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Recap of North American Grand Finals

April 16, 2017

After intense weeks of Group Stages and Playoffs, 2 teams came on top to meet in the North American Grand finals, Rogue and Team Liquid. Most would say that Rogue is big favourite entering this matchup, as their win to lose ratio is 17-3. Rogue also showed us that it’s possible for them to drop maps, as they narrowly beat Selfless Gaming in the Upper bracket finals. Team Liquid had a bumpy start in playoffs, as they lost to Selfless Gaming in Semi-finals, dropping down to Loser bracket, and fighting their way to Grand finals from there.

First map was Kings Row, and since Rogue had a better seed they had a choice of selecting side, as they opted for defence. Rogue was set composition that they ran through majority of the tournament, known as the „Dive“, while Team Liquid went for Mercy and Pharah instead of Ana and Soldier while the rest of composition remained identical to Rogue’s. After several attacking attempts by Liquid, they decided to swap Pharah for Solider as they had little success with previous composition. Rogue successfully defends 1st objective, making it very hard for Liquid to make anything on starting map. Once the sides swapped, it took Rogue 3 minutes to cap the point and win map number one, as Liquid had a very solid defence for quite a while.

Second map was selected by Liquid and it was played on Illios. First point was played on Lighthouse as both teams went for Pharah and mercy combo, with Liquid having single tank Winston, while Rogue went for Diva and Winston. Liquid dominated this point, as they were getting picks all the time, not letting Rogue get a single percent of the point. Second point was Ruins, as both teams decide to go Widow maker. Initially AKM was getting more picks at the start, but as the game progressed, ID caught up. In the end, it wasn’t enough, as Rogue even out the score. Third point was played on Well, as yet again both teams ran compositions from the Lighthouse. Fights went into Team Liquid’s favour, as they were getting initial picks all the time. Rogue tried swapping Pharah for Solider, and they managed to cap the point, but only once Liquid had 99%. French team did manage to get to 99%, as they played very aggressive once in control of the point, but it wasn’t enough, as the last team fight went into Liquid’s favour. For the fourth point, we were once again back on Lighthouse, but this time, Rogue went for Soldier from the start, instead of Pharah. Both teams had a control of the point for some time, but it ended in Rouge’s favour as they were the one winning the important team fights this time. Deciding point was played on Ruins, and this time as well Rogue went for Solider, instead of Widowmaker, as Liquid ran same composition as before. At the end, Liquid takes the last point with incredible retake, and secure themselves a map point.

Third map was Dorado, as Rogue opted for defence. Team Liquid decided to go with Widowmaker for the 1st objective, as we didn’t see many teams taking this hero for payload maps throughout the tournament. Rogue was playing aggressive at start, but it didn’t really work out, as Liquid capped the first point fairly quickly. Once they did, they swapped Widowmaker to Solider. Liquid did managed to finish second objective as well, but fell short on the third one, as they only finish nearly half of it. Once the sides swapped, Rogue couldn’t be stopped, as they kept on pushing the payload, finishing the map and taking a 2-1 lead over Liquid.

Last map was played on Lijiang Tower, as Team Liquid once again opted for control map. First point was played on Control Centre with both teams running Winston as a single tank in their composition. Only difference was Pharah and Mercy on the side of Liquid, and Ana and Genji on the side of Rogue. Initially, Liquid acquired 99% of the point, before Rogue started to slowly crawl back into it, and eventually winning the 1st point. Second point was played on Garden, and even thought this point is very good for Pharah, Rogue decided to go yet again with Solider, as Liquid stayed with Pharah. Rogue did however ran two tanks composition, with Diva that is very good at stopping Pharah doing much damage. This did prove out to be correct as Rogue completely shut down Liquid, as they’re only able to cap the point once Rogue had 99%. At this time, French team was charging ultimates, and once they did, they clean up Liquid, and secure themselves second point. Third point was played on Night market and this point was most dynamic as both of the teams had control of the point back and forth, but it was Liquid that pulled it at the end, as both teams acquired 99%. For the fourth point, we were back at Control Centre, and this time it was Liquid that went for double tank composition, with Diva and Winston. Majority of the time, Liquid had upper hand on this point, but once Rogue managed to get couple of team fights going their way, it was all over for Team Liquid, as Rogue is crowned as North American Overwatch Pit Champion.