ESL One: Cologne 2018 CS:GO Bracket

ESL One: Cologne 2018 is finally here and with their 32 team bracket format it’s looking like one of the best events of the entire year. FaZe Clan and Astralis sit at the top of their brackets as the two best teams, but there’s a number of qualified teams capable of winning it all.

Based on the past few events, it could come down to either Team Liquid, Na’Vi, or even SK Gaming. In total, six teams look capable of making a deep run. The standard names will be there, and in all likelihood, the team that wins it all has to beat Astralis or FaZe Clan. It’s unlikely the road to the finals doesn’t go through the juggernauts at the top of the bracket.

Potential matchups include mousesports against Na’vi, which was a huge set at ESL Pro League season seven. Team Liquid facing off against FaZe Clan could also make for some heart throbbing Counter-Strike. ESL One is one of the most intense weeks of CS:GO all year round. Make sure to catch the action here

 

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Overwatch Contenders Season Two starts with a bang as Mastermind GC and British Hurricanes fall in day one

The Overwatch Contenders season is back. Seven regions, 84 total teams, 6,048 players all looking for a chance to make it to the big leagues. Overall, contenders is flushed with talent and much like season one should bring some high-level Overwatch.

Yesterday marked the start of the European and Australian seasons. The same teams enter season two as the prohibitive favorites to win the league in almost all respective league. Starting in Europe, the season one champion British Hurricanes actually fell in their first matchup at the hands of Young and Beautiful. In the Australian region, similarly to the British Hurricanes, the season one Australian champ, Masterminds GC, losing to Dark Sided team who held them to only four points in four maps.

Europe

Looking back at the reason the British Hurricanes lost turns the focus to the meta switch and how these teams adjust to the move away from dive-compositions. In the first game of the season, Matt “Dids” Didehvar on Widowmaker and Mateusz “MATTH” Prymas on Hanzo gave the Hurricanes fits all afternoon. It was a constant barrage of picks onto the squishy characters. Hurricanes had no answer despite solid performances out of the damage department.

In the next few matches, the Angry Titans took care of business against Orgless and Hungry, followed by an exciting third match between two of the teams who qualified through trials. These two teams have a history: 6nakes being the trials champions and Bazooka Puppies barely sneaking into the top four. During trials, these two teams played a close five-game set, but 6nakes still got the better of them. In the loss today, it was a complete team effort, getting strong performances all over. However, without the ferocious Hanzo aggressive out of William “Asking” Vetter, the win was likely not happening.

In terms of teams to watch out for coming out of trials, 6nakes is undoubtedly that team. Similarly to Young and Beautiful, 6nakes is more inclined towards the snipers and with the meta being the way it is, Asking might be one of the newest threads in that division. It’s a balanced team, but the test will be against the contender’s teams and seeing how they stack up.

Australia

Australia got the jump on the rest of the contender’s leagues this week and have concluded week one of matches. With the Masterminds falling, the league has a different look extremely early into the season. The rest of the results were as expected, with the season one champion Sydney Drop Bears winning it easily over Blank Esports.

I wanted to take a second to recognize a most excellent play pulled off on first point Illios. As you’ll see in the video, this team boost the right heroes and move in the right direction, in-sync to dive directly onto the healers without being seen. Kanga Esports, fortunately, won the game because of this maneuver and avoided the reverse sweep out of Serenity.

The Roundup: CS:GO Dreamhack, IEM Shanghai Oceanic, and Curse Rivals Updates

Welcome to the roundup – The Roundup is a piece of quick, factual news about the results around the world of esports in a litany of different games and tournaments. The bulk of today’s load was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive qualifying events. Here’s how each one played out:

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Dreamhack Masters Stockholm North American Qualifier

  • GhostGaming, who qualified out of the open bracket to even have a chance to play in this qualifier, ended up beating the favorites eUnited (2-1), and Complexity (2-1), who was on a bye. GhostGaming put themselves in a big spot to potentially upset Rogue in winners and make it to Dreamhack Masters Stockholm.
  • The even comes down to four teams and four games: Rogue vs. GhostGaming, eUnited vs. Complexity. On the outset, Rogue looks like the clear favorite to take the only qualifying spot, but either of Complexity or eUnited coming out of the lower-bracket can give them trouble if GhostGaming doesn’t play at this level tomorrow.
  • On the European side, Optic Gaming will face Nobodo, who took out the top-seeded Virtus. Pro, and winner will advance to face HellRaisers.

