Guild Wars




Match Report

Esoteric Warriors [EW] vs Team Everfrost [eF], Celestial Tournament Finals
By Adam Sunstrom

The Celestial Tournament marked the second time two European teams faced off in the finals, and Esoteric Warriors were involved in both matches. In the second season of the Factions Championship, they took out iB, and this time they went up against Team Everfrost [eF]. On the way to this matchup, EW had defeated SpNv, Vibe, and iPod while Everfrost had an arguably even tougher road, going through SiN, MH, and iQ.

Game One

Esoteric Warriors [EW] Team Everfrost [eF]
W/A – Devastating Hammer, "To the Limit!", Death's Charge W/A – "You're all Alone!", Signet of Malice, sword
W/A – Eviscerate, "Shields Up!", Bull's Strike D/W – Avatar of Melandru, Rush, scythe
Me/E – Expel Hexes, Energy Burn, Gale N/E – Reaper's Mark, Rotting Flesh, Reckless Haste
Me/A – Shadow Shroud, Energy Burn, Web of Disruption Me/Mo – Migraine, Mantra of Persistence, Signet of Humility
E/Mo – Blinding Surge, Gale, Draw Conditions E/Mo – Water Trident, Deep Freeze, Aegis
Mo/E – Healer's Boon, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Heal Party R/Mo – Broad Head Arrow, Apply Poison, Mending Touch
Mo/E – Shield of Deflection, Purge Signet, Aegis Mo/E – Divert Hexes, Gift of Health, Aegis
E/Mo – Shatterstone, Convert Hexes, Extinguish Mo/A – Light of Deliverance, Infuse Health, Dwayna's Kiss, Dark Escape

The first game was a violent and somewhat short affair, taking place on the Burning Isle as per EW's choice. Everfrost came in with a well-rounded pressure build, sporting strong constant physical damage and the best Hexes and Conditions. EW ran a more spike-oriented build, which turned out to be slightly less suitable for the map.

Neither team elected to clear out the Flame Sentinels and try a split, so they dueled in the center right away. Though EW drew first blood around the two-minute mark, it eF's more aggressive play style put lots of pressure on EW's Monks from the beginning. The constant damage forced EW to position around their bridge on the side of the flag stand. Thanks to this positional advantage, eF forced a Morale Boost at 4:00 by pressing the enemy flag runner when he elected to go below the bridge and through the lava, forcing him to hang back and cast Convert Hexes and Extinguish.

Not long after that, Esoteric Warriors' Monks seemed to have reached their limits under the constant pressure and, after taking a few deaths, EW retreated to their base around the five-minute mark and gave up their front NPCs. From that point on, the game was one-sided, with eF suffering only one death while inflicting intermittent kills every couple of minutes, eventually causing a full wipe that started with EW's flag runner at the ten-minute mark and ended with EW's Guild Lord dead at 11:33.

Game Winner: Team Everfrost [eF]

Game Two

Esoteric Warriors [EW] Team Everfrost [eF]
D/A – Avatar of Melandru, Heart of Fury, Disrupting Dagger W/Mo – Eviscerate, "Shields Up!", Purge Signet
D/A – Avatar of Melandru, Heart of Fury, Disrupting Dagger D/A – Avatar of Melandru, Heart of Fury, Disrupting Dagger
R/Mo – Burning Arrow, Apply Poison, Natural Stride Me/Mo – Migraine, Mantra of Persistence, Signet of Humility
Me/Rt – Expel Hexes, Mantra of Persistence, Conjure Phantasm N/E – Reaper's Mark, Rotting Flesh, Faintheartedness
N/E – Reaper's Mark, Price of Failure, Glyph of Lesser Energy E/Mo – Water Trident, Frozen Burst, Aegis
Mo/E – Healer's Boon, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Heal Party R/Mo – Broad Head Arrow, Apply Poison, Natural Stride
Mo/E – Divert Hexes, Aegis, Purge Signet Mo/E – Divert Hexes, Grasping Earth, Aegis
E/Rt – Shatterstone, Storm Djinn's Haste, Mend Body and Soul Mo/A - Light of Deliverance, Reversal of Fortune, Dark Escape

Team Everfrost picked the Isle of Jade for the next battle, and made only minute changes to their setup; specifically the secondary professions of their frontline. Esoteric Warriors switched to a Dervish build. As is typical for an Isle of Jade match, no meaningful splitting went on for the duration of the game.

