After a long day of World of Tanks Esports action on Saturday, the Chinese giants of the Asian competition ‘EL Gaming’, defeated ‘B-Gaming‘ to win the WGL (Wargaming League) APAC (Asia Region) Final and claim the top prize of $50,000 USD.
Despite the valiant efforts from B-Gaming, the Japanese team in the finals, EL Gaming continued their unbeaten streak throughout the APAC 2016/17 Season 1 and won the final 7-4.
It was the first time a WGL APAC final was held in Australia, with the tournament being played at ESL’s Sydney Studio. However, EL Gaming and B-Gaming weren’t the only teams in the finals, with the Korean team ‘Meltdown’ and the largely Australian ‘Team Efficiency’ losing out to the eventual finalists in the semi-finals.
The Aussies Struggle Against Eventual Champs
Earlier in the day the Chinese giants of World of Tanks in Asia EL Gaming defeated Team Efficiency confidently 7-2 in the first semi-final. Made up of players from Australia and Malaysia on the day, Efficiency struggled to keep up with the unstoppable EL Gaming.
Team Efficiency were immediately under the pump at the beginning and were outmanoeuvred in the early rounds by EL Gaming. There were close games throughout but TE just didn’t have the edge and eventually succumbed to EL Gaming immediately after winning their second round. But despite being knocked out, Efficiency can hold their heads high and walked away with $12.500 USD.
They were missing several international players (as the team is made up of players from Australia Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Russia!) who were missed, but they will be sure to come back just as hard next year after a solid season.
While the Japanese Make the Ultimate Comeback
Following Efficiency’s loss, the Japanese B-Gaming took on Meltdown of South Korea, in what shaped up to be the tightest match-up of the day, as B-Gaming won their first tiebreaker of the season to reach the final. The Japanese made two come backs, as they fell behind 4-1 early on, and then 6-3, where they then won four games in a row to defeat their Korean opponents.
Each game was tight and regularly went down to the wire. It was a fun match for the audience not only for the great in-game action, but because of the energy and emotional both teams showed as they put everything on the line, in what was a truly awesome experience.
The Koreans were easily the most vocal in match during the finals, singing together before each round and shouting throughout games, particularly during the tensest moments. While the Japanese were quiet and focused, working together in coordination through experience and familiarity. But when B-Gaming finished their comeback by winning the tiebreaker, one of the tightest games of the day, the elation from the Japanese players could be felt by everyone in the ESL studio.
Although the Koreans were devastated after the tight defeat, their efforts were rewarded with $12,500 USD, similar to Team Efficiency. And after an emotionally draining semi-final, for players and the audience alike, B-Gaming moved on to the final against the undefeated EL Gaming.
A Tight Final and Where to Next?
Following B-Gaming’s incredible comeback against Meltdown in the second semi-final of the day, it was always going to be an uphill battle against EL Gaming. However, the Japanese showed they were in it to win it, going game for game with the Chinese from the start.
After some close battles and smart plays from both sides, the match was locked at 4-4, with it set to be anyone’s final. But EL Gaming showed their skill and prowess to take the next three games against the Japanese, who had previously been able to counter their opponent’s movements and tactics time and time again.
It was a huge moment when EL took the final game, with plenty of celebrations from the Chinese victors as they were presented with the prestigious trophy. It was a hard-fought victory and all the more impressive as they became the APAC region champions for the third season in a row.
Although B-Gaming weren’t able to come out on top this season, they didn’t go home empty handed, earning $25,000 USD as runner ups, and spot in the Challenger Rumble along with EL Gaming.
The Challenger Rumble is an off-season event featuring the top two teams from Europe, North America and the APAC region. Being held on November 19th in New York City, B-Gaming and El Gaming will have the opportunity to show off their skill against the best in the world.
After watching them both play in Sydney over the weekend, I have no doubt they will make the APAC region proud. And if you are looking for more regular season action, following soon after the Challenger Rumble the WGL APAC 2016/17 Season 2 will kick off. So be sure to keep an eye out here at Press Start Australia for more World of Tanks and Esports news and event coverage.
Press Start Australia attended the WGL APAC 2016/17 Season 1 finals in Sydney as guests of Wargaming.