The North America Autumn champions have been crowned, and now it’s Europe’s time to shine. The Europe Autumn Live Finals begins Friday, Dec. 11 at 3PM CET / 6AM PST / 9AM EST at twitch.tv/vainglory.
After series of qualification tournaments filled with massive upsets and upstart teams, we’ll find out who can emerge from a point standings ladder that was literally turned upside-down. When it comes to the EU Live Finals, throw the seeds out the window because of the amount of talent toward the bottom is immense. Let’s look at the teams playing live in Katowice, Poland …
MEET THE TEAMS
Coming off of a dominant performance in the online qualifiers, Rebirth of Empire is looking for a repeat performance at the Autumn Live Finals. Expect to see them come out of the gates swinging.
- Autumn Finals roster: UpFyr, GreatkhALI, nettetoillette
- One2Watch: Greatkhali
- They win if … the synergy between these teammates continues to be splendid, with great positioning and individually strong mechanics. Having map vision and focusing more on objectives will lead them to the win.
- They lose if … they don’t capitalize from enemy mistakes, playing a bit too passive when they should aggress.
What started off as a roster put together to have a bit of fun in ranked turned into a powerhouse team and second seed. That said, this Cinderella squad will not be using the same roster as the qualifiers, which raises some questions about their true strength in this tournament.
- Autumn Finals roster: CJMantle, legendARIEs, Akuma
- One2Watch: Akuma
- They win if … their momentum and confidence from the qualifiers successfully carries into the Autumn Finals.
- They lose if … their modified roster doesn’t come together fast enough. Synergy is definitely a signature of Tiger, and keeping teamwork and emotions together will be key.
Team SNOW is Europe’s VON Menace. This is the team others don’t want to face — and the team for which all others are most preparing. SNOW stuck together through and placed exceptionally well in both online qualifiers. They’re now looking to follow their namesake and stay cool under pressure in these high-stakes live matches. Watch for player lookatme to display excellent mechanical skills, map awareness and to counter-jungle whenever possible.
- Autumn Finals roster: lookatme, araxi, Kentysik, SNOWflake, artur123
- One2Watch: lookatme
- They win if … they have strong synergy, especially during teamfights. Also, this team has a large hero pool that should be used wisely during draft picks.
- They lose if … members of the team start thinking independently, making reckless mistakes during shot-calling and objective-taking.
As their name suggests, these Pandas are looking to crush their opponents with pure aggression if given the chance. Though with xuanxuan’s reputation for, shall we say, alternative strategies, we could be in for a treat. Keep an eye on xuanxuan’s wonderful positioning in teamfights and aggressive jungle-stealing plays.
- Autumn Finals roster: LeyaLeya, XuanXuan, Daniir, Xinyi
- One2Watch: xuanxuan
- They win if … they capture lightning in a bottle again and go on another deep run.
- They lose if … opponents are able to effectively fend off early aggression with passive play, three-player lane pushes or rotations into enemy side jungle.
Not ones to make the first mistake, Black Hawk are always a bit wary early on in their battles. However, once they have properly identified their opponents’ weak points, they are sure to strike for the kill.
- Autumn Finals roster: ColdICE, Sosiska, Bashn, LasKA,
- One2Watch: Bashn
- They win if … securing a more balanced comp during drafts helps ease these players into their power spikes. Bashn needs to make sure to prioritize vision across the jungle to ensure they are the ones to have the first jump.
- They lose if … drafting out unbalanced comps makes matters too tough in the early game. Having trouble in objective control will only make things harder for Black Hawk.
G2.Kinguin in some ways is a victim of their own success. By winning the first qualifier, they earned the right to send a team to VIPL in Korea. But by splitting a winning squad on a roll, they’ll have a harder time with the stiff competition in Katowice. Starting laner Reddix and starting roamer AsiFloH are in Korea, putting immense pressure on D1ngo and DarkPotato to perform in the Autumn Finals. One advantage G2.Kinguin retains is positively superior draft strategy, utilizing DarkPotato’s 20-hero-deep pool to force enemy carries off comfort picks and onto third-choice heroes. G2.Kinguin has a tough draw in SNOW for Match 1 but has the quality to survive the losers’ bracket and take that road to the semis, if need be.
