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Day 1 of EPIC.LAN 41 wrapped up

The biggest EPIC.LAN since pre-covid featured a new system that definitely did show some issues. Yes, there were quite a few repeats but the main difference it showed is that you NEVER had an easy game. You kept on having to play your A game, and for some, this was not possible.

What this also showed is that comebacks are possible. You can be 2-4 and still make playoffs.

Sit back and enjoy this monolith of a day as GrimyRannarr tries to take you through power outages and constant insane games that ended at 1 am.

Round 1

As we start the weekend the first-round matchups are not easy games for the favorites but still ones that they should win. The key thing to focus on is that there is no ‘warmup’ game, there are no easy group games, and every single game can and will be a challenge.

This round was headlined by the two goliaths of Ross Kemp Ryan and Binmen International playing on stream. In a shocking turn of events, Joshua “Dweg” Nathan is now one step closer to getting out of groups with a solid 13-10 win to start their journey.

The only surprise comes from Tyreece Simpson who has Matthew “meffew” Godsell and ARTZ losing their first game versus Katana Gaming.  A team that people were looking at to potentially rustle some feathers had a very slow start.

Joeyyy from Roylas (pre blackout)

Speaking of slow starts, The Last Resort won their first game, but it wasn’t the easiest. Getting tested by flowstate the #4 seeded team struggled out of the gates but still maintained a 1-0 start.

A win by Soul’s Land was one that answered some questions early on about their performance, with their new roster dominating Anita Max Wynn 13-3

Another close result comes from Skill Checked knocking BTEC NEDs to 0-1 by clinching a 13-11 win. These teams will be battling hard for the last few playoff spots and Skill Checked posing themselves early on to do so.

Something that no one expected on day one… A power outage. During the early stages of round one games, the power went out and EPIC took a short break to resolve the issues. However, the problem was not solved. Not even 15 minutes later the power went out again, and after this EPIC.LAN decided to take a lunch break and give teams an extended break. Momentum for many teams got quelled and It will be interesting to see if because of this some upsets or comebacks occur.

Round 1 Group 1 + 2

Round 2

Another team that we are keeping a close eye on how they perform early is Rum Bumpers and by god did they obliterate Royals on stream 13-4. A very disappointing performance from Royals on the one hand who feature imported talent Jérémy “jeyN” Nguyen should have been putting up more of a fight, raising some early questions marks. On the other hand, it could be terrifying for teams like K10 and The Neighbours who wait nervously to see if they will be the next name Rum Bumpers claim.

Tree60 and K10 closing it out versus Raptors EC.

As normality returns and games start up again we see K10 finish off their 9-6 lead versus Raptors EC and set themselves up to play versus Rum Bumpers in round 3

We witnessed our first 13-0 as The Neighbours came and showed why they got seeded #1 as they dumpster Soul’s Lands. Regardless of their rough start, the Chinese team is incredibly crisp and that is something that will get noticed more and more as the tournament goes on.

The Last Resort and Coalesce have a competitive history online that always rewards viewers with intense games, however, every time Coalesce comes out on top. TLR found their revenge on LAN  after a huge 1v4 from Bigun at 10-9, subsequently winning the game 13-10, setting up the second high-seed game versus The Neighbours.

Finally, normality resolves as Dweg suffers his first loss as Binmen International falls 13-4 to Disco Diggers.

Round 2 Group 1 + 2

Round 3

Even though we might be delayed, we persevere.

Starting with a surprise upset, coming back from across the pond Magic came and showed Royals what was good as he dropped 183 adr in their 13-2 stomp. Not an expected result from the #13 seeded team playing seed #6, but they showed they could be scary as we enter a later stage of the tournament. Royals now need to bounce back from 1-2 down.

Another upset live on stream was Shaman dumpstering Soul’s Lands 13-6. Soul’s Land with a rough drawing of The Neighbours in the second round seemingly hasn’t bounced back after their 13-0 loss and looked quite flat. On the duality of that Shaman now are electrified as they go 2-1.

An intense game with CYPHER trying to carry his team over the line ultimately was not enough as K10 go 3-0 and held off Rum Bumpers long enough to secure the 13-9 win with Rezst nailing down two in the final round to put them in a 3v1.

