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The Melbourne Matildas defeated the Perth Panthers in the World of Tanks ANZ Premiere League Season 3 Championship on Nov. 13. After taking the first two maps, the Matildas looked like they’d clean sweep the Panthers. But the Panthers fought back, and a mistake from the Matilda’s player Bailes saw the Panthers take the final to 3-2. It almost looked like Panthers could take it to 3-3, but the Matildas rallied. They put their training to use and forced the Panthers to make mistakes. They took the last map, flanking the Panthers, taking out their tanks, and claiming victory in the finals 4-2.

Learning from past seasons

Although the Melbourne Matildas were the Season 1 favorites, they placed dead last. In Season 2, however, it looked promising that they’d take the season titles. But they were upset in the semifinal, suffering a defeat at the hands of the Brisbane Bulldogs. It was during that season that the Melbourne Matildas lost their shot caller. Instead, they gained “the fantastic addition of the experienced Bolagnaise,” as the team put it. Ben “Bolagnaise” Boller, in addition to being a World of Tanks streamer and Twitch partner, has served in the Australian Army. His expertise and military know-how seemed to be an excellent addition to the team. With Bolagnaise on board, the Matildas said the team changed their “play style to utilizing map control more and controlling the engagements, rather than doing ‘gamble stacks.'”

The Perth Panthers finished their Season 2 at the bottom of the ladder. When asked what they learned from this run, they said that “managing comm[unication] and being confident in [their] decision making was a big improvement made between seasons.”

The road to finals

Season 3 was the first time that the Melbourne Matildas and Perth Panthers gained places in the World of Tanks ANZ PL finals. The Matildas were relatively consistent throughout the season, but the Panthers looked likely to finish Season 3 at the bottom of the pack once again. They lost every single game in the first half of the season. Wargaming even called their journey the “Cinderella Story,” because after some rigorous training, the Perth Panthers claimed victories each week of the season’s second half to earn a place in the finals.

“As a team, we tried to emphasize consistency,” the Matildas said about finding their groove in Season 3. “While we had two early losses in the season, these losses acted as a turning point for us as a roster, with everyone realizing that they had a role to play in the team.”

As for the Panthers, their season was a roller coaster ride, with “some RNG sprinkled on top for better and worse,” they said. 

“Ultimately we played really cohesively over most of the season without individual form being reasonably consistent,” the Panthers said.

World of Tanks ANZ PL Season 3 finals

The Melbourne Matildas beat the Perth Panthers 4-2 in the finals, and the Matildas attributed their win to everyone on the team.

“We watched the Panthers games from Season 2 and 3, and looked at their tendencies as a team,” they said. 

This meant that the Matildas anticipated the maps the Panthers would ban and put their training time into other maps. During the finals, on the second two maps, they tested strategies “that encouraged Panthers to make a mistake,” they said.

With some calm play and teamwork under pressure, the Matildas said that they “create[d] favorable engagements, closing out the series and bringing home the championship.” They received a cash prize of $10,000 AUD, seven noblechairs and seven HyperX custom ANZ PL Origins keyboards. Perth Panthers also received keyboards and a cash prize of $5,000 AUD.

Fan can rewatch all the action on Twitch.

What’s next for World of Tanks ANZ Premiere League?

In Season 4, the Melbourne Matildas will look for a back-to-back victory, whilst the Panthers will keep trying to prove themselves. World of Tanks ANZ Product Manager Jake Truman said that Season 3 was very exciting and that, while there is no official word as of yet, he is keen for Season 4. 

“After what we’ve seen with Season 2 and 3 of ANZPL, I couldn’t be more excited to go into an entirely new year for World of Tanks to build off the foundation we have now. I may be biased, but this is certainly a space to watch in 2022.”

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