Wrapping Up MESF COD:MW EEG 3.0 - Black Claw Takes The Cup

At the time that this article is being written, the trophy has already been handed out, the MVP has been crowned, and losers are packing up and getting ready to head home. The thing is that no one expected these teams to look so dominant, especially against the high tier competition.

Black Claw Clawing Their Way to Finals

In group stages, we saw Black Claw play xLynx and Luxor, and they 2-0’d both of them like it was a walk in the park, which is definitely a far cry from how they looked in the seeding tournament, getting 3-0’d by Luxor in the first round. Right off the bat in the bracket stage, we saw Black Claw play FTW, which later turned out to be the grand finals matchup. Here, Black Claw outclassed FTW, even 6-0’ing them on the 2nd map, Search and Destroy on Gun Runner.

From here Black Claw moved up to play Electrify, who won the seeding tournament and that had been looking pretty good in the group stages. Black Claw managed to squeak out a win against Electrify in a match that went all five maps. Once I saw Black Claw beat Eternal, I knew that they had an excellent chance to make it all the way.

Next up in the semi-finals was ETERNAL, the team that had come in second in the seeding tournament. Black Claw put on a clinic however, and 3-0’d this team as well. It looked like they would easily stroll through the finals and come out on the other side champions.

FTW Finding the Wins

FTW had a much, much more gruelling time making it to the finals. After losing to Black Claw in the semi-finals, this sent them to the losers bracket where the only way they could possibly come back to the finals was if they won out. And they did.

First beating TSU in a 2-0 sweep, they made it through round 2. Stomping Obtained in Losers Round 3 kept them alive moving into Round 4, where they played Raven, eventually beating them. At this point in the tournament, they were forced to play Electrify, who after losing to Black Claw had come down to the losers bracket to make another attempt at the finals. I could not believe my eyes, but lo and behold I watched FTW beat Electrify in a match that ended up being 2-1.

After playing Electrify, it was not long until they had to play Eternal, who After losing to Black Claw was forced to play FTW to see who was going to go to the main stage to play in the Grand Finals. After coming off a relatively close victory against Electrify, I was sure that FTW was going to lose. But then they didn’t. In a best of five, FTW led the charge winning the match 3-0. They were going to get a chance to return to the finals and play Black Claw, who had sent them to the losers bracket in the first place.

The Comeback That Almost Was

Right off the bat in the finals, it is a Gun Runner Hardpoint. The first half had Black Claw and FTW evenly trading kills and keeping the game close. In the second half of the match, FTW walked away with it, eventually winning the map 156-250 I believe.

The second map was a Search and Destroy on Hackney Yard. FTW must have gotten flashbacks to playing Search and Destroy against Black Claw earlier. After FTW struggled to gain momentum and win multiple rounds in succession, Black Claw claimed the map for themselves in a score that ended in 6-2.

So now the series was tied at 1-1. It could have gone either way at that point, both teams are playing relatively well, but also are making some trivial mistakes. Map 4 took us to a Domination on Gun Runner where Black Claw eventually locked down spawns and kept FTW from taking the map.

Up until this point in the tournament, we had not seen a Hardpoint game played on Ramaza. This entire game was led by Black Claw, who was not letting up on FTW. Black Claw was doing everything right. They were rotating effectively when the hardpoint was about to change, making good use of the scrap time that they had in between hills. We get down to the wire, and I believe the score was roughly around 220-240, in Black Claw’s favour. The stone bridge Hardpoint was next, and easily enough, it falls under Black Claw’s control. The seconds count down, but just before Black Claw officially ends the game (I might add that the casters were already congratulating Black Claw on winning the whole tournament at this time), FTW sneaks on the objective to contest it and keep Black Claw from ending the game. TWO points before a win FTW manages to kill every last Black Claw member on the objective and then proceed to lock down the Hardpoint winning the game 248-250. Absolutely phenomenal gameplay by FTW in a comeback that I did not think that they had in them.

Now the series was tied 2-2, and we only had one map left for Black Claw to win. If you are unfamiliar with how tournaments like this work, the team that comes from the losers bracket has to win the FIRST bracket, which then ‘resets’ the bracket, where either team could at that point, win the tournament.

Map 5 takes us to Gun Runner for another Search and Destroy. If you were watching earlier, you know that Black Claw 6-0’d FTW in this exact same map in this exact same mode. Now, however, FTW had learned from a few of their mistakes and gave Black Claw a run for their money. After FTW took the first round, Black Claw would take the second. The same thing happened in the third and fourth round. In round 5 Black Claw managed to pull off the win, giving them the lead. FTW answered by taking the next two. Black Claw retaliated by taking the two after that. It was this constant back and forth slugfest that leaves you confused as to who is actually going to win. It was perfect.

Round 10, Championship point for Black Claw. If FTW loses this, all the hard work that they put in means nothing, and they walk away from the tournament. FTW actually pulls off this round evening up the score to 5-5. It was fantastic, it was electric, I had adrenaline going and I’m 5,000 miles away on a different continent.

Round 11 though, goes to Black Claw. After all of the struggle that FTW endured, they were cut short by one Search and Destroy round.

To the Victor the Spoils

Congratulations to Black Claw for taking home the trophy and winning EEG 3.0! They outplayed every opponent against them, and never lost a match. Congratulations to FTW, as well, for spitting in the face of adversity and clawing their way back to the finals from the losers bracket. FTW played the hell out of some of those games, but at the end of the finals, you could tell that they were worn out from having to perform at their highest level.

Excellent Tournament, thank you to EEG and all of the sponsors that funded this event. Yes, there were some issues but the organizers did a very good job at smoothing those over and keeping the tournament going. I can’t wait for EEG 4.0!

Article by Colton House - @coltiiii

Posted by Michele Schembri on 15th December 2019, 22:10

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