CSGO: ESEA Season 22 Review - EU Intermediate

19th August 2016

We started off the season in positive fashion having the first set of maps being some of our more favoured picks ( de_cache, de_inferno and de_cbble).  Our first game of the season was against "yoshiwara club" which proved to be a fairly simple game. We picked up 11 rounds on T side and played a steady CT to take the game 16 - 8. The second cache map was against AEG. Despite going down 5-0 at the start of the game, we woke-up and took the rest of the game with a perfect 16 rounds in a row.

Week two saw us take on Sequence Gaming for on de_cbble. We took a strong first half lead 8-7 on what is considered a weak CT side map. the latter part of the game could only be described as frustrating. Despite numerous opening picks we were unable close the game out. We found ourselves staring at a 14 - 16 defeat, giving us our first loss of the season in a game where were our on enemies for the most part.

Game 4 and 5 were what first set out to be week 2's fixtures of inferno against arguably one of UAE's best teams. We knew from their reputation this would be a tough game, but the team seem reinvigorated after their defeat just 3 days before. They stormed into a quick 11 - 4 T side lead on a map that should be fairly even. We played CT side in a calculated way and, despite losing the pistol and opening buy round, we closed out the game 16-10 in a dominating fashion. The next inferno game was versus the Danish side ‘WatTheTaw’ who we had previously faced last season. The hunger of winning hit ‘Calv1n’ hard and he dominated the scoreboard. We once again started on T side, gaining 7 rounds before swiftly wrapping up 9 CT rounds in a row after losing the initial pistol/eco rounds. We took the game 16-11 with calv1n getting an amazing 68 kills over the 2 games.

After a small break we found ourselves playing officials on de_overpass and de_dust2 with little practice. This resulted  in a 1-1 outcome from our two overpass games with the loss being at the hands of a cruel but fair defeat in overtime with a 19-16 scoreline. We did however manage to scrape a 16-11 win against Latvian who had pulled off some upsets of their own early in the season.

Going into the Dust games we all as a team were really starting to suffer, we were given a default win in our first game as the team we were due to play, RvN, had a local LAN upcoming and didn't wish for their demos to be downloaded so respectfully gave us a win. 

The next 3 games, de_dust2 and 2 matches on de_mirage, can only be watched and reviewed as a perfect demonstration of what happens if you don’t practise beforehand. We went into the games without much of a break and outdated strats, especially for mirage. Many teams had seen us perform at LAN just a few days ago and read our game play with ease. We played Wolfwang Golfgang first on de_dust2. We rushed T and took at hard 11-4 hit. We got closed out on CT side and lost the map 16-8. 

The two mirage games were even more frustrating for the boys as it had been such a prolific map for them at LAN. But, unfortunately for us, the slump continued online. We firstly played ‘noChance’ who we dispatched on this very map last season 16 – 2. This time our T side that was once so reliable lacked any real firepower and we crumbled to a 3-12 T performance. noChance capitalised on this and closed out the the game 7-16. 

The turnaround, if there was to be one, had to happen now to salvage our season. The guys sat down and devised a new schedule and method of accommodating all of the team's needs. We knew we would have some tough games coming up, starting with ‘RoyalGames’, a multinational online team who sat on 10-2 record, while we were currently only on a 6-5. We showed that the rough patch was starting to lift, as despite a loss of 13-16, there were many positives to take from the match.

With our record now sitting at 6-6 we knew we had to win the remaining 4 games to stand any chance of making playoffs, we knew it would be a tough ask. It was looking grim as we went into some of our more inconsistent maps for the last 4 games, de_nuke and de_train.

First up was Castle Wolves on de_train, it was our turn to show we had some resilience in us. After a tough T side performance the difference in score didn't make us crumble and morale was still intact going into the second half. We found ourselves 14-6 down and our playoffs hanging on by the slimmest of margins. We steadied ourselves and started to rack up rounds. The score crept up to 14-11. Castle Wolves took a time out for it to only work in our favour. They seemed out of ideas and had no plan to stop our momentum. We made sure to take it one round at a time before closing the game out 16-14. The hope was restored and our play-off hopes remained alive!

The two de_nuke games were something we have never witnessed from the team, we had no time to go over nuke but went into the games positive that we could score a much needed victory. Our first game was against Genetic Zero eSports. We started on CT and it seemed a cruise, taking a 11-4 lead with the rounds lost being down to some individual plays from the opposing team. We didn't know what to expect T-side but we took it a round at a time and slowly but surely traded rounds. They had a 5-6 T side which was enough for us to take the game 16-10 after a more convincing CT half.

The second nuke game was against fellow Brits; Generic Team Name. They needed a win to secure playoffs and we needed it to keep our own hopes alive. T side tensions were very high which lead to a struggle for rounds after going down 12 – 3. We would have to dig deep to take this game. CT we started roughly by taking the pistol round due to some over peaks by the T's and lack of experience on map to deal with anti ecos. Our economy was low going into the first buy rounds, but the team's concentration levels were at an all-time high. Without much thought we found ourselves at 11-12 before the T's found their first buy round with a swift shutdown. The following round meant we reset their money at the right time, some vital lockdowns on the A bombsite were the result of some excellent communication by GhosT, resulting in the team winning 16-13 after being down 12-3!

We now had to play Bulgarian Bpro. This was the game we had to win to make playoffs. Due to issues with their team,  the game the admin felt it was fair to give us a default win which meant we finished 11th and had made it into playoffs with a 10-6 record!

We went into playoffs with no real pressure playing against INFIGHT, a Swedish team with some good players, the atmosphere seemed to of gone backwards a couple weeks resulting with us losing first map of this best of 3 on mirage 16-7.We went into the second map on de_dust2 with a different mindset but  this unfortunately couldn't stop one of their players dropping 38 kills to clinch the second map 16-14 and knocking us out of the playoffs.

It was a tough season at times but the guys are looking forward to the next, where we hope to be promoted in to the Main Division on the basis of our final position in Season 22. Stay tuned to our social media for updates on all of our teams' exploits!