IEM Shanghai Oceanic Closed Qualifiers

  • In no surprise, Greyhound ended up taking a decisive victory over the Chiefs to qualify for IEM Shanghai. The best team in that region showed up and only dropped a few maps during their run.
  • Greyhound started the finals winning 16-0, only to come back a game later and lose 16-14 against the Chiefs, Luckily, they figured it out and ended up winning 3-1.

Curse Rivals 2v2 PUBG Monthly

  • Curse puts on a double tournament every month and here are June’s winners:

 

 

 

CeRq Goes off as NRG Qualifies for ESL One New York with 3-0 Win over Complexity

The number one team in North America, NRG, showed up in a big spot in the ESL One NA qualifiers. NRG sweeps a Complexity team who pushed NRG to their limits in two close games, but fortunately for NRG CerQ is on their roster and cannot be stopped. In two games, CerQ dropped 67 total kills, actively carrying the rest of NRG through the finish line.

48 AWP kills for CeRq on two maps. His player rating soared above the rest of the competition, as he was able to clutch many different rounds. Despite Complexity landing a majority of first kills in fights, the work of CeRq on the AWP took away any advantage Complexity had for gaining that first kill. The problem was finding and killing CeRq before he got loose. Complexity had no counter and ended up losing 3-0.

Now, NRG is on a winning streak, and have won 17 of their last 20 games, but that didn’t lead way to some struggles in the ESL One Qualifier. NRG dropped games against Renegades, and even to Complexity who they played in the winners and losers bracket. The map Cache gave NRG trouble as they end the weekend undefeated on every other map and 0-2 on Cache. It’s a section NRG needs to focus on in practice.

Outside of CeRq, Fugly made quite the difference in this match for NRG. Complexity wasn’t putting up gaudy kill numbers, but most of their team was contributing on 80% of fights and earned a large number of first kills, but Fugly made it really tough for them to get to CerQ. His many contributions to fights, and turning around disadvantageous situations led to a close NRG victory. In total, NRG only snuck by with a five-round win differential, and they even went to OT in game one.

Featured photo via ESL One 

 

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Summer Games Done Quick 2018 Livestream Details, Schedule, and Donate Links

Summer Games Done Quick 2018 is underway. The week-long speedrunning marathon benefiting Doctors Without Borders is back with hundreds of games on the schedule. It’s a week of total celebration for speedrunners, fans getting to watch their favorite games as a kid get absolutely dismantled, and of course, coming together to benefit a great cause and raise awareness.

If you want to join the cause, click below to donate (and get your message read live on stream)

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Looking where to find more information, well click here for the entire week’s schedule

Runs to Watch out for

Day one concluded with some absolutely earth-shattering runs on games considered to be of a higher difficulty. The first few runs that grabbed my attention were late into Monday morning when the small Ninja Gaiden block began. Of course, the original Ninja Gaiden game is one of the most optimized speedruns in the entire landscape of speedruns and seeing Aquas run that and Gimmick, another technically sound and optimized game, back-to-back was quite the show.

In terms of other runs that stood out, ERROR72’s high-risk run of Ghost N’ Goblins was excellent. Two hits in a game with millions of flying enemies kill. It’s glorious to experience. As a noted diehard WarCraft 3 fan, no way was I going to miss CovertMuffin’s Undead Campaign Normal run. Lastly, I implore SGDQ fans to stay up late and check out all the weird runs in SGDQ after dark.

