After seven weeks of round robin play the World Of Tanks ANZPL Season 3 shifts into a higher gear with finals starting Friday. It’s been a crazy season with teams bolting out of the gates and others taking a little while to warm up.
The seventh and final round of the regular season started with all but one of the eight ANZPL teams able to make finals but there were some big hurdles to overcome. The North Sydney Sentinels and the South Sydney Skorpions could not be knocked out of finals and the Auckland Archers would have to beat the Sentinels if they were to have a chance at making the cut.
The Brisbane Bulldogs, who led the competition for the first three rounds of ANZPL Season 3, were in danger of missing finals for the first time in the history of the ANZPL, versing the Melbourne Matildas who were coming off two outright wins and a tiebreaker win in a row.
The last game of the night was between the Perth Panthers and the Adelaide Action X. If other results went their way the Panthers could make their first finals appearance ever with an outright win while the Action X needed a tiebreaker win or better to secure their spot in the finals.
The Matildas put on a dominant display to beat the Bulldogs 4-0 in the opening match of the night and the Sentinels showed why they’re the two-time champions of the ANZPL with a 3-1 win over the Archers. The Christchurch Conquerors, the only team unable to make finals, went down in a nail-biting tie-breaker loss. They made the Skorpions work for their tiebreaker win.
It all came down to the last game of the last round of the ANZPL Season 3. The Sentinels beating the Archers and the Matildas beating the Bulldogs had given the Panthers their best chance of making finals, but the Action X were not about to go quietly.
Panthers took the first game on the defence of the map Mines but Action X struck back with a defensive win of their own. The battle then moved to Sand River with a successful Panther’s defence, setting up an exciting last game. For the Action X, taking any points away from the Panthers, even a tiebreaker loss, would secure them the last finals berth. Panthers needed to take an attacking win on Sand River to make finals, a tough ask for any team.
After an opening attack along the K line Panthers end up with a 5v4 tank advantage. Two Panthers tanks headed to the 2 cap and managed to get another kill while the other three tanks stayed on the 1 cap, bringing the rarely seen two capture point strategy. The Action X tried to get reset shot onto the Panthers but a well-timed tracking shot from Goober of the Panthers stopped any chance the Action X had of forcing the game to a tiebreaker. The Panthers had made the finals for the first time with a 3-1 win.
The stage is set for an exciting finals series starting Friday 29th October at https://twitch.tv/worldoftanksanz. The Skorpions will face the Matildas at 7pm AEDT and the Panthers will start their first finals campaign against the minor premieres in the Sentinels at 9pm AEDT.
With such an amazing regular season the finals are sure to produce some memorable moments.