capture forcing the enemy to ride fast to protect the base. However AMX 50 100 didn’t have enough time and died when the capture line reaches 100 points. The score became 4:2. All the Born to Win had to do was to win another round. Na`Vi took 2 IS-3, 2 AMX 50 100, 2 T-54 and T 37 for the defense. TYL decided to play via the second base. Na`Vi sent 2 T 54 under the building at F7, 2 AMX 50 100 and T 37 to the small town for support and 1 IS-3 to support T-54s at E6, and the last IS-3 to control the first base. This location was most successful. The guys spotted 6 tanks of the rival and sent all the tanks closer to T54. TheAnatolich on IS-3 went to kill the only spotting vehicle at E5, while Kririlloid on the other IS-3 took his position. The Lions understood that LT could do nothing against HT, so they decided to simply push T-54. Na`Vi met the rival with 2 AMX 50 100 and destroy one tank after another. 5:2!
Next was the match against HellRaisers. Everyone was expecting to see this match in the winners brackets and then in the Grand Final. However the victory of SC6 over both leaders forced Na`Vi and HR to encounter in the losers brackets. The teams didn’t have the right for a mistake and everyone understood the battle would be epic!
Ruinberg was the first map of the match. Na`Vi began the game as attackers and used the setup of 3 T-54, 2 AMX 13 90, AMX 50 100 and T 37. The teams didn’t wait for a long time and undertook attacks near the second base. The battle finalized with 3 Na`Vi players opposing 2 IS-3 with almost fool HP. The guys went to capture the first base, sending AMX 50 100 to A7. The capture forced both IS-3 to run fast to prevent it. Being more dynamic the spotting tanks take advantage of it. Having caught their rival the players destroyed him within seconds. The advantage became 3 vs 1. The last IS of our rival didn’t have time to prevent the capture, blindly shot and missed. Na`Vi won the first round. The setup remained the same in the second round, though the location changed. This time the guys chose the same strategy as in their second game vs TYL. T-54 and AMX 13 90 went to A7 to destroy the rival’s IS-3. Other vehicles fought against the rivals near the building in J7. Na`Vi began the capture but lost all the spotting tanks in the other part of the map. All they had to do is to hope for a miracle. That’s what happened next: rival’s IS-3 prevents the capture of the base at 99% and died. So it was 3vs3. Not much time was left, so Na`Vi decided to capture the second base. This time HR protected the base easily and destroyed all our tanks. Next round was played in defense, and Na`Vi chose the reliable setup: 2 IS-3, 2 AMX 13 90, 2 AMX 50 100 and T 37. HR attacked the second base. Na`Vi encountered them having left the positions they took in the small town. 6 tanks of HR were destroyed almost immediately. As a result 1 AMX 50 100 of HR left alone in the battlefield against 7 tanks! It was easy to finish the last tank. The score became 2:1. The setup wasn’t changed for the next round. All the vehicles of HR went to the second base via detour. Na`Vi took standard positions in the small town. LeBwa took excellent position in the bushes at G0 spotting the line 0 and preventing the enemy spotting tank to go to K0. T 37 of the rival was destroy within the seconds. Na`Vi decided not to wait for HR attack and to play more aggressively. HellRaisers took advantage of it and caught IS-3, encounter T 54 at F7 and destroy T 37. Next they finished T 54 and went to the small town to destroy the tanks of Na`Vi. SL1DE ran out of shells and retreated to reload. HR took advantage of it. Dima was left alone against 3 rival tanks. Na`Vi lost the round.
Na`Vi began as defense at Himmelsdorf map. They used 3 AMX 50 100, 2 T 32, IS-3 and KB-2. Having placed the tanks in the positions they started to wait. LeBwa was the first to spot the enemy. His T 32 at the railway was almost sprayed by the rival. Dima’s tank lost half of HP and HR tried to take advantage of it. They sent 12t to capture the first base, however the timely spotting and 2 precise shots made by Maxim and Dima prevented the spotting tank to take advantageous position. As a result HR changed the direction of the attack and try to break through to the second base. However Na`Vi opposed them toughly and won the round. The second round in the defense Na`Vi didn’t change the setup and the positions of the tanks. HR chose the same tactics and tried to attack the first base. Once again LeBwa’s vehicle was sprayed with 1/3 HP left. This time Inspirer was caught too. He stood at C3 and lost many HP. As a result HR gained advantage. Once again they sent 12t to capture the base and were lucky this time. AMX 50 100 hit the spotting tank twice leaving only 20 HP, however Na`Vi failed to hit it again. Na`Vi had to prevent the capture, that’s why they were hit many times and lost many HP. HR took advantage and defeated Na`Vi in this round.
