Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia, vetted by Caldoran
It's been awhile, but Mercenaries Cup 7 is over, and the winner is the esteemed team Club Penguin Crusaders! Referred to as Pingu, it has trumped the competition after nearly four months of fighting, coming out as undefeated Champions.
A run down of the Cup follows here:
Opening Rounds to Week Two
At the beginning of the season, it was predicted that Pingu, Cute Beast, Kusoyotech and Fireless would be the top contenders. The first two asserted their dominance by going nigh uncontested in the beginning: Cute Beast were given the BYE week and rolled team Steal Your Job in the second upper bracket rounds, while Pingu slammed Shuffled.tf out of the competition and was given a forfeit win against PSYCHOS.
Meanwhile, Kusoyotech and Fireless were encountering heavier resistance. While both teams had easy wins in the opening rounds, Kusoyotech found some difficulty in upstarts Team Intermediate, who managed to take Granary off of them with a score of 4 - 2. However, Kusoyotech pulled together and proved themselves as worthy playoff teams, strongly defeating their opponents with scores of 6-1 on Sunshine and 4-0 on Product.
Fireless’ competition came in the form of long-standing A Motley Crew (AMC) during Week 2, who put up a tough fight on both maps. Ultimately however, they were unable to trump the pure DM ability of Fireless’ Scouts, and the latter team won with 3-1 on and 5-4 on Granary..
Week Three to Upper and Lower Bracket Finals
With the rest of the teams thrown to the lower brackets, the top four contenders finally met in Week 3. Cute Beast faced off against Fireless, and Fireless quailed under the pressure. The pure DM ability of Cute Beast’s members was too strong and they knocked out Fireless with 5–0s on both Process and Badlands, sending them down to the Lower Brackets.
At the same time, Pingu and Kusoyotech, intense rivals and scrim buddies, duked it out, with a much closer game than most of the top seeded teams had seen so far. However, it was still clearly Pingu’s game, with team leader Teejay pulling a monumental 400 DPM on both maps. In the end, the score was 6-2 on Process and 4-2 on Badlands, advancing Pingu into the Upper Bracket Finals.
While the two most successful teams waited for their match week, Kusoyotech and Fireless fought in 5th round of the lower bracket finals. The gap between the top 3 teams and the fourth seed was too strong however; Fireless fought hard but were unable to gain more than a point over Kusoyotech on Process, losing 5-1. Kusoyotech carried over this momentum and rolled Fireless 5-0, knocking the team out of the tournament, relegating Fireless to fourth place.
Upper Bracket Finals, Lower Bracket Finals
The time had come for the two strongest teams to face off against each other in the semi-finals. Maps picked were the popular Process and left-field Sunshine, with Snakewater as the tie breaker. It was predicted to be one of the most even matches of the season, with Cute Beast having never lost a round and Pingu never losing a map.
The game started off fairly even, going back and forth over 12 minutes before Cute Beast finally secured a point. However, Pingu responded by picking up four rounds in quick succession, two of them being taken in less than four minutes. Cute Beast managed to bounce back, winning the sixth mid and rolling their opponents all the way to last, picking up another point. With only 4 minutes left, Cute Beast played extremely aggressively, taking the next mid as well. However, they were unable to carry on, and the coordination game of Pingu was too strong. Cute Beast failed the push into last and the game ended 4-2.
The next map was a crushing defeat for Cute Beast. With traditionally less time put into scrimming Sunshine in Asia, the teamwork of Pingu triumphed, ending the game 5-0 in 16 minutes, Cute Beast unable to win a single midfight. Pingu were guaranteed a spot in the Grand Finals.
Cute Beast would thus face off against Kusoyotech, both battling for another chance to take down the still undefeated Pingu. The first map was the classic Badlands, a map well practiced by all Asian teams. But it appeared that Cute Beast completely outclassed their Korean opponents. Kusoyotech lost 5-0 in 22 minutes, putting up somewhat of a fight. The second map of Gullywash was slightly closer, ending in a 5-2, but overall proving that the top two teams were a class above the rest. The pure Korean team Kusoyotech ended its run in MC7 with 3rd place.
Cute Beast had earned its chance to take on Pingu once more, this time battling for the title of Mercenaries Cup 7 Champions. Prematch map pickings saw Cute Beast banning Sunshine, having suffered greatly on this map previously, and Pingu decided to ban Badlands, the map they felt the least confident on. The pool was thus Gullywash, Process and Snakewater as the tie-breaker.
Gullywash was the most intense game of the season. Both Pingu and Cute Beast played extremely well, with teams going from last to last multiple times in single rounds. Pingu’s rebound Ubers and leapfrogs were significantly better, but the fragging ability of Flower on Sniper and Fury on Pocket pulled the game into an even match. As the clock ticked down to 1 minute left, both teams were tied 2 rounds each, holding Ubercharges while Cute Beast defended last. They needed to hold the point to push the game into a golden cap. But the misplay came when Flower was caught in river, dying whilst trying to get out under. This prompted an aggressive push by Pingu, managing to get two picks before the Medic of Cute Beast popped his Über. With 6 vs 3, Cute Beast were unable to hold the point, and Pingu picked up the map 3-2 with only 20 seconds remaining.
With that, things came full circle to Process. The game started of fairly evenly. However it soon became apparent that Pingu was in control of the game. Their teamwork, combined with Flower unable to pull the clutches and put out the damage he normally could, resulted in Cute Beast losing the first two points. Though they managed to pick up two more rounds, they were ultimately unable to overcome the solid wall of Pingu squad, who took the last point before the map ended 3-2 once more; a close game, but not close enough to let Cute Beast play a tiebreaker map. Significantly, Cute Beast were unable to win a single mid against Pingu the entire Grand Final, a testament to the latter’s strength as a team.
With that, Club Penguin Crusaders were declared undefeated Champions of Mercenaries Cup 7.
And with that we've drawn the curtain on the 16th major AsiaFortress tournament!
A sincere thanks to all participants for Mercenaries Cup 7 for helping us make such an intense and exciting tournament once again!
Now anyone familiar with AsiaFortress will know what's coming up next...AsiaFortress Cup 10. And this time, we have something up our sleeves we think our talented participants will be quite pleased with...
Keep your eyes peeled for details, because we'll be posting all the glorious details very soon!