- Autumn Finals roster: D1ngo, Zynthox, DarkPotato, Kwin
- One2Watch: D1ngo
- They win if … they secure an advantage in the draft, either by eliminating roamers or forcing opponents onto uncomfortable heroes. By playing smart and not being too aggressive, they’ll take advantage of their typical mid/late-scaling comps.
- They lose if … not having jungle vision in the early/mid-game proves too costly. G2’s shot-calling will need to be on point, as overextending before teamfights start has proved troublesome for them at times.
While SK is brimming with playmaking talent, they will terribly miss RedWolf, the #1-ranked player in Europe, whose travel papers will not be in order until Winter Season events. This will require WalDeMar to step up and fill those shoes, but this player previously known as BestCelesteEU has absolutely stolen the show with big plays in past events and is capable of doing so on the big stage. SK’s cornerstone player will be jetpacks, who displays excellent positioning, consistently great KDAs, a wide range of heroes and a signature playstyle. When possible, jetpacks prefers to play as a “second roamer,” collecting defensive items and focusing on keeping his lane carry alive. But jetpacks may need to adjust his focus and playstyle depending on matchups and the success of WalDeMar in lane. The eternal question is: Will we see jetpacks’ Krul?
- Autumn Finals roster: MYQ, WalDeMar, Jetpacks
- One2Watch: jetpacks
- They win if … this RedWolf-less threesome can perform as a unit. All three are mechanically sound with plenty of experience, but they’ll need to make more big, highlight-reel plays than any other team to pull out wins.
- They lose if … hero comps become a question mark and storyline. SK prefers mid/late-game scaling comps, but they have to figure out what will work best with this starting group of three. Should they not choose a more balanced comp after the roster changes, they might have a hard time getting to those later power spikes.
MediaPixel sends a rock-solid and feared roster to Katowice, and they’re widely considered one of the most dangerous teams in the tournament.
This is a team that, even when behind, you can’t ever count them out, and all eyes will be on Media Pixel to see if they can perform under the bright lights. One player almost certain to shine is Mowglie, who has been called the “LostBoyToph of Europe.”
- Autumn Finals roster: Mowglie, Palmatoro, KValafar
- One2Watch: Mowglie
- They win if … pre-draft planning pays off, devising possibilities and strategies for each team. Their strengths include highly coordinated plays with tremendous positioning. Having vision and map awareness will help them excel in this tournament.
- They lose if … they get beat during picks & bans and let sneaky/aggressive comps through. The team compositions for MP usually require a lot of synergy, so all members need to show up big time in Poland.
The tournament follows a double-elimination group stage and single-elimination semifinals and finals. Each round of matches is a best-of-three series. The Grand Finals will be best-of-five.
3:00 PM CET / 6 AM PST – (1) REBIRTH OF EMPIRE vs (8) MEDIA PIXEL ESPORT
4:15 PM CET / 7:15 AM PST – (2) REBELTIGER vs (7) SK GAMING
5:30 PM CET / 8:30 AM PST – (3) SNOW vs (6) G2.KINGUIN
6:45 PM CET / 9:45 AM PST – (4) ANDRY PANDAS vs (5) BLACK HAWK
SATURDAY [UPDATED WITH SPOILERS]
GAME 5: 10AM CET / 1 AM PST – (1) REBIRTH OF EMPIRE vs (6) G2.KINGUIN
GAME 6: 11:15 AM CET / 2:15 AM PST – (2) REBELTIGER vs (4) ANGRY PANDAS
GAME 7: 12:30 PM CET / 3:30 AM PST – (8) MEDIA PIXEL ESPORT vs SNOW
GAME 8: 1:45 PM CET / 4:45 AM PST – (7) SK GAMING vs (5) BLACK HAWK
GAME 9: 3PM CET / 6AM PST – Winner of Game 5 vs Loser of Game 7
GAME 10: 4:15 PM CET / 7AM PST – Winner of Game 6 vs Loser of Game 8
SEMIFINAL 1: 10AM CET / 1AM PST – Winner of Game 7 vs Winner of Game 10
SEMIFINAL 2: 11:15 AM CET / 2:15 AM PST – Winner of Game 8 vs Winner of Game 9
THIRD-PLACE SERIES: 12:30 PM CET / 3:30 AM PST
GRAND FINALS: 1:45 PM CET / 4:45 AM PST – Best of 5
Watch the EU Autumn Live Finals on twitch.tv/vainglory starting this Friday at 6AM PST / 3PM CET!