After being a part of the CAZ furniture for the past few years, Jake “jakem” McCausland has moved himself and their roster to returning org, The Imperial.
After an extended qualifier set, the teams for the 2017 Spring Season of the ESL Premiership have been confirmed. The qualifier kicked off with 72 teams in a Swiss-format qualifier. Sixteen teams were then in a double-elimination bracket to determine who were to qualify.
After three qualifiers, and four contentious invites, the ten teams for the inaugural season of the UK Gaming Tours have been completed. All of these teams are set for play, when the league starts on the 17th January. All of which intend to battle it out for spots to the LAN finals.
Ben Bagg, the frontman of CAZ eSports, has recently announced that he will be stepping down from his role at the organisation to pursue a new path inside UK eSports. We took this opportunity to sit down with him and discuss this time at CAZ, and what he had planned for the future.
Six days in to the World Cyber Arena’s tri-nation tournament between Russia, China and the United Kingdom, and the UK are firmly sat in the last position having been trumped by both of the opposing nations. That being said, days three and six, versus Russia and China respectively, played out better in the favour of British sides in comparison to the three days prior.
It is clear now that the UK will not be competing in the final nation showdown, in which the top two nations duke it out in order to bag as much of the prize as possible and show whom out of Russia and China are the dominant force. Much like in reality, the small pitiful island known as Britain did not stand much of a chance.
Day Four – UK vs Russia (2)
The fourth day kicked off with an all too familiar feeling, with CAZ eSports first up to face against the Russians for the second consecutive day. Taking on the two rosters heralding from the same organisation, CAZ faced off against both Quantum Bellator and Quantum Bellator Fire on dust2 and cache respectively. CAZ, having already lost to QBF rather convincingly on two maps the previous day, managed to put up a stronger opposition the third time around. However, the 16-12 lost seemed to take its toll on the team seeing them only take a single round in their second and final game of the day.
From this point, Britain managed to begin to show its first glimmers of success. Having being the most successful UK team in the first three days, in that they did not lose margins as large as their countrymen, the FM eSports team seemed to be the best shot that our island had of taking home a win in China. Not only did they manage to do so once, and in convincing fashion at that, but the FM eSports side took the win in both of their games on day 4, securing themselves some cold hard cash and bragging rights for their efforts. Though only amongst those from back home, of course. A 16 – 3 win over Quantum Bellator and a gripping overtime clash with 5FRAGS saw them top the table for the UK.
Endpoint were to be the team of the day to play just one game, also against the 5FRAGS side ahead of their loss against FM. Having already played and lost versus 5FRAGS just the previous day, the Endpoint side appeared to still be distressed from previous ongoings, hence seeing them crash out with just five rounds to their name.
Day four results:
FM eSports 22 – 19 5FRAGS (cache)
FM eSports 16 – 3 Quantum Bellator (cbble)
Endpoint 5 – 16 5FRAGS (mirage)
CAZ 1 – 16 Quantum Bellator Fire (cache)
CAZ 12 – 16 Quantum Bellator (dust2)
Day Six – UK vs China (2)
The sixth, and as it transpires, final day for Team UK in China was not also without some minor success. The Endpoint side who, like CAZ eSports, were yet to win a map overseas. With two games up against New4, the side that beat them 16-6 on the first day of the event, things were not looking spectacular for Immi’s side. However, despite their string of defeats, they were able to turn one of the two games into a win on de_cache, resulting in them joining FM in the winning circle and taking home a little cash for the efforts.
Unfortunately for FM, the successes of their previous play day escaped them. The first match versus VG.CyberZen, a team that they had played on day one and secured rounds in the double figures, despatched of the mix team with relative ease. This time, only two rounds on the board for FM saw them suffer a similar fate to their countrymen. Despite a closer second game versus TyLoo on a map that saw overtime on day one, no more wins could be had by the FM side and hence they finish their campaign out in China with two wins and six losses.
CAZ eSports will be bringing home with them the figurative wooden spoon. The only team hailing from the UK failing to take any wins, with just a single game on the final day seeing a close yet unfulfilling score line leave them empty handed.
