Whether youíre interested in improving your strategic thinking or you just want to step inside the minds of the best so you can beat them, this is article is for you. Team Trash walked away with 1st place and $600 from the Prep Phase League Championship Tournament as an undefeated team. We asked them to write out their tactical thinking specifically for Match 1 of the finals, where they came from behind to bring home a ďWĒ. Below is a light turn by turn analysis of their considerations, prefaced with a paragraph about their mindset going into the Freelancer banning and picking phase.

Feel free to follow along while watching the match below. The drafting starts at 24:46.



You can watch the rest of the tournament and all of the matches leading up to the PPLCT here:


Picks and Bans
We went into Saturdayís games with the full intention of playing only with a team composition of 1 frontliner, 1 support, and 2 firepowers. We can and have played other compositions with success before, but we believe this is the most consistent team composition for us. With this map, Flyway Freighter, we have a freelancer pool of 2 frontliners, 3 supports, and 5 firepowers weíre willing to use. Since there is only one ban and four picks per team, and since we arenít even banning any of those 10 freelancers we might play, we are guaranteed to get four of the 10 freelancers we want.

Sepheal will play our support, and can play any of the three remaining after we ban Helio. Wollelol and Cranor both play frontliners and firepowers, and swap depending on which firepowers we get. Wollelol will play Rask, Asana, Celeste, or Gremolitions (in a fringe case that never happens). Cranor will play Rask, Asana, Grey, or Lockwood. Avaki will play Grey, Lockwood, Nix, or Gremolitions.

Since our opponents, Outplayed, banned Celeste and picked Rask with their first pick, we chose our top two priority firepowers, Lockwood and Grey, with our first two picks. We didnít think it was likely that they would pick Asana after they already has Rask, but if they did we had Grey, who is key to making a three firepower one support team work. After Outplayed picked Aurora with their second pick, we were pretty sure we could get both Finn and Asana, but opted to go for Finn first. As we expected, Outplayed opt for two firepowers for their finals picks, and we get our Asana with our final pick. Had she not been available, we would have taken Nix or Gremolitions, whichever was left.

TURN BY TURN NOTABLE PLAYS:

Turn 1
We stick together and donít move to any spots that are likely to get hit by a turn 2 blind shot. Everyone but Asana will be using an ability turn 2, so we make sure not to move into bushes and pop them, giving away our location. Lockwood moves to a spot where he can throw a decent trap next turn.

Turn 2

Lockwood: I throw a trap that will catch anyone moving toward the love tunnel (2◊3 Camo Pads) from the middle of the map or forward from some common turn 1 cover spots. I end up catching Rask. I move behind some walls to take full advantage of Lockwoodís bounce shot.

Dr. Finn: I bubble Asana, who is moving in deep to try and find the enemy. I run the bubble mod that makes it last two turns, so we still take full advantage of it on turn 3.

Grey: I drone some common cover spots, hopeful to get some vision and deal some damage.

Asana: I moved in a position to get vision for my team and prepare a good bounce dash.
We all try and move to spots that arenít likely to be in a Big One from Zuki. Unfortuantely it doesnít actually come down this turn.

Turn 3

Asana: Since I use the Vault Mod on the dash I want to make sure to hit someone that wonít dash away on my first bounce (which isnít likely this turn because they have full HP). I want to bounce in the direction where we have a last known position indicator of Zuki and I find Aurora for some additional slow value (thanks to the bubble).

Turn 4

Lockwood: Iím at full health, but Iím extremely likely to be taking damage from Rask, Zuki, and Gremolitions. Itís a no brainer. Dash out of there.

Asana: I have an attack on 2 people which is very effective thanks to my extra damage mod. Iím not using my Retribution because itís not likely that anybody will hit me. Moving close to the health orb do deny it.

Turn 5

Dr. Finn: I use my shift catalyst to avoid lethal damage, but there werenít any great spots to go to. I settle for some cover out of the range of Gremolitions. I definitely should have shifted the turn before.

Grey: I weaken and track Rask and Gremolitions, and move to stay in cover from Rask and potentially Zuki.

Turn 6

Asana: Shielding this turn because I could take around 70 damage and following Aurora to get some pressure on her.

Turn 7
Rask is fairly low health, but he has dash up, will definitely use his heal, and will likely turtle. We swap focus to Aurora.

