The match is part of the Vytal Festival tournament, and would determine whether Team RWBY of Beacon Academy, representing the Kingdom of Vale, or Team ABRN of Haven Academy, representing Mistral, would move on to the following rounds.
Like all Vytal Festival matches, the venue for the fight is Amity Colosseum. For this match, the adaptable arena was separated evenly into two biomes, the first being a lava field strewn with explosive fire Dust crystals, the other an icy arctic environment interspersed with ice Dust.
The battle opens in the midst of the action, with Blake Belladonna fighting Reese Chloris in fast-paced close-quarters combat. Reese attacks Blake aggressively with her Hoverboard, but Blake is able to parry most of her attacks. Reese attempts to perform an acrobatic aerial jump, but fails and falls painfully on her tailbone.
Meanwhile, Yang Xiao Long takes on Arslan Altan and they exchange blows in rapid hand-to-hand combat. Although they initially appear evenly matched, Arslan uses her rope dart to catch Yang off-guard, knocking her into the icy portion of the arena. As Yang attempts to regain her balance on the slippery ice, Arslan presses her advantage and hits her again.
Yang lands near Nadir Shiko, but before he is able to act, Ruby Rose immobilizes him with some ice Dust. Bolin Hori appears behind Ruby and threatens to attack, but Weiss Schnee quickly kicks him away with her glyphs. Weiss and Ruby team up on Bolin, but he manages to evade both of their attacks and goes for some fire Dust. He throws the fire Dust to Reese, who infuses it into her Hoverboard, granting it the ability to create fiery blasts and heat.
Reese frees Nadir Shiko from the ice using heat from her Hoverboard, and then returns to fighting Blake, attacking her with a vicious onslaught of fiery blasts. Blake manages to evade her attacks and slips away. Reese spots Blake seemingly distracted, facing the opposite direction. Thinking she has caught her off-guard, Reese attacks her from behind, failing to recognize that it was merely a decoy Blake had created with her Semblance. Using Gambol Shroud's ribbon component, Blake clotheslines Reese and then knocks her out of the arena, disqualifying her on two counts - Aura depletion and ring-out.
Weiss uses a black glyph to incapacitate Bolin and Nadir, and then, using ice Dust, envelops them in an enormous ball of ice and begins rolling them to the edge of the arena. Arslan punches the ice ball and releases a blast of fire into it to free both of her remaining teammates. Weiss then uses ice Dust to create a massive ice ramp, which Yang slides across. Blake tosses Gambol Shroud in kusarigama form to Yang and swings it to help her accelerate. Yang leaps into the air while Ruby assists Blake in a high jump. Blake yanks the ribbon and throws Yang forward, allowing the latter to deliver a powerful blow to all three of their opponents, ringing them out.
- Work-in-progress footage of this match was shown during RTX 2015 at the RWBY panel. The panel footage was incomplete and much rougher, but still followed the overall outline of the battle. The work-in-progress version of the battle used both "We Will Rock You" by British rock band Queen (for the first half of the battle) and the second opening theme of the anime Gokukoku no Brynhildr (for the second half). These were both replaced by "It's My Turn" in the final version.
- The first part of the battle, up to the point where Ruby is saved from Bolin by Weiss, was also released as a special teaser on October 8th, 2015 on Nerdist.com. There were some subtle differences between this and the final episode version: Ruby's line after she immobilizes Nadir is "Got your back, sis!" in the preview version, this was changed to "Got your back!" in the episode version. The music was also different, while the episode version had its own soundtrack and song, the preview used an instrumental version of the song "When It Falls".