E-sports Lone Star Clash
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
After last week’s success at MLG Dallas, the players of both Starcraft 2 and League of Legends hardly had a chance to catch their breath as they were whisked straight into the Lone Star Clash. This student organized event took place for the second time in Austin, Texas. The Texas e-Sports Association together with the Cyber Sports Network were thrilled to present thousands of viewers with two exciting tournaments that took place last weekend. Hosted by Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico and Anna Prosser, this promised to be a very interesting show for any e-sports fan!
Starcraft 2 and League of Legends are undoubtedly the most played e-sport titles in the states, and maybe even worldwide. The Texas e-Sports Association (TESPA) strives to bring competitive gamers together of all backgrounds to play, improve and compete. With the yearly Loner Star Clash TESPA has proven how far the industry has come that such a small group could garner so much attention. Once only offering Starcraft 2, they now have gamers playing competitively in all genres from professionals in big money tournaments to amateurs looking for weekend fun.
With a busy weekend behind us, it might have been a rough week for the Starcraft 2 players without any practice. Yet it still promised us a lot of good games since the player list was no joke. With big Korean names, the Americans and Europeans had a tough fight to prepare for last weekend. While the prize and venue wasn’t quite at large, this was a quick opportunity for the foreigner teams to lick their wounds and prove how quickly they could adapt to Korean tactics.
However out of the nine foreigners that were competing in the tournament only three of them managed to get into the second round without falling to the losers bracket. With Stephano, BabyKnight and NaNiwa in the second round, Axslav, QXC, Ret, Hawk, ThorZain, Sheth and Tod eyed each other nervously as double elimination loomed over their heads in the losers bracket. No matter the outcome, it was unavoidable that half of the foreigners were set to be eliminated in just two rounds.
Unfortunately both BabyKnight and NaNiwa fell to the losers brackets in the second round which gave the foreigners little to no hope to reach one of the top three spots at this university tournament. This was a proven fact when Koreans dropped down to the losers bracket and eliminated these two, leaving Stephano the last man standing. With some big names like Bomber, Violet, GanZi and a fan favorite CranK left, the French zerg from Evil Geniuses had his work cut out for him. The feared ‘Evil Geniuses Curse’ held no sway over Stephano as he crushed Ganzi in the next round 2-0. The fan favorite CranK chilled the blood as he looked unwavered by Stephano’s win streak thus far. However Stephano played like a man possessed as he dispatched even CranK to emerge in the winners bracket finals. Hopes betrayed the fans that the foreigners still had a chance to win the title. But this would be a tough challenge for the French zerg.
The other finalist was the feared Bomber who has been a very strong Korean for years now with many titles behind his back which are won mainly in the foreigner tournaments. Since Stephano came from the winners bracket completely undefeated into the finals he only had to win one of the series, starting with a best of five. The first series proved to be a tough challenge against the feared Korean terran Bomber. Unfortunately in this nail biting series Stephano fell short one game and lost the first series 2 to 3 to Bomber. Everything was now on the line as Stephano and Bomber entered into a best of three series for the championship.
Stephano had to upgrade his play to overcome this strong Korean opponent. Where many had fallen, one rose above the curse of Curse to claim an uncommonly seen foreigner championship. With a tight series 2 to 1 for Stephano, he took home the golden medal worth $7,500. Bomber the Korean Terran showed some really strong games but unfortunately fell short in the second series, nevertheless taking home $4,000.
League of Legends
Just like the Starcraft 2 players, both Curse and CLG.EU had a tough job ahead of them with the lack of practice because of MLG Dallas last week. Since League of Legends is a team game and the games usually take longer than the average Starcraft 2 game, only four teams were invited for the League of Legends tournament. It technically was the first game CLG.EU played together in a month since they played with a substitute last week and because of that were unsure how well they would do it in this tournament. Besides Curse Gaming they also had to face Team Fear and the previously parted Orbit Gaming’s roster that bared the name of Reddit Nation.
With such a small tournament it meant that the first match would be a huge key towards winning it all. Both the fan favorites Curse Gaming and CLG.EU showed that they were too strong for both Team FeaR and Reddit Nation and managed to advance to the half finals to face each other before the Grand final. This meant for both the teams that got kicked into the losers bracket that they had to ‘do or die’. Unfortunately FeaR Gaming fell short against the Reddit Nation and lost 2-0 to achieve the fourth place at the Lone Star Clash, taking home a small prize $1,500. In the meanwhile both the fan favorites clashed against each other to fight for a Grand Final spot. Unfortunately Curse didn’t manage to win any of the typical CLG.EU ‘dragging to lategame’ games and fell to the Losers Bracket to face the Reddit Nation who were less than a doormat against this experience team. This is where they unleashed their true power and showed Reddit Nation the door to take home $2000.
This meant Curse had to face the feared CLG.EU team again which they previously fell to. The Grand Finals were played in a best of five series giving Curse Gaming a little more room to breath unlike their previous series. Starting out with a strong showing, Curse Gaming looked like they had woken from the dead. They came strong in the second match as well but CLG.EU's honed patience in past losing matches shown through as they recovered to pull a win in the late game. CLG.EU won the third as well and were well on the way to the championship. However Curse saw to it that this would go to the full five games. CLG.EU in the end was simply too consistent and outplayed Curse in the final match, taking home their prize of $7,500. Curse had to settle for a mere $4,000.