Here we are, 32 teams have been whittled down to just four teams for Finals Day. We’ve had some cracking matches throughout the weekend, and what better to see some big teams go head to head at the UK’s biggest LAN event. With £7,500 on the line, the final four teams will certainly have the pressure to contend with to do well.
This is a preview of today’s planned action, and how it could all go down. Bare in mind, my previews can be wildly one way or another, and that can be an entertaining thing.
Choke Gaming Vs Reason Gaming UK – 11am Start
Reason Gaming were a huge surprise over this weekend, when I looked at the team list prior to the event and the rosters that were starting to appear on Clanforge, I just thought what seemed a bit of a mix team, wouldn’t really challenge well enough to even scratch the surface of some of the big teams, however in the Elimination stages alone, they have beaten Choke once (2:1) and managed to nick a map off Team Infused and played incredibly well against KritikaL and co. When they got knocked down to the lower bracket, they managed to send resu’s CeX side home in a convincing 2:0 win. It hasn’t been easy for Reason, having been seeded 7th, they have quite simply demolished that and done so much better. From what I’ve heard and witnessed, Surreal has been absolutely smashing heads this LAN, and with that kind of confidence, Reason could even go a place further.
Choke Gaming have been slightly disappointing on the other hand, disappointing may well be a strong word to use, but I actually expected better from these lads, over the last three months, they have along with Team Infused been spearheading the UK challenge at home and abroad, they managed to surprise a few people by absolutely winning epic.FIFTEEN last month against Jakem’s CAZ eSports and even managed to get quite close to qualifying for the offline qualifiers for Cologne in the EU online qualifiers. Of course they were beaten by Team Infused in that instance. Their loss against Reason earlier in the bracket at insomnia55 over three maps, will have knocked their confidence a bit, but it certainly does make this match ever so more interesting. It is a dog eat dog world, and Choke will know that no one gives a shit about whoever finishes fourth at LAN. This and the fact that they were beaten in the Upper Bracket should be motivation to decapitate a few heads on the battleground.
In my brutally honest opinion, I do feel that this could be a step too far for the Reason lads, but I have been proven wrong many times before. Winning LAN tends to change how teams play, and I know that Choke Gaming will have the confidence in this match to actually pull through this time. What could be a key factor in this matchup is how well both these sides actually start, with it being day three of LAN and playing for a full day yesterday may make a few people tired, so whoever starts well could manage to take the momentum and push through. With that said, I will be opting for a Choke Gaming win over three maps.
Predicted Result: Choke Gaming 2:1 Reason Gaming
Choke Gaming/Reason Vs Team Infused – 2pm Approx Start
Infused have looked pretty steady and solid so far throughout the tournament, nothing special, but nothing bad. Their run to this point has been one of “getting the job done” and it’s been efficient. They smashed 2Good4Gathers & pulseCore Gaming in the early rounds, their first real test came at the hands of quiver and co as Curse These Metal Hands. That test was easily dispatched on the first map, but the second map actually was a lot tougher to take however quiver’s men were sent down to the Lower Bracket in an entertaining 2:0 series. The first real sign of trouble came at the hands of Reason Gaming, who put up a considerable effort to take the first map off Infused, and really looked like they could perhaps knock out redsnK and co. when they stormed into a good steady lead, yet Infused did pull it back and force a decider. The deciding map was also a very closely fought map coming down to the wire at 16:13. They then went on to square up to EZSKINS who are seeded first, and it was a tense affair with all three maps needed in that, unfortunately for Infused, they were on the losing side. However in the grand scheme of things they have matched their seed currently, and bagged themselves £900 at least.
I have predicted Choke to win over Reason in the previous match, so if that prediction does materialise then we should be in for a real treat between these two sides. They were separated in the Cologne qualifiers by Overtime, in which Infused managed to win. So if that is anything to go by, this match can be a rather fun filled one that people really should watch. If Choke manage to get through then I see this being a rather close match in all fairness. It’s going to be tough to call but with the way Infused have played this tournament, it wouldn’t surprise me seeing them 2:1 Choke here. I think Choke would take the first map, but the following two Infused would take.
