It was a familiar sight, 2ez5u the awe-inspiring team from De Montfort university had a chance at making a second CS:GO NUEL championship final in successive splits.
They met the formidable Loughborough team who have enjoyed an unbeaten run in this tournament including the 16-2 thrashing of Lincoln CS. What’s even more intimidating about them is that they claim to have no weak maps and they also flaunt a lethal entry fragger, ADD, who has a background in playing high-level Call of Duty. But as we saw last week, 2ez5u have a seemingly impermeable CT-side defence strategy, holding firm with a militant discipline that lower-bracket finalists Essex Blades’ bold site floods struggled to break.
Map 1 – Mirage
2ez5u took the first pistol round on their map pick of mirage. Jack was the main man from DMU in this round picking up two clean headshots to begin his team’s final with purpose.
2ez5u continued Jack’s explosive start into the second round, only dropping 1 man and getting the bomb down marking a very desirable start to the match.
In the fourth round, 2ez5u demonstrated a thorough blitzkrieg of the Loughborough defence on their force buy and Jack fully exploited Loughborough’s lack of head armour. He carried himself with unbridled confidence, barrelling down short and picking up three Loughborough men within 25 seconds before ending the round with his last on the B site.
After losing the first five rounds, Loughborough came alive, showing everyone why and how they made it to the final of the upper bracket. Facing a bewildering 2ez5u performance would have been enough to cripple the best of teams but they came out in the sixth round strong and fully bought-up. Willrus dominated mid, collecting two AWP kills on the surging 2ez5u riflers. Big M Yo fed off this, displaying an impressive fragging performance together with meowmix over the following three rounds.
2ez5u regained their supremacy on the map after a minor, mid-half hiccup after suffering four consecutive round losses. With a healthy economy and a clearly reorganised approach, Jack acted as his team’s powerhouse of an engine, driving them to six straight round wins with a flurry of frags to place Loughborough on the back foot.
Loughborough replied with a second half pistol round win, quashing DMU’s momentum, and naturally winning the following two rounds to bring the score to a slightly more comfortable deficit at 7-11. In the first gun round of the half, 2ez5u were back on form, making light work of the Loughborough side, only dropping two players. They swiftly dispatched the following rounds, winning their favoured map and hammering in the first of the nails in Loughborough’s coffin.
There were two key influencers on the outcome of this map. Obvious to anyone watching was Jack’s remarkably aggressive and effective T-side pushes to open up bomb sites which gave 2ez5u the freedom to explore the map and monopolise Loughborough’s defence. He carried this aggression and subsequent confidence through to the end, landing over thirty frags.
The second was Loughborough’s slow start to the game, dropping the opening five rounds and showing little control of the game, even on gun rounds. This wasn’t helped by Shiftea’s poor fragging efforts in the beginning, only getting his first kill in the eleventh round.
Map 2 – Cache
Clearly on a high and within touching distance of the grand final, 2ez5u started again on T-side, taking the fight to Loughborough with a quick purge of the B site. Two entry frags were made with no reply, resulting in a very predictable rotation from Loughborough and a valuable first round win. 2ez5u take the following two rounds but not with certainty. They only just managed to survive a nervous second round in which Big M Yo’s CZ-75 flank dealt a lot of damage onto the oblivious Leicester team.
At 7-0 2ez5u were starting to look too devastating for Loughborough who weren’t providing any answers for anything that that DMU were throwing at them. Jack’s heightened game sense compared to anyone else on the map was glaringly obvious and was proving to be a pivotal sway on how 2ez5u coordinate their attacks. His punishing entry frags were also paving the way for a victorious round before it’s over.
2ez5u saw the half out with little difficulty, dropping four rounds in total however the round wins for Loughborough were staggered which meant their economy was repeatedly reset, giving them little chance against a fully-bought 2ez5u side. Loughborough won the last two rounds of the first half and did so in style. A refreshing sight, they seemed to harness control of the map when they had full utility, blocking sneaky flanks and organising traps for lone 2ez5u players to good effect.
Loughborough marched out into the second half with the momentum they gained from their back-to-back round wins. Jack was taken down early and further frags were made to force control of the B site and it was held well. They took the following round however they lost on 2ez5u’s full eco in the third, handing them a resultant 14-6 score line which means realistically they couldn’t afford another loss if they wanted a chance at the third and final map in the series.
Looking motivated, almost as if the severity of their situation wasn’t already apparent to them, Loughborough began to ask questions of 2ez5u. Shattering their economy, they took five straight rounds from the game leaders and emergent favourites to win after their supremacy in the game. At 11-14, the match became tenser and the outcome more unknown but old habits die hard, Loughborough fell again to a DMU eco round, putting the game at match point.
After valiantly clinging on to one more round, Loughborough get knocked out and 2ez5u get another shot at overall glory, making their second grand final in succession. They were undoubtedly the deserving team based on the night’s performances, never playing as a losing team. Even when they were dropping consecutive rounds there was always the feeling that they were rebuilding to take the game on their terms, not giving into Loughborough pressure and needlessly forcing to clinch the win.
An MVP award would have to be awarded to Jack. His confidence with entry frags and overall impressive game sense shone throughout both maps and this undoubtedly provided the scaffolding with which 2ez5u used to build their win.
So that result secures 2ez5u’s spot in the grand final. This leaves the lower bracket decider between Derby and LUGES red, the winner of which will face LU:CS to determine the second grand finalist.
– Connor Jones