Season 2 Pro League Finals Breakdown

by Guest Author Joe Nowasell on August 03, 2016

For the first time in Guild Wars 2 history, the Civilized Gentlemen (TCG) are world champions, and finishing with a perfect 6–0 record at a live event took their success to a whole new level. Let’s take a look at what led to their victory throughout the tournament and where the other teams fell short.

Team PZ faced off against TCG as the number-one seed for North America. Team PZ had a wild card in, putting Muffinzz back on thief for the first time in nearly two years of competitive action, but their lack of experience with this profession showed versus the European teams. Although I believe TCG may have been surprised to see that choice, they’ve had countless hours of practice against Rank Fifty Five Dragons’ thief play, and it was ultimately easy for them to work around.

As we saw throughout the regular season, Team PZ has great synergy as a team, but the element of surprise was about all they could hope for. Even swapping to their original team composition with Muffinzz on mesmer wasn’t successful, although it pushed them far closer than the thief choice could have. Team PZ will be back at the World Championship, still looking strong—but they’ll need to find a way to deal with the European teams in the meantime.

We got to experience the series of a lifetime in Astral Authority’s Season 1 finals rematch. In all my time in the competitive scene as a player and commentator, I’ve never seen such a nail-biting series. It all came down to the final seconds.

Although Astral Authority lost 3–1, Rank Fifty Five overcame them with minor differences in team rotations and play. Toker did an excellent job in finding decaps with Shadow Trap, but Rank Fifty Five kept up with him. They used Oracle’s portal—something Astral didn’t have—to stay ahead in nearly every situation.

Astral has now lost two LAN events in a row, but they’ll be back just as strong for the World Championship. Keep an eye on them in the next couple of weeks, as I expect to see more flexibility from some of their members in the next event.

The finals featured two European teams for the first time in history and came down to a few crucial rotation mistakes and one very important greatsword warrior build played by Drazeh. Helseth mentioned in his postgame interview that the team kept that build hidden from everyone else, and he claimed that it could beat mesmers in duels—something most other classes have an extremely difficult time with. We’d never seen a situation before where a secret build actually worked to an advantage! We can only expect this idea to stick with teams in future tournaments.

Drazeh’s warrior was a staple for this team’s success, but so was Frae’s incredible revenant play. He was quite possibly the most valuable player of the tournament due to his ability to consistently pressure his opponents, rendering them useless.

Rank Fifty Five’s superior resurrection and cleave potential should have won the fights, allowing them to disperse to the other two nodes and heavily outnumber TCG. Having Zan stay in the fight was a crucial misstep, and Rank Fifty Five will take this as a lesson moving forward.

All the action is wrapped up, and the teams are no doubt preparing for their next try at championship titles. We can expect the same level of intensity and preparation from them on September 17. Keep an eye on the official Guild Wars 2 website and competitive website for more details on the World Championship qualifier!