The eliminations have started and everything is to play for. While some teams still have their safety net up and ready, others don't have that luxury and risk going home. So while we wait eagerly for the Semifinals to begin, let's look back at what transpired during the Quarterfinals.
Another week has passed by and we are already half-way through OWC 2017! You know what they say – time flies by when you are enjoying the things you love. Over the course of this past weekend, the osu! community has most definitely been enjoying some really awesome matches that have happened. Let's take a look at a few just to savour the flavour once more!
Netherlands and Japan started off the weekend by competing for the ticket to survival – both teams are in the Loser's bracket, and both teams need to win the match to stay within OWC 2017. The two teams, led by respectively n0ah and Shirasaka Koume, were very closely matched in a number of maps with the score difference coming to less than 100,000 on multiple occasions.
Netherlands' tournament experience against Japan's new blood energy – the match was truly a clash of the elites, and one that kept viewers on the edge of their seats. The score eventually came down to 6-4 in favour of Team Netherlands, and Japan – having very bravely fought – will bid us good-bye until next year.
(Team Netherlands taking the final point away on Get Happy)
Four words – Taiwan is on fire! The week prior we were already surprised by Taiwan's dazzling display of prowess when they ended their year-long curse of being the underdog against South Korea. Then in Quarterfinals, Team Taiwan crossed paths with Team Germany, another strong contender for the champion title and a very scary team. Led by Dustice, Team Germany has seen some incredible scores so far. Speed, accuracy, aim – you name it, they got it, and it would seem like only a dreadnought can bring them down.
But Taiwan has the answer for that – a dreadnought who goes by the name of Flask, the spearhead leader of Taiwan's next generation. Many players may have just begun to notice his name popping up, but Flask surprised everyone when he FC'd 6 of the 9 maps and absolutely carried his team in the match-up against the formidable Germany.
The German players fought hard and managed to bring a couple of maps to very close margins, but with the combined forces of other Taiwanese players like Koalazy, Rucker, and _Shield, Team Taiwan took the match 6-3. They have every reason to be proud of this achievement.
(Flask securing the final point for Taiwan on Cinderella Syndrome with an FC)
Canada and Austria are no strangers to each other – and noteworthy for Canada, so far in OWC this year they have been facing Teams they have faced before with the only exception being Team Romania. Captain Azer noting this as a weird arrangement of events, and perhaps could be leading to more? Nonetheless, they first must answer to Team Austria – a very strong and highly underrated team for their worth.
Led by Akane-Yuki, Austria has some very scary players like Fedora Goose, BlueFlame, and Spark-desu. Both teams have come across each other in 2015 where Team Austria outperformed Team Canada in the Semifinals Loser's Bracket. For them to meet again 2 years later, one cannot help but to anticipate how both teams have matured.
For the match-up, both teams showed some incredibly consistent plays that demanded applauses. Despite facing elimination should they lose the match, the Canadian players displayed their jovial side when they focused on enjoying the mappool and making the best out of their picks. MiruHong, a noteworthy Canadian candidate, commented prior to entering the Freemod pick Heisei Cataclysm with both Hidden and Hard Rock mods on – "I would break at the beginning and FC the rest".
However, his words were not fulfilled as he actually FC'd the entirety of the map, earning him praises from both teams. Canada did eventually walk away with a close but convincing victory 6-4. However, seeing the players' performance today, we can definitely expect to see more from this team in the coming matches.
(Canada's warmup pick was…quite interesting, least to say.)
The final match of the weekend was between the Russian Federation and the United States. Both teams have very scary and highly consistent players for this mappool, and neither side seemed willing to relinquish the ticket to the next round in Winner's Bracket.
The match saw a rather bumpy start for the United States when some of their most consistent players like Toy and Axarious seemed to have had some troubles waking up and getting into playing condition, but the rest of their team kept Team Russia at bay. The Russian players, led by follon, worked hard to capitalize on all the mistakes their opponents threw at them, but in the end fell short when the American roster got adjusted and shifted into a good playing condition, sealing the match with 6-3.
(Team USA walked away with 4 FCs on Itsuwari NEUROSE.)
This coming weekend will open up the most intense section of the Eliminations Stage – the Semifinals, where anything can happen and everything is at stake. The mappool has gone through another round of upgrade and boost in difficulty, which means the players have to work extra hard in order to adjust. We wish the best of luck to these players and welcome you to witness them in their prime fighting moments. The matches resume on Saturday the 9th at 13:00 UTC over at Twitch and we await your joining us! Remember, rhythm is just a click away!