An Academy Gaming Weekly Fight-by-Fight Recap
It was a matter of honor and pride. Ten of the twelve teams had been eliminated. The two that remained were Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite and Against the Grain in the final match of Academy Gaming Weekly #123. BSEE had the title of champions of the previous week, while ATG was coming in fuming from their loss against Underwatersquad in Jayne’s Tier 3 1k Invitational that occurred earlier in the night.
The starting roster of Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite consisted of Dogefighter, Potato!, Khry, Chunkman69, Marshall, and Killshot. Honeybadger ended up making an appearance later in the match. They essentially rolled through the tournament as first seed, taking both the quarterfinals and the semifinals in sweeping 2-0s. They even beat New England Whalers (a team that gave BSEE trouble in last week’s quarterfinal) in convincing fashion.
On the opposite side of things, Against the Grain sought to take down the reigning champs with their roster of Schiz, Fosmanx, Jai, Vexonus, Echoflex, and Securen. They were warmed up and ready, but perhaps a bit too overconfident as they dropped a map in semis to last week’s runners-up, Oracle Gaming White. After going down, they bounced back with a secret and well thought out strategy on Anubis to bring things to equal terms. With a one-to-one scoreline, Watchpoint: Gibraltar was the deciding map. However, the audience did not even get to even admire the scenery as both teams full held first point, but it was ATG that pushed the payload farther thus taking the match.
Temple of Anubis
The casters, Hx9 and Bemmie, were amped as Temple of Anubis loaded in for another showing of Against the Grain’s offensive tactics. An off-meta and incredibly specific composition strolled out the spawn door: Schiz played the Reinhardt. Fosmanx pulled out an Orisa pick. Jai scouted as Sombra. Vexonus fashioned Genji. Echoflex sped out as Lucio. And Securen rolled out as Moira. It only got stranger when Jai translocated back to spawn and swapped to Brigitte while Vexonus swapped to Symmetra.
Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite did not expect what was to come as ATG crossed onto the left side into the mega health room where they then teleported the entire team to the side of BSEE. ATG then turtled inside the building overlooking point and waited for their opponents to make a move.
After some cleave damage was traded, an expertly coordinated play synergized between Schiz and his flex DPS, Vexonus. Schiz charged into a recently placed teleporter where he could find himself pretty much diving the Ana. To emphasize, Reinhardt dove Ana
In shock and without sustain, BSEE crumbled, and all they could do was hope for a good second point hold.
A good second point hold is not what Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite would find as Against the Grain came storming in as they got to point quickly and without harm due to another set teleporter play. BSEE tried switching up to a composition which better favored the brawl, but they were drained on ultimates in comparison to ATG. BSEE quickly fell as ATG capped the entirety of Anubis with 6:05 remaining and without a single death.
It was not time for Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite to bow down. They were determined to retain their title, but it was the punches of Vexonus, the man on the Doomfist, who stood in their way. Huge damage was dealt on the first fight as BSEE tried to brute force their way through ATG’s defense. It led to a quick reset where they would need to figure out how to break this.
BSEE decided to play it more patiently. They took control of the open areas of the map and baited ATG’s defense into coming toward them. From there, they caught players of ATG out of their comfort zones and traded eliminations. While not as cleanly as ATG had done it, BSEE had capped first.
Ultimates favored Against the Grain as BSEE approached second. A Self Destruct was all ATG needed to secure the fight. This would be huge for ultimate economy going into the next couple engagements.
ATG wanted to win the next fight with just EMP, but it was not enough. They went up in numbers, but the fight was still winnable for BSEE. That was until Schiz skillfully used primal to disrupt his enemies and disable them from using anything with value. It allowed his team to distribute free damage and consume space, while BSEE was stuck getting knocked around by a brilliant exhibition of main tanking.
However, Schiz could only do so much. Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite walked back through the main entrance with plenty of ults. First it was EMP which was followed up by a Graviton Surge and a nanoboost. With nothing to stop the forward momentum of BSEE, they slaughtered the defenders. So much damage was being put out that Dogefighter was able to farm two Earthshatters in that one fight.
After a decent stall from Against the Grain, Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite capped with 3:25 remaining.
Extra rounds had begun, and there would be plenty of them as neither team could cleanly hold. The battle was fought with the attrition of time.
The next round began with BSEE on the attack first this time (since they finished with less time), and they opted for the Ana variant of Goats. ATG attempted the same defense, but failed as BSEE clumped up and stunned ATG out of doing anything. From there, BSEE, took control of the point and disallowed any defending from making a clean engagement.
Dogefighter opened up the fight on B with a solo slam on Fosmanx. Even in numbers, but unequal in position, BSEE had the upper hand. It was a simple cleanup as ATG had no one who could properly make space on the point, and this time they were the ones with the incredibly quick attack.
