ESEA Lower Bracket Final ● ESEA Grand Final ● Looking to Asia ● T0m joins AMS’s team
The last week or so in TF2 sixes has been dominated by the impending conclusion of ESEA Invite. After EVL Gaming were knocked down to the Lower Bracket by Froyotech, they were tasked with dispatching Jamal E-Sports in order to earn their place in the Grand Final.
Despite heading into half-time on Badlands 3-1 up, Jamal E-Sports couldn’t prevent the world’s third-best team from winning a place in the Grand Final. Jamal E-Sports end the season in third place overall and, according to my metrics, as the ninth-best team in the world.
ESEA’s Grand Finals feature a pair of best-of-threes. The winner of the Upper Bracket Final, Froyotech, only had to win one of these to be crowned the champions. Meanwhile, EVL had to win the first best-of-three in order to make amends for losing the Upper Bracket Final and to thereby draw square with Froyotech and force a decider.
In an effort that was foreshadowed by their great effort in the UBF, in which EVL took a map off of Froyotech for the first time all season, EVL pushed the boat out even further and successfully beat their great rivals in the opening best-of-three.
They continued to push Froyo to the edge of their ability in the second best-of-three, looking splendid on Sunshine. Despite giving Froyotech what must have been their biggest headache since at least i58, EVL ultimately conceded the narrowest of narrow defeats after a Herculean seven-hour struggle. EVL have taken rounds, maps, and matches off of Froyotech, but the sweetest victory of all remains agonisingly elusive. Froyotech have won yet another season of ESEA Invite, and this one has to be one of the hardest earned and well deserved of them all.
The close nature of Froyotech’s win means that they’ve not caught up any further to SE7EN in the Rankings. In fact, the gap has opened up by a single point to 12. Likewise, their advantage over EVL has shrunk from 18 points to 17. Elsewhere, Habib has a presence among the world’s top ten players for the first time in a while.
Between the four regions, we’re now just three matches of AsiaFortress away from a global off-season. It’s been all quiet in Asia for a couple of weeks now, with the most recent match being the first round of the Lower Bracket on the 15th of this month, in which HBZB became the first team to be eliminated from the competition courtesy of P00tis. Due next is the Upper Bracket Final between bb Tommy and Burger Apocalypse.
Today, just as the North American scene began its hibernation, signs of life showed up in the official thread for the upcoming AsiaFortress match, so presumably the wait won’t last too much longer. It’s been about a month since ETF2L Season 26 reached its conclusion, so the closing acts of AsiaFortress might just be enough to tide us over until the cogs start turning in Europe once again.
AMS’s team have been practising against SE7EN recently. They’ve officially brought T0m in as their second soldier alongside Thaigrr. He’ll be returning to roamer while Thaigrr has made the switch to pocket in a reversal of their roles when the duo played for ChampGG. With the team’s roster now updated accordingly in the Rankings, their preliminary rank has become clear. For now, they’re expected to be the eighth-best team in the world, close behind their European rivals nerdRage and Arctic Foxes.