Match Preview: EU Semi Finals
While many would have expected AE to qualify with ease for the WPL playoffs, it wasn’t such an easy story for them, and they had to battle harder than ever in order to qualify. Thanks to an excellent finish they ranked themselves in 4th place, but as it was already said many times throughout the tournament, it was probably one of the hardest competitions for them of late, and the lack of dominance they showed isn’t necessarily the best of the omen for The Bees. That said, the way they got rid of Heroes & Inquisition during the Quarters could arguably be worthy of an old AE’s performance, which is definitely a sign that they’re working their way back. Geese Pack had a kind of reversed story however. They started off very strong, and after being considered of ‘best revelation’ of the WPL with TT, their lose against both Random and IR showed there was still lots of room for them to improve. Their recent bad form was even more enlightened during their own Quarter Final where they had to perform out of their minds in order to wrestle the win out of Wonwokie’s hands, the match ending with a very close score line, 8-6, while odds were drastically in favor of Geese Pack.

Geese Pack: Difficult situations call for drastic remedies
The appearance of Geese Pack during this WPL at least created this interesting opportunity to see a new team trying unorthodox tactics, or some kind of fresher playstyle. Nothing to go crazy about, Oliveran, Cristo, and Watly didn’t invent anything in Warband, yet you can’t help but see those three as original tacticians, and this definitely reflected to some extent in GP matches. For instance, they are analyzing their opponent’s way of approaching the game probably more than any other teams, and so far, it seemed to pay off in most of the situations. While it seemed to have its limits in IR – to take a recent example – the difference here is that they really seem to have found the players who fit their way of doing things, and possess at the same time the required individual skill to make the difference when it matters. Anchor is certainly their star player, but Cristo has nothing to be ashamed of. As long as those two play together, GP might be able to keep up with AE‘s infantries. If it’s no big surprise Surkan is carrying, one of the best surprise within GP‘s ranks certainly was Belendor who has stepped upus massively, against Random for instance. Pepper and Rainbow are making a fine pair of rangers, the latter having more and more impact throughout the matches. But Geese Pack isn’t all about ‘star players’, and it’s maybe what makes their strength. Not gambling everything with skill only but also trying to find a real synergy, something they were maybe lacking in their last matches. It’s all about putting in just the required amount of thinking, but not so much that it impacts how they play, or it might spoil everything, and nothing good will come out of this.
Surkan · Anchor · Rainbow · Cristo · Pepper
Apis Europae: Are the Kings back for real?
Being the best European team in warband history always comes along with drawbacks, one of them being that you’re expected to perform at your best, anytime. AE certainly got used to such a situation, and as nobody can stay at the top forever, they had up and downs, exactly what has happened during the WPL. But that’s precisely where the difference is made. When you’re part of the ‘elite’, you’re capable of bouncing back, in the blink of an eye. That’s what they did, and with their manner, as they simply dominated their quarter final without being faced with any real resistance. Their cav trio is certainly AE‘s biggest advantage nowadays. With Shemaforash and axL being back, and Peter erforming out of his mind recently there is no other team which can pretend to have three cav players as skilled as they do, and it’s going to be extremely painful for GP to deal with such constant pressure. Gibby and Scar are carrying their infantry squad, but that’s not a reason to underestimate Supreme Patriach, Deacon Barry, and his evil twin, Notorious Goblin, Cleric Johnson. Those two have an endless capacity of malice when it comes to taking down their opponents so that’s enough of a threat on its own. If I’d point out any ‘weakness’ in their roster, that’d be their ranger department. While LeRoux isn’t necessarily creating the same level of hype anymore, he is doing more than his part for the team. But OGL and Nele are yet to really impact AE and that’s even more of a shame as they’re fully capable to. One of them will have to step up tonight, because it would feel like a late Christmas gift to give Rainbow and Pepper the occasion to take the upper hand in a range fight. Something AE can’t quite afford.
Peter · Scar · Shema · LeRoux · Gibby
This match is one of the two semifinals of the Regional Stage, and it’s important to notice that this isn’t the last part of the tournament. The WPL being a NA & EU tournament, the best teams from each region will face each other in what’s called the International Stage. So, what Geese Pack and Apis Europae are fighting for tonight is essentially the seeding for this stage, where each EU team will face a NA one; as qualifying for the semi-finals guaranteed both of these teams a place in the last part of the competition. Will it make the semifinals any less interesting then? Certainly not. The international stage is a completely different atmosphere where ping might play an important factor. It’s obvious any of those teams are looking to assure their dominance on their own scene first, as has always been the case. Moreover, there is a way bigger gap level between the 4 remaining NA teams, so taking the 1st place in the EU Regionals would ensure you to play against an arguably weaker team coming into the international stage. And at this point, teams will want to maximize the chances for their side.

Geese Pack have the tacticians and the strats. They have the players required to run them. So what are they missing to get out of this recent slump they seem to have stucked themselves into? The Wonwokie match could be a way to find out the answers but they running out of time. The bees are coming ; and they don’t plan on taking any prisoners. Match will be streamed by BladeCast_TV and casted by Captain Lust and Viktor!


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