Day Two Runs to Watch out for

1. MEGA MAN BLOCK

The modern staple of speedrunning advancement is the role of Mega Man, and as a Games Done Quick mainstay, it’s critical to find a stream to watch to watch one of the more exciting events every single year. Mega Man 6 Any%, Mega Man 9 ANy%, and Mega Man Zero 4 any%. The event starts at 6:39 PM PCT.

2. Dustforce DX: Any% All Levels (NG+) Race — PC

Dustforce is a ridiculous cool speedrun. The movement mechanics in the game are so precise and flow nicely. It’s a shorter, technically sound run that needs to be witnessed.

3. The Simpsons Hit & Run: All-Story Missions – PC

Yes, “technically” this is a day three game, but most people don’t wake up at five in the morning to watch speedruns. If you are able to wake up that early, I highly suggest turning the stream to watch this wacky run. Nothing specifically impressive about it, but it’s a ton of fun

Featured photo courtesy of Games Done Quick Facebook page

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BlossoM Secures the Top Spot at OWC Contenders 2018: Trials Korea with Win over WGS H2

The former management team behind the GC Busan organization back before they were members of the London Spitfire, seemed to have put together another up-and-coming squad. BlossoM will now get a chance to compete in Overwatch Contenders Korea and based on the talent from two main DPS-players, to Swoon and his impressive Zenyatta, this team could be dangerous.

Securing the undefeated trials record tonight came at the hands of strong team play, shutting down World Game Star H2, who’s also being promoted to challengers. The three other teams are MVP Space, who finished second overall, and GC Busan Wave, meaning Meta Athena will miss out on a promotion. Meta Athena, one of the more consistent organizations in Overwatch, lost out by one map win. The +8 map differential was one behind WGS H2’s +9.

BlossoM Royal Road?

The surge of Blossom in trials has made it more difficult on teams like Meta Athena and other teams looking to qualify. Even after huge turnover of player and coaching staff this year: losing Gambler to Seoul Dynasty, and their former head coach Agape to the London Spitfire; The Blossom are improving at an impressive rate. On top of all that, Blossom was one of the teams involved in boosting, resulting in a few former players being released from the team.

The addition of Ans, who has arguably been their best player in Trials on Widowmaker, loosened the load for everyone. Also adding LIP as a late addition heading into Trials worked out tremendously for Blossom, as he slotted in nicely as the fill-in damage main aside Ans’s Widow. In reality, the two tanks are the ones responsible for such a dominating effort in Trials. Both SeeYa and Mineral did nothing but create space for that newly added backline. It was a culmination of the spacing, aiming, and execution that led to the 7-0 record.

It’s clear this team has taken massive jumps in coordination and skills since the few appearance we saw of them in April. The overall team record is only 8-4. Only 12 matches on record and this team is now looking like a real threat to make even more improvements heading into Contenders.

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Tweek the latest Bayonetta to win a 2GG Event

In Tweek’s most recent results, dating back to the latter half of 2017, there’s a distinct upshift in his overall placings. Since he first dabbled in the Bayo waters at The Big House 7, Tweek has gone on to win four major events with Bayonetta, including the supermajor this weekend: 2GG: Hyrule Saga.

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In fact, Tweek’s switch is almost directly in response to Salem’s winning streak over his Cloud. Salem’s Bayonetta eliminated Tweek four times last year and since that time Tweek’s gone 2-0 in the mirror match up and beat him solidly. At Hyrule Saga, Tweek put on quite the performance, handily beating a number of strong opponents throughout the weekend.

With MKLeo bowing out early losing once on Saturday to Japanese Dedede player Zaki, and after managing to reach to reach top eight through the losers bracket, falling to Captain Zack’s Bayonetta in losers quarterfinals. The players who made it through had a rough time dealing with Tweek’s precise Bayonetta spacing.

It’s Tweek’s fourth win of the year, moving into first in the 2GG standings. He continues to improve and more importantly, consistently show up and play a strong game. The number one of the world is still very much up for grabs, and Tweek could be the next player to step into the limelight

War for the Planet of the Apes