Day 1: The first few teams eliminated as Group A and B play wraps up
Our Chief Editor is in Jiaozhou this week covering the WESG APAC 2017 LAN Finals. Here are some observations and a summary of the day as viewed by me with input from Nikhil “nikH” Hathiramani.
Fire Dragoon Heads Out of the Event Early
It was a huge shock as Fire Dragoon, the 9th Ranked team by CSGO2ASIA, heads out of the event in the group stages. Fire Dragoon started out their opening match against MVP Project, losing 7-16. After barely winning against PortaL 19-17, they proceeded to lose to ORDER and Chosen5. With a score of 6-16 and 5-16 respectively. This performance by Fire Dragoon will definitely harm their ranking. Losing to a relatively unknown mix team, Chosen5, and the failure to get double digits against MVP and ex.Kings (ORDER). What can they take away from this event? With JYP attempting to revive their roster, there might be a chance that they will not be the best team domestically anymore.
Pakistan’s PortaL Shows Promise
The newly formed Portal from Pakistan is attending their first ever International LAN. While people did not expect them to even make a dent, and although they still bottomed their group, their matches were nothing short of surprising. Three out of four of their games they brought to overtime, they also had a slight lead advantage. This was most surprising to watch against teams like ORDER and Fire Dragoon, which consists of players with multiple International LAN experiences. Granted, ORDER is playing with two stand-ins. But even during a post conversation with the Australian’s they felt that Portal was going to snatch the game away, and it was a choke from the Pakistani’s. Perhaps it is a mental block or simply a lack of experience that cost them those crucial endgame rounds. I reckon with more exposure and opportunities to attend International LANs, and if they keep up their discipline, PortaL could do very well in the future.
Parallax Tops Group B
A pleasant surprise for New Zealand fans as Parallax qualifies for the World Finals in Changzhou, China. They started out the day with a tight win against Control, winning 22-19. Following that, they breezed past their matches against LEOPARD and Wolfhound with a score of 16-8 and 16-2 respectively. Their last match was against New4, one of the favorites to top this group. The game was close. However, they once again barely pulled away with a score of 22-19, topping group B and securing a slot to the World Finals and a direct seed into the quarterfinals. It will be interesting what they can do against the top teams in the tournament, I will definitely be keeping my eye on them.
MVP PK Cruises to the Quarterfinals
As expected, MVP PK had relatively little problems in their group. They started their run in the event with a win against Fire Dragoon, ranked #1 in Malaysia, with a nice score of 16-7. Before comfortably winning against Chosen5 and PortaL with scores of 16-10 and 16-3 respectively. They had a pretty close match against ORDER, however, they pulled away with a score of 16-13 to secure a clean 4-0 to top their group. With Gambit and Flash not attending this event, they have become the favorites to win this entire event. Will we see any teams potentially upsetting them? I will be looking at B.O.O.T – Dream[S]cape and SZ Absolute to do it.
The Matches in these Groups Were Stale
One can easily say that the competition in these two groups are comparatively easier than the competition in groups C and D. Groups A and B have only one top team in Asia while Groups C and D have two, along with some dark horse teams like SZ Absolute and NSPR. Keep in mind that Gambit and Flash Gaming were originally supposed to be playing in Groups C and D respectively. This is not to say that Parallax did not deserve the slot to the World Finals. However, I feel the outcome would have been different if the teams were seeded properly. I hope to see this in future tournaments by WESG.
What to expect for Day 2
The matches on Day 2 will definitely be more exciting and interesting. Group C, which is arguably the ‘Group of Death’, is the group to watch. There are many teams looking to prove that they can be the best in Asia. I am sure there will be a lot more interesting Counter-Strike to watch today.
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