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Gfinity Elite Series | Week 5 Recap

11th August 2017

As we headed into Week 5 of the Elite Series, each of our rosters were under a lot of pressure with regards to the overall standings. While the Street Fighter V roster were sitting pretty at the top alongside Epsilon, they still had to secure a win to keep us there and guarantee our playoff hopes. On the other hand, both the CS:GO and Rocket League rosters could still mathematically qualify for playoffs, but wins from here on out would be required.

Street Fighter V

Player of the Series Claude 'Hurricane' Diboti warming up with his Scuf Gaming controller.

Player of the Series Claude 'Hurricane' Diboti warming up with his Scuf Gaming controller.

Approaching the end of the Elite Series, no match seemed more important than this top-of-the-table battle with Endpoint. An unusual twist occurred when we won the coin toss but decided to choose the home side - often viewed as a disadvantage - meaning we revealed the first player in the matchup. In response to our first pick of Brian, Endpoint sent JonesArcade into the virtual arena. Both rounds in this fight were decided by the slimmest of margins. After patient starts by both players in each round, Brian’s Rashid backed the opposing Ken into the corner but he just could take down JonesArcade once and for all. Ken came out with a 2-0 win, letting Endpoint strike first blood in the series.

Next into the arena were Hurricane and Broski. Despite solid trades and patient play, a great combo from Hurricane handed him the first round. Round 2 was similar, with Broski chunking Cammy low enough that a mid-air trade decided the round. Broski’s Dhalsim started well in Round 3, taking his opponent down once more and nearly getting the stun. A great EX took Hurricane to within a slither of winning the round, and eventually finished it off after a few block trades with the game coming down to the wire once again.

A double-dose of Infexious was up next. Versus JesterPower, mask and rose in hand, some incredibly patient play from both competitors meant that the first round came down to a photo-finish-worthy timeout victory. Round 2 went much the same way, but Infexious managed to get the KO to give exceL the lead for the first time in the series.

In came Broski for both participants’ second game. His Dhalsim, as in every round, had a massive advantage off the bat, making it that much harder for Infexious to make his way back. Despite a great fightback in the first round, it was not enough for Infexious to take the rounds. He did, however, manage a great Critical Art in the next round, and finished it off with two grabs. In Round 3, Broski took the early lead once more, but this time didn’t let Infexious come back, meaning he closed out the game and took the series to a fifth game.

Another three-rounder was on the cards as Hurricane battled it out with JonesArcade. Trading from the offset, Hurricane managed to punish Jones with a great combo as he tried to use his range. With Round 2 came Jones’ time to punish Hurricane, finishing him off in the corner to take it to a winner-takes-all final round. A good early start from Hurricane gave him the edge, despite Jones getting him into the corner. He predicted the play, securing the throw and the EX finisher and collecting the all-important three points in the process.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Jake 'Boaster' Howlett is to say the least, a character.

Jake 'Boaster' Howlett is to say the least, a character.

While playoffs at this point were a slim possibility, they were still achievable. It did, however, mean that we would have to beat the so-far undefeated EnVyUs Academy roster. Adding to our challenge was a late change in our roster, with Mole coming in to replace Whindanski due to prior commitments. We had no doubts though, that despite the change, Mole could come in and do well at this level - and he did.

EnVyUs choose to play Train during the veto stage, and it got off to a great start for them as they claimed the pistol and subsequent three rounds. We began our comeback in Round 5, claiming six rounds in a row - but not without fault, having won a number of those with few-to-no players surviving, damaging our own economy. At the end of Round 10, we had a 6-4 lead, but nV managed to save three weapons going into the next. This gave them a prime opportunity to halt our progress, and they did just that by winning the round. However, it did not damage our economy enough to stop us winning the next three rounds and going into the half with a 9-6 lead.

Starting the second half, EnVyUs claimed five rounds in a row to move them into the lead. We brought it back, winning the next three with a 1v2 clutch by Conor and a 2v2 win to take it to 12-11 in our favour. Despite a number of close rounds following, EnVyUs just had too much for the us to handle and closed out Game 1 by a score of 16-13.

Running Game 1 close gave us hope that we could still salvage a draw out of the series. Unfortunately, Inferno was to be a much more one-sided affair. Team EnVyUs once again won the pistol to start, taking a 3-0 lead in the process. Luzuh contributed in bringing us back onto a level footing when he secured a 1v3, bomb-plant clutch to secure the buy round. Despite heading into the half down only 9-6, that would be our only real standout moment in the second game as nV ran away with the game. They secured the second pistol round and didn’t drop another round, closing out the game 16-6.

This week’s loss means that despite it still being mathematically possible to qualify for playoffs, we would need to not only win our two remaining games, but require a number of results from teams above us to go in our favour. We will be giving our all in the remaining weeks to secure those wins and at least do our part.

Rocket League

Squad goals with our Rocket League team and exceL co-owner Kieran.

Squad goals with our Rocket League team and exceL co-owner Kieran.

Having so far only gained three points as a result of our Week 1 win, we were in a tough position to even qualify for playoffs before Week 5. Much like in CS:GO, we were taking on one of the tournament favourites in Method.

A confident start was not enough to stop a long clearance from the Method half reaching our goal, giving them a quick advantage in Game 1. Despite some great saves on the goal line, Method soon doubled their lead when our entire roster were in one corner and a pass into the middle took them all out of play. Game 1 was rounded off at the buzzer when the ball was knocked off the corner and into the middle, with Nielskoek slotting in an own goal. Thankfully for Niels, credit was given to Method.

Game 2 provided a rather shaky start, with a clearance off the line almost straight after kick off. Method soon took the lead after pinching the ball from Nielskoek and slotting home. He made up for it not long after when he created and finished the best goal of the entire series. He knocked the ball from near his own goal towards Zensuz, who touched it back into the middle and into Niels’ path to make things even. However, Method struck back straight from the kickoff - not once, but twice - to take the score to 3-1. A clearance off the line once again was knocked into the middle and into on-rushing path of a Method player for their fourth. Zensuz grabbed what turned out to be a consolation goal, as Method soon closed out the game 6-2 with some great counter-attacking play.

Within the first 30 seconds of Game 3, Method were once again ahead and propelled themselves into a 4-0 lead. This came off the back of some desperation plays from our boys trying to bring ourselves back into the game. We did manage to grab one goal back, when Niels utilised the corner to centre the ball for Zensuz to finish. Lunation then got in on the scoring with another buzzer-beater, this time the finish coming from a Method player into their own net. This means that Method closed out the game 4-2 and therefore a clean 3-0 series.

As we head into the final two weeks of the Elite Series, we are all-but-guaranteed qualification for playoffs in one of the three titles. Obviously, we hope that things go our way to qualify for all three, but we know that it is out of our hands. We are, however, happy to see the progress that our rosters are making week-in, week-out, and we aim to continue that going forward. This coming weekend we have a double-header against Reason Gaming in both SFV and CS:GO, while we take on Doomsee and the rest of the Infused roster in Rocket League.

Finally, we would just like to thank all of our amazing partners and sponsors for their fantastic, unwavering support as we continue our journey at the top of UK esports.

Remember, to keep up-to-date with all the latest news with exceL and the Gfinity Elite Series by following us on social media!

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C: Kieran 'RedDevil' Taylor (article); Tommy 'tommyesports' Davis (video)