Insomnia 44 - Blog by 3k2
Insomnia 44 Blog in Telford (United Kingdom)
CKRAS CS:S i44 blog
So yeah, we went to this event pretty late friday, since multiplay were nice enough to give us an invite, in which going straight through the group stages was included, which was pretty awesome, as it both meant we didn't have to spend time playing against a lot of what would've probably been really bad teams in the groupstages and it also meant we could actually attend school etc. before leaving on the friday.
I took the train at like 1 pm and after a nice and cosy 4 hour train-ride I meet up with the others at the Copenhagen Airport Burger King, like we normally do when leaving for international events. And for once we were actually in good time?! Normally we always end up showing up for boarding a few minutes after time at best, since we spend a little too much time eating and Henrik and Bo likes to just suddenly go outside to smoke a few minutes just as we are supposed to go to security in order to make it on time - it was pretty nice that this was the time we chose to be ready earlier as usual, because apparently the UK has stricter pasport control laws than other countries, so we had to go through a second check and the queue was pretty long.
Age: 22 years
Anyways, we got to england just fine, but since flights to Birmingham were a_lot more expensive than flights to Manchester we had booked flights to Manchester instead, which meant we still had a 2+ hours train ride left, for which we just missed a departing train from Manchester, so we had to wait 20 minutes and take a route that was 30 minutes longer - not too happy about that after having already traveled for like 7 hours.
The trains were nice though and we had seats the whole way - which turned out to be a problem for Rene though, because he, as most of you have probably heard about already, actually managed to forget his 120Hz LCD monitor on the train, which he, as the only one from the team, had decided/remembered to bring, since we were only getting 75Hz monitors from multiplay. Luckily he works in a bank, so he is loaded, pre-gg!
When we finally arrived in the city of Telford, where the lan was hosted, we took what was the 2nd scariest taxi-ride of my life - not because the driver was bad, but because my tired brain just kept screaming at me that we were going to collide with other cars, whenever there had been a minor break from seeing other cars driving on the wrong side of the road. The scariest taxi-ride was btw. One we took with a very disoriented old asian man when we attended enc last year in Cologne - that guy had no clue about traffic rules, finding his way around the city or simply positioning his car on the road as opposed to on random ledges and sidewalks.
Got to the hotel, which was like a 4 minute walk away from the event-venue, so we went there to check in and it was just awesome for a byoc-event. Got our pc's, which did though turn out to be wrong ones, and then went back to the hotel to rob the candy machines and have a good night of sleep before we had to start playing the next day.
We didn't have to start playing till after midday on the saturday, so we had plenty of time to sleep in and have a look at the venue, which was again really nice. We had our pc's changed to some really nice i7 pc's that ran the game perfectly, so big cadaeu to multiplay for really delivering on that point, only ever been to eswc, where the pc's were as good as here!
Anyways we got started with our games and the first game at least wasn't any kind of difficult and then I can't actually remember if we met attax in the 2nd or 3rd round, but that was where the tournament started becoming fun to play. We ended up winning 16-11 against attax (MATCHLINK), on the only map we had played in the tournament this far (and that we did indeed end up playing in every single game except for the consolidation final against crg) which was dust2. We didn't really play all too well in this game, or at least didn't come out on top in a few close rounds, so I think we should've probably won more convisingly in this game, even though 16-11 isn't too bad either.
Next game was against the Rasta is Rolling mix-team (MATCHLINK), where we did actually expect to get more opposition than in the previous game, but we were simply able to dominate them completely, as their mix strats just couldn't do anything and they could only rely on individual performances to get them the 7 rounds they ended up getting.
Now we were already in the upper bracket final, which meant that we faced the mighty VeryGames team, who had just had to deliver quite a comeback to beat eSahara 16-13, after being 0-9 down. So we knew that they would both be pretty much in the game, as they had just been playing really well for a lot of rounds, but also that they were showing perhaps some sign of weakness, since they did allow eSahara to go up by that much (and quite frankly, eSahara should've won, and clearly would've if it wasn't because shox did some pretty nasty things to the english, that he is pretty much the only person who could've done I guess). We of course also had in mind, that VeryGames did beat us pretty badly the last time we met, at the ESWC grand final, but we knew that they wouldn't be able to do the same thing to us again at least, since we had simply worked out how to counter their very aggressive playstyle on the ct side of dust2 (which we were almost 100% sure we could make them play against us, unless they wanted to face us on one of the maps that they normally veto against us).
