Judges Eye: March Madness VII Semi-Finals

CP REWRITTEN, United Media Headquarters – A few days back, the army community witnessed the two battles of the semi-final round take place for March Madness VII. A total of 10 judges were in charge of refereeing these battles. What are their thoughts on these two battles?

Last weekend, the two semi-final battles took place, between the four armies. On April 2nd, two of the major armies, the Help Force and the Templars met on the battlefield all geared up and prepared to combat. The following day witnessed the two allied armies of the Black Ice Alliance – the Ice Warriors and the Rebel Penguin Federation come face to face to fight it out for a spot in the final round. The results of the two battles can be found in this post – March Madness VII: Semi-Final Results

Help Force vs. Templars | March Madness VII – Semi-finals.

Ice Warriors vs. Rebel Penguin Federation | March Madness VII – Semi-finals.

United Media had the opportunity to talk to DMT and Frostty about the battle between the Help Force and the Templars, to Action, df44, Popcorny, and Sanya about the battle between the Ice Warriors and the Rebel Penguin Federation, and to Spotty who was a judge for both of these battles.

Interview

What are your thoughts on the battle?

Action: The battle was an amazing battle, one of the best I have ever judged. The battle throughout was very close, as can be seen by the results with a close win by the Ice Warriors. Spectacular battle fought back and forth with the decision being a very close one.

df44: It was a very close battle, that I can assure you. Two strong armies with similar sizes during the majority of the battle fighting for a place in the grand final.

DMT: It was a good battle even though it did not really come close to overtime. I think it showed that although TCP is the biggest army in the community right now, they still have some work to do in terms of tactical performance. When battling another major army, massive size is not a guarantee because of lockouts, so it’s not something TCP was able to take advantage of.

Frostty: both armies did amazingly well. Congrats to Help Force for advancing. that’s why it’s called march madness. the unthinkable happens.

Popcorny: It was closer than I expected, I thought going in RPF would probably have the edge on IW however the results suggest otherwise.

Sanya: Honestly this was one of the hardest battles I’ve judged in my career due to the fact how close it was. Both armies had their ups and downs but I’m pretty happy both did very well and put up an extremely good fight.

Spotty:  Honestly both armies – Help Force and Templars, did amazing, I don’t think anyone was expecting it to be as close as it was.
With both RPF and IW regular participants in tournament finals with both usually second or third in the Top Ten, it was expected that the battle was going to be close. It was genuinely a nice battle to judge, as lately there has been a lack of good and close battles.

Any particular moment(s) in the battle that you liked?

Action:  I really enjoyed the third room as for the first half it looked like Ice Warriors were gonna win but midway through the battle the Rebel Penguin Federation fought back very well and with such a close room we deemed it a tie.

df44: The battle was really consistent, but I can highlight the 3rd room. That was the room where both armies were really balanced, hence the tie. It was really impossible to deem it other way.

DMT:  I always enjoy watching armies try to tackle what the best form is to use in the inside mine, which is the weakest of the available major army rooms in my opinion. It’s hard to pull off a creative form in there, so it’s interesting to see the strategy the army leaders choose for the room. In this case, TCP went for a more aggressive approach with frequent changes to not draw attention to any lackluster formations. HF always tried to stand strong and lock down a dominant formation that would make it difficult for TCP to get into one themselves.

Frostty: of course im a movement type of person when judging. When the forms don’t look good, you gotta move your armies around. so i did like the multiple movements.

Popcorny: IW’s formation choices in the Cove were very smart and were the prevailing factor in the wins in that room.

Sanya: I’d say I really enjoyed IW’s anchor formation in OT room which was cove as it managed to cover almost the entirety of that room.

Spotty: For the battle between Help Force and Templars, I liked room one as it resulted in a tie, which made the prospect of two more rooms exciting as both armies had the same score moving into room two.
Honestly room 2 was interesting, with IW taking room one, room 2 definitely became the most crucial room as it essentially decided whether or not this battle could go into OT. I particularly liked watching RPF fight back in this room and prove why they should be in the semis.

 

What do you have to say about both the armies’ tactics, formations, speed, and creativity?

Action: Both armies had good forms and knew what forms would cover their opponent’s forms. Their speed was good, with both armies going decently fast and keeping up with each other not falling behind. Creativity was good too.

df44: Although both armies were very balanced, their leading styles are very different. IW was faster overall and moved more often, one of the things a judge values a lot. However, RPF managed to counter that with strong formations and some covering tactics, making it a close battle until the last second.

DMT: I was pleasantly surprised with HFs tactical dominance that lasted most of the battle. They displayed some of the quickest tactics I’ve seen in a while. Even more impressively, there was not a drop off in tactic completion. Each troop was able to keep up with the breakneck pace. During the battle I also thought it was important to note that HF completed a lot more word tactics while TCP mostly used emotes. This makes HFs massive pace advantage even more impressive to me.

Frostty: HF had great tactics and so did TCP but of course ya can’t win off of creative tactics you have to be fast, and good forms and have a size advantage. Both armies had about the same size around 30+ so it was gonna be a good battle from the start.

Popcorny: Overall both armies were very close in all rooms on all these areas. Margins of victory were extremely tight in the first two rooms and I felt there was a victory in room 3 however the consensus was that of a Tie. All of it was top notch by both armies and even if there were blips in performance that led to one side or another winning then it was only momentary.

Sanya: Both armies showcased impressive speed, tactics, and formations and they were all creative. It was just IW slightly edged RPF in formations and sometimes on speed which ultimately made them win this battle.

