The first set of matches for the BCS league took place on Sunday to unsurprising results. In spite of that, viewers were still treated to what may be a “meta reversal” in the making, with the aggressive melee-heavy compositions we saw during the qualifiers stepping aside for a whole lot of ranged damage and poke potential instead.
Featured Match: Project Vision vs. Legendary
Early favorite Project Vision found themselves at a disadvantage against strong contenders Legendary in the first match of the night, with Vision’s Sirius player Outk4st missing for the evening. Filling in was Awingg, renowned Lucie specialist, which left the team with one problem: how to fit an Alchemist into their normally aggressive style. The solution? Change up the style in a big way. Averse played his famous Jumong as usual, but Shifu master sk3tch surprised foes and spectators alike with a last-minute Iva pick.
The drastic departure looked unconvincing at first, with Legendary’s trademark aggression looking unstoppable in the first few rounds, but eventually Vision seemed to work out their plan and finished map one with a narrow 5–4 victory. Map two found the team looking totally at ease, with Awingg posting strong predictive defensive plays in perfect synergy with his adoptive team.
Averse’s brutal mechanical skill dominated the neutral game and won him a sick 1v1 with a massive health deficit, and sk3tch’s Iva impressed with a strong zoning style, demonstrating masterful use of the Inventor’s entire kit. That last point was especially impressive since the man had played a total of 20 Iva games prior to the match. Improving to a 5–2 score by the end of map two, Vision solidified their place as a team to watch out for, posting a victory despite their handicaps.
Final score: Project Vision 2 — Legendary 0.
We caught up with wunderkind Averse afterward to hear his thoughts on the match and the season ahead.
Battlecrank I don’t think anyone predicted that Iva pick. What made you decide to go with it? Was it mostly to accommodate Awingg’s Lucie or does Iva offer something that other champions don’t?
Averse We knew how hard it was for Lucie to be played in a rushdown comp, knowing we would be playing against [Legendary’s] Croak/Sirius/Shifu. So we wanted to play something that offered utility as well as tools to keep Lucie alive. Also, Iva’s Flamethrower is super good versus champions that use counters, so that was a plus.
Battlecrank Interesting! Was it hard for you guys to switch your playstyle? We mostly know you for more aggressive play, though perhaps not to the degree of Legendary’s comp. Still, playing with a Lucie support instead of a Sirius is a pretty big change. Was that a big deal or are you all flexible enough individually to play pretty much anything you need to?
Averse It was a little weird to adjust at first, since usually we are very aggressive and try to blow people’s outs so we can 100–0 them. We had to adjust to stay near the Lucie and look for oppurtunities to punish through their mistakes. I think all of us are capable enough to adapt to any playstyle though. We have very skilled players.
Battlecrank While we’re on the topic of your skill, a lot of the players I’ve talked to seem to think your team is the favorite to win BCS. Does that put any pressure on you or is that a confidence builder? What would you say your personal expectations are for your results?
Averse I think we will win the whole thing. Not many teams do good against us and we have a record of winning most of the 3v3 tourneys. That was our first time playing with our new sub Awingg and we showed a dominant performance after adjusting a few rounds, so I’m sure with our main comp we will be even scarier.
Battlecrank Wouldn’t be surprising! Do you have any thoughts about the BCS format? Do you like the long-term league system?
Averse Its definitely something new. I think it’s something really cool to have, though I would not want all the tournaments to take this format, just like one or two. Should be interesting to play in.
Battlecrank Alright, one more thing. I want to do some quick word association with you. I’m going to give you a person/character and I want you to tell me the player or team in the league that best personifies them. To start out, Hulk Hogan.
Averse Excel Wizards.
Battlecrank Stephen Hawking?
Averse Outk4st, high IQ.
Battlecrank Nice. Peewee Herman?
Guess that says it all. Thanks to Averse for his time and insight! Follow him on Twitch.
