Our very own Shootmania team attended the XLParty LAN event which was held in Portugal’s capital Lisbon during the last weekend. With a top 3 finish in their eyes, they knew the task was not going to be easy. There were 13 other teams that were after the same goal – to be the best. The matches were played with double elimination bracket, which gives teams room for one mistake early, or allows a team with less luck in the bracket draws a second chance in the tournament.
Our Shootmania team in order from right to left: nicerdicer, thy and sens
First round – Time to get to work!
We were set against a local team PANTHERS in the first round of the tournament, and it was obvious that the support of the home fans could make it difficult for our team. However our team looked confident as they swept over the resistance with a straight 2-0 win. We left no room for speculations.
Second round – Fly in the ointment
The seeds were a bit unfortunate for our guys, and after checking the results we noticed that we are going to face off against Western Digital next. They are known to be an extremely strong team and facing them this early in the tournament was just unlucky. Despite of fighting hard for the victory, our guys found themselves falling a bit short in a 0-2 defeat. The first setback of the tournament for us saw our guys dropping down to the lower bracket painfully early. This meant that there was no room for mistakes or we would be out.
Round 3 – First round rematch!
After the unfortunate setback, we found ourselves facing a familiar face once again – PANTHERS. Going into the game we knew that now if ever, the home crowd would be absolutely on fire to root for the PANTHERS. They wanted to see as much local color as possible in the final games. We however once again gave no room for error as we quickly showed them who was the hunter and who was the cat. We climbed our way to victory, and to the fourth round.
Round 4 – Sweet meeting with our rivals
After hunting down the PANTHERS, we were set to face another potentially strong team – FM eSports. Team of our rivals is said to possess great future talent and potential to upset anyone on the right day. This time it wasn’t their day but ours, as we played calm, and overcame them to grab a comfortable 2-0 victory.
The concentration and focus were extreme during the lower bracket matches.
Round 5 – It can’t be, can it?
We were as confident as ever while looking like we were absolutely destroying everyone on our way towards the finals in the lower bracket. We weren’t expecting to meet Western Digital again until the lower bracket finals, but the tournament bracket showed it’s unpredictableness placing us against them earlier than we had expected. Long waiting time for the match was spent mostly on focusing and talking about different scenarios in game between the team members. The match itself started really late, in local time 2 AM. The timing of the match and the immense focus required made the game probably the hardest in the entire tournament for us, but the lads showed Western Digital that they weren’t to be stopped again as they for our great joy outplayed Western Digital to win 2-1. After the game the team travelled straight back to the hotel to get some well-deserved rest. The next lower bracket game was set to begin 11 AM, and every single minute of sleep was now needed.
Round 6 – On form, tired or not
Early morning the team made their way back to the event to face their French friends from team 287 in the semi-finals of the lower bracket. The atmosphere was excited as the first map began. The map was intense but we managed to take it and later the 2nd map to bring the match home 2-0, despite still feeling a bit drained due to the early wake up call.
Lower bracket final
In the lower bracket final we were set to face the last year’s XLParty winner and second seeded team of the tournament – Portuguese GrowUp Gaming. The home crowd disadvantage didn’t matter to us since we were used to it and nicer and the team had their game faces on as the game started. Despite hard resistance from our team, GrowUp Gaming managed to bring us down in the first map to make it 0-1 score line. However after the first intense map they needed a little break, which we used in our favor to turn the odds around. The lads communicated in order to reset the first map out of their minds, and when the next map was about to begin, they arrived to the battlefield stronger than ever. We were determined to win and managed to take next two maps in a row to take the match home after an incredible comeback. The score was 2-1 to Reason Gaming and finally after waiting so long, the spot in the grand final was ours!
After winning the lower bracket final with a great comeback, we felt confident to face team PyroGEN. To many, PyroGEN were a favorite team to win this event all along, and they played extremely convincingly leaving us no room to get our own play running. Big respect to PyroGEN. Their level of play was amazing both before and during the final. We went down 0-2 to PyroGEN in the end, but achieved loads of great experience. Despite of being knocked down in the early stages of the tournament, we got back up and came all the way back to the grand final. Our efforts were awarded with a 2nd place finish which came with a money prize of 750 euros. Someone has once said that the most important thing isn’t always the destination; it’s the journey that matters. And to describe this journey, it was spot on. Our journey was rocky at times, but one can look back to the great moments along it with proudness and hold their head high.
Our Shootmania squad posing at the podium after a long way in the lower bracket. Gentlemen, smiles are in order!
The rest of the day was pretty much spent having fun in the event and walking around the city while doing a bit of sightseeing. Great job by our lads overall, as they really showed the world what they are made of! Events like these create new social bonds and friends for many great moments to come, and as you can see from the photo below, the sportsmanship and general mood overall was skyhigh!
The Reason team posing in a group photo together with PyroGEN, GrowUp Gaming, 287 and one of the Shootmania admins.
We have got a little surprise for you as well. We have managed to snatch one of our Shootmania team’s players, Dmitriy “NicerDicer” Khoriev, to an interview about the experiences in Portugal!
OPZ: Did you feel confident that you could still make it to the grand final despite of dropping to the lower bracket so early?
NicerDicer: We were focused all the time. Dropping to the lower bracket made no difference to us. Of course it adds a bit more stress to you, since you can’t lose anymore if you are in the lower bracket. We were however still confident that we will make it to the grand final for sure.
OPZ: I saw you had somekind of lucky charms on the table while you were playing. What is their meaning?
nicerdicer’s famous lucky charms!
NicerDicer: Yes you saw right. Those things are really important for me. They help me to feel better mentally. Everything has it’s own small history, but it’s private.
OPZ: How was this event as an experience for you guys?
NicerDicer: We had played only 1 week together before the tournament, but our teamplay wasn’t bad in the end. There were some really insane matches that definitely made us stronger in terms of skill and mental part of gaming.
OPZ: I can believe that! Do you have any shoutouts?
NicerDicer: I want to give huge thanks to Reason Gaming and it’s sponsors SteelSeries UK, OnlineKeyStore, MOBAFIRE and EsportClothing for the great opportunity we got to take part in this event, and prove what we are capable of. Also shoutout to my parents and all the friends who are around supporting me all the time, it matters a lot.
OPZ: Thank you for the interview, and congratulations once more for the 2nd place finish in the tournament.
NicerDicer: Thank you! And thanks for the interview!