APL Invitational Tournament
The APL(Awesomenauts Pro League) Invitational Tournament took place on August 10th and included the 7 best teams and the 3 best Ronimo devs to face off in a double elimination tournament. The invited teams were Team BadAku, Team BOSS, Team NerfPlz, Team Evil Corporation, Team 3-Headed Monkey, Team Discovery Channel and Team BBQ. The final team consisted of Ronimo Devs Oliver, Kewn, Jasper and Gijs. The first and second rounds of the tournament were a best of 1 with the winners advancing and the losers going to the loser’s bracket where they play a best of 1 against another team in the loser’s bracket. The losing team is knocked out of the tournament. The loser’s bracket finals and the winner’s bracket finals were a best of 3 and the grand finals were a best of 7. During this article I will be talking about each team individually from last place to first place. Be warned there are spoilers so if you want to watch the matches first click on the link below. Please note not all games were streamed.
Team Evil Corporation
Team Evil Corporation had a short run in this tournament getting eliminated very quickly. The team consisted of JAKE, mbran139, Noel and Cursed Wanderer. During their second game Evil Corporation was winning the early game against Team BBQ with their team of Gnaw, Clunk and Genji. They unfortunately started losing during the mid-late game against the opposing Derpl, Coco, Froggy team and eventually lost the game after a long 36-minute game. In the end, Evil Corporation tied for last place.
Team ronma had a short run along with EC being tied for last place. The team consisted of Ronimo devs Oliver, Kewn, Jasper and Gijs. Team ronma got pretty much stomped in the tournament having a team total of 2/12 against Team BadAku and a total of 5/13 against Team Boss. I would say this is not because the devs are bad at their own game but more of their players are better than them.
Team BadAku managed to get 4th place in the APL2 but only managed to tie for 5th in the APL Invitational. Team BadAku consisted of Reset, Grapist and Naaza each doing well in the tournament. After beating ronma in a fairly one-sided match BadAku was sent to the loser’s bracket by NerfPlz and then knocked out by Team BBQ. Although Team BadAku got 5th place they put up a good fight against the teams they lost against.
Team BOSS tied for 5th along with BadAku. The team members consisted of Bowserslave, Titanic, Huggies and Bliskinx14. BOSS was sent to the loser’s bracket by NerfPlz. Their first loser’s bracket game was against ronma and they showed them who’s boss(bu dum tss) with a commanding lead. BOSS then went on to fight 3 Headed Monkey and although the score was close in kills BOSS lost their next match against 3 Headed Monkey in the loser’s bracket and were eliminated. They put up a good fight but 3 Headed Monkey came out on top.
Team 3 Headed Monkey
3 Headed Monkey managed to get 3rd in both APL’s and 2nd in Summernauts 2013 and ended 4th in the APLi. The team consisted of players Raork, MrPow, Muzzo and Daniel_Brownie. They showed a great performance against Evil Corporation in their first match with a Skolldir, Ayla and Yuri this game being the only one with Ayla in it and showing how powerful she can be. They lost their next game against Discovery Channel and got sent to the loser’s bracket where they managed to win a game against BOSS before going down to BBQ attempting to use the classic Yuri and Leon combo(tongue into mines). Although they tried they lost very close to the finals and did very well.
Team NerfPlz is known as the team who won APL2 and came very close with a respectable 3rd place during Summernauts 2013. This tournament they managed to get 3rd place after losing to BBQ. During the first match versus BBQ NerfPlz chose a very unconventional team of Lonestar Coco Raelynn which was defeated by the opposing Froggy Lonestar Clunk team. The second game was a Derpl Lonestar Leon mirror match and depended on who the better team was. BBQ pulled out on top with much more pushing and kills and advanced to the finals. NerfPlz was eliminated and ended in a comfortable 3rd place.
The Grand Finals
The grand finals of the APL:I was a best of 7 with the two teams being Discovery Channel and BBQ. The winner’s bracket team(Discovery Channel) has a two game lead over the loser’s bracket meaning DC only needed 2 wins while BBQ needed 4. The first match was a one-sided match for Discovery Channel so we won’t talk too much about it. The second match(28:05) was a mirror match with Froggy, Clunk and Leon. This match was arguably one of the closest matches in the tournament. The total KDR for the teams was DC 22/23 and BBQ 22/25. The turret kills were fairly even for half the game and with a mirror match the game was a test of skill. In the end 2 turrets were down for Discovery Channel while 4 were down for BBQ. After a close 28 minutes Discovery Channel manages to create a 2v3 situation by killing off the enemy Clunk. They then dove into the base and got a double kill off the remaining Froggy G and Leon and proceeded to destroy the base and winning the APL:I undefeated.
Throughout the entire tournament there were almost no even matches and almost no comebacks were seen proving snowballing may be an issue in this game.
The top 5 most picked Awesomenauts were Clunk, Lonestar, Leon, Skølldir and Froggy G. This is most likely because of the amazing utility and initiation each character has. Clunk is tanky and has a major amount of AOE burst damage while being able to tear down towers quickly. Lonestar has great pushing power, great mobility, no hard counters as well as a decent amount of burst and CC. Leon has amazing initiation power with tongue and cloak as well as being able to dish out major amounts of damage. Skølldir can tank damage and has a lot of support for his team with a great initiation through throw, stun punch and snare quake. Finally, Froggy G has the Splash Dash ‘Nado combo allowing for a major initiation stun and damage.
The most used pair of ‘nauts was Clunk and Leon while the most used team composition in the tournament was the classic Froggy G, Clunk and Leon team. Clunk and Leon work very well with Leon pulling the enemy into major burst by Clunk and both having great pushing power. The classic team composition also has the same basic concept as all the ‘nauts work well together. As mentioned Leon can pull enemies into major burst from Clunk as well as setting up a gank with Froggy G. Froggy G can help Clunk set up with his stun and all three work together amazingly. Clunk can cover for the squishiness of the other two while Leon and Froggy can cover for Clunk’s inability to catch up to opponents and can easily help him initiate.
I feel snowballing may be an issue in this game. There are two ways we can fix this. Either put a bounty on the head of a ‘naut that has a lot of kills without dying like in other MOBAs or diminishing returns on death(give less solar for more deaths in a row). The 5 ‘nauts that are constantly used all have great CC, great initiation and great burst damage. The team created around this concept covers everything that was just listed and every character can support the other.
The current meta seems to focus around CC and burst with DPS being more for destroying towers. I would definitely like to see DPS have more of a use than just destroying buildings.