This past weekend saw MWEB GameZone head north to host the Johannesburg leg of their Masters Series. Call of Duty Ghosts was the game, and grinding your opponent sat opposite -or next to, behind or even on the other side of the room to – you was the aim.
Or setup day.
Well, it doesn’t just happen by itself you know. So spare a thought for those that make it look like the cable and table fairies paid a visit, because sometimes no amount of magic can make everything work. No matter how many toys are thrown out of a cot…
Day one was the day of the group phase and the early portion of the double elimination play-offs. The 15 teams (one team did not grace the others with their presence) were split into four groups, where the immediate task was not to lose and follow that with at least two wins to ensure finishing top of their group. All was not lost if a team placed second, as the top two progressed into the double elimination play-offs.
Group One consisted of (arguably) tournament favourites F34R_Adept and up-and-comers Xero Fracture along with little known Team Inyama and Bunch of Pick-Ups. While the match between the F34R team and Xero Fracture proved a tight affair, it was F34R_Adept that took the game on their way to a top spot finish that saw them not lose a map. Xero Fracture joined the team in red in the top eight with two wins.
Group Two saw the always improving (and a real team to watch), Paragon Elite, alongside Speed4tw, Roar and Agro Gaming. It was probably the closest group of the event with no team finishing the group phase without dropping a map. In the end, it was Team Paragon Elite which secured top spot with Team Roar grabbing second spot to head into the double elimination play-off phase.
The battle for supremacy in Group Three was between Insane Gaming, H5 Youth, Team Fallen and Dia Del Muertos. While DDM were having a little trouble at their first LAN, Insane Gaming were having no such issues and went through without losing a map. H5 (High 5) Youth and Team Fallen were left to battle for second place
Only three teams made up Group Four, but that didn’t mean it was easy going for the teams to place for the play-offs. VinCo_Black grabbed top spot, but it wasn’t without a few alarm bells, as they lost two maps in tight matches with Team Origin and Speed Gaming. Team Origin joined the VinCo team in the play-offs with their second spot finish.
The top eight teams then had the daunting task of playing to return to play on day two as part of the top four.
F34R_Adept overcame Origin Gaming to push a step closer to the grand finals. Team Roar and Team Paragon Elite also overcame their opponents – VinCo_Black and H5 Youth respectively – to remain in the winner’s bracket. The match of round one was the face-off between Xero Fracture and Insane Gaming which went to the final deciding map that Insane took to secure their second round was in the winner’s bracket.
The teams in the loser’s bracket – H5 Youth, Team Origin, Xero Fracture and VinCo_Black – then had everything to play for. A loss at this point for the teams meant an end to their campaign, and sadly for the High 5 and VinCo crews, that was what happened. Team Origin overcame H5 Youth to book a place against Team Roar who had lost to Insane Gaming in the winner’s bracket. Xero Fracture beat VinCo_Black 3-0 to head into a face-off against Team Paragon Elite (who had lost to F34R_Adept in the winner’s bracket second round) in the second round of the loser’s bracket.
With just six teams left at this point, it really was a do or die round in the loser’s bracket. F34R_Adept and Insane Gaming were already assured of their top four spot, so the matches in the loser’s bracket were the last hope for two teams. Sadly, Team Roar found Team Origin in peak form as they were dumped out of the tournament 3-0. Xero Fracture were again involved in a thrilling match – this time against Team Paragon Elite – which went the full five maps. As with their previous five mapper, the Xero Fracture team came out second best as Paragon grabbed the final spot for day two.
Having dealt with an issue caused by managed switches on day one which caused the LAN to actually be played over a 1 gig internet connection, the matches on day two were then operated as the LAN gods had intended. Via system link. This of course didn’t mean squat when it was discovered that the SnD bomb plant glitch had not been fixed on system link, resulting in the mode being played online rather.
But who was there for the drama of setup, when the real drama was in the matches being played.
The loser’s bracket match between Team Paragon Elite and Origin Gaming was played alongside the main stage which featured the F34R_Adept guys up against the Insane Gaming crew. Both matches were battles of attrition with no quarter asked or given. Both matches ended 3-1, with Adept clinching the first spot in the grand final, while Origin pushed into the loser’s bracket final where Insane Gaming was waiting.
Team Paragon Elite vs. Origin Gaming
Domination (Octane): 127 – 147
SnD (Warhawk): 6 – 5
Blitz (Freight): 12 -17
Domination (Sovereign): 124 – 166
F34R_Adept vs. Insane Gaming
Domination (Octane): 187 – 98
SnD (Warhawk): 5 – 6
Blitz (Freight): 19 -18
Domination (Sovereign): 158 – 145
Insane Gaming vs. Origin Gaming (Loser’s Final)
Insane Gaming and Origin Gaming then had their final opportunity to grab a grand final spot and the larger share of the prizes. Another tight match ensued with Insane grabbing Domination on Freight 157-132. Origin fought back hard and went into a clear 5-0 lead in SnD on Sovereign, only to see Insane turn it all around with an astounding 6-5 win. If things weren’t close enough, a replay was needed in Blitz on Warhawk after the two teams ended deadlocked on 13 all. The replay saw the two teams a little more cautious, but Insane edged ahead and took the third map 7-5 to secure their second face-off of the event against F34R_Adept.
F34R_Adept vs. Insane Gaming (Grand Final)
The grand final was a continuation series, which meant the team to get to six wins overall would be crowned champions. With Adept leading 3-1, they needed only three map wins to secure the title, while Insane had a pretty massive task of securing five map wins.
Sadly for Insane, they got off to the wrong start, and lost SnD on Freight 6-4. Adept looked pretty confident as Blitz on Octane kicked off, but they quickly lost their form and Insane capitalised on some poor communication to take the map 12-5.
Domination on Strikezone was a real battle which see-sawed until Adept took it 156-145. Needing only one more map to clinch the JHB LAN, Adept appeared to be in utter control during SnD on Octane. At 4-0 up, it appeared it was all a forgone conclusion, but in a fantastic comeback which enthralled the spectators, Insane took the map 6-5 to take things to 5-3 overall.
Insane were not done however, and pushed things to an overall map count of 5-4 in favour of Adept when they took Blitz on Warhawk 11-9. Adept were clearly shaken by the comeback, and Insane were the team with moment. The tenth map was Freight and it hosted Domination. At the halfway mark it was neck-and-neck with just a few points in it. Insane even started to take a small lead in the second half, but Adept dug deep, and used their experience of playing together for some time now to take map control and eventually down a spirited Insane 160-133 to clinch an exhilarating match that will remain etched in the memories of those that watched it.
F34R_Adept walked off with R5000 worth 0f Kalahari vouchers and Red Bulletin SIGG flasks, while second place Insane Gaming scored R3000 Kalahari vouchers and Red Bull F1 Racing caps. Team Origin got Kalahari vouchers valued at R2000 andRed Bull F1 Racing caps for their efforts.
In closing, we would like to congratulate and thank every player, spectator and person behind the scenes for making the weekend happen. These things just don’t happen magically, even if it’s magic when it does…