With the same double elimination format as the night before, the stage was set on Saturday for another day of intercontinental bloodletting, this time with the great and the good of the western Conqueror’s Blade hemisphere lined up in an exciting series of match-ups.
Unfortunately, despite having four North American teams in the tournament, three were quickly thrown into the loser’s group after the first round, with Salutaris Nova, Unity and Ordre Des Templiers progressing at their expense. On the other side of the bracket, Ming seemed to progress without much fanfare, leaving WildBlood and Falcata to fight what was a tense first-round encounter that saw the Spanish house advance by the narrowest of margins.
In the next round, it was the contest between Salutaris Nova and Ordre Des Templiers that was to prove the highlight, with the German house advancing to face a Unity team that had already asserted itself against The Grand Order and Anarchy. Although we were treated to a close opening that saw Salutaris assert itself, Unity battled back and was crucially able to hold the full width of the battlefield until the enemy reinforcement pool was dry.
Having sent both Falcata and UniT into the loser’s bracket (to eventually face one another), it was perhaps inevitable that Ming and Unity would eventually meet in the winners’ bracket final. Thankfully, it was a contest that didn’t disappoint in the least, with neutral viewers enjoying the closest result in the competition so far, with less than 20 points (from a possible 1500) separating the two teams at the end. It’s a match that’s worth re-watching, as an example of the kind of tactics worth adopting when efforts to regain a capture point aren’t working out.
Having been sent down to the loser’s bracket by Unity, Ming had to fight Falcata for a second time in the competition, with the winner set to take on Unity in the final best-of-three. For Ming it was a second successive battle of wills and tactics that went the full distance, but ultimately for Falcata - which had fought a long campaign to claw its way back into the competition - revenge wasn’t going to be on the menu. At least, not for Falcata. Not yet.
And so it was Europe’s vs North America’s in the best-of-three decider, represented by Unity and Ming respectively. Despite the unyielding result of their first meeting, Unity had the advantage of knowing it could triumph, while Ming was undoubtedly keen to serve some measure of vengeance on its opponent from across the Atlantic.
Thankfully, the final showdown of the evening didn’t disappoint, particularly the first bout, which played out as if the teams hadn’t left the field of battle. However, despite Unity reasserting its dominance and having the score advantage after round one, Ming was able to turn things around decisively thereafter. For both teams, it was a medieval masterclass in battlefield tactics, one that was to be repeated rather sooner than anyone had anticipated.