In anticipation for ATG’s cheesy attack play, Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite decided to swap the defense up a bit. They put Chunkman69 on Bastion and tucked the entire team in the cubby behind the objective. This strategy was questionable. Alongside the Bastion was Orisa, Dva, Tracer, Lucio, and Ana. Two of these picks seemed a bit out of place as they did not have much value considering how easy it would be for attackers to counterpick. First off, the Lucio could have probably been substituted for another support since speed will definitely not be utilized in a completely static composition. If they wanted peel and area-of-effect healing, then they could have gone Brigitte. If they wanted a pocket with damage boost, they could have run double main support. If they wanted added damage with a strong support ultimate, they could have gone Zenyatta. Secondly, Tracer is too easily counterpicked in this meta. The idea was most likely implemented in order to compensate for any range the opponents might have, but tracer does not fare well against opponents who she can not reach and those with vertical mobility. And ATG just so happened to walk out the door with a Pharah.
The fight began, and it started with Marshall foolishly getting picked as Lucio. From there Against the Grain utilized their mobility to control the space around BSEE and box them in. They had set up flawlessly, but a few missteps and impatience caused individuals to be fragged unnecessarily, giving BSEE a lucky fight win.
Chunkman came back as Doomfist after dying in the initial fight, and ATG made the swap to Lucio after wasting Transcendence and Sombra after not getting much value on Junkrat.
Vexonus’s barrage grabbed two, but he and two of his teammates were killed by the late Fosmanx’s Self Destruct as they had committed to the point of no escape. Some more trades went back in forth leading to BSEE left standing on the objective.
Khry came back from respawn as Widowmaker and set up in time before the next attack began. In the meantime, ATG had swapped to a composition which had a mix of brawl and some ranged damage and mitigation. It was Goats-esque, but instead of Zarya, it featured a Widowmaker. Against the Grain treated it like a normal deathball composition as they sped down main, but Khry used his grapple to jump top left and eliminate the enemy’s Moira. This disabled a great portion of sustain for ATG, allowing Potato! to mow down the rest of the team that marched onward.
Against the Grain decided in a last ditch effort that it was time to fully commit to the traditional Goats composition. They put Jai on the Zarya and rushed in before BSEE could get enough damage off to stop them. There was simply too much sustain and too much damage mitigation on the side of ATG for BSEE to get a kill on someone. Their comp was not geared toward it after all the swaps and disorganization. ATG capped the point after a quick series of eliminations.
The first wave was fended off easily by the incoming damage that Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite generated, but the second one was not so easily stopped. Marshall strangely died first after Echoflex engaged with his own speed boost and Sound Barrier. These were crucial mistakes BSEE could not be making if they wanted to win this series. However, the fight ended up going back and forth, and it almost seemed like BSEE should have cleaned up the fight. It was up to two members of ATG to clutch out the frags. In desperation, Jai tossed out his ultimate, and Fosmanx followed up on it with his. The Graviton plus Self Destruct combo ended up eliminating two, and they absolutely carried ATG as they began making progress on the objective.
An attempt to stall was made by BSEE. A Hammond rolled out. A Tracer blinker her way across the point. They only had to stall for ten seconds to prevent ATG from receiving an additional attack. Each attempt was shut down by players of ATG exerting their resources in appropriate fashion, and as the time ticked away, the point capped. ATG only had 0.7 seconds remaining when they completed the attack. This granted them an additional minute to try and go at it again.
These next two rounds would be each team’s final attempt. ATG attacked again (since the team with less time always attacks first), and they chose to bring out a triple tank composition nearly identical to traditional Goats, but instead of Brigitte, they chose Doomfist. This may have been a choice of comfort or a strategy to utilize more crowd control.
Vexonus opened up the round with a one-shot kill onto BSEE’s own Doomfist as he was diving in. With the lack of damage on the opposing side, ATG was able to stroll on in without a problem. They took first point with ease and proceeded to second.
ATG opened up with two frags on second point which were backed up by Coalescence. The round was set for a steamroll. However, this was not the case as Dogefighter hit an insanely clutch Earthshatter to allow his Zarya to charge up the last few percentages of her Graviton. She casted her ult next and they cleaned up. While ATG did not cap the entirety of the point, they did manage to put 50.4% progress on the board. This meant that they remained in contention to win the map.
It was Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite’s final turn to attack. They must reach that 50.4% mark in order to win the map, and they had 3:37 to do it. The previous attack by ATG was completed with a time bank of only one minute. The odds were in BSEE’s favor.
ATG ran the same composition they had on attack. BSEE ran the Ana variant of Goats. Meatballs were ready to clash. Dogefighter rushed straight in but died immediately after assisting the initial kill. With no main tank, the rest of BSEE fell to the destructive brawl.
Time was being chewed off, and every second was precious. ATG attempted to relocate where they wanted to take the fight, but BSEE was ready for the change of engagement. They used the space to push aggressively properly this time, and dominated the defense. One point down, half a point to go.
Ultimate economy was in favor of BSEE as they entered second from the left hallway. Graviton was ready. Earthshatter was ready. It was time to unleash hell upon ATG. In a strange turn of events, ATG threw D.va bomb in synchronization with BSEE’s Graviton. Many players were caught in the vortex, but the bomb caused Dogefighter to turn his shield. Perhaps he should have trusted his team to avoid the bomb because as he turned, Schiz took advantage and hit a massive slam to allow the bomb to pick up four kills and secure the fight. In the chaos, BSEE had also expended Rally and Nanoboost, essentially killing their economy for the upcoming fights.
