Gfinity Elite Series | Week 1 Recap
10th July 2017
The inaugural week of the Gfinity Elite Series has come and gone and it has been a great 3 days of competition for the exceL squads. We have come up against some tough opponents but we managed to come out of the first week unbeaten dropping only 2 games across the 3 titles setting us up well for the weeks ahead.
The Elite Series kicked off with Street Fighter V on Friday where we would battle it out with the highly regarded Team EnVyUs roster. Game 1 would see Hurricane taking on the Frenchman Layo providing a Laura vs Cammy matchup and we could not have hoped for a better start with Hurricane picking up a scrappy first round. Unfortunately Layo would come fighting back and take the first game 2-1. Infexious and his Necalli would take on TKR and his Chun Li where the tightly fought rounds would continue. One notable moment was Infexious brilliantly stopping a Chun Li reset and finishing up the round with a Critical Art instead which would help to bring the series back to 1-1.
Our resident Scottish SFV man Brian would then take over for games 3 & 4 where his Rashid would come up against JokerJokez’s Dhalsim and Layo’s Laura. Game 3 was one of the tightest games of the entire set with constant back and forth between the two but Brian would come out on top with a 2-1 game win and carried this going into his game against Layo where he would take a quick 2-0 win despite another tough game. This would round out an incredibly tough series against a talented Team EnVyUs roster with exceL taking a 3-1 win and starting off the Elite series adventure well. We interviewed the roster after the match - check it out over on our YouTube channel!
For day 2 our attentions would turn to Counter-Strike and the match against Method, a team that is tipped to go far in the competition and a win here would help in our attempts to qualify for the playoff stages even at this early point of the competition. Game 1 would be played on Mirage where we would be starting on T-side and picking up the first pistol round and 3-0 advantage off the start. Method would however come fighting back with each team breaking the other’s economy and keeping the first half incredibly close with the exceL squad closing out T-side with a 9-6 lead. Having lost the second pistol round, Method would come storming back into the series leading to the game being finely poised at 11-rounds a piece going into the first and only tactical pause. Method’s incredibly performance on T-side - aided by a few mistakes by the exceL squad - would see them take Mirage 16-11 with Weber finishing of the game with a great 3-kill play.
Our map of choice for game 2 would be Nuke which started with us once again picking up the first pistol round where Whindanski would start by picking up 3 kills. A 3 round lead to start with would soon spiral into 6-1 after Method were forced into an eco round. Another eco would be forced after Conor secured another 3 kills in round 11 and JakeM securing a 1v2 clutch in round 14 to see exceL lead 11-4 going into T-side. Starting off by blowing out the door, the squad would make a quickly play into the vents a quick B-bomb plant securing yet another pistol round. The game would only last a further 5 rounds as we closed out Nuke 16-5 and evened out the series 1-1. It was an overall solid first LAN outing for the 5-man squad but they were disappointed not to come away with the win but are confident of suring up their gameplay and fixing mistakes going forward.
Going into day 3 we were unbeaten and hoped to keep that going to round out the first weekend of the Elite Series. We decided to take full advantage of our Elite Draft picks and their experience bringing in both Zensuz and the goal machine that is Nielskoek with Lunation rounding out the week 1 roster. The Zensuz-Nielskoek partnership would get us off to a great start against Reason with Zensuz setting up a flying Nielskoek who would hit the ball off the backboard then knocking it down into the goal. Lunation would then get in on the action by denying the enemy team boost allowing Zensuz to take full advantage with a shot from just inside the enemy half giving us a 2-0 win in the first game.
Nielskoek would carry his goal-scoring prowess picking up a goal in each of the next 2 games, first with a fantastic solo effort in game 2 and the second after a mid-air deflection and resulting interception. We would however concede our first goal in game 2 but a goal by Zensuz would ensure that we came out with a 2-1 victory. Game 2 was when Reason started to come into the series, but game 3 would be the most tightly contested - despite the scoreline - as they started to come to terms with our playstyle. The entire team would get in on the goal-scoring efforts for the 3-0 win in the 3rd game with Lunation most notably scoring from just outside our own goal after a close attempt by Reason. The series would finish 3-0 where it appears the experience of our roster was just a little too much for the new to LAN Reason roster.
It was an incredible first weekend for exceL at the inaugural weekend for Gfinity Elite Series where we went unbeaten at the incredible looking, brand new Gfinity Arena. Each of our teams have areas to work on to keep us at the top for the weeks ahead but we cannot wait to see how they stack up against the other formidable rosters. We are aiming to keep up our unbeaten streak next week when we come up against Epsilon in SFV on Friday and then a double whammy against Prophecy in CS:GO and Rocket League on Saturday and Sunday respectively. As always, be sure to follow our social media channels and our players to keep up-to-date with all of our ventures in the Gfinity Elite Series and more.
C: Kieran 'RedDevil' Taylor