Predicted Result: Choke Gaming 1:2 Team Infused
In the unlikely scenario where Reason Gaming would manage to overcome Choke in a thriller, whilst the rematch between Infused and Reason would be interesting, I just know in my heart that Infused wouldn’t make the same slip up again and would look to lock it down against Reason. I would suspect that the first map would be incredibly close with Infused just edging it. However I could see that Reason would get slaughtered in the second map. So, safe to say my prediction would be Infused to pull through.
Predicted Result: Reason Gaming 0:2 Team Infused
TBA Vs EZSKINS – 7pm Approx Start
The big finale, the grand finish, and we already have EZSKINS confirmed in the final. Let’s be honest, everyone believed that EZSKINS would walk this tournament. The reality is, it has been far from a dominating LAN from them, they had a draw in the group stages against All4 (who have played terrific all LAN), and they’ve managed to overcome stern challenges from Molotovs n Marshmallows and Team Infused in the Upper Final. Whatever the performance though, they’ve made it through to the Grand Final, and they should be able to see this through now. Big players should turn up for the big games, and I half expect both RattlesnK & weber to put up big numbers in the final against whoever they play.
With predicting Infused to come through, I will focus on this matchup between the two sides. If I was a betting man, then I’d be looking at this match and thinking “the odds are stacked against Infused here” however my feeling of this tournament so far has been one of no one has really talked about them. They haven’t set the world on fire, and they are playing with robiin instead of Whindanski, but they have been most importantly getting the job done. Whoever they have faced, they have managed to overcome, nothing special, just doing the basics and looking incredibly solid. EZSKINS have this all star line up which looks absolutely beautiful on paper, with fearLess being a brilliant awper (some would say, the UK’s answer to kennyS), they have Puls3 who in Europe has a bit of a reputation of “ripping” heads, so much so that teams have before refused to play against any line up including him. RattlesnK is one of the UK’s finest in game leaders who has a massive strat book of all his strategies over the years dating back to 1.6 if I remember correctly. Meanwhile they have weber and mole who are both arguably some of the UK’s finest produced riflers. The issue is for all this flash and flair, they have a tenacity to being a rather “explosive” lineup and when things aren’t going their way, it can get to all of them.
If I’m honest, the Upper Bracket result does have some bearing, but I know Infused have been here and done that before, the question will be how exhausted will they be after waiting around for a few hours to find their opponent and how quick they can get off the starting line in this match. With it being a best of 5 (best of 4 technically), it changes the dynamics somewhat as both teams have the ability to make mistakes in the first map and get away with it, although for Infused it would mean making no more mistakes if they were to lose the first map.
Depending on what maps, I actually see Infused managing to nick the first one but it would be a tough first map and incredibly close. EZSKINS will come back by smashing the second map, whilst Infused are still in “celebration mode”. ZED will carry the fight in the third map and engineer a final map decider between the two sides. However I think EZSKINS would squeeze out the final map, and win insomnia55.
Predicted Result: Infused 2:3 EZSKINS
If Choke Gaming do get through to the Grand Final, it’s a long shot, but not incredibly surprising if they did, then I actually see a similar affair taking place, I could see them edging the first map, with EZSKINS coming back in the second map and storming through. The third map will be incredibly tight, but a couple of silly mistakes will see EZSKINS take the match in a bitter fashion to Powell and the guys.
Predicted Result: Choke Gaming 1:3 EZSKINS
Last but not least, if in the very very very unlikely scenario that Reason Gaming managed to get through to the Grand Final, I would imagine the gas in the tank would run out, and we’d see a very convincing victory from EZSKINS after a closely fought first map between the two sides. It’s unlikely seeing this matchup between the two sides in the Grand Final, but anything can happen.
Predicted Result: Reason Gaming 0:3 EZSKINS
That concludes the previews for today. **Please Note that I fell asleep earlier, after work, so all this was written up earlier bar the Grand Final matchup. I apologise for the delay in this preview.
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