Day 1. Done. The initial flurry of fixtures for TakeTV's $5000 TaKeOver spectacular have now been consigned to the reruns archive. We've made it through one round of the Upper Bracket with the best-of-five double elimination format helping to ensure that upsets have been virtually non-existent so far.
Perhaps a day of stomps was to be expected in this early stage of the tournament in which REUNITED and EnVyUs were conspicuous by their absence. Although no opponent in the bracket was to be taken lightly, the fact that four games of the five played had a zero in the score line was illustrative of the skill gap.
That one game though! Damn. French hearts were fluttering as Melty eSports Club were stretched thin by Experiment in a back and forth series that would go the distance. Right from the first map Melty had to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, forced to go in dry on an unsuspecting opposition to secure a tight win (by a 10 second margin) on King's Row.
Melty looked shaken by the time the second map Route 66 was reaching its climax with the Frenchies attacking against a 6 minute time, but squandering chance after chance and gifting Mendo & Co vital seconds to regain their composure and a foothold in the series. The champions of Gamers Assembly were quick to rally on map three, Numbani, as Melty would steamroll through in 4 minutes – over 2 minutes faster than Experiment - with an uncontested Flippy wreaking havoc as Widowmaker.
That 2-1 Melty lead was to evaporate once again as Volskaya set the stage for the retort from map specialists, Experiment, who spat out a sub 3 minute time on their initial attack. The luxury of defending second would furnish them with ample opportunities to stall out the attack and tick their way down to a comfortable victory on map number four.
All tied up and the pieces were in position for an intense fifth and final map – arriving at Watchpoint: Gibraltar! Experiment would attack first to set an ambiguous 6 minute time which served only to clarify that it was still anyone's game. The prospects of Melty tumbling down to the lower bracket seemed to rest on a knife edge, but it was to be the blade work of DeGuN as Genji that swung things in their favour as he cut a swathe through McCree after McCree. With Experiment's cowboy hats and defences in tatters, the Gallic cyborg ninja would finally allow his teammates to breathe a collective sigh of relief as the payload reached its destination with a minute to spare. Mon dieu!
Picture credit: @imuhan_rs
Elsewhere the tournament a standard, no-frills approach and solid execution combined to leave few angles for SG-1 to exploit against Creation Esports. The Finns were reminded that two Lucios are better than one on Nepal. An on-form Widowmaker from LiNkzr saw his opposite number mafu throw in the towel and switch off to Winston on Gibraltar to no effect. Fan favourite fat man, Roadhog, was getting heavy usage from hymzi, but even that was not enough to crack Creation on Hollywood which passed off largely without incident.
Delayed due to the flight dodging antics of Zebbosai, the Graviton Surge vs Rogue game would be the last of the day. Whilst certainly a showcase for Rogue in which they were dictating the pace and nature of the game it was perhaps surprising that in a team of such raw fragging ability it was fulltime tank (part-time whipping boy) Reinforce who towered above the competition, even receiving the plaudits from his friendly tormentor James "2GD" Harding for his immaculate performances across Hollywood, Gibraltar and Lijiang Tower. Graviton Surge definitely proved they deserve to be there, but were outclassed on this occasion, struggling to counter some quirky / inspired picks and plays from Rogue.
The broadcast captured much more than great in-game moments like Mendokusaii unsuccessfully scrambling for his life on the treacherous cliffs of Route 66. Artistry from Bob "Nathanias" Ross, Rogue insights and theorycrafting from 2GD, and so many kebabs.
Luckily everyone involved should have plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere at the TaKeTV Studio in Krefeld (and recover) as Day 2 won't start until just after lunchtime.
Set your alarms for 14:30 CEST / 8:30AM EDT.