AIC 2014 Qualifiers Recap
Teams, players, and sponsors all showed their interest and passion for Alliance of Valiant Arms during the AiC Qualifier Weekend. AiC spurred much competition within the A.V.A community for many weeks, which brought dozens of intense and heart pounding matches throughout the qualifiers. The best teams from Europe, and North America competed in their respective qualifiers on June 14th. Those who could place Top 4 were then seeded into the 8-team AiC Playoff Qualifier on June 15th. The best games A.V.A has ever seen took place, while two teams earned their rights for a fully paid trip to compete in Taiwan for the main AiC event.
Viewers, and teams partook in the excitement to see which teams could grab that trip to Taiwan, and the qualifier prizes. Sponsors Razer, and Aeria Games both supported the event with a large selection of prizes. Those coming first or second could look forward to a Razer Kraken Headset, 6.5k AP, and 5 in-game weapons each. Those in third had the potential to win a Razer Destructor Mousepad, while those who placed fourth would bear the Razer Messenger Bag. Much of the A.V.A community applauded these prizes, and were grateful by tweeting to Razer's official twitter.
All matches were caught live by CGO Media, with casting from Stoner and Ink. VoDs, and other highlights have been made available to relive the action or to catch up on any missed games. Social media support came from Rush-Zone, plenty of Facebook groups,SnowShovelAVA, KimpahAVA, and the official A.V.A FB page! A joint community effort saw the AiC Qualifier Weekend to new heights.
One of the few European teams contending to be named 'fourth best in EU' took their opportunity to showcase their skill over the AiC Qualifier Weekend. OneH1T opened early with several dominating performances against teams Coisasempenall, MalaFide, and TeamHappy. 3 straight wins led them to the waiting goliath Crackheads. Getting knocked to the Losers Bracket did not phase OneH1T as they trumped Defaced to acquire a top 4 seed for the AiC Playoff Qualifier.
Jack in the Box (PENTA eSports)
Newly formed team Jack in the Box, now PENTA eSports, had been circulating the ESL Monthly Cup circuit shortly before AiC was announced. Their goal was simple, take some of the best old and historic players and attempt a shot at the AiC Qualifiers. Such a plan was apparently crazy enough to work as Jack in the Box trounced teams iLLeGal, and Sinister. However, a relatively quick 2-1 from Semper Fidelity sent them to the Losers Bracket. The team rallied together, beat Magna Carta 2-0, took their Top 4 placing, and set their eyes on the AiC Playoff Qualifier.
Top 2 European team, Semper Fidelity was on everyone's list to make it to the AiC Playoff Qualifier. The Winners Bracket of the EU Qualifier presented minimal challenge, with Semper Fidelity dropping only one map to Jack in the Box. Their journey through the qualifier was fast, and uncontested.
The team everyone had already signed off on to go to Taiwan had to also trek through the Winners Bracket. Demolishing every team, and not dropping a map at all, Crackheads secured their Top 4 placing for the AiC Playoff Qualifier.
Community described 'rag-tag' team Curse took up the call for AiC 2014. IeSF 2013 Canadian player Myth took charge with a full Canadian team in the AiC NA Qualifier. Having not participated in any ESL Monthly Cup, the predictions for Curse were all over the place. Reality struck with their first game against Monomaniac, dropping Curse 2-0 into the Losers Bracket. After losing their first round game, Curse took their revenge on Innocence, and Protocol. Two straight wins led them to Artifex, for the fourth place match. Curse no longer had a full team, and had to forfeit to Artifex. However, Curse had luck on their side as two teams in their qualifier were disqualified, which allowed Curse a spot in the AiC Playoff Qualifier.
One of the oldest established teams within A.V.A had no thoughts of not participating in AiC 2014. Their formidable lineup consisted of players who have played together for many years, and in many events. As NA favourites, Artifex took to dealing with the Winners Bracket by having a forfeit win first. From there, they faced MonoManiac, who preceeded to win 2-0. Artifex needing to win just one game for a shot at the AiC Playoff Qualifier, faced Curse. Artifex won from a forfeit win and moved on to day 2.
