Boring CS Tournament
In CS we had mibr, predicted to come first, demolishing all before them. They romped through group play practically untouched, dropping just 20 rounds across three games. The play-offs were equally farcical, as the Brazilians cut through Gravitas and MoB like a hot knife through butter. The final was more of a contest, but only because cogu's team took their foot off the pedal. With a 12-3 half time score, the result was never seriously in doubt.
Compare that to the WoW tournament running alongside it and the contrast is like night and day. The favourites (Fnatic) went out in the relegation phase, in a tightly-contested 2-3 game against Gravitas. The other game in relegation also ended 3-2, by the way.
The newcomers' flash
Trade Chat All Stars, a completely new team narrowly scraped through the first stage. They were then sent straight to the lower bracket by GotGame East in yet another 2-3 defeat. But the newcomers went on to see off veteran teams such as Evil Geniuses and Gravitas Gaming on their way to the final and earn a chance at redemption.
The WoW final was everything that the CS final was not. It was close, tense and exciting. With TCAS having to win two best-of-five series, it was an uphill struggle for the EM virgins. But a 3-0 whitewash in the first set threw the form book out of the window and it was Happyminti's team who were feeling the pinch.
But the first set wasn't without incident. With cross-kill after cross-kill, the second game featured one of the most nerve-wracking situations in WoW's short history. TCAS's mage was left in a one-on-one with Happyminti, the Rogue of GotGame East. Both players were painfully cautious but eventually it was the GG player who opened up and, as is so often the case, paid for his eagerness. TCAS took the win and a 2-0 lead that GG were unable to recuperate.
The second set was much closer. TCAS took the lead on map one, but GG came back to level the score. In typical penalty shootout style, the teams traded points but with a best-of-five format, the winner of the first map was always in the ascendancy. TCAS had claimed victory from the lower bracket in a nail-biting 3-2 victory.
Now I'll grant you that WoW still has a long way to go to be perfect. The spectator mode is still difficult to watch, and without the good work of Zalmah and 2GD I would be tempted to side with those who say WoW doesn't belong with CS and WC3. However, two things WoW clearly doesn't lack are excitement and passion. These are features that any sport needs and WoW proved this weekend that is has them, and in abundance too.
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