The first weekend of 2014 also marked our first event of the New Year with UMG Philadelphia. Coming into this event, all eyes were on our squad as we had won 4 straight events. We were going for our 5th event win a row and this time with our new roster with the addition of Karma.
Picking up Karma was an easy decision. A lot of people don’t see what goes into the inner workings and behind-the-scenes of teams. But we had great confidence in the type of player Damon was; therefore it was an easy decision to pick him up. This event meant more than most events we’ve played at. It was important because all month we heard everyone say what they wanted to say about our decision to change players and as a team we wanted to prove everyone wrong.
Our very first match this weekend was against the open bracket team ADV, which we won 3-1. It was a fairly well-played series, but started the trend of us dropping a map whether it’s due to laziness or just a lack of focus. The next match in the tournament for the team was against FaZe. This was the most exciting match of the weekend as the first two maps were dominated by FaZe. We were quickly backed against the wall facing elimination into the losers bracket. We’d never discussed the possibility of losing though. After winning the Blitz map, we started to rally back and eventually tie the series at 2-2. Heading into the final map of the series, our mindset was insane, there was no possibility that we were losing that map. After a few close rounds, we came out victorious in the series 3-2.
The win over FaZe meant that we had secured our place into Championship Sunday; our mindset was set on winning again. It seems that every tournament we attend in the 2nd round, we are given this gauntlet in which after that close call “we wake up” and rally a win. We started off the day with a tough match against sB, which we won 3-1. The win moved us onto the winner finals vs. Curse LV. It was a rivals match as Curse LV had players that were the former teammates of Karma and were rivals for us as well. It was a great match that will have a lot of energy. After losing the first map, in fashion with the rest of the tournament, we won the next 3 maps and awaited a challenger in the Grand Finals.
tK was making an improbable run through the losers bracket to make it the Grand Finals. They were exactly the team we wanted. After the whole month of speculation, questions and comments this is the exact matchup we wanted to put everything to rest. tK came out strong on the 1st map and won and the room went nuts. We knew that this had been the theme throughout the weekend for us. They had been hot playing all day and weren’t fazed by the loss of map 1. In map 2 on Sovereign Search and Destroy, Karma and Crimsix made huge plays and gave us all the momentum and energy in the room. Map 3 is where we took control of the series as we were tied 1-1. Freight Blitz came up which is our strongest game mode. Teepee and ACHES shined to give us a 2-1 map lead and on the edge of winning another championship. Octane Domination was exactly that as Aches really took over the final half of that map sealing the win for us.
This tournament all in all was the best win we have had as a team. We wanted badly to win for Damon, the fans and ourselves to show that we’re still the dominant force in Call of Duty eSports and also that it was a full team effort in which everyone played an essential part in each series. Coming up we have the grind to the biggest event of the year for us, Call of Duty Championships, and this was a great way to start the push towards the big prize.