Day six results:
FM eSports 2 – 16 VG.CyberZen (train)
Endpoint 16 – 11 New4 (cache)
FM eSports 10 – 16 TyLoo (cbble)
CAZ 12 – 16 VG.CyberZen (dust2)
Endpoint 10 – 16 New4 (mirage)
That will conclude the skirmishes for the UK out in China, failing to qualify for the final head to head bout between the best two nations. There is likely a lot that can be learned from their overseas experiences, and no doubt it may be back to the drawing board for some of these line-ups.
Three days into the WCC, and the British teams have thus far experienced two play days. Day one versus the teams on home soil in China, and day three versus their fellow foreigners from Team Russia.
Day One – UK vs China
Come the morning of the 13th here in Britain, a large portion of the first days games had already reached their conclusion over in China, with the results laid out bare for the world to see. The picture painted was a tough one for anybody from back home to follow, with the UK not taking home a single win from the action. In fact, only one of the UK representatives managed to come close, with the FM eSports mix side taking TyLoo all the way to a painful overtime, only to be struck off in the final round. They also managed to provide some resistance to the VG.CyberZen side, although still only managing to secure 10 rounds.
The Endpoint side also played two games, versus VG.CyberZen and New4 respectively. In the first game, their fate was even worse than that for their countrymen in FM, losing the first map without a single round on the board. Likely disturbed by the result of the first game, their second and final Britain vs China game for the day also resulted in a one-sided victory for China, with New4 taking the win with Endpoint on just 6 rounds.
CAZ eSports played only one game on day one, and faired similarly to that of Endpoint. Their game against TyLoo did not go down to the wire as with FM eSports, instead seeing them crash out with very little to show for themselves. All in all, day one saw five games played with very little success, the results are as follows:
FM eSports 10 – 16 VG.CyberZen (dust2)
Endpoint 0 – 16 VG.CyberZen (train)
CAZ 4 – 16 TyLoo (cache)
FM eSports 17 – 19 VG. TyLoo (cbble)
Endpoint 6 – 16 New4 (mirage)
Day Three – UK vs Russia
Day three unfolded in a very similar fashion to the first day of the even for Team UK. With a rest day in between and an opportunity to catch up on lost sleep, review the issues of day one and recollect themselves, hopes were high for the Brits to manage to take their first win on Chinese soil.
Despite this, even with the extended rest period, it seems that a struggling Britain once again entered the tournament. Again it was only the mixed FM side that managed to put up some respectable scorelines, managing to make double figures inm both of their matches against one of the two Quantum Bellator sides in attendance. However, despite their best efforts, they were still unable to bring home the first win.
Endpoint managed to better their first day performance against the Russian 5FRAGS side, taking a total of eight rounds to their total six from two games on day one. CAZ, who had previously only played a single game, also struggled, this time against the Quantum Bellator Fire side in both instances. Clashes on train and nuke, both particularly one sided maps, saw them taking one and eight rounds respectively.
So all in all, at the halfway stage of the event, Britain remains at zero wins and ten defeats. The results for day three are as follows:
FM eSports 13 – 16 Quantum Bellator (cache)
FM eSports 12 – 16 Quantum Bellator (dust2)
Endpoint 8 – 16 5FRAGS (overpass)
CAZ 1 – 16 Quantum Bellator Fire (train)
CAZ 8 – 16 Quantum Bellator Fire (nuke)
The Brits will be up bright and early again tomorrow for their third play day, expected to be against Team Russia once again. Here’s hoping they can choke down the defeats from the past three days and come back with a fighting chance.
Last month the Chinese organisation behind the “World Cyber Arena” announced their tri-nation tournament dubbed as the “World Contest Championship of CS:GO”. The event will feature three nations, each with the representing teams. A rather odd combination, the nations represented at the event will be China, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The event format is somewhat atypical, with nine teams set to participate across seven days, and cash up for grabs off of the back of each map won. The series will unfold with head to head match-ups between representatives from each nation in a bid to score their home nation points. Each match won secures $2,500 for the winning team, and also points for the nation they represent. Come the end of the week, the two nations with the most points will face off for a further chunk of the $112,000 total prize.
