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Var1ables US Var1ables
Name: Forrest Campbell
Age: 25
Location: California
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Counter-Strike Shakedown #9

Feature -- Forrest "var1ables" Campbell releases #9 of his Counter Strike 1.6 Shakedown.  This series will look at happenings in eSports the past week and his opinion on what's going on.

Note:  None of this is the opinion Insider eSports or it’s sponsor(s). This is just my no-named wannabe-journalist opinion.

CS team kicked off compLexity

CompLexity drop their counter-strike team after a series of things that showed that the team, overall, was not professional enough to continue to represent the organization and it’s sponsors. This comes after a series of controversies - coL dropping Scott “evolution” Cavellero to pick up what many considered(read: me that no named journalist mentioned in the note) the weakest player in their former roster Drew “irukandji” Timmerman after two of it’s players threatened to retire if he was not added to the roster, not placing top two at ESEAI despite it’s strong roster chock full of talent, and now having it’s players not attend an event after one of it’s players missed a flight going to an event.

dBoorn - one of the three players that didn’t make it too the tournaments - decided to give a public apology when they went to PoV. Irukandji had less than great things to say about coL, while admitting that “it’s toms’ [thomz] and derek’s fault” that this whole thing is happening but goes onto say that “there’s alot of things behind the scene with coL.....[but] there’s a reason that the EG players left right after the CGS” and that the way that the organization handled the whole situation was less than professionally done - echoing the comments made by fRoD before dreamhack summer in 2009.

Col’s next top roster

Now it’s time for me to baselessly pull names out of a hat in hopes of getting a few of them right when coL assembles their new roster. I’m going to assume that they go to classic compLexity style and pull together a roster from the players at other orgs and make a super team which is - hopefully - fight Loaded and EG as the top three teams in north America.

First Scott “evolution” Cavellero from Loaded as he always seems willing to be part of any roster that compLexity has to offer, and has been very successful with the org and as stated before in shakedown #7, he has a good relationship with the organization. Next is the french superstar David "Xp3" Garrido as he is a good solid player and a decent in game leader, and he seems to have real chemistry with Cavellero. Next i would pick up Ronald “Rambo” Kim as, despite being rusty and having lost some of his raw aim that he had in his prime, he has real international experience and is the only player in the scene to have been part of the back2back WCG titles from 2005 and 2006 - and his abilities as a leader and his strength of his ingame intelligence will never be overshadowed - and he has also played for compLexity from 2007-2008 right before the CGS collapsed. Get Kevin “Flowsick” Mendez from Ruins and maybe his teammate Dan “mehLer” Mehler for the fragging you will need to compete on the international level. However, mehLer’s inconsistent performance may be a problem for the roster so if they don’t take him get j “br00dex” g(sorry guy i don’t know your name as you don’t have it anywhere) from PLP or his team mate Andy "icy" Keefe as both have great talent, but br00dex would be better as he’s raw skill is simply sick.

That's assuming they keep it American, which I really hope they do. However they may simply move to a European based squad, maybe one out of Sweden or Germany which could really compete with the rest of the world with out all the who-ha of sending to Sweden or another European country for practice before events like EG does.

Fnatic’s on again off again EPS off season

On Tuesday it was revealed that Fnatic, a consistent EPS contender, would not compete due to their busy schedule in the second half of the year. Tournaments like the second Arbalet Cup Stockholm, which was announced to be held two times a year one in spring one in fall, Dream hack winter, ESL IEM European championship WEM, BEAT IT! and many other events being held in the second half of the year makes it seem hard for them to fit in the prestigious online league into their schedule. It was also compounded by the fact that Fnatic’s team was DDoS’D in some of the most important parts of the tournament by an unknown source causing them them to decide to not participate in season III.

However on Thursday it was announced that they would be participating after talking to ESL’s officials for the upcoming EPS Nordic season.  Maybe a new packet protection service from ESL will be used or maybe it was HLTV.org’s HLTVs that were causing the lag in the server, which seems odd as they have almost no lag at much bigger events like the IEM finals.

SEC Recap

Samsung European Championship, the European counter-part of the WCG pan-American championship,  was held this weekend and it went basically exactly as planned. In group stage the usual suspects, SK-gaming, alternate, Frag eXecutor, Online Kingdom, eSuba, Power-Gaming, mTw and Millenium all made it the bracket stage without any real challenge from their Baltic and eastern European counterparts.

The brackets were went similarly with SK-gaming beating eSuba, Power beating Millenium, Online Kingdom beating Alternate - the only big upset of the first round - and mTw beating The elder gods(in place of FX), all 2 - 0 for the winning team. The second round went similarly with Sk-gaming beating PwR gaming 2 - 0 and Online Kingdom being rolled by mTw 2 -  0.  The finals were a little more exciting with the Dream Hack summer champions, mTw, being beaten by Sk-gaming - who barely is playing with a ringer - 2 - 0.

