The Russians have picked up Shenzhen, while the Swedes have picked up Moon, with Springfield as their deciding map. Many in the audience gasped at the map veto results. Before the match finally started, the casters snuck up a couple of words.
“So this is going to be one big brawl.”
“I agree with that, partner.”
“Who do you think will win?”
“I think the Russians will win, 2-1. After all, they have the Vampire as well as lots of solid talent on their team. How about you?”
“The Swedes are going to get it, 2-1. Yes, it’s going to be close, but I believe in the Swedish mastery of the metagame as well as their ability to counter-strat any tricks the Russians have.”
“Once again, we will see together the results as we watch together a fight between Trifecta and Polar Pro, here live at the SM Aura Theater Hall in Manila!!!”
“Ready to get wrecked while watching?”
The crowd clapped enthusiastically even though it was already the second match of the quarterfinals. The previous match between the Philippines and Korea was already intense enough; this is going to be the one that will go down to the wire.
The Vampire decided to run a three MK3-two Ancilot-one Rog lineup, with the MK3s going left, the Ancilots going middle and the lone Rog trying to cap the right beacon. Meanwhile, Trifecta went for the four Ancilot-two DB Dash Bot strategy, designed to have a balanced amount of mobility and firepower to deal with different threats.
Both sides clearly knew the map as they did not just go in recklessly. Instead, whenever they had a fight, they went for a clear trade. Though the Russians had the current advantage in beacons, the Swedes had a backup plan.
“People, we can’t outsmart the Russians on this map, so we’re going to use firepower to end their run on their pick. Let’s go for the full DB strategy for our second drop.”
The Russians were caught with their pants down as they struggled to contain the buddy tactic of the Swedish team.
“Comrades, let’s do this! Let’s try to win this!”
Meanwhile, Igor, the lurker for the Russian side, remarked:
“Captain, we should try to prepare for the second map from this point on. We are already halfway through our third drop, and we might be out of mechs by the two-minute mark.”
Medevdev thought for a bit, all the while trying to fight back and dodging all the rockets and plasma beams that the Swedes were throwing.
The audience was rather silent this time around. They watched the matchup with their snacks and drinks, preferring to relax after an intense matchup between the Koreans and the home team.
As for the Swedes, they were already having the same thoughts as Russian bots ejected left and right. The screens outside showed nothing but utter domination from their side and by the four-minute mark, they were finally able to trap Polar Pro inside their home beacon.
“Musa, what do you think?” asked the Russian captain.
Akrymadov quickly calculated their odds. Then he replied, “Let’s tap out this one. No need to play for the crowd – we came here for the win, let’s reserve our energies for the next map.”
“Okay then. Team, tap out. GG.”
They typed on the all-chat Discord channel, “gg wp”. GG means “good game”; it was originally a sign of appreciation for a good match online. Later, it became shorthand for surrendering an online match and typing these two letters is a form of courtesy among professional esports players – making the matches longer than necessary or typing a fake GG is considered rude and disrespectful to other players. Meanwhile, WP or “well played” replaced the original function of GG.
The Russians did not waste time and they went backstage to the player lounge in order to discuss their next strategy.
“Holy crap, that was way too quick,” mentioned Artour.
“Yes, we’ve been outplayed badly,” remarked the Vampire. “But now let’s change our approach on Moon. I think our opponents have been using very diverse strategies to try to contain our consistent performance.”
“That’s definitely true. CYKA BLYAT,” replied Igor.
The captain commented, “No time for profanities. Yes, sure, we Russians hate cheesy tactics and we want straightforward fights. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the real world – especially in big sports events like this.”
“What do you suggest?” asked Artour.
“Let’s play a very irritating lineup for our first drop. Three Taran Rogatkas and three Hydra Fujins.”
“Are you kidding me?” interjected Artour.
“No, I’m not. I’m planning to tilt the Swedes first before they get the advantage of their map pick.”
“Holy shit, that’s a lot of balls.” Akrymadov knows that if this ploy fails, they will be out of the tournament.
“Let’s be frank, those Swedes are good at abusing the metagame. Why not do it ourselves?”
The team thought of it, with their eyes deep in contemplation. Then, they all nodded at the captain’s idea.
All of them knew very well that their backs were against the wall, so they agreed that they might just as well try something unorthodox.
“Okay then, the matter is settled. Let’s go back to our game!”