Spotty: Like I said both armies performed great, however, Help Force’s formations were just that bit neater, which also allowed them to cover Templars.
For the battle between Ice Warriors and Rebel Penguin Federation – Genuinely not much to say here, both armies were fast tactics wise, however at times, both armies did make formations which took the judges a while to figure out what it was.

 

Which tactic, in your opinion, stood out to you?

Action: To be honest the battle was very intense and I didn’t really look at any particular tactics 😅

df44: I honestly didn’t memorize any particular tactic but I remember seeing great formations from both sides.

DMT: No one particular tactic stood out to me, but HF had a really healthy balance of complete sentence tactics and big word bubbles. Typically an army will rely on one or the other when it comes to word tactics, but HF used the big word bubble with tact, a very refreshing thing to see.

Frostty: none of them really stood out in my opinion.

Popcorny: I didn’t have enough time to read most tactics, a sentiment to their speed.

Sanya: RPF’s tactic of “DRQUEEN HAS FAILED TO TREAT YOUR LOSING STREAK, GET A BETTER DOC” honestly, that tactic had me laughing in my seat 😂

Spotty: Both, Help Force and Templars had excellent tactics, but it was when Help Force had tactics regarding that the top spot in the top ten doesn’t mean anything in relation to tournaments.
For Ice Warriors and Rebel Penguin Federation, I enjoyed that the majority of tactics were about the opposing army, as these days bwbs have become random words and letters.

 

What could have gotten better during the battle?

Action: In many forms, both the armies would bunch together on one side and leave the other side with gaps. Furthermore, sometimes it would take the judges a while to figure out which form either army was in. They would also sometimes stay in the same form for a longer period of time.

df44: Surprisingly, the lag wasn’t tremendous this time, which helped a lot in deciding the outcome. I have nothing to point out in this question.

DMT:  I think overall the formations were kind of lackluster on both sides. There were periods during each room where both armies looked to be in disarray, which makes it hard as a judge to view the performance as a whole, because most things trace back to formation.

Frostty: Both armies did have afk members so it would have been nice to see the full army on both sides actually competing. TCP also used repeat of tactics would have been better if they didn’t.

Popcorny: Shame there wasn’t a better choice for OT room, really was only Cove and Gift Shop.

Sanya: Hmmm to be honest nothing since like I said earlier both did really well and had moments where RPF outshined IW and vice versa.

Spotty: For Help Force and Templars – Definitely CPR lag 😂 thank god for streams.
For Ice Warriors and Rebel Penguin Federation – Armies could’ve been less stagnant throughout the room and changed formations more sometimes.

 

Do you feel that both the armies could have done better than how they performed in the battle? If yes, how?

Action:  As I mentioned above the forms could use some improvement, with more movement from both sides.

df44: Both armies made a great performance, but of course, there’s always space for improvements. For IW, I remember seeing a bunch of AFK troops from time to time, could be lag, but it definitely affected their performance, especially in room two. For RPF, I’d consider having more movement, whilst their formations were overall good, the fact that they kept them for a long period of time, gave space to IW to take advantage in numerous occasions.

DMT: For the Templars, it’s kind of abstract, but I’d like to see them improve on their resilience. They seemed to be thrown off by Help Forces quickness and defaulted to emote tactics to try and keep up. Speed is not everything. By doing that, they let the help force control the pace of the battle which will make it look like it heavily favors them, even though the sizes were very similar. For the Help Force, the only thing I could really think of that they could improve on is their formations. They chose very typical formations. In this case it worked out for them, but perhaps in a battle that is even closer, their formations would be bested by an army that dabbles in more exotic formations.

Frostty: yes, like i said above, both armies had AFK troops and tactics being reused. better forms of course makes a world of difference.

Popcorny: Both armies may feel a little disappointed in terms of size, I’ve judged them in the past where they’ve maxed more so certainly IW will be looking to increase it for the final.

Sanya: Nope.

Spotty: Templars definitely could’ve made neater formations, especially if some of their troops were less afk. Help Force could also use more emotes, as it was noticeable that they heavily relied on big word bubbles and word tactics.
For Ice Warriors and Rebel Penguin Federation – They both could’ve made neater formations definitely and maybe more bombs as the rooms definitely lacked those and sometimes armies stayed stagnant for too long.

 

Any final comments that you would like to make to the two armies?

Action: It was a really close battle and I really enjoyed judging it. Good job to both armies!

df44: Thank you for this amazing battle, good job from both armies!

DMT: I think both of these armies have really promising futures. TCP has grown to become the biggest army of 2022 so far, while HF has not fallen off in 2022 under their new leadership- new as in relative to the leaderships of the other major armies. Maybe by the end of 2022, we will be debating over who was the best army of the year with these two.

Frostty: congrats to both armies and congrats to HF for moving on.

Popcorny: I wish IW and HF the best of luck for the final!

Sanya: Thank you to RPF and IW for letting me, action (lost your spark 😛), df, spotty and popcorny judge this semi finals. We had a blast judging your semi finals <33

Spotty: Congratulations to Help Force on winning the battle, despite the majority of predictions against them, and well done to the Templars who put up a great fight.
A big well done to both armies, having a full room with lag is not easy. Congratulations to Ice Warriors on their victory as like Help Force, they were also deemed the ‘underdogs’.

 

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From the conversation above with the judges, it seems that these two battles were certainly interesting to be a witness to and judge. With the grand finals just around the corner, we cannot wait to see what happens next, and which army takes the victory home! On behalf of the United Media, we wish the Ice Warriors and the Help Force all the very best, for the Final Round! And, may the odds be ever in their favor!

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