First up was the Counter-Strike: Source final, which was contested between UQ-Gaming
. Both teams played to a very high standard and are arguably the best two UK-only teams at the moment. UQ-Gaming
are a multigaming clan run by an ex-4Kings player and they've recently scored a sponsorship deal with our friends at Gladiator Computers
The match, which had a £200 first prize up for grabs, was very closely fought on the popular de_dust2
. It finished 16-3 to ZBoards
but there were quite a few rounds that went down to 1 vs 1 situations. Unfortunately for UQ
, those rounds all seemed to go ZBoards'
way. It looked as if ZBoards
had spent a good deal longer playing de_dust2
, as their strats seemed to be very well practised.
A little over an hour later, we returned to watch the Counter-Strike 1.6 finale which was contested between Level??
on the very tactical de_cpl_mill
map that gained its popularity in America's CAL league along with the CPL. The Counter-Strike 1.6 final attracted a much larger crowd than the Source final, and after watching a few rounds we could understand why.
The following for Counter-Strike 1.6 is still very strong, and the standard is much higher over a wider range of clans. The quality of team work, tactics and individual play from both clans was simply breathtaking and the game was great to watch. There were several occasions where a single player cleaned up with multiple frags in a single burst of fire. Some of the plays that were pulled off were pretty fantastic to someone who has been out of the CS scene for a number of years now.
As with the Source final, there was a £200 prize for winning the match which finally went to Level??
after a strong Counter-Terrorist performance where they won the majority of the 15 rounds played. CTU
started off well as Counter-Terrorists after the half way point was reached, but they found that the deficit was too much to overcome and went down 16-7 in the 23rd round.
The last final of the day was the Battlefield 2 final, which had a massive £1000 cash pot for winning the tournament. Again, the game was played to a very high standard and the nature of Battlefield makes it a little bit harder to follow than the likes of Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source.
However, that is not to say that there was a lack of tactical play, it just happens to be spread over a wider area with fewer focal points. This was probably the most interesting final of the lot, simply because there was so much at stake.
The game was an 8 vs. 8 battle fought over two halves on the fushe_pass
map between FTA-A
. It proved to live up to the standards of the earlier finals and the atmosphere in the public viewing area was absolutely stunning.
The first half of the match was very close, with MPUK
winning by a mere 10 tickets. The lead swapped hands on several occasions with MPUK
taking a strong lead with about 90 seconds remaining. At this point, FTA-A
put an immense amount of pressure on MPUK
and were very close to winning the half - it was great entertainment.
Unfortunately, the second half wasn't quite as close as the first half, with MPUK
exposing some of FTA-A
's weaknesses meaning that the half ended in a land slide victory for MPUK
. It was total annihalation for FTA-A
, with MPUK
winning the half by a massive 165 tickets.
Many of the gamers we spoke to were really pleased with the way that the event was put together and organised. There were many prizes up for grabs, dominos pizza delivered to your seat and plenty of beer flowing all day long. Events like this really remind many gamers why they really do love gaming. I'm seriously considering trying to find the time to attend as a player next time around, because - from my outside perspective - it looks like a weekend tremendous fun, beer and computer gaming all mixed in to one.
i26 will be held on the 11th-13th November, head over to Multiplay to book your tickets - don't miss out!