When Enter the Arena was announced earlier this month, the competitive scene stood up and took notice. This is Stunlock’s first foray into self-sponsoring a Battlerite tournament, which offers the largest prize pool in the game’s history at $10,000.
The competition is also shaping up to be the fiercest the game has seen yet: not only have the best teams in the world redoubled their efforts to improve, lapsed champions from Battlerite’s earlier days have returned to relive former glories. And with Beyond the Summit taking up casting duties, the show is sure to be a spectacle.
But with new and old blood mingling, it’s easy to get lost in the flood of competitors. That’s why we’ve put together a preview of all participating teams. Whether you’ve been following the scene since the start or it’s your first time watching, here’s what you need to know for the first ever Enter the Arena.
The European Teams
Europe has always been the most competitive region in Battlerite. In any given tournament, there are half a dozen or more top teams with a good shot at taking the win, and the EU lineup for Enter the Arena is no exception. Though there are definite favorites based on past results, the teams all rate so closely that it would be hard to call any result an upset.
TelroskMi: A Sleeping Giant
Teldo (Croak), Verosk (Jade), and Mini‘s (Lucie) sophisticated combo-focused style has proven extremely flexible, resilient against all kinds of compositions, and extremely deadly when the squad plays to their full potential, which they almost always do.
A few weeks back, it would have been easy to say TelroskMi were the favorites in European Battlerite. They’ve won a majority of the recent 3v3 tournaments they’ve entered, and most teams in the region slate them as their most feared foes.
But a disappointing early departure in the last Battlerekt bracket was the last tournament sighting we’ve had of them, and the rumor is they’ve buckled down and focused on practice and scrimming in preparation for Enter the Arena. We’ll have to see if this monastic approach pays off.
Fortress with Haste: Peak Performance
LittleMaster (Varesh), GodOf (Poloma), and K3b4b1 (Taya) are the masters of the brick wall neutral style, their all-ranged lineup overwhelming the opposition while staying extremely safe themselves. They even have options to shore up their vulnerability against super aggressive play, with LittleMaster switching to Ruh Kaan when needed.
Formerly known as MyCon Prepare to Die, they’ve been strong contenders for a long time. One of the most consistent performers in EU Battlerite, only recently do they seem to have really hit their peak, taking two Battlerekt titles in a row as well as the most recent PRL Rivals Cup. Their picks just happen to fit right into the current meta, and their mechanical skills happen to be some of the best in the business. If they can keep riding the wave of their recent momentum, it will be hard to bet against them.
Intolerant: Meta Destroyers
Joltz (Ezmo), Nyy (Iva), and Iska (Lucie) are always entertaining to watch. They’re the only team to consistently pick Ezmo and Iva, which works to their advantage because these unique champs are enigmas to play against. How do you play against characters that nobody else plays?
The synergy goes beyond this though. The massive CC the characters can pump out, as well as plentiful defensive cooldowns, gives plenty of room for the centerpiece Ezmo to constantly and fearlessly pump out massive damage.
Like Fortress with Haste, this is one of the teams currently riding a big upswing. After weeks of gradual improvement, they took the most recent Battlerekt tournament in very convincing manner. There is a chance that this has painted a target on their backs though. If their competition decides that it’s time to start studying up on Intolerant’s strats, they may lose their major advantage.
Project Horizon: Flashes of Brilliance
HotBiscuit (Ashka), Wuzac (Croak), and bLankzz (Support) are another of the great combo teams. HotBiscuit and Wuzac, long-time 2v2 partners, consistently set each other up for big bursts while bLankzz provides big defense and big damage on… well, just about every support in the game at this point, though his most recent favorite has been Oldur.
The trio have had their ups and downs: a few big wins under their belts and a few disappointing results. There have been times when they’ve looked like that all-important communication has been a little lacking. But they’re another team that seem to be reaching the pinnacle of their abilities just in time for Enter the Arena. What some might have called one of the weaker invited teams is looking poised to potentially prove everyone wrong.
EU Open Qualifiers
Let me say it again: Europe is stacked. There are so many high-level teams, it was inevitable that some of the best would be relegated to qualifiers. These are the teams that made it through the imposing open brackets.
Bruce Lee (Condemned, Klerny, Hansalel) — One of the top teams of yesteryear that’s fallen on hard times, but has seen an uptick recently. Boasting one of the best Shifus in Condemned and a Top 5 ladder contender in Hansalel, this squad could easily make a push to the top.
U choose 3v3 (eoekas, C0rrupteD, Lum1) — A highly consistent team with a pocket Pearl pick. Though they don’t have many major tournament wins to their name, they show up regularly in the Top 4. Not to be underestimated.
MyCon Broken Comp (213213, randler, Xaynox) — Another consistent team that’s failed to pull out a big win, this squad is nonetheless solid. They seem to be able to play just about anything, with 213213 in particular pulling from the entire pool. The team ran Iva, Poloma, Varesh in the qualifiers but who knows what they’ll pull out in the tournament proper.
Without Origins (Kensu, UnclePaul, Gazhag) — A newer squad without much team experience under their belt. Gazhag is an old guard BLC player, support UnclePaul was a former member of BrokenComp where he played ranged, and Kensu is apparently new blood in Battlerite. We don’t have much data on this team yet, so whatever they throw at us will be a surprise.
The North American Teams
The NA scene has rapidly improved over the past month, but one team still stands on top, albeit precariously, and any discussion of North America has to start with them.
