The MLG X Games are now over. The tournament is complete and the 8 teams are all on their way home. It was a great weekend, with some nail-biting matches and ridiculous clutches but one team prevailed; Team LDLC.
The first day was the group stages of the MLG X Games Invitational. It was a thriller and filled to the brim, with many intense matches between the best teams in the world of Counter-Strike. There were many upsets, and many of the top teams didn’t perform as well as expected, which caused for much drama within the community. At the end of the day, every team had won one, and lost one. CLG beat LDLC, Liquid beat CLG and LDLC beat Liquid. This is the Counter-Strike we have all come to know and love. Everyone was equal, and it was all still to play for going into Day Two; the final group matches and Semi-Finals.
Come 10:00am, spectators were pouring in to the arena, teams were in their booths, battling for their chance to stay in the competition. If you lost your game, it was a long trip home. If you won your game, you were through to the Semi-Finals. It was that simple. Just a few rounds into the first game of the day; Fnatic vs CLG it was clear FNATIC were on their ‘A’ game. There were no close games from this moment out. NIP, FNATIC, LDLC and Dignitas all stamped their authority on the tournament and progressed to the finals.
Group stages had finished, and the semi-finals commenced. The semi-finals started with Fnatic vs NiP. Fnatic was clearly the more favoured team, however NiP pulled through, showing their dominance once again, winning 16-14 on de_cache and 16-12 on de_mirage winning the series 2-1. Maikelele pulled out some insane quick peaks, giving his team the advantage on multiple occasions, alongside the rest of his team who all played their part in the win over the what was, number one team in the world. NiP continued on in the bracket, to the Gold Medal match where they would face the winner of LDLC or Dignitas.
Next up we had LDLC vs Dignitas; a much thought after game. The maps to be played were dust2, inferno and cache. It all began with a rather dominant CT side by LDLC, winning the first half 12:3, leaving Dignitas is the dust. Dignitas tried their best to come back into it, winning the pistol round, but the task was just too much for the danish side, and they lost the map 16:10.
Next up was inferno, which was about as back and forth as a game could get. Dignitas won the first half 8:7, but ended up coming out on top, forcing LDLC onto a force buy on Dignitas’ match point. Dignitas ended up winning the second side 8:7 as well, winning the map 16:14 overall. Dignitas’ cajunb was a huge part in their win. Overall he had 28 kills with only 18 deaths, and clutched up in more times than one.
The final and deciding map between these two European teams was cache. This game was quite the disappointment for the danes. Their previous hard work all went down the drain, with a terrible performance. LDLC won 16:5, and continued onto the Gold Medal finals, to play NiP.
Bronze Medal Match
The bronze medal match was between Fnatic and Dignitas. It all started very well for the danes. Starting on the Counter Terrorist side on de_nuke, however all seemed to be falling apart for them, allowing Fnatic to win 6 of the 15 rounds on the first half. However Dignitas made up for their fairly weak Counter Terrorist side, only allowing Fnatic to get one round win in the second half, before winning the map 16-7.
The final map of this bronze medal match would be on de_mirage. A map known by many to be one of Fnatic’s strongest, but once again Dignitas showed what they are against the previously number one team in the world, drawing the game 15:15, in what was a very close map and took it to overtime. In overtime it was obvious who wanted the win more, Fnatic didn’t seem their usual winning selfs, and lost overtime 4-2, giving Dignitas the Bronze Medal and their share of the $50,000 prize pool.
The final begun on dust2, one of LDLC’s more favoured maps losing their Counter Terrorist side 9-6, which is very unusual for them considering they are heavily renown for being a strong Counter Terrorist team. However they pulled it back in the second half, winning multiple straight rounds, closing out the game 16-11. Vincent ‘Happy’ Cervoni played a massive part in this map win, with an amazing 1.60 K/D ratio and 24 kills.
The second map was Inferno, a map LDLC call their best. NiP however started out fairly strong, winning the first 9 rounds on their Counter Terrorist side at half time. This however gave LDLC a big advantage, due to the map layout, making it quite heavily CT sided. This didn’t matter though, with Maikelele’s Streaky AWPing, and Friberg’s pin point accuracy they managed to push onto the bomb site more times than not, and push the map to overtime, where they would eventually take the map 19-17 over LDLC.
The tournament was then seen off by Cobblestone, a fairly new and rarely used map within the Counter-Strike scene. A map in which NiP famously won their last major on, a map that was only played once throughout the whole X Games tournament. NiP started on the Counter Terrorist side first, securing the pistol round and a further 7 rounds after that. The first half finished with LDLC only having 5 rounds to their name. It wasn’t looking great for the french side, however they pulled through, winning the ever so important pistol round, and stomped NiP out of the water in the whole of their Counter Terrorist side, winning 11 straight rounds, and not even allowing the infamous Ninjas in Pyjamas side to even get a round on the board. LDLC shut out the map 16-10 and were crowned the MLG X Games Aspen Gold Medal Champions, and took home their share of the $50,000 prize pool and the Gold Medals.
Our Player of the Tournament
Richard ‘shox’ Papillon