BSEE swapped Chunk to Sombra. They wanted a strong series of win condition ultimates to take just one fight, and EMP would be an easy one to farm. Going into the next fight, Dogefighter tried to time an Earthshatter but did so miserably as it went directly into Schiz’s shield. From there, Vexonus proceeded to get kill after kill to finish off this fight.
With thirty seconds remaining, BSEE was again ready to unleash a load of ultimates. Their arsenal included Graviton Surge, Self Destruct, Soundbarrier, and EMP. All they needed to do was execute properly, but ATG was a step ahead of them. ATG choked out the oncoming attack and threw their Graviton out first. With the lack of space for BSEE, the EMP failed to connect with essential targets and was void of follow-up. This allowed Echoflex to drop the beat when the time was right. BSEE’s tank ultimates connected but only with the enemy tanks of ATG who were just getting spam healed as they lay stunned and pulled together. The transitions favored ATG, and it came down to a matter of mechanics. With a final thrust toward the attackers, ATG took the fight as the clock ticked down and the first map came to a close after about an effective half an hour in the map.
Lijiang was next on the list and Control Center was the first round. Last week, BSEE found much success with a high damage McCree/Hanzo combination with Khry and Honeybadger. They attempted this again. ATG walked out the gates with Mei, triple tank, Lucio, Ana.
BSEE got a quick pick onto Jai on the Zarya, which forced ATG to reset momentarily. This allowed BSEE to begin progress on the point while they returned. Once ATG came back with full force, it was a complete roll. They sped in and ran over BSEE like a truck. The amount of sustain and health points was too much. With dominance, they took the point.
In the next fight Vexonus found a load of wall value on Mei, which disallowed BSEE to execute any sort of attack. In addition to the good performance put up by ATG, it appeared the BSEE was simply falling apart. Their attacks were split. Their engagements were sloppy. Could it poor stamina or low morale causing this?
The final fight was simply concluded with a Graviton Surge and better ultimate usage from ATG.
It was a ranged counterdive versus a more brawly counterdive. BSEE showcased Widow and Pharah while ATG chose to go with Tracer and Brigitte. All it would take is one more round win in order for ATG to take home the tournament.
Khry and Honeybadger absolutely dominated the opening of this round. They single handedly abused the space created for them and chose optimal angles to take advantage of the more linear playstyle ATG was showing.
The next fight ended before it even occurred as Honeybadger used his concussion blast to knock vexonus into the depths below, prompting for a reset.
Honeybadger put an end to yet another attempt. The play was to use barrage as ATG entered, and boy did Honeybadger smash that Q key. As the opponents passed beneath him, they were met with a barrage of rockets that eliminate three and heavily damaged the rest. Nothing could come of this attack for ATG.
On ATG’s final attack, they full force rushed the backline of BSEE and annihilated Killshot and Khry, giving them one last hope for this round.
But Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite wanted that point back. They absolutely refused to lose there and then. With a great usage of barrage again from Honeybadger, he picked up another three kills and set up the fight win despite dying. BSEE traded in their favor, and closed out the round, bring the map to its final portion.
Either team could take the map. For ATG, it meant the match. For BSEE, it meant going into map three to determine the winner. Both teams went for what was working. That means it was Widowmaker and Pharah again for BSEE and a classing Goats for ATG. ATG went directly to the point to control space, while BSEE looked to take angles and looked to exploit the widened parts of the maps.
At the sight of ATG’s composition, the tanks of BSEE swapped to Reinhardt and Zarya while Khry swapped to Brigitte. They were clearly prepared for Goats on this part of the map. It was more important that they won the first fight than to try and contest for early percentage. They returned to the point and Potato! shone a bright pink as he sat at nearly one hundred energy for the duration of the fight. With this power, he and Dogefighter rolled through the tanky lineup of ATG with raw damage to take the point.
Then a Graviton combo with Honeybadger won the next fight without contest as ATG were not planning on investing into that fight.
The next fight started quickly as the rotation to point was fast from ATG. This time, they were the ones with the ults. A Graviton from Fosmanx was followed up by the rest of his team to bring down BSEE’s defense. BSEE wasted ults trying salvage the fight, but they were already down too many, and they were just hurting their own economy at this point.
With one final attack for BSEE, a bright and neon light flew into the sky above the night market and exploded upon them. Fosmanx with the double using his Self Destruct set the pace for winning the finals. He then cleaned up Hanzo on the highground and then assisted his team in finishing off whatever was left desperately trying to remain on the point. Eventually, Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite’s efforts fell in vain, and ATG dethroned the former weekly champions.
Thank you so much if you stuck with the whole article and read the entirety of it. If not, that’s okay. I hope you enjoy the contents of it. I tried going a little more in-depth with this one, and it became a bit wordy. To compensate, I put in a bunch of clips from the match. In the future, these recaps will probably just be trimmed down to simple paragraphs regarding the match.
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