CEVO-P Preview: Pandemic and ptL
Insider eSports continues to evaluate the ten teams in CEVO-Professional this season. Today, JC Gaudet takes a look at both Pandemic and Pushing The Limits.
Joe “Nabore” Amorosa
Keith “Keithsu” Hullenaar
Justin “prank`” DeMara
Nicolas “Nicolas” Aubin
Jason “crzg” Pielemeier
I must start with this; I grew up in the esport world watching Nabore’s teams from Shockwave to Pandemic. Who doesn’t remember the epic match Shockwave vs. End Effect on mp_trainstation? Unfortunately for the now changed roster, another experienced team came on the CoD4 after winning everything Team Fortress 2 had to offer on his beginning: The Doctors or as you all know them now under the name Evil Geniuses. Event after event, EG always proved to be the number one team in North America, and the community gave Nabore’s team the number 2 spot at every event EG was participating in. Where am I going with all this? Even though they were underdogs when they flew on the other side of the Atlantic, they managed, not only to win the Antwerp Esports Festival, but also to finish 3rd in The Experience, collecting £21,675 for the team. They also brought home the silver medal for TGL-P Season 2, silver for CEVO-P Season 1 and the gold medal for CEVO-P Season 2. Considering only 3 to 5 teams could manage to win something in the CoD4 North American scene, I think Pandemic outplayed the expectations and did amazing with their great professionalism and teamwork.
Even though they achieved this much, I always felt Team Pandemic’s success wasn’t based on their skills but mostly on the outstanding communication and teamwork they had together, which no other teams of CoD4 in North America could say they had. It was a real shock to me when I saw the one week prepared Pandemic against a not-that-much prepared Team EG being outplayed several times. Even with the revolution Joe brought to mp_strike, I never felt Pandemic was as strong as EG could be. Now, having Skinz focusing on his WoTLK career (best of luck), Team Pandemic had to find the perfect fit for their last starting position available. I then realized that my good friend Nicolas was scriming with them. Please, I am French but not stupid, not everybody is given the chance to play or even ring for them, I knew something was up. I have been fighting to protect Nic’s case ever since he started his CoD2 2v2 HQ career with former teammate Simon “Elek” Thibeault, always saying the guy was one of the cleanest I ever saw even though I had Masteralex and Jest on him, Nightfall, Improv, 47 and a lot of people banning him on every IRC channel they could because they couldn’t trust a French Canadian to be that good. Former Pandemic’s all-star CoD2 sniper David “Rez” Rivard was amazingly surprised when he saw him play both on CoD2 and on CoD4 when he played with him for the last LAN ETS edition. When I learned that the little guy I picked up for FATE 2 years ago was given the opportunity to prove himself on Team Pandemic, my heart started beating really fast, Nicolas finally found a team for him after his success with the now deceased 50 Calibre Gaming.
Hopefully for Pandemic, this season will not include their Call of Duty 4 direct enemies. They have the opportunity to go through all their matches and be crowned champions. This is what we all hope for them. They will definitely be the team marked as favorites, which means the other nine teams will do everything they can to win against them. Even if the team’s chemistry is not at 100% yet because of their recent addition, they can only grow better each day which will make them the reference and the team to be reckoned with.
Pushing the Limits:
Charles “4r3al” Gagnon
Jean-Philippe “Vexen” Sirois
Miguel “kuN” Anderson
Martin “vaMp” St-Laurent
Frank "Joueflux" Lortie
Many of you are wondering the reason why this team is in CEVO-P after the mediocre performance they offered at PureLAN10 with a 9th place finish out of 11 teams. Their achievements aren’t as impressive as other teams in the professional division, however they won the Atlantic division in CAL-Open, managed to reach round 4 of CEVO-A playoffs after recording 7 victories over 5 losses in their regular season. Despite having amazing results, they worked their way in the CEVO Placement tourney with huge wins over MoB Deep and many others.
When I learned that their team captain Marco “Hatred” Thibeault won’t be able to connect for an undetermined time, I knew something was going to happen. Even with Miguel “kuN” Anderson carrying his team throughout the tournament, this team was left without their captain, and strat caller, a loss that no team would like to suffer. Most players on this team don’t have the required experience to be in CEVO-P, or what it used to be. Despite what they lack, this team tries puts their heart into every match to be able to come back after the huge disappointment which was the PureLAN10. They do acknowledge that this season won’t be easy for them and they will probably have to face the season four placement tourney yet again. Only challenged with CEVO-A teams last season, they are looking forward for the amazing amount of experience they will gain throughout this 16 match marathon.
Are we looking here at a team who could finish in the bottom of the standings? Probably but, to be safe, I wouldn’t bet on this, because some changes could happen sooner than later. This team now realizes what means being part of the top teams, and what it will take them to be able to beat the elite of the North-American community. With new faces in CEVO-P, they are only beginning to make a name for themselves. Fortunately for them, they are the absolute underdogs of this season, and hope to prove something.