Congratulations to the Onslaught eSports Battlerite team on their dominating win in the first major Battlerite tournament, the $10,000 “Enter the Arena” event sponsored by Twitch, Stunlock Studios and Beyond the Summit.
The team of Connor “Averse” Shacklady, Dominic “Arakune” Valentino, and Alvin “Ninjas” Xu put on a dominating performance in Day 2 of the event after closer than expected matches in the Group stages on Day 1. After defeating Scylla and Excel Wizards to make the Grand Finals, a rematch with Excel Wizards awaited Onslaught in the Grand Finals. As the #1 overall seed on the North American side of the bracket and an odds-on favorite for the strongest team in the world, Onslaught displayed their tactical aggression and teamwork in dispatching Excel Wizards 5-0, 5-1 in the best of three series to claim the title and share of the $10,000 purse.
We interviewed all three Onslaught Battlerite superstars and asked each for their take on the inaugural event, their performance, and Battlerite as a whole:
Q: How did you prepare for the event? Did you do anything different with the stakes so much higher?
“Our team never really practiced together at all, we just played in tourneys and that was it. The only time we ever practiced was for a couple days before the Enter The Arena group stages. We felt as though we needed a bit of practice since our teamwork looked a bit off. It really helped in the end and I’m really happy with our performance on the final day.” – Connor “Averse” Shacklady
“Usually, we don’t scrim because it just allows teams to “download” us and catch up to us much faster. With the release of the Enter the Arena news, our team decided it would be wise to actually practice against other teams. Other than that, we did nothing out of the ordinary.” – Alvin “Ninjas” Xu
Q: We saw you tried out a few different team comps throughout the tournament. What made you consider the switch? Did it work as expected?
“The comp we played (Croak, Lucie, Jumong) was initially brought up by Arakune as a counter to Varesh/Poloma comps. Listening to Arakune, it sounded great but, of course our only issue was our synergy. Everything felt so wrong when we tried it in tourney, everyone didn’t know what to do and it was messy for sure.” – Alvin “Ninjas” Xu
“It was our first time trying Croak out ever, we didn’t even scrim with it. Just wanted to try it out in a tournament setting when everyone wanted to win. Probably not the best idea!” – Connor “Averse” Shacklady
Q: You are widely regarded as the most dominant team in North America, and quite possibly the best team in the entire world. In this event, you had a couple of very close matches book-ended by some huge blowouts, including the Grand Finals. Do you feel like the competition is starting to catch up to you?
“I don’t feel the competition isn’t catching up, if anything the gap is wider than it’s ever been with Averse and Ninjas becoming as good as they are.” – Dominic “Arakune” Valentino
“I don’t believe so. It may have seen all the other teams have caught up on Saturday’s tourney but we were not performing at our best yet we still managed to get past groups. The only games we lost was when we were playing our new and experimental comp. The games where we played our main comp, the games did not feel close.” – Alvin “Ninjas” Xu
“The only close matches were in the group stage with win score 3, and when we played Croak. When we played our main comp in win score 5 format they were mostly blowouts.” – Connor “Averse” Shacklady
Q: What do you think the tournament showed was your biggest strengt or biggest weakness?
“The momentum and how our team plays around each other is a huge strength, the teamwork and consistency when we get in the zone is scary. I’d honestly say we don’t really have any weaknesses when we are on the same page.” – Connor “Averse” Shacklady
“I believe this tournament shows how much win score 5 can matter which was one of our biggest strengths. Champions like Shifu, Sirius and even Jumong get insanely strong as the rounds progress, more than any other champs. Playing in Groups was definitely harder than in the Finals. My biggest weakness would definitely be the nervousness with such a big prize pool, but it slowly disappeared by the time it came to Finals.” – Alvin “Ninjas” Xu
“Biggest strength was Averse and Ninjas both playing like gods.” – Dominic “Arakune” Valentino
Q: What would you like to see next for the Battlerite scene as a whole?
“I’d like to see more frequent updates as the game lacks the ability to keep newcomers playing long-term. Right now, its a good start to incorporate an in game global chat room and of course, big tournaments. I’m sure many people enjoyed watching and many top players do too.” – Alvin “Ninjas” Xu
“Core changes to the game play like the m1 changes coming up in a future patch. Also more tournaments hosted by SLS is always a plus, was a blast to play in.” – Connor “Averse” Shacklady
“More tournaments, more money.” – Dominic “Arakune” Valentino
With such a dominating performance and seemingly boundless confidence coming from the Onslaught players, the future looks bright for oS to continue to lead the North American Battlerite scene. You can catch Onslaught in action Wednesdays in the 3v3 Pro Rivalry League $300 weekly events and on Saturdays in the Battlerekt tournament series sponsored by Next Generation Esports. Be sure to stop by the streams and cheer on the North American champions from Onslaught!