Na`Vi took similar setup for the attack, but they replaced KB-2 with AMX 12t. Na`Vi’s strategy was understood by the rival, and HR decided to paly aggressively. They went to G-line, where they caught T 32 and destroy Inspirer’s tank within seconds. HR’s spotting tank found our tank on the small hill and took advantage of it. They continued pressing Na`Vi and killed our tanks one by one. SL1DE was left alone against 6 rivals. Dima couldn’t do anything in this situation and the score became 4:3. Na`Vi was 1 step to leaving the tournament. That forced them to change the tactics completely for the next round. They didn’t change the setup, sent all AMX 50 100 to the small hill, and the remaining vehicles went to the curve in F7-E7. 12t as a bait went to make reconnaissance and spotted the enemy’s AMX 50 100 in D8 and IS-3 at D5. Within a second another IS-3 was spotted there. That’s what Na`Vi were waiting for. They started shooting the IS-3 tanks, destroying one of them within seconds. The AMXs went down from the hill to support their allies damaging the rivals. Next Na`Vi destroy all the tanks of HR and even the score.
Due to the last round Na`Vi won in 2 minutes and 42 seconds after the beginning, they chose the defense party in Steppe map and gain advantage. Na`Vi’s setup for the game was: 5 T-54, RU 251 and T 37. The battle began. The teams were very careful. Na`Vi stretched the defense line and chose to protect the second base. HR collected all the tanks to capture the first base. in 2 minutes HellRaisers put 2 tanks in the base and began the capture, forcing Na`Vi to take decision promptly. 5 Na`Vi vehicles grouped, rode over the railway, prevented the capture of the base and set the rival’s T-54 on fire. In a couple of seconds this tank was killed by SL1DE, our team gaining advantage in the round. Next the long-term skirmish finishes with an exchange 2 to 2 vehicles. Afterwards SL1DE killed T-54 in a duel. As a result Na`Vi had 5 tanks vs 3 tanks of HR. Na`Vi retreat to defense positions waiting for the rival’s move. HR put one tank in the base forcing our team to come back to protect the base. This very moment SL1DE dies and HR has only 1 minute to the end of the battle. In 35 seconds before the end of the battle our players understood the base would never be captured due to the lack of time, and they began to retreat. HR chased them and killed Inspirer. 15 seconds to the end, nearly dead Kirilloid managed to hide in the position where he would never be caught by the rival. 7 seconds: Rhino killed one more tank of the rival... 3…2…1… the last tank of the rivals died! 0! Natus Vincere got to the Grand Final!
In the Grand Final Na`Vi had to face the team that had sent them to the lower brackets – Santa Claus & Six Deers. So our players were extremely motivated. The match began in Murovanka. Na`Vi started for the defense and used 5 T-54, T 32 and ZMX 12t. The positioning game with a skirmish finishes with a HE thrown at SL1DE by rival T9. Minus 900 HP and SL1DE went to the Garage. The deer decided to attack along the first line, where they met Straik, who stopped them for a while though died. This enabled his teammates to meet the rivals and bring much damage to them. The first round was won by Natus Vincere. Na`Vi didn't change the setup. The teams began the round with a positioning battle with multiple shootings and luring the rival to prevent the base capture. Na`Vi chose to play aggressively and having encountered T49 kill it promptly. However the deer had more advantageous positions in the subsequent skirmish and thus overcome Na`Vi leaving one T 32 with 2 tanks. The more mobile tanks rode around the heavy tank and defeated it, evening the score.