The NA equavilent of Jack in the Box, MonoManiac, aimed for a shot in the AiC Qualifiers. Notable player ABK, and long time competitor Stabilized lined the roster, leading to favourable predictions that headed their way. These predictions came true once MonoManiac began playing, defeating Curse (2-0), knocking down superstar team Please (2-1), and beating the most favourable opponent Artifex (2-0). Three straight wins opened the door for MonoManiac's chance in the AiC Playoff Qualifier.
Communities across A.V.A blew their tops when the lineup for Please was revealed. Professional shooter player Skadoodle had returned on the same roster as the ever famous SnowShovel. Right off the bat, a North American favourite was created, to much entertainment of the community. IeSF 2013 Canadian players EP1C and Zinova were also present, to finish off the golden trim of the roster. A hard fought battle led to an early defeat for Please. Experience, and individual skill seemed to make a comeback as Please tore through Jack in the Box.NA. Please qualified to the AiC Playoff Qualifier after a forfeit win, and a disqualification victory.
Day 2 arrived, and all teams seemed ready to go. For Curse, and OneH1T, the day came too quick, as they were quickly removed from the event by losing twice in a row. NA teams MonoManiac, and Artifex lost their first games against Semper Fidelity, and Please. Yet, they were each able to move on by defeating their Round 1 LB opponents. Crackheads, and Jack in the Box also won their initial Round 1 WB matches.
Heading into Round 2 of the AiC Playoff Qualifier Semper Fidelity clashed with Jack in the Box to win 2-0. European favourite Crackheads met up with the hyped up team of Please, and laid the path for Please in the Losers Bracket after a highly entertaining 2-0. There, Please knocked out favourite NA team Monomaniac. Please became the last NA team standing after Jack in the Box defeated Artifex 2-1.
LB Semi-Finals - Please vs Jack in the Box
A late stage battle between an NA and EU team sparked large interest within A.V.A. Jack in the Box, now a definitive top 3 EU team, and Please, the last hope for NA, both had their last chance to qualify for a trip to Taiwan. Please started off strong, with a superb 7-1 victory over Jack in the Box on Hammer Blow. Zinova went monstrous with a 16-5 score. Jack in the Box were unable to break through Please's stellar defensive play. A grim outlook for Jack in the Box as not a single player went positive.
A favourite map pick, Cannon, came out from Jack in the Box. Rallying back from defeat, Jack in the Box took a 5-0 lead over Please. Losing the final round on offense, Jack in the Box won the next round on defense to put the score at 6-1. Please started to make a comeback, getting all the way up to 5 rounds before Jack in the Box was able to close it out. A third map was required to break this tied series!
With defeat not being an option Jack in the Box reached another 5-1 score before the switch. Right after the switch, Please was only able to win one round before Jack in the Box knocked the NA favourites out of contention for AiC's Taiwan!
WB Finals - Crackheads vs Semper Fidelity
The top two European teams had made it to the Winners Bracket Final, to no ones surprise. The tensions rose as it dawned on the players, and spectators that the winner of this series would secure their trip to Taiwan in July. Viewer numbers peaked, and a crowd was found cheering on these two frantic teams and players.
Map 1 was Black Scent, a map Crackheads has had notable difficulties with. Semper Fidelity pulled an early lead, 4-1, and then 6-3. Crackheads were against the ropes in just the first map. Out of nowhere Crackheads starts mounting a comeback, eventually tying it to 6-6. The final round saw an excellent push into 2 by Semper Fidelity. However, Crackheads had a quick rotate, and overwhelmed the offensive hold on 2. In an exciting 1vs3, Taz was able to net two kills, but was unable to lock down MrGold. MrGold clutching the 1vs1, defused the bomb to win the map 7-6.
India was the second map choice, where round after round went back and forth. Scores tied at 2-2, 4-4, and once again, 6-6. The thirteenth round was upon both teams, and Crackheads tried for an aggressive 1 push after two of their players had been taken down at mid and 2. Zet0r from Semper Fidelity locked the site down with a fantastic double kill. Kwelie found himself in a 1vs2 against Taz, and Zet0r. A trusy M4A1, and knowing the patterns of Zet0r allowed Kwelie to take him out sitting inside site 1. A 1vs1 was drawn as Kwelie planted the bomb. With great timing Kwelie peaked around Site 1 pillar to catch Taz on a bad angle. Kwelie had clutched to win the second map for Crackheads 7-6.
