Recap: North American Pro League Week 2
Week two definitely gave us some surprises throughout, especially with Temple of the Silent Storm being brought into the mix. With this past week’s map rotation of Temple of the Silent Storm to Forest of Niflhel over to Legacy of the Foefire, things were sure to be mixed up as we got to see teams adjust to this map rotation and even new team compositions.
Apex Prime 1-0 (2-1) vs Zero Counterplay 0-1 (0-2)
After an incredible victory last week, Apex Prime came into this week’s match with their heads held high. With utter domination by Apex Prime on map number one, a 502-287 victory sealed the deal. Complete map control and contesting nearly every buff between Stillness and Tranquility, they had no problem wrapping things up with a four-cap ticking in their favor near the end of this first game.
Coming onto the Forest of Niflhel, a small composition change from Zero Counterplay came from Ipno who changed from his mesmer to revenant. This change made a significant difference in their performance allowing them to amass 367 points overall, but still falling short to Apex Prime’s 500 point victory. This game was slightly more intense but nevertheless, Apex Prime prevailed and is starting our their Pro League season with two victories.
Storm’s MVP of the set: Quilja/Tarcis (Morfeus with the honorable mention)
Final: Apex Prime | 2-0 | Zero Counterplay
Adjusted Standings: Apex Prime 2-0 (4-1), Zero Counterplay 0-2 (0-4)
Team PZ 0-1 (1-2) vs The Abjured 1-0 (2-0)
Coming into this matchup, many were expecting The Abjured to reign supreme. Team PZ had recently been struggling with their scrimmages and going up against the best team in North America wasn’t going to prove to be an easy task. On Temple of the Silent Storm, things stayed rather close throughout the early stages. While it felt like The Abjured more or less had the game in the bag, this map is by far the easiest to stage a comeback, thus being down 60 points wasn’t anything to be upset about for Team PZ. As things gradually moved forward, The Abjured continued to contain Team PZ and shut down their double revenant play, coming out with a 500-300 victory on this first map.
Heading over to the Forest of Niflhel, things were about to be changed up for the strategies among both teams. Team PZ came out of the gate fairly slow, being down over 100 points in what seemed to be a crushing defeat. About halfway through this game Team PZ started to pick up the slack, taking a two-cap and wiping three members of The Abjured, leaving them in disarray. With an incredible play by Zoose, as shown in the video below, Team PZ were able to shovel out a victory with a 501-388 win over The Abjured, quite possibly one of the worst losses by them to a North American team in over a year, as November 30th marked the date for the last time The Abjured had dropped an entire set to a North American team.
Moving on to the Legacy of the Foefire, it looked hopeful within the opening minutes for Team PZ, but The Abjured changed up their strategy from the previous game and took control. With Magic Toker running rampant they were able to take total map control and silence Team PZ’s chance of spoiling the undefeated Abjured. While Team PZ tried their best, they went several minutes without any point income and were slaughtered in nearly every fight. The Abjured came out with a 500-99 victory, beating Team PZ 2-1.
Storm’s MVP of the match: Magic Toker
Final: The Abjured | 2-1 | Team PZ
Adjusted Standings: The Abjured 2-0 (4-1), Team PZ 0-2 (2-4)
Final Form 1-0 (2-0) vs Spoookie 1-0 (2-0)
Arguably the best and most exciting match of the week, Final Form against Spoookie was going to set the pace for the rest of the season for both of these teams. Both coming in undefeated as they had won their matchups in the previous week, these two were looking for the head-to-head victory for a spot in the finals down the road. Final Form brought in three mesmers to their composition with a ranger and engineer. With this crazy composition they were looking to contest every node and use the portals from both Zeromis and Supcutie to outrotate Spoookie and control the buffs.
On Temple of the Silent Storm, Spoookie came out alive, showing Final Form how to rotate without portals. Winning fight after fight, Spoookie had amassed a lead that seemed as if they were going to take game 1 without a problem. Final Form, being a team with plenty of experience, came rushing back into the game with a consistent 2-cap that allowed for them to nearly tie it up. Tied at nearly 400 a piece, Spoookie was able to slip by Final Form and grab the final Stillness buff, allowing them to tick a 2-cap to end the game and win 500-467.
Moving into the Forest of Niflhel, Final Form opted for their composition they used last week with two mesmers and two rangers. This game was close throughout, but often felt like Spoookie had the upper hand. Coming down to the final minutes of the game, with both teams hitting 450 at nearly the same time, Final Form held a two cap to Spoookie’s single node as they started to move ahead. Caed started a move toward Svanir to pick up the extra 25 points, giving them a 490 to 484 lead. At this pace, Final Form would have still taken to game unless there was a decap or a kill for Spoookie. Down to the final seconds, a decap by Supcutie at the Keep made it 497 to 496 in favor of Spoookie. All the while, Zeromis was struck into the downed state at the Mine point. All Spoookie needed was to get the stomp within the final 4 seconds and they would win the game. A decap came out at the Mine giving Spoookie an extra two seconds to pick up the kill. GAME OVER! Final Form wins 500 to 497 with the stomp onto Zeromis coming a split millisecond after the game ends! An incredible victory on the side of Final Form.