Na`Vi attack in the next round began with their approach to the second base using 5 T-54 and 2 Bulldogs. Showing off near the second base, Na`Vi left behind 1 tank to capture base and rode to the 4th line to catch the rival’s Bulldog, who didn’t expected to meat Na`Vi there. After T49 had killed Inspirer’s tank, Na`Vi attacked immediately and destroyed 2 rivals. After another shot of T49 our team went on pressing and defeated the rival. The score became 2:1. After the delay due to the change of the server, the teams began the last round in Murovanka. Na`Vi chose the same setup and strategy. However this time they decided to ride along the fourth line. The deer saw this and managed to take advantageous positions. After a long-term skirmish and a number of mistake, the Deer killed all Na`Vi tanks and evened the score: 2:2.
Next was the Cliff, which is one of the best maps for SC6 according to the statistics. Our players knew that the deer liked using T49 in this map. Therefore Na`Vi setup consisted of 5 T-54 and 2 Bulldogs. Our players begin the round aggressively in the middle of the map and bring much damage to the rival. After a tremendous encounter each team had only 3 vehicles and went on acting aggressively. After a number of kills, 1 Bulldog operated by LeBwa remained in the battlefield against 2 rivals. LeBwa undertook a deceptive maneuver and first destroyed low-hp Bulldog of the rivals and then finished AMX 13 90. Na`Vi didn’t change the setup and continued their aggressive game, the deer being prepared to this. After an exchange of the shots, only 2 Na`Vi tanks survived against 6 rivals. Next there was a miracle made by Inspirer and Straik! First, Inspirer finished the low-hp rival. Next, Straik killed a careless enemy. 2 vs 4! The deer decided to surround our guys and to finish them. The latter focused on another rival and Inspirer destroyed it by ramming, though he lost almost all the HP. 2 vs 3! Full-hp Straik hid Maxim from the shells of the rivals making him live, though loosing 50% of own HP. Meanwhile the guys killed another enemy and remained 2 vs 2. Within a couple of seconds they destroyed Bulldog! Straik had 338 HP left and Inspirer had only 84 HP left. 2vs1! T49 shot at Straik who miraculously survived with 8 hp remaining! The players immediately pressed T49! The latter managed to reload and shoot, but he missed! Our players rode around him and finished him! That was exciting! The guys demonstrated outstanding skill and teamplay! 4:2! The deer lost their morale, while Na`Vi felt excitement and went on pressing the opponent.
Our team chose the same setup for the defense and went to the center of map to fight. Having caught the spotting tank of the rivals approaching the lighthouse, the guys destroyed it and continued the skirmish with other rivals. Another shot made by T49 was the signal to breakthrough. Our players destroyed the rival tanks one by one. 4 Na`Vi tanks vs 2 SC6 tanks. After another shot of T49 which didn’t reach its aim, our team destroyed the rival! 5:2 score! In the last round in the Cliff map, our team repeated the encounter in the middle of the map. They killed the enemy quickly and the score became 6:2!
Na`Vi began the round in Stepped as defense with setup of T 32, 4 T 54. Ru 251 and 59-14. The deer attacked the first base promptly. They approach Na`Vi and killed 59-16. After a positioning skirmish of the teams Na`Vi decided to breakthrough over the railways. They killed one tank and burnt another. Next there were 6 Na`Vi vehicles against 2 SC6 vehicles. The last was the frag Kirilloid made by ramming the last remaining rival’s tank. Therefore Na`Vi returned their title of the best tankers of ru cluster!
After the final we interviewd Dmitry “de1uxe” Repin. He spoke about the season and the final matches.
Dmitry “de1uxe” Repin
- Hi, Dima! We congratulate the team on the victory! Tell us about this season for you.
- Hi! Thank you very much! We began the season later than the other teams as we participated in Chinese tournament, where we took the first place.
ВAs a result we had to catch up with the other teams, including HR and NSS – the newbies of the league, that started very well.
We played on the medium level during the season. We had a couple of hard matches. In 2 tours before the end, we achieved our goal to get to the LAN without playoff. We were defeated by HR in an unimportant match with 3:5 score. I think this loss helped us.
- Tell us about the preparation to the finals. How were you training? Did it go well?
- The schedule was not overloaded. We had 6 days bootcamp. HR partly undermined it, but we found other rivals and trained effectively, communicated much became more united.
- Let’s speak about the first day of the finals.
- We played against SC6. The team is growing. It’s been developing during the season and we trained a couple of times with them. They have good teamplay. City maps are their weak point as they require the experience and individual skill. The rules of the competition enables to avoid city maps. As a result we played in Prohorovka and Stepps. We were unlucky in Prohorovka, made a mistake by not spotting the rear. The result was 2:2 score. We made tactical mistakes twice and this cost us victory. We went to study our mistakes.
