Last weekend, over May 27th and 28th, Masterminds competed against three of the top Overwatch teams in Australia, for a shot at the ESL Season 1 2017 Championship. After weeks of preparation, they were ready to show everyone what they could do. Their competition was Athletico Camo, 4Legs and Plot 1, all three had also shown they were there for a reason.
The first game of the day was Athetico Camo v Plot 1. It was a strong game to start the day on, with Athetico reverse sweeping Plot 1, taking the win 3 – 2.
Next up was Masterminds v 4Legs, but due to some last minute complications, one of our core players, CantuS, was unable to make the event. This lead to Project subbing in to cover him. The boys still looked confident however, and when asked about their feelings going into the match, this is what they had to say:
Taki- “Yeah, feeling confident, why not?”
There were a few caveats though, Taki and KS1 both were mindful of 4Legs’ Tounge, and HooWoo also answered that Dorado was the map that they least wanted to play on. Asking project on his thoughts about subbing for CantuS, he had this to say:
Project – “Pretty good, a bit nervous. Big shoes to fill, but I’m going to try my best.”
— ESL Australia (@ESLAustralia) May 28, 2017
It became clear quite quickly that Masterminds were having issues getting into stride in the first game of the series, losing 2 – 1 on temple of Anubis. 4Legs continued their dominance over a team that was struggling to find a place for Project to fill, having him and other members switching between multiple characters. During game 2 on Nepal, there were a couple of close rounds, however they were eventually beaten 3 – 0.
Going into game three on Volskaya Industries, things weren’t looking good, with Masterminds being two down on the series. With CantuS being away, the usual PharMercy comp with Nectar was unavailable to them. Nothing else seemed to be working however, so they took a risk, and put their other core support player, Taki on Mercy. Even though the individual strength of our players was strong, in the end, the very rehearsed team composition of 4Legs won out, with them taking the series against us 3 – 0
Masterminds took the loss admirably, and said that they had still had fun playing.
Taki – “We don’t take the losses personally, we just like to get up there and have some fun.”
Day one ended with Athletico beating 4Legs 3 – 0, immediately securing their spot in the grand finals.
— ESL Australia (@ESLAustralia) May 30, 2017
Day two started off with a refreshed Masterminds playing against Plot 1 in the bottom bracket. Both teams seemed ready to fight, as it was still possible for either one of these teams to take 1st. It would be a big ask though, as they would have to win every game on the day. Game one on Nepal was a smooth 3 – 0 win for the boys, who now seemed like an almost different team, with Project finding a place within the comp.
Game two was an extremely close match on Dorado, going into overtime, despite it being Masterminds’ least favoured map. They fought gallantly, being able to bring back the PharMercy, however an unexpected clutch play from Hus on Widowmaker secured game two for Plot 1.
Game three on Lijang Tower was another nail-biting game with both teams playing their hardest. After taking the first two rounds, Plot 1 almost took it back, winning round three and four. However the boys rallied and took the final round, setting the score 2 – 1 in the series.
The fourth and final game of the series against Plot 1 was on King’s Row. It was another very close match, with Masterminds attacking first. From the beginning of the game they showed their dominance securing check-point one and two quickly. The real fight was for the end point, leading to beautiful play from Nectar, deflecting the enemy Zarya’s ultimate. In the end though Masterminds held Plot 1 spectacularly during their attack, with Plot not managing to get the first check-point, thus securing the series 3 – 1
During the post match interview Taki had this to say:
Tai – “We didn’t take it [yesterday’s loss] too hard. Today’s victory was good for us. [Last night] We watched the VOD’s and talked strategies.’
We asked Nectar about his thoughts to the upcoming rematch with 4Legs:
Nectar – “We versed them yesterday, we know they’re going to play 3 DPS. Not much else to say.”
And play 3 DPS 4Legs certainly did, playing strong with their usual team composition. Despite knowing this though the battle was very uphill for Masterminds as the sheer amount of cohesion that the opposition had was just too much. There was some last minute brilliance from the boys on game three, getting Nectar to switch to Mei, in order to counter 4Legs, after losing the first two games in their series. It was too little too late though and 4Legs won, placing Masterminds 3rd overall in the event.
After the game I asked Nectar for some insight to the Mei decision.
Nectar – “Nothing else was working. Mei was a good counter to what they were doing. Counter to Winston and Genji.”
The next two series of the day were close between Athletico Camo and 4Legs, with Athletico ultimately claiming 1st place and the title of ESL Season 1 2017 Champions.
We are so proud of our players, and how the performed, despite the complications during the event. We’d like to thank them, and all of the people that supported them, and we look forward to competing in the future.