The Rare Cup is now over, and this season's Playoffs has brought us many entertaining moments. The Group Stage, especially, has had some very unexpected results, due to some of the Division 7 teams really stepping up their game. This is a quick summary of how the Division 7 teams performed during both the group stages and the bracket stages of the Rare Cup.
Personally, Nexus' Most Wanted had the most surprising performance out of all Division 7 teams. They were the team ranked as #4 in Division 7, put in a group with the #2 team of Division 6, the #5 team of Division 6 and the #5 team of Division 7. Despite the fact that the odds were never in their favour, Nexus' Most Wanted pulled through and won all three of the group stage matches due to a forfeit from the favourites of Frieza Force. Not only this, the team won every match with a 2:0 map score, which means that they did not lose even a single map. Not only this, they have a few exciting matches that were very close, including a game against FAT Punisher on the Tomb of the Spider Queen where both teams made stellar plays (But the Zeratul completely threw). I am excited to see what this Division 7 team can do in the bracket stage of the Rare Cup.
FAT Punisher were never favoured in their group, being the lowest seeded team. As expected, they were not able to win any matches against the other teams. However, they played some very close games against the Nexus' Most Wanted and Frieza Force and even managed to take a map off the Jimmy team using a Stitches kidnap composition. Despite being a Free Agent Team, this team seemed particularly effective at utilising compositions built around a powerful combo of heroics, usually involving Jaina's Ring of Frost. It is a shame, but this will be the end of FAT Punisher's journey this season. However, I am once again excited to see what these players can pull off next season.
Gubba Gaming had their moments during the group stage, but were unable to win any of their matches. For me, their most memorable pick was Taunt Varian, a hero they utilised to great effect at getting picks. Especially on a game against Golt Cat Fish, on Infernal Shrines, they managed to take many objectives by getting quick kills on enemy heroes. They showed clear potential to contend for the top spot in the group. Hopefully, their next season will produce brighter results for them.
Goats for Hire comes from the lower end of the qualified Division 7 teams, however, they have had a performance they should be very proud of. They defeated The Money Pigs, which is the top seeded team in Group B and Gubba Gaming, a team ranking higher than them from Division 7, though they were unable to win their other match. Goats For Hire even styled with a the Lost Vikings and Sylvanas draft on Cursed Hollow, which won them their first game against Gubba Gaming. They seem to have the potential to beat any team, given the right circumstances, and I would watch out for them during the bracket stage.
The Turtle Team managed to make it to the top of their group, much like Nexus' Most Wanted. This was a close defeat at the hands of the Portrait Goblins, but quick 2:0 victories against the other two teams in the group. A notable pick for this team was their Uther, a hero who is not the most popular hero in today's meta. Yet, Turtle Team managed to use his burst healing and stuns effectively to win games. Unfortunately, due to some conflicts in scheduling, they are unable to make it to the bracket stage.
The Bacon Landlords, despite being the crowd favourites to win the Rare Cup, has sadly missed the chance of advancing to the bracket stage. They were defeated in every match, but did have their moments such as their second game against the Portrait Goblins. They were always very famous for their unconventional drafting strategies and entertaining in game decision making. The same can be said for the Rare Cup, where The Bacon Landlords may not have won the cup, but they won the hearts of the people. They pulled out heroes like Cho'gall, and combos like Garrosh and Dva. While they didn't make it into the bracket stage, we can all start preparing for next season and what the Landlords will have to offer then.
Tactical Suicide, despite being grouped with two very strong Division 6 teams, showed up and made Division 7 proud. They defeated one of the Division 6 teams 2:1 and lost the other match narrowly with a 1:2. They were able to utilise melee assassins, such as Kerrigan and Maiev, to great effect, taking advantage of their high engage and damage potential. Having managed to get through to the bracket stage, I am only excited to see the games they will play against the other teams that have survived the crucible of the group stages.
The Ringo Dingo Bareback Boys had a rough group to crack, having been assigned both the top team of Division 7 and the top team of Division 6 in their group. Given the odds they faced, they put up a valiant fight, but were unable to make a dent in the titans of the Moustaches, Giborim and Tactical Suicide. They also had to field a wide variety of players. While they were not able to advance during this Rare Cup, they gave us entertainment and moments, but showing up and trying their best.
This season, three of the eight Division 7 teams were able to make it to the bracket stage; Nexus' Most Wanted from Group A, Goats For Hire from Group B and Tactical Suicide from Group D. However, Goats For Hire were, unfortunately, unable to play on the 22nd of June, leading to a forfeit of their match. Jimmy and Co were also unable to make it to the bracket stage, leading to the Tactical Suicide automatically qualifying for the semi finals.
This match saw the surprising victor of Group A fight against the top team of Division 6. Unfortunately for Nexus' Most Wanted, their streak of wins was cut short by the Moustaches, who dismantled them in with a 2:0 victory. During the first game, on Battlefield of Eternity, Nexus' Most Wanted drafted a composition with Tracer, with a heavy burden of execution. However, the Moustaches took advantage of Valla's superior immortal race to take favourable fight, and even keep up when they lost the team fights. During the second game, Nexus' Most Wanted drafted Sylvanas, whose high amounts of Area of Effect damage allowed them to win some team fights and take some of the objectives. However, they were, ultimately, outscaled by the Lunara damage from the Moustaches.
Tactical Suicide automatically qualified for the semi final match due to a forfeit from another team, where they faced the future champion of the Rare Cup, Potatoes007. The first map was once again on Battlefield of Eternity, where Tactical Suicide drafted a composition that relied on Hanzo and Zeratul for their heroics, Dragon Arrow and Void Prison. However, once again, the burden of execution was too heavy, and while they played well, they were unable to defeat the Potatoes. Game 2 saw the Potatoes draft a Kel'thuzad, a hero with devastating combo potential, and Tactical Suicide was unable to win this game as well, resulting in a 2:0 loss.
I would like to thank all the Division 7 teams who played their very best for the entertainment of the viewers during the Rare Cup. And a special shout out to Baconsoccer for being an not-so-terrifying friend in Division 7 (Everyone, please ping him on Discord for no reason, he loves the attention).