MSi BEAT IT! finals

Now this event was very different, and actually interesting. However it wasn’t an extremely exciting event. Lions and EG beat each other up, and lions beat them handily 16 - 8, and one of the host teams - Evil Geniuses  - narrowly didn’t make it out as Korean team WeMade FOX - who has had a very rough time in the recent tournaments they went to - almost made it out in their stead.The other three teams in group A were not exactly impressive and all had losing records.Tyloo and Fnatic made it out of their group and only UMX seemed to stand a chance against them with the three other east Asian teams still not up to par to compete with the big boys in international counter-strike.

The Bracket stage was more exciting as it force two Swedish teams, the up and coming Lions and the ever strong Fnatic, playing each other and fnatic swept the up and comer 2 - 0, 16 - 8 on dust2 and 16 - 8 again on train, showing that fnatic is still the best team in Sweden and probably the best team in the western world. On the other side of the bracket EG played Tyloo and narrowly beat them 2 - 1, 16 - 13 on inferno before losing on nuke after having a strong CT side 16 - 12. The deciding map, Tuscan, showed that EG could compete and won the map 16 - 13 pushing themselves into the finals to play fellow MSi team Fnatic.

The finals EG came off to a strong start winning the first map in a very contested 16 - 13 dust2 match. The next map was nuke and EG came off to a strong star winning the first four rounds before narrowly losing round #5 after Danny “fRoD” Montaner could not defuse with only a smidgen of time left on the bomb ticker and they then lost the next round as they had to save making the score 4 - 2. They began to trade rounds while still maintaining their two round lead on fnatic up to the tenth round making it 6 - 4 before winning five straight guaranteeing their lead 11 - 4 to close out the half.

The second half began with trading rounds making it 13 - 6 four rounds in. After looking a heart breaking round where Tomi “lurppis” Kovenan racked up a 3K but could not close out the last two kills to win the round EG was forced to save giving up another round making it 13 - 9 going into the seventh round. Then a round trade occurred making it 14 - 10 with eight rounds left in regulation play. Fnatic then put their try pants on and pulled out two rounds quickly making it 14 - 12 EG but EG made it have to go to OT if fnatic wanted to win with one round making it 15 - 12. Fnatic, namely Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund wanted this map so they got three more making it 15 - 15 sending it to OT.

In OT Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund clutched the first round before fnatic lost the next two making it 2 - 1 EG. EG would need a repeat performance if they would win the map and the whole tournament and it started out much like the first, with fnatic clutching out the first round and won the next one, guaranteeing that they’d have to go to double OT if they lost he final, and they would need it as fnatic won the last round.

EG got off to a quick start and won two rounds T side of double OT before fnatic could take the last one. Fnatic won three straight to take the map sending it to the third and final map.

The third map - fRoD’s home - train would decide the series. EG started off with a strong start winning 4 - 0 before losing their first round in the fifth round making it 4 -1 . EG would come back winning 7  more rounds with the help of Danny “fRoD” Montaner’s awp and strong rifle play from Tyler “storm” Wood and Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert. Fnatic would finally respond, but the score was already 11 - 3. EG won the final round making the first half score 12 - 3 going into the their T side.

Fnatic then took the pistol rounds 12  - 7 before EG could answer back winning three straight 15 - 8. EG won their sixteenth round to win the first international event with their sponsor Evil Geniuses, as well as the first real international tournament win they’ve had in over 4 years.

EG’s Slow, methodical, man-advantage and structured style shows great promise - and when it worked they seemed dominating and always had the advantage on their size - but like everything, it had some flaws in flow and  still needs to have some kinks smoothed out, but overall it seemed that when they won,the won large, and when they lost, they lost extremely close rounds. Fnatic is still as strong as overall one of the strongest teams in the world and have extremely strong play, but EG was just better this event.

WCG USA nationals sadface

I was planning on going to WCG nationals but something bad happened - it’s called life. A few things that happened: First i forgot to book a hotel room, making the room way more than my broke college student budget could allow, second i couldn’t find someone who would let me bum a room off them for the weekend and third my ride went up to Seattle to see a brother who had medical issues.

Fourth I have major school assignments/readings/tests/essays/studying to do so i can’t go even if I had a ride and a room due to my obligation to school coming first. So :(.  I plan on having a room or bumming a room off of someone at the grand finals so I'll be there at least - even if I don’t have any real way to get there, I'll find one.

Facebook plug:
If you like this stuff, I'd recommend you become a fan at:
http://www.facebook.com/peawok#!/pages/Insider-eSports/107478633984

Seriously, it’ll help us get recognition and some ever important marketing power. You’d be surprised how little things will help grow the appeal to potential sponsors and help us get the money to go to both national and  international events.

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