Last week the playoffs of the ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League kicked off with the semi finals. In our first match Senpai played against EnRo GRIFFINS and after three maps the Allstars Cup 2014 winner lost with 2:1. The first map looked promising as they won with 9:4 on Desert Camp, however the second map was a complete opposite. EnRo GRIFFINS stepped up and didn't lose a single round on Peacehawk. Then it went to the decider map Missile, where the map was closer again, but in the end EnRo GRIFFINS managed to defeat Senpai with 9:5.
The second semi final between Team Upside Down and PENTA Sports took three maps as well and the decider was again Missle. On Satellite Team Upside Down showed a good performance and won with 9:7, however on Power Station they lost with 9:7 against PENTA Sports and in the third and last map PENTA Sports was stronger and managed to win 9:4.
We liked the pro league a lot so far , especially since we did not expect such an outcome for us. We lost our second groupstage match versus InflameGaming in a way it should not have happened, but after all , it was really good that it happened. We changed a lot of things, tried to go into detail about strats , what worked and what needs to be improved and especially tried to work more as a team. Three important wins in a row after that were the result and the key that opened the door for the playoffs for our team.
The semi finals were pretty intense and allthough it did not really matter who we had to face, senpai was maybe the one we wanted to play the least, due to their playstyle which sometimes used to look kind of unstructured but usually with maximum of success. The game itself was hard as expected, we lost our first map, which was their mappick and got straight away under high pressure. However we tried to stay calm and focus on our game and did a clean 9:0 on them on our mappick. the deciding map started with a lost kniferound which can have a huge effect on the map missile, since it is a pretty defensed based map. So starting as attack we did really good and went 5:3 as attack and then took it home as defense ending with a 9:5 victory.
For the finals and with PENTA as our contendor we get the best team overall as the opponent and take the role as underdogs. However we expect some interesting and intense matches and hope that we can manage to win the EPL at the end.
And this is what our second team PENTA Sports have to say about the ESL Pro League and what will happen on Gamescom.
I think EPL system is good, and that fact that everyone had to play everyone makes it less random, however, playoffs seemed a bit random ,single bo3, it can go either way. Winner bracket and loser bracket in playoff would definitely fix this problem.
Coming into semi finals, we knew that it is going to be very hard, playing againts Team Upside Down, a team that has already been to lan, when not many people expected them to be there last season during Allstars. Before the matches, we tried to study them, and we've tried to eliminate maps where shooting matters more then actual strategy. The bo3 we opened good at the beginning of Satelite, but as soon as we swapped to attack, ideas we had in mind didnt work and we played too defensive which cost us map number 1. In the next 2 maps we felt pretty confident, but still, entering a 2nd map with lose on 1st map, adds additional pressure, so after 5 rounds we were 1:4 down on Power Station attack, which is never a good thing. Somehow we managed to pull 3 rounds on attack, and we knew that our defence is very good on this map, so we ended up closing the map 9:7. As soon as we won map Power station, we were really happy, becouse we knew we are definitely stronger the Team Upside Down on Missle. Even though we started attack, which is a harder side on Missle, we managed to make it 4:4, and swap to defence, which resulted in fairy easy map win for us.
Our opponent in Grand finals is EnRo GRIFFINS, which we know a lot about, since they were our practise partner during most of EPL, and we have played most games with them, then with any other team. We have underestimated them once, during Euro Series Summer 2014, but now we know what they are capable off, so we will try not to make the same mistake again.
May the better team win
We are really looking forward to see EnRo GRIFFINS and PENTA Sports play on the big stage at gamescom and we wish both teams good luck and may the better team take the 22,101 EUR prize money for the first place!