With 12 teams pre-registered, the event had already expanded beyond our original intentions, but at 9am we were ready to go. Frustratingly it seems the teams themselves didn’t quite have the same timekeeping expertise as a zombie. It’s also possible that some can’t read, with one team completely AWOL and the majority of players not understanding the meaning of ‘bring your own Xbox One’ it wasn’t really plain sailing. But, by around 10am things were starting to go from neutral into first gear and the matches were starting up.
The winner’s bracket saw eN_F34R, ViNCO Gaming, Xero Fracture and Team Tsunami get a first round bye due to their seedings. High 5 had two teams (‘senior’ and Youth) in the building for the first time in memory, and both breezed through their first round matches to secure spots in the second round. However, they both came unstuck in the second round and found themselves knocked into the loser’s bracket by Tsunami and Xero Fracture. eN_F34R looked comfortable in their first match against Team Icon, while ViNCO beat DOGZ 2-0, meaning all four top seeds moved on to round three of the winner’s bracket.
eN_F34R found themselves up against Tsunami, while Xero Fracture had the team in yellow, ViNCO, to contend with. In the end, the top two seed (eN-F34R and Xero Fracture) both took their matches 3-0 to set up an enthralling winner’s bracket final which was a tight affair taken by Xero Fracture 3-1.
As a precursor to the bulk of loser’s bracket games, we hosted a flashback ‘exhibition’ match which saw the teams from an event we hosted in June 2012 return to play each other again. This was a match hosted at a 2upGamers event when F34R and High 5 played Modern Warfare 3 on PS3 in a LAN setup that (as far as we are aware) hadn’t happened previously in SA for console. Seven of the eight players participating were the same as in 2012, with only Frost coming in for F34R as an indication of the future of SA’s competitive scene. In 2012, High 5 were the victors taking the match 3-1, but much had changed since then. Some of the players are no longer regular competitors and are now roleplayers and community leaders.
The game was just meant as a tip of the hat to where things started for many, and it was an entertaining and close encounter between the two teams. Detroit hosted SnD and to say it was a rollercoaster ride is an understatement. The map went to High 5 in the end but the 6-4 score will never reveal how close it really was. Biolab entertained Uplink – a mode completely foreign to some of the old players – and was again an exciting match. It looked like F34R was going to walk off victors with ease but in a thrilling fightback, High 5 clinched the victory 7-6 to take the exhibition match 2-0 and repeat their 2012 performance.
The loser’s bracket hosted a number of exciting matches with the match between Team Icon and High 5 (‘senior’) being a particularly entertaining one that eventually went 2-1 in favour of Icon. ViNCO continued to prove they are a team on the rise and looked confident in their 2-0 win over Team Icon, while their 3-0 win over the High 5 Youth team was a close match over all three maps, indicating a positive future for both teams.
The loser’s bracket final was a match up between the yellow and red of ViNCO and eN_F34R. ViNCO kept in touch with the F34R team in Hardpoint but ultimately it was the DGL champs, F34R, that took the first map. The next two maps decided things in the favour of eN_F34R but they were close in both modes.
The finals saw the old rivalry of Xero Fracture and eN_F34R continue. Xero Fracture held a 3-1 lead heading into the best of 11 continuation, meaning eN_F34R had to win five maps of the remaining seven to secure victory, while Xero Fracture only needed three.
eN_F34R made a real fist of things and took three maps in a row to take a lead in the series at 4-3. Xero Fracture then took CtF on Ascend to square things up again. The Xero Fracture team didn’t stop there and took the next two maps to secure a 6-4 win after a total of ten maps against eN-F34R.
We would like to thanks all the teams, players and spectators for their support (and at times, understanding) at our first CoDAW LAN of 2015. A thanks to Kamimodo E-Sports Cafe for hosting us, and a truly massive thanks to Dylan Rosser for his ongoing assistance with operating events with us.