Onslaught: Aggression and Dominance
Arakune (Shifu), Ninjas (Sirius), and Averse (Ranged) are the personification of rushdown. One of the world’s most successful Shifu/Sirius duos completed by the world’s arguably best player — they’ve perfected a sort of 2+1 playstyle where Arakune and Ninjas force their enemies to focus all of their attention on them while Averse wreaks havoc from outside of the fray.
No team in Battlerite has won as consistently or convincingly as Onslaught. For months now, they’ve been massive favorites in every tournament they enter, and they almost always deliver. Between them, they held four of the five top ladder spots last season.
Cracks have begun to show though. In the last Battlerekt tournament, they struggled against some of the other top NA teams on their way to eventual victory, and in PRL 4 last week, they fell early on to The Tower, a team that had to fight through the open bracket to qualify for Enter the Arena.
This may just be a fluke, and Onslaught may be ready to smash their way through the opposition in this tournament as they have through so many others. After all, just this week in PRL 5, they added yet another win to their lengthy list of accomplishments. But they’ve shown signs of mortality, and that’s a risky proposition for gods.
Identity Crisis: Reaching for Greatness
InTheFlesh (Jade), Vorime (Lucie), and Emperor (Rook) are a hard team to pin down. They’ve got aspects of a European combo style: InTheFlesh and Vorime are two of the best Jade and Lucie players in the region. Emperor made a name with his Rook play but has recently been playing Ruh Kaan, and has even pulled out Iva now and then.
Identity Crisis find themselves in a similar situation to Fortress with Haste: they’ve been on the rise for a while, they’re consistent, and they’ve never looked better. But unlike Fortress with Haste, their list of first-place finishes is still lacking. They have a history of being stymied in finals by Onslaught, who they must overcome if they want to rise to the top of the region.
Scylla: The Wildcards
Maelstrom (Support), Jeter (Croak), and rarepeep (Ranged) have flexible picks and a developed playstyle. Few NA players can rival Jeter’s Croak, and like all Croak comps, the team favors big setups and damage combos, which means Lucie and Oldur for Maelstrom. As for rarepeep, he was once a Taya main but we’ve seen him on Ashka and Iva in recent weeks, so that ought to be interesting.
Scylla have had strong appearances in Battlerekt, and in the most recent PRL they handily defeated Excel Wizards before falling to Onslaught. They’re definitely the underdog among invited teams, but they have the talent and coordination to come out winners.
Excel Wizards: The Absent Kings
neewha (Support), Skywind (Melee), and Finlev (Wildcard) comprise some of the biggest names in Battlerite, not only as skilled players but avid streamers. One thing that’s interesting about this team is that they switch up their comps regularly, leaning more towards comfort and mechanics than straight-up metaplay.
Lucie specialist neewha has recently been playing Oldur and Pearl, and Skywind has shed his reputation as the foremost Ashka player in NA, instead dedicating himself to melee champions like Ruh Kaan and Freya. Finlev will play just about anything as long as it’s not meta: Iva, Bakko, Taya (before she was cool), and most recently Ashka.
There was a time when Excel Wizards were at the very top level of NA Battlerite, but they’ve all but disappeared, only showing up in a handful of tournaments — and their recent results have been unimpressive, going out in only the second round of PRL 5. As other teams progress, relying on individual skill won’t be enough. Excel Wizards will have to find their identity as a trio if they want to reprise their early success.
NA Open Qualifiers
North American teams have historically been less consistent than Europeans. Rosters change often, leaving many talented players without solid squads. That’s why the NA qualifiers were so interesting — a plethora of veteran players in new and exciting combinations, each making their bid for Enter the Arena.
Triumvirate (Damocles, Misterpink, thexpaNic) — Here we have three of the highest rated players on the ranked leaderboards. With thexpaNic on Freya, a champion who’s fallen slightly out of favor recently, they may be able to catch unprepared opponents off guard. But more than anything, they looked savage in the qualifiers, with Damocles racking up some insane damage totals. If they play as well in the main event, they could go far.
The Tower (Tahurtz, Trinth, Exploitz) — Tahurtz and Trinth are long-time duo partners, recently joined by Exploitz for Enter the Arena. The new addition is definitely working out: this team posted some surprising results lately, defeating both Identity Crisis and Onslaught in last week’s PRL bracket. Their eventual second place is their biggest recent finish, but what they’ve proven is their potential to cause upsets. Anything can happen with this squad in the running.
Poloma Mains (Keywi, trinityinfinity, Augphlosion) — Ignore the name. This is not a meta team. Instead we’ve got a strange sort of hybrid aggro comp in Keywi’s Oldur supporting an aggressive Iva and Shifu. If they stick to their guns and continue to field this unique combo, they’ll definitely be one to keep an eye on.
Cat on the Mouse (stro, GAMEFIEND, Shadow) — These guys are nuts. The qualifier saw them switching not just champions but roles, at one point experimenting with an Oldur and Lucie double-support to back up Shadow’s Bakko. On top of that, they qualified by eliminating Praise the Sun, a team sporting the once-undisputed 2v2 kings of NA, sk3tch and Outk4st. stro is also one of those top tournament players of yesteryear, until he reportedly took a break from the game a few months back. Could this be a return to form?
The Battles to Come
Now all that remains is to wait for the carnage to begin. The 16 teams will be competing for a $10,000 prize pool, split equally between the two regions. The double-elimination brackets will take place on February 25–26 on the Beyond the Summit twitch channel.
Make sure to tune in for all the Battlerite action, and keep your eyes here for more coverage and commentary.