In a highly entertaining back-and-forth game, PENTA Sports came up top over two maps, defeating Rogue in the Semi-Finals of the LAN event held in Atlantic City.
Rogue: Slashug, Easilyy, Bryan, Ecl9pse Shuttle (sub)
PENTA Sports: Fabian, Pengu, Goga, jOONAS, Kantoraketti (sub)
In an extremely interesting twist on the usual map lineup, we saw PENTA allow Rogue to select Skyscraper as their map pick, making it the first map of the series. With the map only seen twice in the online season -- and only in the seeding matches -- it was definitely a refreshing change of pace to see the Red Crow map in a LAN environment again. PENTA Sports, meanwhile, selected Border, leaving Oregon as the decider.
Rogue thus started off on Skyscraper with a significant amount of confidence, winning their first round -- on attack -- with ease. However, it seemed that both teams would be struggling with defense, as the next three rounds also went in favour of the attackers. PENTA, however, then showcased just why they were crowned World Champions in February.
Going over to the decidedly off-meta East-side Exhibition/Work Office bomb sites, the European side won the first defensive round thanks to a stunning roam game from Goga on Jäger. The writing was then pretty much on the wall, and Rogue lost the next two rounds as well to lose their map pick with a surprisingly one-sided 5-2 scoreline.
The second map, Border, started off in a similar fashion, with Rogue taking the first round while on attack, and PENTA firing back with their own attack round win. There would be no attack domination here, though, as both PENTA and Rogue then won their defense rounds to tie the map 2-2.
Thankfully for the home crowd, it quickly became clear this would be a much better map for the North Americans than Skyscraper. Rogue managed to win two more rounds in a row to put themselves up 4-2 on match point. Led by some excellent fragging from their stand-in Shuttle, and core player Bryan, they seemed to have found their groove after the shock loss on Skyscraper.
PENTA needed a comeback to stave off a third map, but it was not to be, as Rogue rode that two-round momentum to win a third, attacking onto Armory Lockers/Archives without losing a single member. The game was on, with both teams losing by the same 5-2 scoreline on their own map picks.
Despite the unexpected setback, though, PENTA were far from cowed. They came out swinging on Oregon, the third and final map, sweeping into a quick 2-round lead, and never really let go. Rogue did strike back, winning one round on the back of an excellent clutch from Shuttle, but that was all they would get here. PENTA continued their inexorable march towards the Grand Final, and got there with ease, taking the map 5 rounds to 1, and the series 2 maps to 1.
Rogue, despite their best efforts, looked shaky on the first and third map, and thus must watch the Grand Final from the sidelines yet again in the span of three months. PENTA, meanwhile, reach an incredible fifth Grand Final, and will look to keep their flawless Grand Final record going with yet another title.