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SDG at LanEX 20 Player Arne FmZArne:

Not very long after we decided to attend our first French LAN-event together, we got approached by SD-Gaming with an amazing offer. We all agreed that it was an offer we could not refuse and were soon playing under the SDG banner. Even though it was our first non-Benelux event with this line-up, we felt pretty good about our chances at the LAN as we had already played and beaten most of the attending teams.

In this blog, I'll tell about how our weekend went, what we did and how we all felt about it afterwards.

Niko and I are the only Belgian players in the team and because we are the ones living closest to the LAN, it was decided we would all gather up in Antwerp and then travel to LanEX in France, Assevent together. It took a while due to the regular traffic jam in Antwerp but eventually our teammates arrived. After squeezing everything into the van and getting everyone a seat, it was time to leave and start our journey to Assevent.

On the road to LanExperience, France


We spent the trip watching CSGO-movies, discussing tactics and trying not to laugh about Chris's stupid jokes. It was already pretty late when we arrived but still we decided to install our gear and check if everything was working fine. The venue was absolutely amazing. The LAN consisted exclusively of CS:GO teams, meaning everyone there was attending as a CSGO player. It was not crowded at all and gave us that professional impression you don't get at LANs in the Benelux. After a couple of hours of deathmatching, we decided to hit the bed and were brought to the hotel that SD-Gaming was able to book for us.

Morning came fast and after a nice shower and some breakfast, we headed towards the venue to officially play our first match on a French LAN.  The groups were kind of a mystery to us as we had only done research on the better teams and didn't really know what to expect from the lesser ones. Our first match was against Team ProXima on de_train. The match was a walkover with a 16-04 scoreline in our favor and we now felt a little bit more comfortable going into the next matches.

Next up was VITAL on de_dust2 who we managed to beat 16 to 8, followed by another 16 to 4 victory against NoNeed on de_inferno. Our next opponent was a strong one. I had heard from people at the LAN that they had put up some great results before against some of the better teams in France. We would be playing Team JNJOY who had also won all their groupmatches and in an even easier fashion than us.

The map that was set for this match was de_overpass. Not our most practiced or most comfortable map but we felt confident and very motivated to take the win in order to end first in our group. After losing the knife round and being forced to start on T-side, we found ourselves being down 0 to 8. We were able to take away their momentum with a brilliant 4k by Chr1Zz and finished the side at 5-10. It wasn't the worst half of all time but our confidence had sure taken a beating. We started the CT-half out strong and managed to lock down the A-bombsite numerous rounds in a row, winning us the game with 16 rounds to their 11.

LanExperience, France - Have a break

We were really happy with placing first, because it meant we would not be facing any other team that had won their group aswell. We had some time to hang out, talk to the other players, grab some food and most importantly, discuss our strategy for the upcoming match. This is when we got the bad news.

There had been some huge delays while making the brackets and LanEx had to make adjustments to be able to play out all the games on time. All bracket-matches would be played in a BO1-format, meaning there would only be played 1 map per match. This was terrible news as it could easily throw you into the Lowerbracket by having just one bad game. The brackets were finally ready and we were surprised when learning we had to face Brussel Guardians.

LanEx 20 - and again a serious challenge!

We didn't really understand how they could have ended 2nd in their group as they were handed the number 3 seed by Vakarm. We agreed that it should not matter who our opponent was, because if we wanted to win the tournament, we would also have to beat Guardians. After talking to Awokkk from BG, we agreed on playing de_mirage, a map that both of us are very good on. We once again lost the knife round, forcing us to start off on the Terrorist-side.

Even though I managed to 1v2-clutch the pistolround, we went on a big losing streak and ended the half with 4 rounds to their 11. We started the second half with a very easy pistolround-win and managed to win 8 rounds in a row thanks to an amazingly well-played 1v3-clutch by v1N. We still don't know what happened next as we for some reason decided to completely change our aggressive playstyle and gave away a game that should have easily been ours. We lost our first bracket-match 14 to 16.

SDG battling at LanExperience 20

We talked it out and even though we were really disappointed, we realized it was a loss against a team that was one of the top contenders to win the tournament. We were kicked to the Lowerbracket but still believed we could climb our way back. Next up was MINLATE, an upcoming team at the sub-top of France. We were playing cache, a map we feel we are really good on. We finally managed to win a knife round, meaning we could choose to start on CT-side. But yet again, we failed to bring home the first round of the map. Chr1Zz had some TeamSpeak-issues and was forced to tab out in the middle of the round while still being alive. Of course we couldn't ask for a restart and just decided to keep on playing.

We still managed to win the half 9 to 6 which is not too bad considering we gave up a good 3 rounds including the eco's we lost after the incident in the pistolround. Our T-side had been lacking the whole tournament due to what I think were confidence issues. We were too afraid to commit like we did online and we did not execute or even choose to execute the tactics that we practiced. We lost the game 13 to 16 and were officially out of the tournament. We could not believe it. We had such high hopes and placed 16th out of 40 teams which is terrible for a team with our capabilities.

LanEX 20 - After the battle was lost

We went outside to cool off and get some cigarettes. After packing our bags, we headed straight to the hotel and had a long talk with the whole team and our manager Peter. We talked about what went wrong, why it went wrong and how we are going to fix it. I believe we learned a lot that weekend. We learned more by talking in that lobby than we did by playing and practicing all those weeks before the tournament. Our individual skills were never the problem. The confidence in our actions were lacking and that is what cost us both those games. We are never going to be the team we believe we can be if we limit ourselves by playing differently at international events. We know that now and can assure that next time, we will be more prepared than ever.

I would like to conclude by saying it has been an extremely fruitful event for us and it has made us a lot stronger as a group. I had an amazing time with all 4 of my teammates, our managers Peter, Carla, Paul and our Cameraman/Driver Jardo. I want to thank SD-Gaming for the absolutely amazing support they have provided us with all weekend long and I hope we can make you guys proud in the future.

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