On the third and final map, Legacy of the Foefire, things unfortunately wouldn’t be as close as the last two. Spoookie started the game with over a 100 point lead and sailed to victory from then on out. Crushing Final Form at every turn, they weren’t able to get anything going with their portal plays and failed to find victory dropping 238 to 500. While this was an outstanding matchup and much deserved win on the side of Spoookie, Final Form will be out for vengeance in the coming weeks, knowing they aren’t out of finals contention just yet.
Storm’s MVP of the match: Caed
Final: Spoookie | 2-1 | Final Form
Adjusted Standings: Spoookie 2-0 (4-1), Final Form 1-1 (3-2)
Never Lucky 0-1 (0-2) vs Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy 0-1 (0-2)
Our final match of the night between two 0-1 teams would give a bit of space between the two. Both trying to recover from devastating losses last week, both teams were pretty confident coming into this matchup. With Never Lucky missing their newly added fifth, Faov, Pheownix would fill in for his absence. Right from the start on Temple of the Silent Storm, Never Lucky were in deep trouble, finding it difficult to match up against the massive spike damage from Ementon, Edison, and Caden, who all did a terrific job throughout this set. Beginning with the first Stillness buff of the game, it really set the pace for the rest of this match. Already a 100 point lead only a few minutes into this game, Never Lucky didn’t have any synergy whatsoever and had troubles bringing anyone into the downed state. Never Lucky was able to grab a few of the buffs but they were essentially useless since Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy grabbed all three nodes with the Tranquility buff at the 8:30 mark. Without hardly a challenge at all, Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy came out on top with a 500 to 151 victory.
Things didn’t change up a whole lot for Never Lucky moving onto the Forest of Niflhel. Although they did adapt at the beginning of this second game, they still were unable to secure a reliable 2-cap. They tried hard to hold on throughout the first half of the game but the quick rotations and team fights being swept by Ez Pz was too much to handle, giving them the victory 513-279. One thing to take away from these games is the duration, as nearly all three games came down to the last few minutes of the timer. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how they fair against some of these other powerhouse teams that end their games in a much quicker fashion.
Storm’s MVP of the match: Ementon/Caden
Final: Never Lucky | 0-2 | Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy
Adjusted Standings: Never Lucky 0-2 (0-4), Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy 1-1 (2-2)
|Current Place||Team Name||Record (Matches Played)|
|1||The Abjured||2-0 (4-1)|
|1||Apex Prime||2-0 (4-1)|
|4||Final Form||1-1 (3-2)|
|4||Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy||1-1 (2-2)|
|6||Team PZ||0-2 (2-4)|
|6||Never Lucky||0-2 (0-4)|
|6||Zero Counterplay||0-2 (0-4)|
Next Week’s Schedule (Week 3)
|Date||Team 1||Team 2|
|12/7 @ 5pm PST||Final Form||The Abjured|
|12/7 @ 5:45pm PST||Team PZ||Spoookie|
|12/7 @ 6:30pm PST||Zero Counterplay||Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy|
|12/7 @ 7:15pm PST||Never Lucky||Apex Prime|
Notice: These are the approximate times and are subject to change along with match schedule.
Week 3 Predictions
I think the biggest thing to take away thus far is how Team PZ is 0-2, but still a very dominant team. Having two extremely difficult matchups in the previous weeks, watch out for this team as we move forward. Going into the next week I believe the match to watch out for will be Team PZ vs Spoookie.
Final Form (1-1) vs The Abjured (2-0)
With a rather disappointing loss from Final Form this past week, they have no time to rest as they face The Abjured. The Abjured has displayed nothing but dominance in the past, but after losing a match to Team PZ, many teams may see them as a vulnerable opponent. Watch for a tricky composition on the side of Final Form as they will want to bring their best effort in this matchup.
Storm’s Pick: The Abjured 2-1
Team PZ (0-2) vs Spoookie (2-0)
Team PZ versus Spoookie will be the game to watch for this upcoming week. This game will have major implications on the future for Team PZ as if they drop this match, they will be starting out on a terrible note for the first season of Pro League play. Although Team PZ has displayed valiant efforts in their first two matchups, a loss is a loss and they can only move forward from here on out. As for Spoookie, if Caed is able to continue his incredible play, I’m afraid Spoookie may be an unstoppable force. I hope to see an exciting set between both of these teams.
Storm’s Pick: Team PZ 2-1
Zero Counterplay (0-2) vs Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy (1-1)
Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy just came off of a solid victory over Never Lucky and are looking to get out of the bottom half of the league. With a victory over Zero Counterplay, they might be able to seal their spot in the top six, avoiding the relegation matches at the end of the season. A top two spot for either of these teams may be out of their reach, but there is still quite a bit of money on the line for both of them.
Storm’s Pick: Zero Counterplay 2-1
Never Lucky (0-2) vs Apex Prime (2-0)
Apex Prime is displaying some of their best play under the name over the last year. With Ostrich Eggs still adapting to the necromancer, the rest of his team is picking up any slack and surging forward. With Never Lucky, who is struggling severely, this should be an easy sweep for Apex Prime if things continue to fall in line.
Storm’s Pick: Apex Prime 2-0
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