And as it turned out, our plan went perfectly! We played really well and whenever they did try to play it as aggressive as they like to, we simply punished them and for the 2nd time (first time being almost a year ago at cph games) we we're in a position, where we should go on to beat VeryGames in the playoffs at lan - and once again we failed to do so, by losing against what was this time a team with just 1 weapon when we were at 13-13 and pretty much winning all our buy vs buy rounds (at cph games we lost to a deagle eco while leading 14-13, btw.). So yeah, ended up losing 16-13 (MATCHLINK), which was pretty devastating, since we all knew that we should've won that game.
Got home for the night and I think we watched a movie or something, because it wasn't too late and the consolidation final wasn't going to be played untill the next day, so we had plenty of time to do whatever we wanted.
Got up pretty early and went to the venue, where we found out, that we were going to face team crg, who we knew that we should be beating pretty easily, so we we're very confident going into the game, even though it was probably still a bit in our heads, that we threw away the upper final. As mentioned we didn't end up on dust2 in this game, but instead faced them on season, which is, even though we haven't practised it too much, one of our strong maps compared to almost every other team. We did start of really well too, but when we were leading 14-5 or 15-5 we started losing stupid rounds and they got way too many rounds, and actually I think they might've even gotten it to 14-14 before we managed to get the last rounds we needed and close the game at 16-14 (MATCHLINK). Was not a very pretty result for us, but we weren't too worried, because even though crg did play better than expected and took a few rounds against us, we also knew that had we not started to mess about a bit, when leading by that much, we could've closed the game a lot earlier.
So now we were off to play against VeryGames again on the stage in the Grand Final (MATCHLINK), and as expected we ended out on dust2 again, with inferno being the 2nd map, should we be able to win d2 this time around. Unfortunately we didn't play too well, if it was because we had just been perhaps a little shook by the crg game going to such a close scoreline, because we were still struggling with having thrown the upper final or if it was just a random day off I don't know, but this combined with them really being good at changing their playstyle and making us waste a lot of flashes early on, by playing very different setups and then most of the rounds just saving 7-8 flashes for a retake, made it a very non-interesting game, and I don't think we got a lot more than 8 rounds, if we even got that many.
Got the prize ceremony done and stayed on the stage, because next up was the CS:GO showmatch that VeryGames and ourselves was going to play on the stage, which we had actually been looking forward to, even though after just losing another final to VeryGames it wasn't exactly what we wanted to do. Then there proceeded to be loads of problems with even getting 10 people on the server and because the menus weren't finished and we couldn't get console to work, we couldn't even set up the game to be playable really. Somehow VeryGames found out that you could actually turn of Vsync I guess, so they played with just a little acceleration, whereas our game was unresponsive to a level where a few of us had proper headaches after the game, just from getting seasick from how unresponsive the game felt when we moved our mice. So that was even less of an entertaining match, in which I think we managed to get 2 rounds by buying 4 autosnipers and just spamming the middle doors on dust2 and got like 3 kills through.
We then packed our stuff and went back to the hotel, where we pretty much stayed the whole time, untill we had to check out and head home monday morning.
All in all it was a pretty enjoyable experience, and it was very nice to see that multiplay are really putting in effort to make the i-series a lan that css teams should want to attend, compared to some of the horror stories from the past that the likes of fetish will tell us about attending earlier i-series as a foreign team just there for the competition.
Thanks to ckras for making it possible for us to go, even though it wasn't exactly a good business-decision for them, we had fun and it was nice meeting up with everyone again and thanks to all of you guys for following us at the event and hopefully also in the new year, where we are sure we are going to take down the frenchies once and for all!
- Steffen '3k2' Markussen