With the games set to kick off within the coming days, here is a quick run through of the British teams involved:
FM eSports – (nEiLZHiNHo, Puls3, robiin, Stan1ey, jenko)
Looking somewhat different to the last known official FM eSports roster, this side seems to be bolstered by one of the UK’s go to Swedes to aid them in their conquests on Chinese soil. Robin ‘robiin’ Sjögren appears frequently among UK mix teams, and is often touted for greatness after solid performances are our quite respectable little tournaments. However, the Swede doesn’t usually stay in one place for too long, and it appears that dreams of greener grass see him moving in and out of the scene before he has a chance to get settled. With that being said, he is a formidable member to have on any side, and has on many occasions been the deciding factor between an early exit and a tournament triumph.
With FM veteran Neil “nEiLZiNHo” Finlay at the helm, and former FM member Tramaine ‘Stanley’ Stanley in the mix, some internal chemistry may be present amongst the roster. Though, within the last few months Stan1ey did part ways with the team on account of behavioural issues along with his ex-teammate fre1. Hence, there is potential for former issues to rear their heads and cause internal struggles within this mix.
Also joining the roster for the event is Tom ‘Jenko’ Jenkinson, a player currently named on the roster of Endpoint for all but this event. Jenko is a relative newcomer to the scene having initially rose to fame with a new Team Infused roster back in early spring. Since then he has maintained his presence amongst the upper tier of UK teams and shows no signs in going anywhere soon, having clearly made a good impression on the right people. As what appears to be his first event on foreign soil unfolds, it will be interesting to see how he manages to compose himself. The fifth and final member making up the FM side is Reece “Puls3” Marrs.
CAZ eSports – (jakem, dream, MCK, Ozzy, Roma)
The newly formed CAZ roster followed the dissolution of The Working Men, the side that CAZ eSports signed part way through the first UK Masters season before eventually going on to win it at insomnia58. Despite the success, the team skipper Jake “jakem” Mccausland had different ideas and after the team fell apart he built a new roster for the organisation.
Going somewhat a little off script, Jake went on to build a team out of some not so typical faces. Though none of them are strangers to the scene, it is somewhat surprising that the new look CAZ roster didn’t feature some of Jake’s usual partners. Instead, a fresh looking roster emerged with two former Team Infused members, a regular feature for United Estonia and a player who has been in and out of many rosters but has never stayed a permanent fixture.Coming from Infused, Chris “dream” Choat and Roma “roma” Parramore had already joined forces with UE mix member Mick “MCK” McDonalds and Oscar “ozzy” Scott under the banner of Team Viral, who at the time also had former MnM member Elliot “Berty” Towse Bertram in the starting five. However for one reason or another, the roster took a sideways step into the CAZ eSports camp, leaving Berty behind and seeing Jake become their new frontman.
With such previous history, it would be assumed that the team are now more than comfortable with playing with each other. However, with this being the first event for the roster as a full five and with the added stresses that are endured with travelling to such international events, it will be a true test of their comradery to see how the roster fairs. As what appears to be the only full team heading over from the UK, most of the pressure could rest with this side. Judging by recent form for this side, including a current 8 and 0 record in the current season of ESEA main, they are getting on just fine, and their experience against international sides is mounting.
Team Endpoint (Immi, Esio, Keita, MiGHTYMAX, Velox)
Team Endpoint, whilst being a new name to the scene, is full of familiar faces. It sees Ian “Immi” Harding reunited with former team mates Ben “Esio” Doughty and Max “MiGHTYMAX” Heath after a short stint in a coaching role. In his return to playing, Immi has thus far helped his team into a qualification for the second season of the UK masters, with a win over upcoming side Odin eSports securing their position.
The team are also playing in the ESEA Premier division, one step up from their countrymen CAZ eSports, and are seemingly finding it to be a challenge. With their one win coming from a forfeit, it can safely be said that the new roster may be finding themselves out of their depths amongst some of Europes outsider teams. That is not to say the side are not capable, with the players involved being now some of the most experienced the country can offer, but with a line-up so fresh and seemingly in turmoil, playing amongst some of the best may be doing more harm than good.
