The double-elimination style knockout rounds of i46 have been running here in Telford all day, and now as we near the completion of this section of the tournament there is a pattern emerging: 2-0 victories by the American teams.
The first North America vs Europe battle came in the form of Leviathan Gaming vs TCM Gaming, in the second round of elimination games. A strong start to the game by TCM saw them pull out an initial lead of two rounds on cp_badlands, with kaidus beating b4nny to middle quite comfortably, but a sudden pause by the admins reset the momentum of the game and LG eventually came out victorious with a 5-3 score. This renewed confidence inspired LG to a further 5-2 victory on cp_gullywash, knocking TCM down into the lower bracket. First blood to the Americans, followed up by a comprehensive 2-0 victory by Classic Mixup over Quarantine.
b4nny was seen repeatedly wiping the floor with his teammates while off-classing in MGE practice. Also, both of LG’s scouts - Cyzer and clckwrk play with their keyboards on their lap – although only the latter plays with his nose against the screen.
Following on from their victory, ESEA LAN veterans LG then faced the tournament’s top seed, Epsilon eSports. In a startling display of force, LG won handily 5-0 on cp_gullywash. Communication between the Epsilon players became terse and mouse-gripping fingers twitched nervously. cp_snakewater proved a much better showing for Epsilon, with them leading the game at multiple points until a final round victory by LG within the last minute to bring the game to 4-4. Stakes were high for the pride of Europe, and they showed impressive resolve, winning the initial mid-fight of the GC round and progressing on to capture the second point within the first minute. At this point, Epsilon then ran down the clock while their players positioned themselves for a 4-man suicide and backcap attempt. Unfortunately for Epsilon’s scouts, LG had a Heavy holding the last point, so Shintaz‘s efforts were stifled as he attempted to sneak a ninja cap, with LG quickly pushing out and capturing second before he had a chance. This swung the momentum dramatically in LG’s favour, and they pushed onwards to close out the tie with victory in the GC round. LG had their second scalp, and Epsilon’s manager slick laughed nervously as his players traipsed off to consider their options.
schocky has been notably uncomfortable with his setup in the tournament so far, and has been spotted experimenting with several different crosshairs (or none at all). In addition to this, slick observed that his seating was uncomfortably low, and so dutifully provided his player with a thick padding of bubble wrap to boost him up.
mix^ vs Team Infused was a similarly one-sided affair on the first map, with another 5-0 Gullywash roll. This first map was marred by a protracted mid-game pause caused by crashing from Darn!‘s PC. Things didn’t get much better from there onwards for Infused, losing 5-0 much like their Epsilon comrades in the preceding NA vs EU game. The second map, cp_snakewater didn’t start promisingly for Infused either, with the Americans taking out a strong 4-2 lead. With seven minutes left on the clock, Infused had their work cut out for them. Attempting to regain some face, Infused ground out a round win, bringing it to 4-3. mix^ had comfortably held the last point for several minutes, denying Infused the quick rounds they needed to tie the game. Central to this was meticulous positional play by enigma on Heavy, who at one pointed noted “I think they have a good sniper”. If cookye ever smiled (waste of energy, presumably), I’m sure this comment would have prompted one. Sadly for the grave assassin and his teammates, time was against them and mix^ finished the map 4-3 victors.
Team Infused’s scouts of cookye and bybben have set up next to each other in Infused’s dedicated area in the hall. The two have positioned their monitors so close as to be almost touching which allows them to easily check what the other is doing. Well, bybben was doing that anyway – cookye was just having a staring contest with his LED backlight.
This series of results places the two visiting American teams indisputably in the upper bracket finals, set for broadcast later this evening. The loser of this game will then play the victor of the lower bracket, which will be one of the four remaining European teams. The lower bracket still holds four matchups, between Epsilon and Quarantine, and TCM and Infused, along with the winners of those two pairings and then that fixture’s surviving team playing the loser of LG vs mix^.
All of mix^ are kitted out with mechanical keyboards. Additionally, four of their players have eschewed the complexity of crosshair switchers and overlaid HUD elements and gone for simple, green, plus-style crosshairs.
While the European teams have definitely made it hard for themselves, you can be certain there is a wealth of nailbiting rounds remaining here at Insomnia 46, so stay tuned to VanillaTV as we bring you coverage of the developing match-ups.