Reformed vs. NA Tour EU Winners
Reformed came into this match as massive underdogs against the European powerhouse players, but the upset wasn’t to be. Despite their best efforts, their classic brick-wall style was crumbled by NA Tour EU Winners, who ran the Lucie/Jumong/Croak comp that got them through the qualifiers.
Stand-in Wuzac took over for Iska, playing the same disruptive control-and-pressure style as the core team did in the past, flanking Reformed’s backline and forcing them to split their attention. Winghaven showed off his fantastic mechanical ability on Jumong, putting out huge damage from range and displaying his MLG no-scope 720 spin maneuvers on just about every skill with a cast time, and landing a few sick multiple-target Dragon Slayers. bLankkz still makes a strong case for being the best Lucie on the planet, completely shutting down all attempts at aggression on his team with sick predictive plays and hammering that F key perhaps more than any Lucie player I’ve seen in competitive, tossing Goo after Goo and making every one count.
With round scores of 5–1 and 5–0, the European invasion planted their flag firmly on American soil right out the gate.
Final score: Reformed 0 — NA Tour EU Winners 2.
Mongo Meta vs. Earth, Water, Arrows
If you read our overview of all participating BCS teams, you were probably looking forward to this match: the two Rook-pickers of the tournament facing against one another. Well, this one was definitely worth the wait, with the teams fighting a back-and-forth three-map series, but the picks were not what anyone was expecting. Both teams are known for largely ignoring the flavor-of-the-month picks in favor of playing champions they enjoy, and this time it seems like Mongo Meta decided to ignore their own internal meta, tossing away their normal team of Rook/Jumong/Sirius in favor of Ruh Kaan, Poloma, and… wait for it… Varesh.
You read that right. Apparently Varesh is back, and judging by Mongo Meta’s success, he’s here to stay. Stand-in Tahurtz, filling in for core player FireBlaze, posted insane damage totals from the backline while Sesh abandoned his normal support duties and caused chaos with an aggressive Ruh Kaan. The Crypt Warden play was topped off by some stylish and high-value ultimates, clawing his way through the enemy team while being pocketed by a defensive Poloma played by sovt.
A big departure for the Rook main, he played an excellent support, keeping his melee comrade healthy while saving Tahurtz’s low-mobility bacon with clutch Other Sides whenever EWA managed to get in on him. He even showed further flexibility on map three, switching to Lucie and leading the Mongo boys to a victory after giving up the first map.
Final score: Mongo Meta 2 — Earth, Water, Arrows 1.
Excel Wizards vs. Battlewrong
The surprise picks kept coming with Ashka and Freya adding themselves to the rapidly-growing roster of champions picked in the BCS main series. And, believe it or not, Varesh wasn’t done for the night, making an appearance in two straight maps for team Excel Wizards.
This time it was Finlev on artillery duty with the Eternal, spamming out massive damage and showing off big ult combos under the watchful eye of stand-in support Vorime, taking over Lucie duties for core team member neewha. Large shoes to fill, but he did so admirably, playing the poke game to perfection and drowning out Battlewrong in a deluge of Deadly Injections and Goos. Skywind stuck with his best champions in Ruh Kaan and Ashka, playing a similar in-and-out chaotic style on both, forcing his enemies to split their attention between him and his teammates’ power duo.
The strategy worked perfectly, with the Wizards posting two straight 5–0 shutouts over their opponents.
Final score: Excel Wizards 2 — Battlewrong 0.
Though Week One’s stream has ended, there are more games to come. Each team has four more matches to play over the course of the week at their own pace. Head to the BCS website to see the results and check out their updated stat tracker for all teams. Then, next Sunday the show is on again at 8:00 PM EST on the BattleriteEsports Stream. The match-ups for next week:
- Excel Wizards vs. Legendary
- Battlewrong vs. Project Vision
- Earth, Water, Arrows vs. Reformed
- Mongo Meta vs. NA Tour EU Winners
As always, if you enjoy the tournament and want to support the developing Battlerite competitive scene, you can donate to the community-funded prize pool or add a dollar to the prize pool for free with coupon code community.