Unfortunately for TLR they were unable to best The Neighbours but my god they made them sweat. A very strong performance from the #4 seeded team to bring it as close as 10-10, but a key gun round lost at the very end gave the momentum to The Neighbours.

We now have two 3-0 top-seeded teams, K10 and The Neighbours.

ex-UKCSGO writer meffew playing for Tyreece Simpson

Reason Gaming secured their first win as they struggled in the second game due to the extended pause and lost their mentality as they reentered the server. Regardless, Reason defeated Antenna Man 13-7.

The Binmen’s screams ricochet around the LAN hall as The Bin Chaser outlast Spoons? 16-13.

In an unexpected upset Raptors EC looked like they held their own versus K10, but when they came up against MMS and co on Nuke, Anita Wax Wynn secured a 13-9 win prompted by a 1v2 from the one and only ghil.

And finally, Team Invictum win a very key game against Disco Diggers who are seeded one place lower than them. Invictum started the day rough with a 13-3 thrashing to Raptors EC, but will be looking to bounce back and enter pot 1.

Round 3 Group 1 + 2

 

Round 4

Interestingly we already have our first rematch as TLR who played flowstate in the opening round, will be repeating their endeavor. This time can flowstate do their name justice and continue from their 13-2 game versus Royals? Unfortunately, this was not the case. Flowstate made it more competitive but still lost to the hands of TLR.

But that doesn’t matter when we have The Binmen derby… and oh my god this game did not end.

Meanwhile, over at the Anita Wax Wynn camp, they are destroying everyone in their path on Nuke, and after a dominant 13-6 win over Invictum… even though MMS was calling ghil an idiot.

CYPHER questioning why he is at EPIC.LAN

Both Rum Bumpers and TLR made up for their defeats in the last round by beating Coalesce and flowstate respectively.

Unfortunately for Shaman, their high in the last round was squashed by Raptors EC 13-6

As we look towards our first King of The Hill game, one that could be worthy of the finals, we have The Neighbours setting up against K10, and wow they came prepared. With a clean sweep 13-3, Adam9130 led his team to victory, marking themselves as the first king.

Finally, after a year, Binmen International win 22-19 over The Bin Chasers. This game lasted for the whole of Round 5…

Round 4 Group 1 + 2

Round 5

As we are still waiting for The Binmen to finish their game we can take a look at how a team just got default hunted ON LAN.

As K10 was having some tech issues they couldn’t join the server versus Anita Max Wynn. However, the issues lasted for 45 minutes and because of the delays already, when Anita Max Wynn went to admins, the admins gave them the forfeit win. This LAN really is throwing everything at this event.

We had some more repeats as Coalesce looked to get vengeance on TLR. Coalesce had a slow start on their CT side of Nuke, but finding new energy they ended up stomping their way forward to a 13-9 victory, replicating what they did online on LAN.

A team that we haven’t mentioned much is K9. They have only lost to Coalesce and K10, but apart from that have been taking some pretty big names, and in this round knocking Disco Diggesr down a peg and securing themselves a playoff spot.

Moreover, after Royals decided to start banning Vertigo they have actually been winning. The retired boys went from 1-2 to now topping the group stages. This new form shows us that there are real chances for redemption if you have a slow start. Royals guarantee playoffs after their 13-7 win over Soul’s Land.

The Binmen game is still going and we are in our second overtime.

We then see both of the top two seeded teams really get tested. First The Neighbours face off against Raptors EC for a win to guarantee the UB and get put to the test as they edge it out 13-10. Next Rum Bumpers unexpectedly struggle 13-11 versus flowstate.

Round 5 Group 1 + 2

Round 6

Heading into Round 6 we see CYPHER face off against Smooya. One would expect this to be an intense close game but it really couldn’t the be opposite. The Neighbours are living up to their #1 seed and obliterated Rum Bumpers 13-5 on stream.

Anita Max Wynn has been on fire this event and has caught everyone by surprise. A mix that has stormed in and now will take another head, Coalesce. After being TLR dominantly you could imagine that momentum would be brought forward, but that was not the case. With MMS calling the squad to a 13-10 victory.

