With the qualifiers out of the way, the Battlerite Community Series begins its first season today at 8:00 PM EST. Over the course of the next four weeks, seven of the top 3v3 teams in North America and one trio of European challengers will fight for supremacy. At stake is a place in January’s playoffs, where the best of the best will compete for a growing crowdfunded prize pool.
We’ve got a lot of great Battlerite matches to look forward to, but with the number of games to be played you might be feeling a bit lost if you haven’t been following the qualifiers. Here’s what you need to know for BCS Season 1!
BCS will be played in a round robin format, where each of the eight qualified teams will play every other team once. Every team will have two matches per week, one of which will be casted during the weekly Sunday stream.
The matches will be best of three maps, with each game being played in the now-standard competitive first-to-five rounds format. At the end of December, the top six teams will be seeded into the playoff bracket, with the first and second place teams receiving byes straight into the top four.
Some of the teams in the BCS haven’t competed outside of the qualifiers, but they’ve already given us an idea of what we can expect from them in terms of champion picks, play style, and flair.
Project Vision: The Favorites
Three extremely high-skilled players, near-flawless team coordination, and flexible tactics make Project Vision one of the odds-on favorites in the league. With their standard team of Averse on Jumong, Outk4st on Sirius, and sk3tch on Shifu, the Vision boys serve up a synergistic melange of some of the game’s best champions.
Beyond that, each player has the individual skill to take on any comers head-to-head and have delivered on that promise in matches time and again. Averse especially had some insane 1v1 and 1v2 moments in the recent NA Battlerekt 3v3 Week 1 tournament, which Project Vision went on to win in convincing fashion.
But worst of all for challengers: these individual monsters also play well as a team. Perfectly-coordinated focus fire, target-switching at just the right moments, and controlled aggression are the hallmarks of this team. Watch especially for their two-on-one tactics, with sk3tch and Outk4st diving in perfect unison on a vulnerable enemy while Averse keeps the others at bay with his fantastic mechanical skill and mind games.
Legendary: The Aggressors
Known as much for their divisive personalities as for their play, Legendary is one of the top teams in NA right now and have the results to prove it. Finishing second in the first NA Battlerekt 3v3 tournament this week, Legendary can be summed up in one word: rushdown.
With Arakune playing Shifu, Jeffy on Croak, and Ninjas doing Sirius duties, this all-melee lineup excels at getting in and staying there. As one of the most threatening spearmen in the tournament, Arakune usually plays the role of initiator, aggressively (and often recklessly) wading into enemy lineups, making space for his teammates to follow up with chain crowd control and merciless beatings.
But don’t take their aggression for mindlessness. The team has shown an almost uncanny ability to predict their opponents’ mindsets, often charging in on the least-suspecting target the moment the round begins. Keep an eye out for multiple high-value Sirius ults in the same round from Ninjas and Jeffy’s imposing 1v1 outplays.
Mongo Meta: Controlled Bloodthirst
You’d be forgiven for thinking, given their name, that Mongo Meta would be the most all-in team out there. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but it would be a mistake to write this team off as one dimensional. Fireblaze on Jumong, Sesh on Sirius, and sovt on Rook definitely put the pedal to the metal when the situation calls for it, but they’ve shown the ability to pump the brakes, transitioning into a more poking, testing style until they find the perfect initiation.
As one of the best Jumongs on show during the qualifiers, Fireblaze showed a combo-focused play style, often forcing vulnerable supports into 1v1 situations while his melee comrades shut down any attempts at aid from the victim’s allies. Sesh provides a more stable backbone for the team with his defensive Sirius, which is surprising considering his team’s composition. He makes it work though, ending the game with unusually high protection stats and always switching into aggro mode just in time when the situation calls for it. sovt’s rook has his moments of… well, for lack of a better term, “mongo” aggression, but he’s also shown a propensity for mind games, abusing cancelcasting and ambiguous targeting to force enemies to blow outs prematurely.
Mongo Meta haven’t yet proven themselves in BCS against many of the other top teams, but they’re guaranteed to put on a good show.
Earth, Water, Arrows: The Unknown Quantity
EWA finds themselves in an odd situation at the start of the season: they’re the only team in the league that qualified using a stand-in. Fireblaze’s Jumong was their ringer throughout the qualifier, making him the only player to qualify for BCS twice, as far as I can tell. They’re also one of the only teams to play multiple champion combinations during their qualification, with MrHuDat taking support duties with Sirius and Lucie and Emperor providing the beef on Rook and Ruh Kaan.
During the qualifiers the team showed flexibility and resilience, altering their tactics on the fly and coming back from an 0-4 deficit in the deciding game of their qualifying match with a five-round streak. They also showed a propensity for forcing 2v1s with their third player running interference on the remaining enemies, but who knows how their tactics may change with their final roster.
MrHuDat played an aggressive Sirius and a reactive Lucie in turn, showing a mastery of both combo- and neutral-focused play. Emperor showed off a more cerebral breed of Rook, staying unpredictable and patient, switching targets without hesitation when situations called for it. As for the roster’s third man, InTheFlesh has yet to make his debut in BCS.
