After the EPS Finals yesterday I decided that I’d blog the day’s events, after providing live updates on our twitter throughout the day.
For us the event really started at about 2.30am on Friday night, when Ben received a phone call from Ritch telling him that the aircon in the hotel had broken, the heating was stuck on full and that they’d rather sleep on the street than in their rooms. After finding out every hotel in the area was fully booked Ben eventually persuaded them to return to the hotel, with our night’s sleep destroyed. We made the decision not to attend the player meeting the next morning at 9am as our first game was not until 12.45, and that the extra few hours’ sleep (I think the end total was around 4 hours after going to bed at 6am) would mean that we actually had a chance to compete rather than being complete zombies throughout the day.
I arrived at the event at around 12.15 to find our players waiting to set up for their first game on the stage, and Ben arrived a couple of minutes later. After speaking to TheRogue and then Pesticide about our late arrival it was then time for our game against fm! toxic’s last minute mix to kick off. We started on their map, dust2, and it wasn’t long before we took a 7-0 lead with toxic looking like they had no way of getting into the game, and their frustration was apparent in the ingame chat with Kritikal saying “fight me” and zeox’s “you’re bad” comments coming at a rather awkward stage in the game for them. With the half ending 11-4, toxic took the pistol round, the first eco, and then a 1v5 was won by HudzG with cc again on eco. Impressive yes, but worthy of the exclamations of his teammates as if they’d just won the game? Probably not, as toxic didn’t get another round and we took the map 16-7.
Inferno looked to be a repeat of dust2. We lost the knife round and started on t, and quickly took a 7-1 lead, with HaZ on 21-1. The half ended 13-2 with Erik securing his 30bomb in a stand out performance by a serious contender for the MVP of the tournament award. The game was quickly wrapped up in even more convincing fashion than the 1st map, 16-5.
With 6 or so hours until our next game, we didn’t want to sit around at the event waiting and decided to get some food at Nandos before heading back to the hotel, where last night’s problems appeared to have been fixed. Then it was time to head back to the Congress Centre for the final against Team Dignitas.
Prior to the event there had been a lot of questions asked over COD4 star Blackmane’s presence in the lineup rather than Kritikal, due to ESL’s rules on roster changes, even more so in the light of the toxic/tcm mix which was allowed to compete. However he more than held his own on both of the first 2 maps, and whether Kritikal would have had the same impact on a pure fragging perspective after his performance in the semi final is another question.
Half time came and we recovered from being down 5-0 after some good play on upper by dignitas to get 7 rounds, however another comeback was needed, though we knew that our team would be capable on this after getting 14 rounds against alternate at Lan79 in the 2nd half of that game. A 5man by Mx in the pistol round was exactly what we needed and we took the same 5 rounds in a row that dignitas had done in a carbon copy of the first half. However, dignitas took the next 5, before the half stood at 7-7. With the bomb down on lower and Hughsy in a 1v2, he pulled off a couple of great shots to force overtime. That wasn’t enough though, as dignitas took a 6-2 victory in OT to take a one map lead.
Over to our map Inferno. We lost the knife, so started terrorist like against toxic and won the pistol. With the score tied at 4-4, it was hard to miss that blackmane in double figures had as many frags as the rest of the dignitas team combined. The half ended 9-6, which is what we’d hoped for. For the first time in ages we took 2 pistol rounds in the map, with wez getting stuck in 2nd mid door for dignitas. Maybe with the extra player it might have been different but you can’t account for these things. The score reached 13-7, before it was drawn back to 13 all. 2 picks from Jim as we took the lead again but dignitas immediately replied. Another round to us followed by the last meant that overtime wasn’t needed, and we drew it to a 3rd map.
Once again we took the pistol round, this time starting on CT on the final map, dust2. It went to 4-0 before we started trading rounds until the score reached 6-5. However we then broke away to take the half 10-5, knowing that taking the last pistol round would put us in a great position. This time we did it in a more spectacular fashion. With Ritch and HaZ on A site, 2on5 with the bomb down at top mid, they pulled off a great 2v5 to keep dignitas on the back foot. Dignitas pulled back a couple of rounds, however we took the win on a deco to claim the EPS Season II Championship and the prizes that go with it!
All in all it was a great event and I’d like to thank and congratulate our players for a fine performance. A special mention for taking a lot of awesome pictures from the event has to go to Soodi from ESL, with the biggest idiot award going to BanKs who tried to provoke one of our players, ritch, into a fight just prior to the final, asking him to “take it outside”.
I look forward to season 3 and maybe we’ll see you there 😉