A look back at the Insomnia i55 TF2 Tournament
The TF2 team was all set to attend, there were slight set backs with the omission of HYS (being replaced with myself WARHURYEAH) and the incredibly popular Russian Comrade ShaDowBurn, who was struck down by the might of the Home Office denying his Visa, however, fortune came our way as the ex-roamer for the NA team Ascent was still coming to LAN so he filled the vacant spot and brought some much needed insight into how the Americans would play.
Coming off from finishing runners up in the ETF2L season but with the two players missing who got them there the team wasn't feeling as confident as previous times, suffering from a bit of burn out from constantly scrimming every night. The team was having a break before LAN to settle any issues and fine tuning our tactics for the big event. Lastly on the Monday we all said our final "C U @ LAN"s and got ready.
The majority of us arrived on the Thursday to get ourselves ready and prepared for the days ahead, we got set up with our lovely 144hz monitors provided by our amazing sponsor iiyama and was just awaiting our PCs which were due to arrive the next day. All the players got introduced to each other, matching faces to voices etc. and with myself trying to not act like a dick in person as doing so would result in a physical confrontation which is something that I'm not particularly known for as I have the build of a wet noodle.
The only player that was missing was the infamous NiCO who was arriving from France with a friend, they had both somehow managed to get themselves lost near a Homebase in Coventry. Shortly thereafter the whole team was united together to try and make an impression on the TF2 scene.
NiCO - Scout
Herr_P - Scout
AMS - Pocket Soldier
Alfa - Roaming Soldier
WARHURYEAH - Demoman
Serotone - Medic
On Friday we received our awesome PCs from YoYoTech who really went above and beyond anything we ever thought we would get, the units were incredible and gave us a consistent 300+ FPS and with a game as poorly optimized as TF2 this was something that none of us were really used to. To put this in comparison none of the other TF2 organisations in attendance had anything close to what we had and it was greatly appreciated.
The games were due to kick off at 4PM GMT, it started with the invite group which had the best of the best the world has to offer. This was the day where everyone would be trying to get that #1 seed for the knockout stages and also to feel out the competition before the real deal began. The invite group was as follows:
- Ascent 3
- Danger Dogs by TF2Pickup.net 6
- froyotech 1
- nerdRage.tf2 4
- Reason Gaming 2
- The Last Resort 5
*Seedings are based on a pre lan survey.
The first game for us was against Danger Dogs, the crowd favourites as they are quite literally the underdogs, the game went as expected, a very quick 5-0. The format was kind to us as having a very easy game to begin with gave us momentum going forward to our next game, Reason Gaming.
Reason Gaming were the winners of the last ETF2L season, they had managed to defeat TLR in a convincing 2 map victory and claim 1st spot. LAN was a different thing altogether, this is the time when some players can really excel and come into their own or they can fall as limp as my gentleman sausage.
Luckily for us the latter would sum up Reasons first day performance and we took Gullywash 3-2, this victory against a team that was tipped to win it really gave us some momentum and started to really give us confidence going into the final games.
Our next game vs. Ascent was on Viaduct and it was a close one, after taking 2 rounds in a bo3 we started to get complacent and let Ascent get back into the game, the final round was pretty close but ultimately we came out victorious, at this point we had secured a top 3 seed, something that nobody ever thought was achievable.
The following 2 games were the hardest, we had to play Froyotech who were the previous champions at i52 and had been going completely undefeated in all major LAN titles for around 2 years, the odds were stacked against us. Needless to say we performed very well against them. The first mid fight vs. Froyo was theirs and the game was in a back and forth slugfest for 19 minutes with both teams trading the mid point several times. Only when the game was 19 minutes in did Froyo finally break the TLR last hold and finally cap a round.
Over the next few minutes TLR was pinning Froyo back to their last, putting more and more aggression as the time was running out, then, with the final push of the game and some clutch headshots by NiCO TLR were able to cap the last point and tie the game. The so called TLR Hype Train had now left the station (heh).
|The Last Resort||3||0||2||11||9|
The day had started very early in the morning especially for how late the games went on for the night before. Our first upper bracket game was vs. NerdRage a team we had drawn the night before and one that we frequently practised with before LAN. The first map was Gullywash which NerdRage proved too dominant on beating us 6-1 and taking the series to 1-0. The second map, sunshine which was their pick was a lot closer, however, after some incredibly good individual plays and surprise offclasses NerdRage were once again able to take the game from us 4-2 taking the series 2-0 and advancing to the upper bracket final vs. Froyotech.
Our next game was in the lower bracket vs. Ascent, a team we had previously beaten the night before. Their previous game didn't go so well as they managed to drop 2 rounds vs. a mix team of sorts, coupled with this they had swapped over their players with Ma3la taking the pocket role and Rando now moving to the roaming role. Our confidence was high as we felt like we could easily beat them over 2 maps...
Needless to say the results didn't go our way, Ascent took the first map Granary in normal time and with Badlands showcasing some dominant play from us, these were fruitless as I myself made 2 critical mistakes to allow them back into the game and to win the game through a Golden Cap.
After an incredibly good run on the first day and a plethora of new fans TLRs i55 run had come to a disappointing end. Going from an incredibly good high on the first day and falling flat on the second is a very bitter pill to swallow, overall I felt that I myself was too relaxed going into the Ascent game and were taking a bit too lightly thinking it would be an easy win.
Regardless, the team gained some new fans and with this being the first LAN for some of our players we certainly enjoyed ourselves.
I'd like to give one last shoutout to Yoyotech for providing us with some insane PCs to play on, giving Alfa a chair to use and iiyama for providing us with some awesome 144hz monitors. And let's not forget the rest of our partners i-rocks.com, NETGEAR, GUNNARS and BATTLETIGER.
Chris "WARHURYEAH" Parker