As highlighted earlier, the roster attending the WCC differs from that last seen of the Endpoint side, with Jamie “keita” Hall standing in and Velox, previously of the Millwall Bushwackers, also stepping into the roster. Jamie in himself brings a wealth of experience to the fold, with countless years of experience behind him, he is sure to be put to use under this Endpoint side. Velox is more of an unknown quantity, though if the Endpoint roster has seen something in him, then they will be expecting him to deliver big in China.
Earlier this week, CAZ eSports announced two new CSGO lineups under their banner. Their previous roster, which won Season 1 of Multiplay’s UK Masters, fell apart shortly after i58. This left team captain, Jake “Jakem” McCausland, with the painful task of building a new roster to continue the success. With ambitions set on tournaments like WESG and UK Masters Season 2, this new lineup needs to hit the ground running.
After the success of last season, Multiplay have announced the UK Masters Season 2. Following a similar format to Season 1, there will be three open qualifiers for teams to qualify for the round robin group stage. As finalists in Season 1, FM eSports and CAZ eSports have been invited straight into the round robin knockout stage so they are not required to re-qualify.
The finals of Season 1 saw CAZ eSports claim first place after an impressive run throughout the whole season. The live finals at i58 had a full audience and over 250,000 people tune in on Twitch to watch the games unfold. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Multiplay are running a second season.
Season 2 is set to follow the same format throughout, three open qualifiers where top 2 teams proceed to the round robin stage. At the end of that, the top 2 teams will be invited to i59 for the live finals.
This season will also see an increase of the prize pool. Season 1 had a total of £12,600, but Season 2 has blown that figure out the water with the bank balance sitting at £20,000.
Multiplay’s official announcement of UK Masters Season 2
Multiplay Esports is extremely excited to announce Season 2 of the UK Masters. Bringing more games, more players and more prizes to the UK Masters lineup.
Season 2 adds two more titles to the UK Masters roster, as League of Legends and Hearthstone join the returning Counter Strike: Global Offensive. League has been a staple of the Insomnia BYOC tournament roster for years, and the inclusion of the incredible League Fest at Insomnia58 has further cemented its place in the Insomnia lineup. Hearthstone is one of Insomnia’s biggest titles, with players travelling from all over the world to compete in the Insomnia Truesilver Championship and the UK’s own TPG_Ness taking the top honours at the Truesilver 2 at Insomnia57 in March of this year.
Featuring over £45,000 in prize money across the three titles, UK Masters Season 2 will retain the prizing structure from last season. Prizes will be awarded to teams and players during the league and playoff stages of the competition alongside the prizing from the Grand Finals, taking place live from Insomnia59!
CS:GO League of Legends Hearthstone £20,000 £20,000 £7,500
Both Hearthstone and League will feature 2 online qualifiers, where the top 4 from each will advance into the league. Counter Strike will feature 3 online qualifiers, with the top 2 from each advancing. Both CAZ eSports and FM eSports have been given an invitation into the Season 2 league stage after finishing first and second in Season 1. Qualifiers begin on the 21st of September with Counter Strike: Global Offensive, followed by League of Legends and Hearthstone on the 26th of September.
It’s a really exciting time to be involved with UK esports and we’re really excited about UK Masters Season 2. You can be involved by heading to our website and signing up to the qualifiers now!
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In the first of our brand new “hype machine” interviews going into the biggest LAN of the year, the height of the Summer LAN season, insomnia58. This new series will explore the usual suspects who are gunning for glory in both the UK Masters Finals & at the main event insomnia58. We shall also be exploring some of the more “unknowns” in the scene with a few teams pinned for “interesting storylines” that are currently developing within the scene and online portion of league play for example. It won’t strictly be a “top player” affair, but we will try to shed the limelight on those outside the British Elite group to give our readers an insight into the growing depth of talent within our scene.
With that said we managed to catch CAZ eSports Captain, Jake “jakem” McCausland, a player who is incredibly gifted in the scene. Jake has been around at the top of the UK Scene for over 8 years now. He has won multiple iSeries events, multiple epic.LAN events and even recently won the UK Premiership with the mix team of The Working Men which has later gone on to being a fully fledged team bar one member. He is one of the more interesting characters in the UK scene, and someone who continues to strive to make it better. He’s been there and done that, and even signed a few T-Shirts in his time, as he’s been over to Europe for LANs such as Copenhagen Games, and back in Counter-Strike:Source he had attended 30P LAN with Rasta.Xd, one of four different British Teams that were sent to the Swedish LAN.
In this interview we look at the various teams that Jake and his team are aware of, the pricing strategy of Multiplay and also his thoughts on the UK CS:GO Scene.
How confident are you about your team’s chances at insomnia58?
The team is full of talent and everyone can step up especially when it comes to LAN, I am very confident in our chances of winning the LAN.
Is there any opponent you’re not prepared for, a dark horse you think can reach top 8?
I’m not sure who will be turning up to LAN but we will not specifically be preparing for any teams as we generally just play on the fly CS and stick to our own game plan. Not so much a dark horse but I believe pickles is creating a mix team with frankstah, zeo, nipxe and a 5th… I think if the right players step up they could cause some upsets.
You’ll be facing FM in the UK Masters finals, how prepared are you going into that?
Well we will be much more prepared than we were in online in UK Masters against FM so I’m hoping our form online can be replicated at LAN which I’m sure it will.
What are your thoughts on mix teams entering and winning LANs like we saw Rasta.Infused do at insomnia57?
The sad truth its been proven that a strong UK mix is better than a team which has been seen time and time again. The problem in the UK is no UK teams actually know how to practise properly and how to get better, so in reality practising actually makes teams worse. This has been seen time and time again at LAN and online with the UKMASTERS being a perfect example.
In your opinion, who’s the star player on your team, what do they bring to the table?
Its hard to pick a star player on our team as everyone in my eyes can be the star of the team if you had to pick the most experienced it would have to be robin.
What’s the team chemistry like outside of the game, do you get along well?
The foundation of our team came from friendship which is the best way to create a team in my eyes and something that rarely happens in top UK CS. We are currently in the process of looking to book a holiday after LAN!
We see a lot of roster moves and arguments in the UK scene. Do you think this is the main factor stopping us from having a top contending team in Europe? if not what is?
There are too many problems with the UK scene to list out but in short there are a lot of strong personalities in the UK who will hate each other one week then be best friends the next but in reality that’s never going to work. CSGO is so competitive now you have to play in a team with 4 people you enjoy and 4 people you can work on your mistakes and grow as a team. On top of that the attitudes and dedication of players all needs to be aligned as there is nothing worse than playing in a team. A lot of people in the UK like the idea of being a PRO cs player but don’t actually want to commit to playing in a team. I could go on for hours…
What is your perspective on LAN prices, with Multiplay jacking up the BYOC price to £99 this time around, can this potentially cause teams to skip insomnia and focus on other stuff?
Multiplay have held the monopoly for LAN for a long time and they don’t care about the competitive side anymore as it isn’t as profitable as the community side. So for us the prices seem outrageous but the demand is there from the community so seems only logical from Multiplay to charge as much as they can from a business point of view. Realistically the only teams missing out will be the lower tier teams as most organisations will fund teams to LAN so it doesn’t really effect the best teams.
Have you ever thought about joining a European team? Do you think it’d lead to more success than you would get in a UK team?
The last CAZ lineup with dephh and surreal in my mind was going to be the last UK team I created as I was tired of putting lots of effort into another UK team where players would lose interest, argue and eventually fold again. I decided to take a step back and the only team I would of considered would be a Euro team. I decided I still enjoyed CS so just decided to make a mix for EPS and we won so we decided to take things more seriously for the up coming events and see where it takes us.
For reference, here is CAZ eSports team lineup for Multiplay’s UK Masters & insomnia58 in a couple of weeks time.
Jake “JAKEM” McCausland
Robin “robiin” Sjögren
Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos
James “Kryptix” Affleck
Jake “Boaster” Howlett
We will be having plenty of interviews over the coming days with a variety of teams, so make sure you keep in touch with UKCSGO.com in the run up and during insomnia58 through our Facebook & Twitter pages.