Battlewrong: Flipping the Switch
One of the more unique play styles in the qualifiers was demonstrated by Battlewrong. The core champions of Shifu for jd014 and Jumong for NaraKaiden provide the stable base for Fahros’ uncommon Pearl pick. Battlewrong seemed to prefer a two stage battle plan, first using their strong poke potential to expose weaknesses, and then piling onto their unfortunate victim mercilessly.
jd014 showed a slightly slower Shifu style than most others during the qualifiers, waiting for the perfect time to initiate instead of just jumping in to cause chaos. That patience seemed to pay off with the spearman posting high damage totals and an impressively high success rate with his ultimate during Battlewrong’s games. This low-risk style allowed Fahros to focus more on disruption than healing, the ocean sage kiting enemies with ease and setting up combos for his teammates with his silence and ultimate. NaraKaiden showed his own setup potential, landing several raw Dragon Slayers on unsuspecting targets in addition to his own solid neutral game and instincts on when to collapse.
Though Battlewrong ended up narrowly losing to EWA in the Grand Final showmatch at the end of their qualifier, they showed impressive coordination and individual play. One to watch out for.
Excel Wizards: The Personalities
It’s hard to guess whether Excel Wizards will be over or underestimated by their opponents. Three popular streamers, all of whom tried and failed to pass with other player combinations in earlier qualifiers, came together in the final round and won it all, sailing through the upper bracket with apparent ease.
It would be easy to lay this at the feet of the team’s individual skills: Finlev‘s Taya and neewha‘s Lucie are well known as some of the best in the business, and though Skywind made his name as an Ashka god, he seems to have found a new favorite in Ruh Kaan. But the team showed surprisingly strong teamplay for their first tournament together, convincingly executing a poke-and-kite composition with seeming ease.
With well-balanced offensive and defensive focus, Finlev can Tornado allies in one moment and chase down helpless foes in the next. neewha provides consistent control for his team, keeping would-be aggressors at arm’s reach. And Skywind has the potential for impressive plays, diving ravenously on vulnerable targets without warning and even getting some clutch saves on allies with his Claw. Excel Wizards certainly provide an alternative to the aggressive-leaning play styles of the majority of the BCS field. How it will work out against the best of them remains to be seen.
Reformed: The Underdogs
Reformed have had a long road. The team played in three very close qualifier finals, falling short each time before they finally broke through. Reformed was one of the rare teams that showed alternate champion picks over the course of their tournaments, although that could be put down to their sheer number of appearances.
BigDMills showed strong poke on both Iva and Jumong, demonstrating impressive mastery of the inventor’s bag of tricks and a much slower-paced, careful play-style than most other beast hunters. Winternights, a Poloma faithful, formed the backbone of the team’s brick wall play style, relying on poke and AOE damage/healing to gain a gradual advantage over the enemy. Kigs favored Shifu, though he did reveal that he had Bakko up his sleeve in one game. He is the aggressive component of the team, diving, causing chaos, and hunting the weak.
Kigs’ high tempo plays can be impressive to watch, but sometimes seem at odds to the careful nature of his teammates, occasionally finding the spearmaster overextended and in need of rescue. That flaw has grown less and less prevalent over their journey through the qualifiers, however, and the team looks better than ever. The watchwords for Reformed are consistency and stability. But will that be enough against some of their flashier opponents?
NA tour EU winners: The European Invasion
Rivalry between regions in a tradition in esports. The exact nature of that rivalry has yet to fully take shape in Battlerite, but a European team forming an hour before the last North American qualifier and crashing through the brackets with only a single game loss to its name, and then securing the final team slot while fighting through 5 AM fatigue and transatlantic ping disadvantage? That seems like a good way to jump-start some beef
But there’s no doubt that the European boys have earned their spot, showing one of the tightest and most cohesive strategies in the qualifiers — impressive, considering that they’re brand new as a team. bLankkz proved his worth as one of the best Lucies in the world, displaying quick reactions and nigh-supernatural predictions, shutting aggressive play down with apparent ease. Iska‘s unique Croak play style is something to behold as well, focusing on crowd control and pressure over damage, though he never hesitates to flip the kill switch when the opportunity presents itself. Winghaven on Jumong shows mechanical mastery and flexibility, switching focus from poking to dueling to bursting his hapless foes with little hesitation.
As a team, they show intelligence, tailoring their in-game tactics to the playstyle of their enemies. As a new combination of players, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how they’ll perform over the long term, but if their first showing is any indication, their American counterparts had better watch out.
As the teams battle their way through the league season, they’ll be aiming to reach the top four spots to secure themselves a share of the community-funded prize pool, with the lion’s share of 50% being awarded to the winner. BCS Executive Producer Chris Howard hopes that giving the community a stake in the league will help the scene develop organically.
We’re very excited about Battlerite and we want to help it grow as best as possible. We are trying to get the prize pool up to $1,500 through the community and possible sponsorships in the future, and the best incentive to keep this game growing is a pro scene that has real rewards that make it worth it for the teams. We’re about to throw another $50 into the pot, and then another $50 every two weeks.
If you’d like to donate to the prize pool, be sure to head over to the BCS website. Even if you can’t afford to give directly, you can add a dollar to the pool for free by using the coupon code community on the Matcherino page.
When to Tune In
BCS Season 1 kicks off tonight at 8:00 PM EST with the following match-ups:
- Legendary vs. Project Vision
- Reformed vs. NA Tour EU Winners
- Mongo Meta vs. Earth, Water, Arrows
- Excel Wizards vs. Battlewrong
Make sure to tune into the Twitch stream for all of the action, and keep your eye on Battlecrank for future coverage of the first Battlerite Community Series!
Leave a comment below and let us know who you’re rooting for!