ATG Continue their Dominance
Ever see a truck run over thirteen teams? No? Then you did not watch Academy Gaming Weekly #124 where Against the Grain once again dominated the bracket. The broadcast lineup of hx9, Zark_casts, Clutchkey, and BeatdownBlvd entertained us as we watched an utter stomping and saw our champions take their second win in a row.
Teiko vs Rocketmen
Due to a low number of teams, the stream began in the round of 16 with Teiko against Rocketmen. The two not-so-known teams duked it out on Numbani, Lijiang Tower, and Eichenwalde. Rocketmen struggled to attack on the first round, only capping in overtime. Then Teiko smoked that, putting up a time of 2:52. The extra round did not go as swimmingly. Rocketmen were able to hold the first tick and forced a draw.
Night Market was a complete flip flop. One moment Teiko seemed to have good control of the point, and the next moment Rockemen had five kills in the feed. At 32% to 99%, Teiko managed to recover just when it seemed like they were going to lose the round. Their initial defense was weak, but they managed to recover with some awkward trades that ended up leaving them at an advantage. Then Garden came along and went well for 80 seconds of Teiko’s time. After losing the point and failing a couple attacks, they stormed in with GOATs to brawl the enemy off the objective and take the map.
Eichenwalde followed and Teiko looked to be losing their defense after dropping first point rather quickly, but they held on second. This made it easy for them to plan their attack around only two objectives and take the map to move on to quarters.
Before getting into the next streamed match, it is important to note that the quarterfinal above Teiko was Against The Grain versus Discount Avengers. Looking at the participants, that match would be expected to be incredibly close, but the 2-0 scoreline suggested otherwise. ATG seemed to take it with ease, but since the match was off-stream, it is unknown whether or not the maps were close.
Teiko vs Subzero
Nepal, Dorado, and Kings Row was the map order. We were once again lucky to see all three maps played. Both teams were equally matched, going to all three rounds on Nepal but it was Subzero who took the map with a great comeback. On Dorado, it was far more lopsided in Teiko’s favor. They easily full held Sub Zero in the first choke, and then they quickly capped in one fight.
Kings Row was a close decider. Both teams were capable of pushing all three points, but Subzero had done it faster with a time of 1:57 to 1:13. That brought Teiko into an extra round attack. Subzero tried to hold it with a surprise Bastion strategy which worked for a fight but then failed, allowing Teiko to cap. The cart was then held in streets, giving Teiko a good chance of winning. On Subzero’s attack, they managed to cap nearly in overtime, but Teiko had a good amount of ultimates ready. They unleashed a fury of them to send them to semis versus Against The Grain.
Against the Grain vs Teiko
It would have been a massive underdog story if Teiko were capable of taking this one, but unfortunately for the hopes of the players, it was not the case. ATG was on a rampage, and they were not ready to drop a map. On Anubis, Teiko were capable of capturing first point and half of second, but that was all they could muster. ATG is a team highly specialized on this map, and they have multiple compositions and strategies at hand for whatever any team throw at them. With a GOATs composition, ATG rolled through and took the attack with ease. In the match chat, one could see a salty Doorknob upset by the fact that ATG was by far the favorite, yet they still ran such a simple and easy strategy.
Lijiang Garden was next, it was a delightful surprise to see Teiko come in and pull the percentage 99% in their favor before losing a fight. They had nearly taken a round, and they were only a fight away from accomplishing such. Unfortunately, they never were able to execute a good enough attack to decisively take over the objective, and they fell 100% to 99% after an incredibly long stall from ATG.
Night Market was hardly a match. With Ana GOATs on both sides, it was ATG who mechanically ran the composition better and cycled ultimates more cleanly. With a perfect round score, they placed themselves back into their comfortable spot in the finals, and Teiko were not happy to be knocked out.
ATG vs Spartan Gaming (Gold)
Spartan Gaming looked to do exactly what ATG had done to Ben Shapiro’s Epic Elite the previous week: take down the defending champions in the finals. After an incredibly strong first point defense on Kings Row, Spartan Gaming were able to capture the point against ATG, but it still seemed to be the defenders in control of the fights. It took nearly all Spartan Gaming’s time to push through streets. With minimal time remaining, the defense was made simple for ATG to hold third.
It was raw aggression that took first for ATG. Spartan Gaming simply did not have an answer for the fast-paced tanks coming out of spawn. They were knocked to debris as their defenses were crumbled. ATG pushed Spartan Gaming all the way back to the third point spawn, chasing each and every staggered spawn to the death. From there, they rolled without losing a fight and easily pushed the meters left behind by the opponents.
Again, it was Lijiang Tower, but this time Control Center was on the list. It looked incredibly promising for Spartan Gaming who capped it to 94%, and unlike teams before them, they managed to retake and take the round.
Night Market was opened up with a grenade onto Spartan Gaming’s Briggite, courtesy of Echoflex. Fosmanx followed up on it (as he does) which allowed ATG to pinch her and take her out of the fight. After capping, they dragged out the percentage up to 81% before losing control. On the retake, ATG’s Echoflex hit another crucial anti-grenade on the majority of Spartan Gaming. Without sustain, the defense fell to the might of ATG. One last recontest was made, but ATG shut it down with a Graviton Surge, followed by an Earthshatter, and cleaned up with a ginormous Self Destruct from Fosmanx.
Garden decided whether they would take it to a map three or if ATG would win their second weekly in a row. It started off in favor of the defending champs for quite some time as they dictated time and space around the objective and in choke points. 80% was capped when Spartan Gaming took the point for themselves. It would be a tough deal to stop ATG from winning another fight. Despite having ultimates, they were failed to be used properly, and ATG took it back from their opponents. With one final contest, Spartan Gaming danced desperately around the objective for a final miracle, but one did not come as they were eliminated one by one, and Against the Grain were crowned champions once again.
You can catch AG Weekly every Monday starting at 9:00 Eastern. For updates and more information, follow their Twitter @AcademyGG.
Hopefully we will see more teams entering and competing in this tournament as it is a frequent and exciting one that brings experience and joy to the amateur and Tier 3 scenes.