The comeback is on for Reason Gaming and Byfield

To guarantee the upper bracket we saw Royals complete the comeback from starting 1-2 down as they dispatched with Raptors EC. K10 bounced back after fixing their technical issues and exploded Team Invictum 13-1.

Shaman dug deep and won the war of attrition over Reason Gaming 19-15, whilst K9 continued their underdog run to playoffs after being seeded #15.

Moreover, Reason guarantees themselves in the tiebreaker and will have a hard game versus Raptors EC coming up.

Round 6 Group 1+2+3

Round 7

As mentioned before Reason has a big challenge ahead of them as they square up to RaptorsEC. Even though Byfield got four+ opening kills in the first half, they continuously squandered their 4v5s and got run over 13-1. It is never going to be easy when Midgard has 131 ADR AND igorek has 127.

Anita Max Wynn finally gets brought to justice as The Neighbours put them in their place, securing the first seed going into playoffs with a 13-2 win.

Anita Max Wynn, the people’s team

The spotlight has to be put on flowstate who have been playing incredible Counter-Strike and prove themselves once more as they deal a defying blow to Rum Bumpers with a 13-7 win. They had a last-minute pull-out a week before the event with Bish backing out and Sorex has taken this opportunity in his stride. Kica really putting all the haters to bed.

Unfortunately, Royals’ magical comeback does take a slight bump as they take Coalesce to all rounds but fall at the end 13-11.

Similar to Royals, Soul’s Lands came fourth last EPIC.LAN comeback from a 2-3 deficit and clinched one of the final spots away from Team Invictum 13-8.

Antenna Men give out another great surprise as inform K9 got bested 13-8, and as seeded #20 they punch about their weight and secure top 12.

K10 continued their dominance with a really important win over rivals TLR 13-10, not easy but still continued their supremacy.

Round 7, final chance for playoffs

Round 8 (Tiebreakers)

It is do or die for many teams, some are playing for seeding, some are playing for survival.

First, a team that was playing for seeding. Anita Max Wynn who had previously won a forfeit win over K10 was faced up with the challenge for real… they did not shy away.

K10 were out for revenge but had to battle their way back into overtime when 10-12 down. Unfortunately, Anita Max Wynn couldn’t sustain themselves in OT and K10 got their revenge, but not in a manner they would have wanted. Whatever ghil and co had for breakfast I need to know.

From 2-4 down BTEC NEDs complete the comeback and stamp themselves into the playoffs

And now for the final chance matches. Reason Gaming redeemed themselves by beating K9 in Double OT – 19-17 – to make playoffs. BTEC Neds went from 2-4 to make playoffs, skill checking Skill Checked who beat them in the opening round… Even though Walli ‘had no hands”.  Regardless, they beat their seeding as they were placed #17.

Katana Gaming knocked out Team Invictum who got seeded #10 after a 13-10 win. A really strong victory for Katana who one-upped BTEC Neds and went from #22 seeded to playoffs. Finally, Shaman Esports almost dropped the ball versus Tyreece Simpson but held onto their leader closing it out 13-10.

Round 8 – Seeding games and last chance qualifier games

Upper Bracket Quarter Finals

As we reached playoffs on day one, the final games it was already getting crazy late. The schedule alone was longer than normal, however, it does not account for a two-hour delay for the power going out and The Binmen’s triple OT game and server breaking to hold up the whole bracket.

Overall the teams that made the Upper bracket were by large the ones you would anticipate… Apart from one match.

Both teams that had been upsetting the ‘top dogs’ all days were facing off each other and the result was kind of shocking. Anita Max Wynn had spent the whole day dismantling actual teams and playing good Counter-Strike. However, it seems their biggest challenge comes from flowstate. Equally on a good streak, they started map one with a bang as they dominated 13-1. On map two, it was looking the exact same until the very end. Anita Max Wynn to their credit did mount a very sizable comeback on Anubis to force It to over time, but that almost made the loss more bitter to understand they could have taken it to a third. And in a strange turn of events flowstate – seeded #13 – has guaranteed top six at a minimum.

