Yesterday saw all the quarter finals of the Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 finals take place in São Paulo, Brazil (a recap of which you can find here), and today the top four teams were whittled down to just one in a thrilling day of action and drama, even producing some surprises along the way.
Team Fontt vs Ence Esports
The first semi final of the day saw Ence Esports, who took down Evil Geniuses yesterday, face Brazilian side Team Fontt, who had their own success against eiNs yesterday. Map 1 took the pair to Consulate, and it seemed early on that Ence had carried their excellent form intact from yesterday, winning 5-0 in a match where Fontt made a lot of mistakes, their C4s not working as well as they could have and not being as aggressive as they had been.
The second map took the two to Chalet, and Ence's dominance continued, as they communicated very well and stayed patient even when Fontt clawed rounds back. Ultimately Ence were just too much, and Willkey was incredibly emotional after the 2-0 win, as he teared up when asked about the sacrifices he has to make to compete at this level. Admittedly the scoreline didn't reflect how close the match was at times, but Fontt were just too chaotic, and Ence capitalised.
Penta Sports vs Black Dragons
Another EU vs Brazil semi final, Penta Sports took on Black Dragons, and you'd be forgiven for thinking the former would dominate as they've done against so many teams before them, but you'd be wrong. Black Dragons came out swinging on Chalet, using Kapkan to their advantage and sealing out a 5-2 win, putting Penta on the back foot after the EU side didn't drone as well as they could have. With Psycho on form as well, the Brazilians were full of confidence after this map.
The second map took us to Clubhouse, where Black Dragons registered an early lead of 2-0, Glaz being used to deadly effect. Penta rallied to bring it back to 2-2, using unconventional tactics to confuse Black Dragons, but BD refused to be stopped, getting another 5-2 win after solid performances from the likes of Psycho and Julio. The casters speculated that Penta were a little overconfident, but regardless BD outplayed them and earned the win.
Ence Esports vs Black Dragons
The grand final, then, saw Ence, a team that had been in every single LAN event (although their last grand final was in Year 1 Season 1) take on the fierce Black Dragons, and this all started on Oregon. The standout player from the start was Kantoraketti, whose amazing roam on the first round almost resulted in an ace, as he registered four kills straight away.
The dominance continued for Ence throughout this first map, as their slow methodical push in Round 2 and patient running down the clock in Round 3 pushed the scoreline to 3-0. BD retaliated with their own great defence and Blitz attack to bring it back to 3-2, but it wasn't enough, as great performances from Willkey, Kantoraketti, and the whole team meant the first map ended 5-2.
That wasn't the end to the excitement, however, as there was much left to get hyped for as we moved into Map 2, which was Chalet. Here things didn't start nearly as smoothly, as round after round saw BD dismantle Ence, with Rounds 2 and 3 seeing the whole Ence team being eliminated while none were gone from BD, and after Round 4 it looked all over at 4-0 as players like Psycho performed incredibly well.
As with a lot of great matches, though, Ence rallied and responded, capitalising on miscommunications from BD in Round 5 to get a round back, before Kantoraketti had his own excellent run of form, even clutching Round 7. With his help the team clawed it back to 4-4, silencing the Brazilian crowd and pushing the match into overtime. A patient attack from Ence means they wiped out all of the BD side to make it 5-4 then, before they sealed the championship with a close defence, dismantling the BD attack.
With that Ence Esports ended what seemed to be an unlucky streak they'd had at Pro League finals, claiming their first championship in an incredibly emotional moment, one that meant a lot to captain Willkey and his team. Did you expect this result though?