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SDG CSGO Teamcaptain Radical3iMoritz:

I guess the best place to start off is with how it ended: we placed 7/8th out of the 36 teams attending. All in all, it’s not a bad result, but we definitely wanted more out of our first event outside of the Benelux. The teams attending were simply top-notch quality, and it showed us that we have work to do if we want to compete with the sub-top of France.

Now, in a more chronological order, our adventure began with myself, Imprez and arcane gathering around Utrecht Central Station sometime Friday afternoon. CRUC1AL had already been picked up by Roland and Jardo (our manager and camera man respectively) and together we packed all of our belongings in the van we rented and headed towards France. On the way to Assevent, we picked up Dono and squeezed the seven of us (and all of our equipment) into the van.

After changing the radio station too many times, and a short stop at the McDonalds for some dinner, we had finally arrived in France at our destination: LanEX. We only got there at 1AM Saturday, so after setting up our stuff and familiarizing ourselves with the LAN we prepared to get a good night’s rest. Surprisingly, the sleeping area wasn’t secluded, there was simply some space left behind all the tables where we could lay down on mats/air-mattresses.

Le centre socio culturel d'Assevent

Our games were only meant to start at noon on Saturday, so we could at least get a good amount of sleep. We got up around 10:30 and headed to the nearby Carrefour for some drinks/food for the day. The start time was delayed to 13:00, since many teams hadn’t even arrived yet. We took our time warming up and preparing for the group stage, in which we were to face VIKINGS, MYWAY and Oxydiz eSports. 

Our first game was against MYWAY on de_dust2, which was delayed for a ridiculous amount of time. The issue was that the internet connection at the LAN was horrible, which meant the organisers had to limit each person’s internet connection to solely be able to play and visit the LanEX website for updates. As a result, one of our opponents was unable to update his CSGO, and this problem ended up delaying our match till roughly 14:30. So, after having waited for roughly one and a half hours, we finally got started with our first game of the LAN and we were off to a good start. We quickly took a 5-0 lead, with few casualties in each round, meaning our economy was strong. Unfortunately, one of our opponent’s computers was acting up, so we had to pause again for a short while to give them time to resolve the issue.

Lanex 19 - Waiting and waiting ... and waiting

That’s where the fun began, we didn’t have access to any rcon commands or an sm_admin panel, so all restarts, map changes, and configs had to be run by an admin through the console of the server. The downside hereof was not only a ridiculous delay each time we needed a round restart, but by accident one of the admins had changed the map to de_inferno in the middle of our pause. Now, considering we had a flourishing economy, I imagined the admins would allow us to keep our 12k + full buy per player. However, the rules dictate that under such circumstances the game is to be continued from 5-0, but each team starting with only 5k.

The total delay of this first match, coupled with the awkward rules and random map change threw us off our game, and the enemy came back to a 5-5 score because of this, only for us to pick it up again and finish our first half 10-5. The second half we proved to be the stronger team and we locked down our first victory of the LAN. The next game was up against VIKINGS, the only team in our group we were truly wary of, and rightfully so. VIKINGS claimed victory against us quite convincingly, which practically meant we had to win our last game against Oxydiz to place second in our group and continue into the Elite Bracket.

LanEX 2014 - ... and YES we got the match!

We succeeded in doing so by starting with a strong 12-3 half as Terrorists on de_nuke. VIKINGS ended first in our group, with us following closely behind them. This meant our next game would be against Infamous in the upper bracket. Unfortunately, there was still a dinner break and a deathmatch tournament (most kills wins, won by GGL’s madc – more on him later) until we could start this game, and due to the delays it would be a bo1 instead of bo3 starting at roughly 8PM. So far, we had only played 3 games in the first 8 hours of the LAN! Such a poor time schedule was unprecedented for me, and I was slightly disappointed by the organisation for it to come this far.

Either way, our game versus Infamous was to be played on de_inferno, a map we felt reasonably comfortable on. We started the CT side 10-5, but lost many rounds in the second half as T due to silly mistakes. The rounds we won, however, displayed some great team play from our side. The game was one of the most intense of the entire LAN in the end, as the score settled at 15-15 – overtime was next. 

After a couple of map changes, several minutes of waiting for the proper config (mr3, 16k), and several more for the final restart, we started the overtime. We couldn’t find any openings in Infamous’ defence, so the first round we were down to 30 seconds left on the clock and still a 5 on 5. CRUC1AL worked his magic, and eliminated four players in almost no time, netting us the round. This continued, and we managed to secure a 3-0 first half overtime starting as T, a great start. We only allowed them to grab one round when it was our turn to lock it down, and finished the match with a 19-16 win. Next up: Global Gaming League.

LanEx 2014 - Late at night

The next match was a bo3, to be played on de_inferno, then de_dust2 and de_cache as the final map if necessary. In a similar fashion to our game versus Infamous, the first map was a 15-15. Another overtime; could we repeat our previous performance? Alas, we couldn’t. GGL proved too strong and we lost the first map 16-19. The second map was more one-sided, with GGL beating us 16-9, resulting in an overall score of 2-0 for them and a ticket to the lower bracket for us. Props to GGL’s madc for some great awping against us, it wasn’t a surprise he won the deathmatch tournament.

Our first lower bracket opponent was the German freeagents, one of the only other foreign teams visiting France. The veto determined that we were to play de_mirage, the map we considered our best. Starting CT side we locked it down to 11-4, meaning not much work to do the second half. Our nonchalant approach allowed them to catch up in score, after which we picked up our game winning 16-12. 

This meant that Sunday morning awaited a match we had been looking forward to as it was a chance for revenge against the opponent that had defeated us twice at Frag-o-Matic 16.1: InetGamers. After sleeping through the sound of a person cutting down half a forest, we woke up and got ready to play. The map we would face each other on was de_inferno once again, a map that we had already played several times at LanEX and one we had played InetGamers on before at FoM. Unfortunately, as had happened at FoM, InetGamers proved to be too strong for us on this map. A mediocre 9-6 start as CT meant we had our work cut out for us, but the CT side defence was impenetrable. InetGamers took the game 16-9, knocking us out at the shared 7/8th place. They then met Infamous in the lower bracket final, where Infamous took the game. InetGamers ended 4th, and Infamous ended 3rd shortly thereafter.

LanEX 2014 - The Hall

In the end, the Counter Strike experience of the LAN was great and we definitely plan on coming back – Au revoir.

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