Dr. Finn: I give up the heal powerup to try and move out range of Rask and Gremolitions.

Turn 8

Lockwood: Iíve got two targets in my ult range, one of which is Aurora, who has no dash. She might not realize I can hit her with it from this angle, either. I go ahead and ult and know I have plenty of time to get another one.

Grey: I dash into some cover, and out of the center of the Big One I got thrown into last turn.

Turn 9

Dr. Finn: Iím pretty sure Rask will go for the health powerup, so I move away from it and manage to make him lose vision of me.

Grey: I have a two person ult, and am in cover, so I turtle tech and go for it. Unfortunately we didnít do the math this time and turtle wasnít enough to save me from might-ed Zuki splash damage (28), mod-ed Aurora ult (32), and might-ed Big Bang from Gremolitions (31).

Turn 10

Asana: Ulting to shield Lockwood and put some pressure on Zuki. Since Aurora needs to catalyst anyway I donít consider her a target at all.

Turn 11

Dr. Finn: I guessed that Rask would dash on me, so I ulted Gremolitions and as much of the area close to me as possible. Unfortunately Rask dashed just outside of my ult.

Turn 12

Grey: I respawned and moved to pressure Gremolitions last turn, but unfortunately both he and Rask got their ult up as soon as I showed up.

Lockwood: Zuki is at 40 health, right next to our Asana, and still has her dash catalyst. Aurora has no escapes. This is an easy decision for me. I take the shot on Aurora and go with the guaranteed damage.

Turn 13

Grey: I shift catalyst behind a wall to get to a safe spot for now. Staying is not an option.

Asana: Getting into a good position where I can hit 2 people. I use Retribution because I will get 20 damage from the Ion Cloud. I switch my follow target because Aurora is going to die this turn.

Turn 14

Asana: I dash to Zuki to body block if she shoots at Grey. Unfortunately she must see it coming and sticky bombs instead.

Dr. Finn: I respawn and sprint in to make sure I can heal Grey next turn.

Grey: I drone Gremolitions because Lockwood and I have lethal on him if he doesnít dash. Knowing heís either dead or will likely dash back towards his teammates, I move in Gremolitionsí direction.

Turn 15

Dr. Finn: I heal Lockwood and Grey, saving Grey from Lethal damage. She survives the rest of the game.

Asana: Zuki has dash up this turn and I could be hit by up to 4 people so using my catalyst and stealing the heal orb is a good choice.

Turn 16

Lockwood: We only have vision of Gremolitions, and Iím 99% sure heíll shift. I choose to just shoot at him and my last known indicator for Rask Then I move in further to be in position to ult Gremolitions and hopefully more next turn.

Grey: I retreated out of range of the enemy so that now I can second wind and pick up the health powerup in relative safety.

Turn 17

Lockwood: Easy decision to ult Gremolitions and end up in a spot of relative safety.

Turn 19

Asana: Zuki has ultimate this turn so I need to avoid all the spots next to my teammates if Iím dashing. The perfect spot is behind aurora dealing damage to her. So I bounce off Zuki (who canít dodge) and around the wall, onto Aurora.

Lockwood: I have a sticky bomb on me already, and if I stay Iím surely taking 35 damage from Zuki ult and at least 24 from Aurora ult in addition to the 30 from the sticky bomb. My teammates have lethal on Zuki anyway, so I dash out.

Dr. Finn: I have a three man ult if Rask doesnít dash, and we have lethal on Zuki, even after Auroraís ult. I move into position to be able to heal either Grey or Lockwood next turn, depending on who needs it.

Turn 20

Dr. Finn: I heal Grey, which keeps her out of range of possible lethal damage.

Asana: Before I do anything else I choose to click my movement on the heal orb (since me and Aurora are both the same distance away the one who clicks it first gets it).
We finish off Aurora and take out first game in a best of three.
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Team Trash is set to compete in an exhibition match against Team Final Boss of Trion Worlds Sunday, August 14th at noon PDT. Team Final Boss famously defeated Team #NerfAsana from the Alpha Sneak Peek Tournament and is sure theyíll remain undefeated. Weíll be streaming live on Twitch.tv/TrionWorlds from the Razer Store in San Francisco. Be sure to watch and see if their solid team tactics can beat a team that has an innate understanding of Atlas Reactor!

Ė Atlas Reactor Team