War Machine Comeback in Close Match
At the beginning of the game, WM pushed into LuM's base using the back door. LuM retreated back into their base using the front door, from which they had earlier exited, and surrounded WM and proceeded to kill three of four of them. After that both teams attacked the Flag Stand in the center and each inflicted heavy casualties on the other team.
The battle continued to rage at the flag stand, with War Machine putting pressure on LuM by attacking the back of their base. Finally War Machine pushed into LuM's base. Again LuM inflicted heavy casualties and WM had to retreat, using a body block at the bridge to get their team out of LuM's base. By this time one of War Machine's monks had 60% DP and couldn't respawn. War Machine retreated to the Flag Stand and body blocked the enemy team's flag runner for about a minute in order to hold the Flag Stand and get a morale boost. War Machine didn't waste any resurrection signets; they allowed their people to respawn. War Machine inflicted some casualties on LuM and started pushing them back into their base. LuM swung around and captured the flag, and managed to hold it for a morale boost.
War Machine continued the attack on LuM's base, killing numerous NPCs and both bodyguards. LuM was again able to push War Machine out of their base, and continued to advance on War Machine, getting many kills as they pushed War Machine across the map. War Machine did a suicide run for the flag, with one runner advancing through seven defenders to capture the flag stand! War Machine's entire team respawned and they advanced again. War Machine pushed LuM back over the bridge, and the two teams engaged in a major battle at the bridge. For a few minutes the massive battle continued to rage at the bridge. LuM slowly picked off War Machine members one at a time, while War Machine failed to inflict any losses on LuM. LuM started the advance, pushing War Machine back into their base, with only three minutes left until Victory or Death.
LuM continued to inflict kills as they pushed War Machine around the map. War Machine swept around and tried to kill as many LuM NPCs as possible before Victory or Death. As Victory or Death began at 30 minutes, neither team had received a morale boost for 15 minutes, and War Machine's two monks were both dead at 60% death penalty. But War Machine still had most of their NPCs alive, and LuM had to split their team, attacking War Machine and simultaneously defending against War Machine's NPCs. LuM killed both of War Machine's bodyguards. War Machine held the Flag Stand and received a morale boost at the 32 minute mark. War Machine started to attack LuM's guild lord. LuM sent back one of their Monks to defend, and War Machine used the opportunity to start pushing LuM back towards their base. War Machine received another morale boost at 34 minutes. At 35 minutes the NPC Guild Lords started their advance towards the center. War Machine brought the battle to LuM's Guild Lord, and the two teams fought furiously as LuM tried to keep their Guild Lord alive. War Machine repeatedly killed LuM's monks, and the tide started to turn in War Machine's favor. War Machine received another morale boost at 36 minutes. The Guild Lords continued marching towards the center of the map and the teams followed. War Machine had a major advantage fighting in the center since many of their NPCs were still alive. The battle raged on in the center of the map. WM killed all of LuM's monks and then turned on the Guild Lord, finally bringing LuM's Guild Lord down at the 39 minute mark.
War Machine Wins Hard-Fought Match #3
The second game of the match was played in LuM's guild hall, the Burning Isle, which presented a disadvantage to War Machine since their split-team strategy is difficult to execute on this map. Both teams ran to the center, but War Machine pushed past LuM and forced them back towards their base.
LuM fell back into their base to defend, killed two of the War Machine attackers, and started pushing WM back towards the Flag Stand. WM tried to press forward again, but LuM inflicted two more kills. WM continued to try to push their advance group past LuM in order to execute their split-team strategy, but each time LuM successfully defended and stopped the advance.
WM retreated to their base as LuM took control of the Flag Stand.. LuM used a Bond Web strategy, punishing WM for not bringing enchantment removal. After heavy fighting at the Flag Stand, LuM started to inflict heavy casualties on WM, pushing them back towards their base. LuM played very conservatively, holding the Flag Stand instead of pushing forward, waiting for a Morale Boost.
LuM got their Morale boost at the 11 minute mark. WM snuck one Warrior, Hiyo Gl Gg, past LuM to start attacking LuM's Bonder, forcing LuM to retreat to defend him. LuM successfully defended this attack and forced WM's Warrior out of their back line, then wheeled onto the offensive.
LuM made a hard push all the way back to WM's base. But WM had managed to hold the Flag Stand for two minutes before LuM could retake it, so their received a Morale Boost. After LuM retook the flag stand, WM made a hard press towards the center. WM broke through LuM's front line and managed to split them, successfully executing their trademark split-team strategy. LuM fell back to regroup. LuM slowly pushed WM back towards the flag, being very careful to prevent WM from splitting again and getting past them. WM player First Queen put pressure on LuM's Bonder again, forcing him to retreat.
As in the last game, as the battle raged back and forth, with LuM slowly building a Morale advantage. By the 20 minute mark, LuM hadn't lost a single player, whereas War Machine had taken many losses and was fighting at about half Morale. However, despite this, War Machine kept the pressure on LuM, forcing them to split up. Finally WM inflicted their first kill at 21:40 by surrounding a LuM player from all four sides.
The battle continued near LuM's base. LuM tried to force WM back, but WM managed to split them again, continuing the full court press into LuM's base. LuM successfully defended their NPCs and killed three WM members, and WM beat a hasty retreat out of LuM's base. However, WM's strong advance had helped them to hold the Flag Stand for two minutes again, and they received another Morale Boost at the 25 minute mark. After falling back, WM regrouped and pushed back to the Flag Stand. LuM tried to body block WM's flag runner, but the flag runner got past, so LuM attacked WM's Monks instead, killing one Monk. LuM held the Flag Stand and received a Morale boost at 27:15.
With Victory or Death imminent, War Machine wanted to rack up any NPC kills they could, so they returned to their split-team strategy and pushed into LuM's base, but LuM successfully defended and punished WM again by inflicting kills upon them. Yet at about the same time, WM got another Morale Boost at 29:30.
Victory or Death kicked off precisely at 30 minutes, as always. LuM marched forward slowly, making sure to protect their NPCs this time. One WM player snuck around and started attacking LuM's Guild Lord. LuM sent back a Monk and an Elementalist to defend their Guild Lord while the main battle continued in the middle. WM killed a LuM Warrior and both of LuM's NPC Bodyguards. LuM returned the favor by taking down both WM bodyguards.
WM inflicted two more casualties on LuM and started pushing them back. LuM regrouped in front of their base and started pushing back against War Machine, but WM still had one player infiltrating LuM's back lines. By 34 minutes, all of LuM's NPCs were down, while WM still maintained two NPC Archers. As in the last game, the balance of Morale started to shift in WM's favor.
LuM started to advance, but left one Elementalist in the back to cast a series of Blinding Flash spells on War Machine's Warrior. WM held the center and got a Morale boost. Next, WM managed to completely surround LuM player Emp Ftw, holding him in place by body-blocking him, and took him down. WM got two more kills on LuM and increased their pressure on the opponent.
At 35:00, surviving NPCs and Guild Lords started their advance to the center of the map. At this point, WM was preventing LuM's Guild Lord from advancing by engaging him in combat. LuM sent a player back to defend the Guild Lord, but War Machine killed the erstwhile defender. War Machine pushed hard and inflicted heavy casualties, killing most of LuM's team. Finally, at 37:47, they took down LuM's Guild Lord, bringing the match to an end in two of the most exciting games of the tournament thus far.