France are once again the Nations Cup champions for the 7th(!) time after having defeated The Netherlands with a total score of 5-7, 6-7, 5-2, 4-5, 5-4 in a completely insane grand final that had just about everything.
The Netherlands started off the final well by narrowly winning the first map Grinsomat with a score of 5-7. Zack and Artishöw drove impressively well on this map for France, but it was just not enough as the dutch golden trio of Tamarillo, Spam and Koenz secured the victory to their country with solid play.
The second map, Grim got even closer than the previous one. France quickly took a convincing 6-3 lead on the map and looked to take home the victory. However, lead by an amazing Tamarillo (scoring 108 out of 130 possible points) The Netherlands managed to make an unreal comeback winning 4 rounds in a row to take the first best of three match with a score of 0-2.
As this has been a Double Elimination tournament system for the last two seasons, it meant that The Netherlands still had to win another best of three match to become the champions. For the second match the map-order was reversed as well as played with only a 5 pointlimit instead of 7. This caused a bit of a stir as The Netherlands seemed unware of the situation. Some discussions took place and the match was delayed for a while as the admins stepped in and explained the situation.
First map in the second match would then be the multi-lap WYWH. On this one France was simply a bit better as they drove more consistent than their opponents. 3DMAX player Sl3vin lead France to the victory, winning with a 5-2 score in the end.
This meant that The Netherlands now had to win the remaining 2 maps (which they did in the first match) to become the champions.
Naturally, Grim was the map to be played next. With so much at stake, both teams were very concentrated and it showed in how the map was played out: 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4... It really couldn't have been much closer. Tamarillo wasn't as unthinkably good as he was in the first match here, but it didn't matter as the rest of the golden trio; Spam and Koenz stepped it up instead. France had match-point at 4-3, but once again The Netherlands made a comeback on this map winning with a score of 4-5.
So it was that it would all be decided on the very last map and the one that started off the final: Grinsomat.
The Netherlands got a great start on the final map as they went up to a 0-2 lead. However France wasn't going to give up so easily and quickly got the score back to a tie of 2-2. Both teams then started winning 1 round each and crazily enough it would all be decided in the very last round as to who would become the Nations Cup 8 champions.
The relay-spam was in tradition going completely bonkers as the final round began. As it were it started off horribly for The Netherlands with hacktiv making an early mistake in the beginning of the map, even going to a complete stop. In the middle of the map, Koenz became the next dutch player to make a crucial mistake as he narrowly clipped the wall. Tamarillo, klaas and Spam were still in it at this point and could perhaps take home the round if they managed to get top positions. Shortly after though, klaas lost very important ground and it was now a fight between Tamarillo, Spam, Alex, Epik and YoYo at the top. Unfortunately Tamarillo then made a big mistake aswell and fell out from the fight. Spam was now alone in the top with the french players. The Netherlands now needed a miracle to able to win. Spam did the only right thing at this point and fully risked the ending in an attempt to take the ever so important 1st place. But instead of getting first he hit the roof of the finish and bounced out.
This meant France took the top 3 positions in the round and secured the victory and championship once more, ending what could only be described as one of the best and closest finals ever played in this game.
Podium of Nations Cup 8
- The Netherlands
Live-commentary by Caesuz and Hanken:
Recording by RtA|Blizz: