Hello friends, last Sunday we had an amazing tournament! This time it was iCTF and to be honest with you guys I really loved it. I haven’t seen iCTF for years and I believe it was nice to see this mode come back. I hope we will see more of this type of tournament, as generally insta is a popular mode and I definitely believe it has its place in the competitive scene. Well, let’s get to the point.
First we had the seed round. For those who aren’t familiar with the process of the tournament, this is the round where everyone is trying to kill everyone and get the most kills as a team. It’s like a venice warm up round. The point of this is to create the seed list where the higher on the list team has the advantage of picking the map on winning bracket and veto last on loser bracket. When I first connected I didn’t expect to see so many players, and very good players at that. Among them the likes of Achille, Gangler, Lokio, raffael, Alli, Rexus, Honzik, and others. Also, some teams had a promising combination of players. The map choice for the all-vs-all was urban_c which personally I was surprised about. I don’t believe it worked very well as it felt like people were trying to spawn trap other players and get kills. It would be interesting if other players felt that way, too. This is the all-vs-all result.
The Elimination Stage
Before the actual tournament started notas made an interesting prediction on his stream, at least in my opinion. He predict that his team would be third and he was right. I truly believe impressive Squad has the most versatile team. They have worked hard for the tournament but because of Achille I thought sp4nk would still be in the finals.
The first couple of rounds didn’t have many surprises. We had many good games, though. The first big game was w00p against noVi, and the second one was a civil war between the two !s] teams. w00p and the first !s] team managed to move on to the second round. Furthermore Dangerous Monkeys, the previous iCTF winners if I am not mistaken, beat sQ and had to wait for their next opponent. The best game of the first round, in my opinion, was the match between Dark Keepers and donpl, a mix team. I am really happy to see mix teams and new players. Both games ended 3-2 and it was exciting to watch those games.
The first highlight game was impressive Squad against w00p. !s] started really well. It was a big surprise to me to see !s] smashing w00p on reissen with 8-3. They managed to pull off really solid teamwork. I have the feeling that w00p might have underestimated their opponent on that map. The second game was on forge which seemed a logical choice to equalise the score. This time, w00p took revenge and won 4-3 against !s] and went for the third game. The third game after the veto process was on capture_night. At this point I would like to take a break and share my nostalgia. Back in the days when I started sauer capture night and face capture where popular iCTF maps in clanwars. I felt happy to see them come back even though I know the majority of players would probably disagree. Anyway, back in capture night, someone would say that this map would favour w00p as Honzik would shine on it. With another big surprise for me !s] won 3-2, primarily but not only because Gangler managed to control the enemy and show to everyone that !s] really wanted this title.
On the other side, sp4nk – after passing through DK – had their real test against DM. In the first round, sp4nk won 1-0 on face-capture which is one of the highest scores you can get on this map (sarcasm). The second was easier for sp4nk as they won 6-0 and had a relatively straight-forward way to the semi finals to face !s] which was on fire at that point. sp4nk had the map choice advantage and they chose capture night. In my opinion that was a logical choice as Achille could cover with his amazing aim skills and the rest of the team could score. They had a pretty good start of 2-1 but with Gangler nullifying Achille’s superiority, !s] managed to revert the score and take the first round. It was a very close and exciting game. !s] then chose reissen as their map, hoping to have the same success as they had against w00p. This time things were different; the game was longer and the teams equally good. The score after the regular 10 minutes was 3-3 and it went to the first overtime where sp4nk was leading by 1 point through most of it, but !s] managed to score and so we had another overtime. This time though, !s] score the winning point 9 seconds before the game was over, leaving sp4nk no room for a comeback. So, !s] had an amazing start in this tournament by beating the two dominant sauer clans and sending them to the loser bracket, where they would face each other. So notas’ prediction looked like it could come true. He should play some lottery next time as it would be more useful for him.
So in the loser bracket (for those who don’t know) it’s best of one, teams veto from the map pool and they have only 1 chance to move to the next round. sp4nk had the map pick advantage, their choice was forge. I really believe they should have chosen face-capture as forge is one of those maps which both teams know really well, and it’s simply overplayed. On face-capture they might have had a better chance as it is the less played map. For the most part of this game the score was really close. w00p – as usual – surprised the enemy by using a quick push and thus managed to take the lead. This lead put a lot of pressure on sp4nk which basically made them run behind the enemy for the whole game. It was another high level of insta ctf gaming which I definitely recommend someone to watch (link below). The result was in favour of w00p which meant they had to face !s in grandfinal otherwise known as the “longest finals ever”.
Sooo, onto the final between impressive Squad and w00p. In the first round !s] chose reissen as it looked to be their map. After all, they had smashed w00p and beat sp4nk on it. They really hoped to continue that success story. With Gangler’s strong defending and darky or savi flagrunning they expected it to be another easy round BUT w00p had learned their lesson. The previous defeat made them hungry for revenge. It was their turn to have an easy game. They beat !s] easily with the score being 6-1. Maybe the final weight affected !s] mouses. In the second game of the first round, w00p chose face-capture. Maybe they had similar thoughts like I did and bet on the fact that this map is less played or they counted on Honzik’s aim cover. To be honest, even though I like face-capture, and even though it brings me nostalgia, it is just boring for me to watch. I agree with notas’ comment on his stream that for the most part of it they played it wrong. One player should cover on top and two players push so when you take the enemy flag the defenders have to pay attention to the guy on top at the same time. Finally, w00p figured this strategy out and thus managed to win the game with 1-0. By that they also won the first best-of-3 set.
In the second best-of-3 set Honzik picked face-capture again! Interesting option as the previous game made the players tired. Insta gets monotonous and you kind of lose concentration. Very smart choice in my opinion. Teams learned their mistakes from the first game and tried to follow a better strategy. Unfortunately for !s], w00p again won the game with 1-0, as I said the maximum score you can get. The second game was on forge. w00p was one step away from the title. I assumed the pressure would be on !s] side. They picked forge. I really thought they were going to pick reissen. w00p again tried to surprise their enemy but !s] was prepared. It seemed they had worked on it and they were the first ones to take the lead. I believe the first half of this game was the best game of the whole series. It had everything. Big score, good fights and a lot of back and forward. With darky leading the flag runs, !s] managed to win the game in the second half by 8-5. So we had the third and last game of the tournament. w00p picked reissen, and in the first couple of minutes the games was close, until w00p scored two flags. !s] collapsed. They didn’t have the will power to continue. Eventually after an incredibly long run w00p won the tournament and a big bravo to them.
Moment of Glory of this tournament for me belongs to savi. In the first reissen game he managed to do a well-known flag run but in very unusual and risky fashion, especially for a tournament match. You need guts to pull this off!
Moment of Fun I believe belongs to Achille. This guy is a legend. I don’t need to say anything more about him but two words and one phrase from notas’ stream: “Shit” and “Fuck” and “come on guys”. It was very entertaining for me. I admire his passion but personally, it sometimes stresses me out.
Big thank you to everyone who participated and notas for the stream. I am happy seeing new people in the tournament. I would like to know from you guys, how did you like the tournament? Did you like urban_c as a seed map? Did you like the long finals?
Anyway thank everyone see you next week where we going to have eCTF tournament. Stay tuned!