The game initially seemed to be going the same way as the first, with Everfrost taking the first couple of kills and securing a Morale boost at 5:03 by pushing hard on EW's flagger and repeatedly knocking him down with Water Trident. Shortly after that, though, Esoteric Warriors turned the momentum in their favor by pressing eF's LoD Monk with damage and Signet of Humility, gaining them two kills and a small positional advantage. More important was what happened next, as they managed to kill eF's flagger, and take a slight lead on the Morale chart as it gave them a boost not long after the 11 minute mark.

Team Everfrost continued to look worse for the wear, taking two deaths and retreating to the outskirts of their base, while EW gained another Morale boost to top them off. After a prolonged fight in that position, Everfrost was able to make a kill and push back toward the flag stand, having lost four NPCs. EW retained control of the Morale however, and kept the pressure on. It paid off soon after 19 minutes of game time, when both of eF's Monks went down. Four more kills followed as EW pursued into Everfrost's base. Victory or Death came around as they were rolling in, however, and they pulled back to the flag stand for the final showdown.

With a significant Morale and NPC disadvantage on top of facing a two-Dervish build, Team Everfrost took a savage beating in the fight, and suffered an almost full wipe as well as losing all of their NPCs. Electing to regroup in the third game rather than prolong the inevitable, eF resigned at 23:33.

Game winner: Esoteric Warriors [EW]

Game Three

Esoteric Warriors [EW] Team Everfrost [eF]
D/W – Melandru, Heart of Fury, Shields Up W/A – You're all Alone, Sword, Shields Up
D/A – Melandru, Heart of Fury, Disrupting Dagger D/A – Avatar of Melandru, Heart of Fury, Dash
R/Mo – Burning Arrow, Apply Poison, Purge Signet N/E – Reaper's Mark, Rotting Flesh, Reckless
N/E – Reaper's Mark, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Reckless Me/Mo – Migraine, Mantra of Persistence, Signet of Humility
Me/Rt – Expel Hexes, Mantra of Persistence, Signet of Humility E/Mo – Shatterstone, Freezing Gust, Aegis
Mo/E – Healer's Boon, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Heal Party R/Mo – Broad Head Arrow, Apply Poison, Mending Touch
Mo/E – Divert Hexes, Aegis, Protective Spirit Mo/E – Divert Hexes, Aegis, Gift of Health
E/Rt – Shatterstone, Mend Body and Soul, Storm Djinn's Haste Mo/E – LoD, Infuse, RoF, Dark Escape

Despite losing on this map, Team Everfrost once again chose the Isle of Jade as the battleground. The most important event of this game happened in the early minutes.

While EW's flag runner was in his base fetching the flag, eF took the opportunity to push the rest of the team back to the bridge. The flag runner went through the portal, though, possibly due to a miscommunication, and had to run all the way back and around to avoid being alone with eF's damagers. He realized he wouldn't be able to cap the flag stand before a boost, and stayed on EW's side of the bridge.

Everfrost got their Morale boost at around 3:50, and continued to push the pace with great confidence. Slowly starting to get sporadic kills, eF inched their way into EW's courtyard over the next four minutes, taking down several NPC Archers and Footmen in the process. With death penalty stacking up, the kills started coming a lot quicker between minutes 8 and 10, culminating in six of EW's players dying along with several NPCs.

A period of slower action followed, with EW struggling for survival and eF fighting to keep the pressure up, making four kills over the next ten minutes, until VoD. With the NPCs on the move against them, Everfrost slowly backed off without letting up on the damage. After the battle reached the flag stand, the added NPC damage put Esoteric Warriors out of their misery. Following the 22 minute mark they finally collapsed, suffering a nearly full wipe leaving only one Monk alive, running back toward the Guild Lord. In an act of sportsmanship, he stopped at the top of the stairs that lead to the Lord, turned around, and took a bow before being caught up and killed. Team Everfrost wasted no time sending the Guild Lord after him, leaving them the victors at 23:21 in a flawless performance at the end of the Celestial Tournament.

Game, match and tournament winner: Team Everfrost [eF]

Adam Sunstrom has been playing Guild Wars since February 2004 when he joined the Alpha test, and has been interested in the competitive aspects of the game from the beginning. In the early Beta Weekend Events, he led his team, The Fianna, with success. He killed his sensei in a duel, and he never said why.