I want to point our SC6’s good preparation, excellent aspiration and teamplay. They managed to sent HR to the losers brackets too.
- That’s a great result for a team which played in the Silver Series in the previous season. You went to the loser brackets. You had to play against The Young Lions on the second day. Tell us about this match.
- The match was rather simple. We played in Prohorovka 2vs2, Straik with full HP was set on fire and soon died. LeBwa didn’t have this little to defend. We oversophisticated in one round, we even denied our own player – LeBwa. The score was 2:2 and Ruinberg ahead. TYL was expected to replace Steppes with this map after yesterday’s fiasco 0:4. We had a couple of tactics for Ruinberg, so we won 2 rounds as attackers and simply shot the lions 5:2 while playing defense. We were to play against HR.
- ИEverybody was waiting for the game Na`Vi vs HR. however we expected to see it in the winners brackets. What can you tell us about this match?
- The match against HR was the hardest one as it had been expected. We played in Ruinberg and Himki. Ruinberg’s encounter was the crown of the day and of the LAN-final on the whole. We had really tensed battles, swings, lost and won clutches, capture prevented at 100%. We were to win 3 rounds least, but it didn’t go well. As a result Himki map began with 2:2 score. The first 2 roundes were rather boring. HR would through HEs at LeBwa and Inspirer for half of the battle and then sent 12t for capture. He didn’t get there for the first time, and managed to get to the base in the second time causing the defeat. Anatoliy wasn’t lucky enough. He shot his cylinder at the spotting vehicle but didn’t kill it due to the ricochets, etc.
We began next round as attackers. HR decided not to wait in defense and took T 37. We didn’t understand the situation in time. Even after 50 100 was spotted, we didn’t undertake anything. As a result we lost 2 tanks. In the next round we had to invent the tactics in the middle of the game and went to kill HR. The teamplay was great and the invented strategy went excellently. HR were too greedy. But for this they could’ve play back the results in defense. However they provided us an opportunity to play back and to win the fastest battle for the attck. This gave us the right to chose respawn in tie break. We chose defense in Steppes. We knew approximately what the rival would be doing, so we just took our roles and won the round. We got nervous while skirmishing at Railways and in the end. 5:4 score! SC6 were waiting for us..
- Once again the match with the deer. What can you tell us about it? There was a delay wuring the match but nobody provided any information.
- Once again we were unlucky with coin toss. SC6 crossed out the city maps. We had to play Murovanka, Cliff, Steppes.
We played on the medium level in Murovanka. We made mistake as we played in defense. During our first battle for the attack the Internet began performing badly. The experience won: we turned on auto-aim and played like this till the end (as we’d spotted rival’s tanks before). For 10-15 minutes we were discussing whether to replay the round or not. As a result 2:1 and we transferred to the German server. Our strategy didn’t work 2 times in a row and 2:2 once again. The Cliff is rather comfortable map for SC6. However we managed to turn on after 2 matches, while the deer lost their inspiration after Murovanka. As a result we managed to win in complicated battles even when only 2 our tanks remained in the battlefield against 6 rivals! The defense went even more easily. The score was 6:2. Winning in the Steppes was a matter of technique. We won the round after the first attempt. 7:2 and we became champions once again!
- Yes! This final was the coolest in the history of tank eSports. What can you tell us about it?
- want to point out that the match was more spectacular and exciting compared to those held before. The comments in twitch and 40 000 viewers (compared to less than 12 000 viewers before) proves it. The fans were most supporting. They were shouting “NAVI! NAVI!” all the time. Those who didn’t manage to came also supported us in a very cool way. So thank you very much!
- You will be protecting the title of the best team of the world soon. What do you expect from the Grand-Final?
I am sure that Grand Final in Warsaw will be even more interesting. 3 good teams from Europe will come. And at least 1 team from China and 1 team from Korea. Due to this fact and the system of conducting the tournament, it is impossible to predict the results. We will train much, study the weak points of the preparation to this final and go to fight for the first place!
Watch and support us 25-26 April!
Find all the tounament's photos in the official page of Wargaming.net League in Vkontakte: Day 1 here and Day 2 here.