Now we turn to the teams we expected to be there. First up is The Neighbours who just looked untouchable today. The only team to not drop a single map in groups continued that theme versus Royals only losing 12 rounds across the two maps they played, ending day one flawlessly. Tomorrow the question is can they continue this form against the demon slayers of flowstate.

Karra ecstatic at beating TLR for the second time in one day

For the third time today, Coalesce played versus The Last Resort! Even though TLR started the interactions successfully, it all went downhill from there. The BO3 they played in playoffs was an absolute stomp, second map looked a little more respectful as they got seven rounds, – compared to there in map one – but it felt like Coalesce had their number at every turn. Wfn spoke to UKCSGO after and said: “If we had played like that all day we wouldn’t have lost a single game.” If they can continue that form tomorrow then we could possibly see the organisation win EPIC.LAN with three completely different lineups in three years.

The final game for the upper bracket was the closest. K10 v Rum Bumpers is the only game to go to three maps. Both teams played like how we would anticipate but unfortunately, Rum Bumpers were forced to make a crazy comeback on Inferno – the final map – but lost their groove at the very end, and thus will be forced to make a lower bracket run. Flowstate will be looking to get revenge on K10 who beat them in the opening round 13-10 and in round four 13-8.

Also, it’s good to note that half the upper bracket games ended after midnight, and the K10 v Rum Bumpers game was closer to ending at  1 am than midnight. Also add on the fact that K10, TLR, and some of The Neighbours players hadn’t really slept much because of the fire alarm that went off at 4:30 am in the premier inn. It has been a grueling day.

Upper Bracket Playoffs

 

Lower Bracket Quarter Finals

Something we mentioned in the intro is that teams could come back from any deficit, therefore we saw the lower bracket produce some honestly interesting surprises. You had naturally Raptors EC and Soul’s Land that you anticipated to make the upper bracket but failed to do so. Disco Diggers, Shaman Esports, and Reason Gaming are all among the names you imagined would make the lower bracket at a minimum. However, there are some names you never would have imagined.

Our first game showcases one team we have already highlighted that has exceeded their seeding, BTEC NEDs. Unfortunately their run ended here, but they put up a dam good fight. Soul’s Land had already started to find their footing towards the end of groups and carried that momentum as they clinched up a 2-0 against the Welsh 13-9 and 13-11. They will now play Rum Bumpers tomorrow In the Lower Quarter Finals.

Our next game show cases two teams that we anticipated to make it this far. Disco Diggers versus Reason Gaming, the retired versus the grinders. It was awesome seeing Reason back at EPIC.LAN with players like rezzed and Finchy who hadn’t played LAN since 2019 and 2018 respectively. This showcased an intense reverse sweep from Reason as they go onto the next round to play The Last Resort.

The peoples champion – Ghil

Our penultimate game to be played was a real shocker. Not even the lowest-seeded team to make playoffs, but Antenna Men who played in the ESL Premiership Autumn Finals 2023 playoffs return to the UK circuit. They managed to recreate their magic securing playoffs in Round 7 as they beat K9. Unfortunately for them, their epic journey ends here as Shaman Esports deals with them 13-9 and 13-11, going on to play Anita Max Wynn.

Our final game showcases the LOWEST-seeded team that qualified for playoffs. Katana Gaming placed #22. Katana kept on going back and forth in groups, winning one round, and losing the next. However, when it mattered the most they outlasted JTM Fan Club ranked #16 and Team Invictum seeded #10. They deserved to be here. However, dealt a bad hand with the highest-seeded team in the Lower Bracket, Raptors EC made short work of them, winning 13-3 and 13-5. They will go up against Royals tomorrow.

We have already mentioned JTM Fan Club and Team Invictum, two teams that were seeded to make playoffs and didn’t. There is one more team to add to that list. K9 was seeded #15 but narrowly missed out as they lost in a double OT in Round 8.

Lower Bracket Playoffs

Join us at 10 am for the start of the Lower Bracket in Kettering!

The post Day 1 of EPIC.LAN 41 wrapped up appeared first on UKCSGO.

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