Despite the NUEL Winter Championship coming to a close with just the very best teams still left vying for the top spot in some matchups the skill gap is just as apparent as in the first weeks of the tournament, like in the UoM vs Loughborough game. This Monday we saw a similar result on the cards for the best of 3 game between the Sussex Offenders and the Lancaster Bombers.
The first map of the series was won by Lancaster Uni convincingly as Sussex failed to show up as a unit in many of the rounds. However the second and final map saw the culmination of the superior teamwork, game-sense and mechanical skill of the Bombers as they lived up to their name and won every round on the Terrorist side of Mirage.
It would be too generous to say that their teamwork was superior throughout though as the pistol round looked slow and sloppy from them. They managed to close it out despite the many players pushing without a teammate to trade even after they had the bomb planted.
From this point forwards, Lancaster’s T side looked solid and collected, their teamplay and clear communication is evident to anyone watching on the stream. They easily convert the following two rounds, only giving away one frag in the process and build up an impressive economy going into Sussex’s first buy round.
Sussex, despite getting a bomb plant the round before, are now paying the price for their poor economic discipline. With 2 famas’ and minimal utility they allow Lancaster to walk into the A bombsite and win the duels. They survive with 4 alive and easily crush the following eco, not losing a player.
Whether through miscommunication or desperation Sussex go for 3 awps in their 2nd buy round. Lancaster seems to read this as a possibility and effectively neutralises the snipers with a smoke execute on A site. The retake proves unsurprisingly unsuccessful and a pause is taken.
Whilst Lancaster is showing component gamesense Sussex is making more questionable plays. 3 players play passive and go for exit frags despite only having upgraded pistols, allowing the Bombers’ coffers to swell to the point where 3 players have 16k.
Lancaster’s executes are simple but effective, this time faking the A execute and walking into an unmanned B bombsite. On the flipside the following round Sussex show more poor decision making, decide to commit 2 unarmoured players to a retake with the man disadvantage rather than saving.
Even when Lancaster allows Sussex space to get aggressive, giving up their default map control in favour of a stacked A execute, they’re not punished for it and they easily out dm their opponents for another round win.
At this point the score is 10-0 and one player from Lancaster still hasn’t died but this doesn’t last long. The team show cracks after a failed molotov leads to chaos and a messy 1 by 1 push gives Sussex the 4v2 advantage. But again the superior mechanical skill wins over, allowing Lancaster to win out in a 1v1.
Sussex now look demoralised, they all go aggressive and die without any trades. One player on the team has yet to get a single kill. They lose another round to a cocky and aggressive push all over the map and decide to buy up 5 awps for round 14, trying to at least avoid the 16-0 loss since nothing else has been working. This allows them to take the fights early and not for the first time they gain an advantage in a round but again they fail to work as a team and watch all the angles and a simple flank brings it down into a 2v1, still in their favour. Oak from Lancaster easily closes out the round with two easy 1v1s.
In the last round of the half another Lancaster player steps up to complete the perfect half. This time Tobz keeps the 16-0 dream alive with a quick 1v3 with the SG553.
In the second half Sussex win the pistol convincingly against a Lancaster that just looks like it wants the game to be over. The T side suits them more and they look more like a team here but they still struggle against their opponent’s aim, struggling to convert the following 2 rounds and failing to build the bank they need.
Lancaster, already on map and game point, abandon the teamplay that has been so successful for them so far. Whilst it may be that both teams seem to be much stronger on their T side, sitting on game point has given them the motivation just to coast over the finish line. Sure enough, after a few rounds of dm-heavy close wins from Sussex, the teamplay fails them and Lancaster punish, closing out the game at 16-5.
This is a disappointing score for Sussex no doubt, but they’ll be relieved that they managed to show up in a few rounds before their inevitable loss. Whilst Sussex clearly has the most to learn from this loss and I’m sure will make changes following this Monday, Lancaster has issues to resolve too. Let’s hope they can fix them and carry on their show of impressive form into the final maps of the Winter Championship.