Through the banning phase, the third map was decided as Cannon. A brutal back and forth yet again formed, with a grueling amount of rounds and strategy employed by each team. For the final time, a 6-6 tie came between these teams. Crackheads came out ahead to secure the third map, the series, and their trip to Taiwan for AiC Taiwan 2014 with a third 7-6 score.
LB Finals - Semper Fidelity vs Jack in the Box
One spot for AiC Taiwan 2014 was left for either Semper Fidelity or Jack in the Box to claim. Semper Fidelity had just finished three maps in a row 6-7 to Crackheads, and were itching to demolish Jack in the Box. Meanwhile, Jack in the Box had fought through the Losers Bracket to battle out their final chance at AiC. Semper Fidelity had already beat Jack in the Box twice, once in the EU Qualifier, and once in the Playoff Qualifier, with not much effort. The final match of the AiC Qualifier Weekend had begun!
A regular pattern in the AiC Playoff Qualifier, Black Scent was chosen as the first map. To much surprise, Jack in the Box took a storming lead of 6-3, after a back and forth score of 3-3. In the final round, DirtyBugger was able to clutch it out to win with a final score of 7-3. Ciboulette had an amazing performance, going 14-6.
Cannon was the second map, and Semper Fidelity had something to say about Jack in the Box's first map win. Semper Fidelity took the lead, and then finished off the map 7-5, without much worry of a comeback! ViTsi stepped up for his team with a final score of 12-7.
In this Bo5, a third map needed to be played, but a fourth map was guaranteed. The play order was selected as India, Airplane, and then Dual Sight.
India, a favourite map of Europeans, was a shoe in to be an explosive match. Right off the bat the score tied to a 3-3 to prompt the switch. However, Semper Fidelity were just on a roll, and too much at home on India, to win the second half 4-1, for a final score of 7-4. Jack in the Box looked unprepared and out-classed by Semper Fidelity on India.
Fourth map finally came around, with Semper Fidelity only one map win away from taking the final slot to Taiwan. Yet, the viewers were in for another strenous experience, as another close map came to fruition. Semper Fidelity managed to get to 5 rounds, and was only two round wins away from Taiwan. However, Jack in the Box fought back on offense, and tied it 5-5. In one of the most exciting final four rounds, Jack in the Box emerged victiorious as kRoon went on a frag rampage.
Semper Fidelity, and Jack in the Box were both on the final map, and were equally one map win from a fully paid trip to Taiwan. Semper Fidelity was eager to get underway after having just seen the trip flash before their eyes in 2 short rounds. The final and fifth map was Dual Site, one of the most balanced maps in A.V.A. The round score tied at 1-1, 2-2, but Jack in the Box was able to pull ahead 5-2. Appearing as the side switch effected Jack in the Box's performance, Semper Fidelity brought it back to a score of 5-4. Yet, Jack in the Box was able to win the very next round, and sit at 6-4, with just one round to win for a trip to Taiwan. In one of the most intense, and heart stopping moments in A.V.A history, the final game, final map of a Bo5, and the final thirteenth round dawned on Semper Fidelity and Jack in the Box. Just one win, one round, separated one of these two teams from a trip to Taiwan.
Jack in the Box wased no time, and took an aggressive push to site 1. kRoon and Dirtybugger were taken down early by Lettu and a grim cloud grew over Jack in the Box as their play slowed down. In the moment, Ciboulette pushed top 1, and took Taz out, while Gravity eliminated Lettu. Site 1 control was taken, and Semper Fidelity tried for a disorganized but quick take back. Vitsi was no match for Gravity, and all that remained was Zet0r with one HP. Great prefire enabled Jack in the Box to secure the round, and win 7-6. The intensity was over, and Jack in the Box had secured the final slot to take part in the AiC Taiwan 2014 main event!
The final tally has Crackheads, and Jack in the Box (PENTA eSports) heading to Taiwan to compete in the AiC 2014 main event from July 15th to July 20th. Each team will enjoy their Razer Kraken headsets from Razer, a fully paid trip to Taiwan by Aeria Games, and a chance to compete against the other 7 best international teams in Alliance of Valiant Arms! Watch the main AiC stream, or catch the english live stream on CGO Media!