My pre-event analysis proved to be extremely accurate, if I do say so myself, with SG-1 and Anexis eSports making it to the Grand Final at the expense of NORDIC-eSports and the high skilled mixers of Ze Germans and Crew. The event organisers elected to run the Grand Final at noon in Finland, which was probably not as horrific as it seemed when casting the event on VanillaTV from my lair in Ireland at the ungodly hour of 09:00.
As things got underway it became apparent that Anexis had eaten their Weetabix on Saturday morning, wheeling out their map of choice Gullywash and the heavy weapons guy of Oskari 'M0re' Pihlajamäki. A niche tactic popularised by the Haunter era TCM-Gaming but only ever successfully implemented by a handful of teams, and an intelligent choice by the underdogs.
SG-1 struggled to deal with the immaculate positioning and timing of M0re, who constantly drove a wedge between the SG-1 combo, forcing them to make difficult decisions during uber battles as his teams mates worked tirelessly to pick up the pieces. Oskari displayed his great read of the game at one point by switched to spy for a sensational backstab on to SG-1 healer, Jari 'dajackal' Litukka.
It was not all one way traffic with both teams winning middle fights and demonstrating the full spectrum of successes and failures pushing and pushing out from CP1. However, over the course of 30 minutes it was Anexis eSports who found the edges time and time again to win out 5-4; a score line which was probably not indicative of just how in control they seemed for most of the map.
The second map, Granary, was a total train wreck for the underdogs-turned-contenders, Anexis eSports, as SG-1's Tuomas 'Punpu' Kunnamom gave a masterclass on aggressive soldier play on the middle fights. Consistently picking apart his opponents he quickly racked up successive kills on Olli 'Paavi' Kettunen and Mika 'TucE' Mäkelä, who were playing the vital medic and demoman roles.
Often cited as a momentum map, Granary can be very punishing when you wipe out as badly as Anexis did on the vast majority of middle fights. The desperation became apparent for Anexis as M0re attempted to crowbar the heavy weapons guy in to their setup on middles for a round or two, which unsurprisingly failed due to the slow nature of the big fat man.
At least SG-1 showed them mercy by making it quick and painless; 5-0 in less than ten minutes. True power-play from the former Cadred ranked number one team on their home map, giving the fans what they wanted – a three map epic! A break was called before both teams would return to the fray, this time on Badlands.
It seemed like the momentum was all in favour of SG-1 after they crushed Anexis on map two, but the respite of the break seemed been enough time for the underdogs to regain some composure. They came out strong on the first middle, dismissing a limp-wristed attempt from SG-1 with little difficultly, but then failing to convert their chance in to a capture.
This was to be the template for the first fifteen minutes of Badlands, with both teams creating strong chances but failing to seal the deal. Strong individual performances from both sides kept the game on a knife edge, with the less fancied Anexis scout and soldier pairings really stepping their game up to compete as equals with their SG-1 counterparts.
Eventually it was SG-1 who cracked first, losing too many players defending their own CP2 and gifting Anexis a strong numbers advantage as they pushed last with Henrik 'Honky' Lindström launching himself on to the point and TucE cleaning up the ill-fated SG-1 defense. With eight minutes on the clock SG-1 managed to dig deep and equalise the score line after a strong middle fight performance.
Over the course of the map SG-1 demoman Lauri 'mafu' Rasi seemed to be getting the better of his opposite number, the less experienced TucE. Finding the extra damage output and enabling his team to dismantled Anexis and eventually push through for one last attempt on the elusive CP5 in the dying seconds of the game.
As you might of guessed, SG-1 stole it in the end with the map and the series finishing 2-1 in their favour, allowing them to save face in what was one of the closest Assemby finals to date. Despite losing out, Anexis eSports can walk away with their heads held high; they have arrived in the big league.
This article originally started out as a quick “Final Standings” piece but my memories of the game proved surprisingly vivid which is testament to how much I enjoyed it. So now you get two - it's your lucky day!
|James J. McDonnell // Admirable|
Posted 1 year ago: Mon, 08 Aug 2011 15:48:31 +0100
|Dark Pas||1||-||2||CPH Wolv|
|More results ...|