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The first match in week 4 of the CS:GO Spring Championship and the first game of the knock-out stages, was 2ez5u (De Montfort University) versus Essex Blades. 

Going into this matchup, the favourites here were undoubtedly 2ez5u who reached the grand final of the previous split only to fall at the last hurdle, taking second place overall. Since their previous disappointment the all-star computer science team from Leicester have changed two players and have been looking strong in the qualifying stages this time around, despite losing to Queen Mary University of London last week.

It’s quite a different story when it comes to the Essex boys, coming into this split they were a brand new team having never competed in a NUEL tournament which presented both its advantages and disadvantages. They have no experience in this environment however they can enjoy knowing that the teams they could face have no knowledge of how they play.

Essex’s IGL (in-game leader), Wave, is the team captain for Odin eSports which means he could definitely be a key player for them in this match. Not known for a tactical playstyle, Essex may have expected to find trouble with 2ez5u’s passive defence play and fierce pedigree in this tournament. The first map was Cache, a 2ez5u favourite.

Map 1 – Cache

In the first round 2ez5u showed everyone why they progressed so far in the previous split. Pridzee acted as his team’s Kevlar wall against the explosive Essex B site rush, picking off four of the Blades with his USP-S before having his ace stolen to cap off a bewildering first pistol round of the game. Despite being obliterated from the start, Essex remained cool in a situation that would have rattled even the best of teams, taking the second round on the force and the following three rounds after with an impressive rifling show, shattering the favourites’ economy.

The composed De Montfort boys swiftly took the sixth round after Jack’s quick squeaky deagle rush finds an unlikely entry, giving his team the impetus to take the round and a more comfortable economy. 2ez5u started to show their famed prowess towards end of the first half, shutting down every push and rush that Essex were throwing at them.

Their passive defence held strong against Essex’s less than convincing attack approach, playing very little of the map thus gaining no map control. Essex’s attacks were at times effective as their tactic of flooding sites created an imbalance of personnel which allowed them to take and plant on the site frequently. Nevertheless, their play looked juvenile and their attempts at holding the site were foiled by 2ez5u’s strong and coordinated retakes. The half finishes 10-5 to 2ez5u.

2ez5u took their unforgiving performance into the next pistol round, dropping only one player and getting the bomb down and kick-starting a comfortable second half economy. Essex had no answers to the terrorists’ tumultuous attacking play, losing every round of the second half and suffering a heavy 16-5 defeat. The second map was Dust 2, a map on which neither team is comfortable. Even the clinical De Montfort haven’t practised on it as a team and Essex have a history of banning it early.

Map 2 – Dust 2

2ez5u started the game on the Counter-Terrorist side with a bold two-man push up through mid to challenge the A long-bound Blades. Jack managed to pick off Wave with a clean P2000 headshot, but he and Juicy eventually fell leaving their team weak on both bomb sites with no mid control. Essex do pick up the pistol round but an impressive force buy sees the two early deaths of the previous round come together to deliver a striking amount of damage onto them. Jack’s scout picks off one from x-box and gathers a myriad of information before being gunned down from short. Juicy came in with the P250 to clean up all but one of the stragglers on short and their efforts contribute to the sixteenth round win.

The CT’s continued on to take the game into its first gun round at 3-1 to 2ez5u. Essex responded on the first gun round with another one of their convincing bombsite takes on A, managing to hold firm to take the round. Essex’s site takes were effective because they were fast, calculated and well-drilled. They didn’t give the talented DMU team time to respond, a perfect counter to their deathly quick rotations. Once DMU started to rebuild a comfortable economy, they again showed what they are capable of, shutting Essex down professionally and consistently, round after round. As this yo-yo half of unpredictable Counter-Strike drew to a close, Essex enjoyed a flurry of wins after destroying De Montfort’s precious economy. The half finished 8-7 for DMU, leaving the game wide-open.

We began the second half with a clean pistol round from 2ez5u. Jack delivering a talismanic performance, picking up two significant glock headshots in mid on the rotating Essex men. Jack continued his aggressive performance in the following four rounds with the P90 that was proving to be lethal for him and his playstyle. He guided his team to a flawless opening 6 rounds of the second half.

Essex were looking weak and lost for solutions to DMU’s seasoned and orchestrated performance. 2ez5u eventually close out the match with another resounding scoreline of 16-8, greatly aided by their aggressive T-side performance. In a post-match interview with Pridzee, he reported that once his team realised an aggressive strategy was working, they kept using it until it stopped working and it never really did. Gracious in victory, he praised the Blades’ ‘very talented’ entry fraggers in particular.

A man of the match couldn’t be decided due to the even fragging performance from 2ez5u however a personal highlight of the series was Pridzee’s 4k in the very first round.

You can find our highlighted game streamed over on our Twitch, every week on Wednesday evening from 19:15.

The State of Play

So with week 4 now over we know the upper bracket final will be between this week’s prolific winners, 2ez5, and Loughborough.

The remaining teams left in the lower bracket are:

  • BU and a Half men (Bournemouth University)
  • LUGES Red (Lancaster University)
  • Essex Blades (Essex University)
  • Derby CSGO (Derby Univerisity)

Connor Jones