A look at the finalist: 1337HUANIA
BESL Pro Season 5 LAN finals are set to take place on the 15th of February at the Kipsala exhibition center in Riga, Latvia with the event being hosted as part of the HyperTown urban & esports festival. Additional information about the festival and tickets can be found by visiting hypertown.pro.
The culmination of the €9,000 CS:GO competition is going to feature the four best teams from the online stage. These teams are going to continue playing out the single-elimination playoff bracket with all the games being played as a best-of-three series.
The winner of the event is not only going to be crowned as the best team in the Baltic states, taking home the beautiful BESL Pro champions trophy but will also receive the lion's share of the prize pool in the form of €3,000!
As we’re still waiting for the event itself to come along, let’s take a closer look at the teams that made it to the finals this time!
We’re opening up this season’s ‘A look at the finalist’ series with the two-time BESL Pro champions of 1337HUANIA! Attending their fourth LAN finals event in five seasons, 1337HUANIA are looking to add another trophy to their cabinet, and if history has taught us anything - in Riga, 1337HUANIA are the team to beat!
In their ¼ final game series, 1337HUANIA had to overcome their countrymen of 1944, who were definitely the biggest surprise of this season as they qualified for BESL Pro via one of the open qualifiers.
Adding a bit of spice to the match was the fact that 1337HUANIA captain Carcass revealed in an interview that his team has a personal ‘beef’ with some of the players from team 1944 and during the game, they are going to have ‘no respect’ towards their opponents.
In the game server, things went as planned for the side of 1337HUANIA and they managed to beat their opposition in two maps straight (16:11 vertigo, 16:8 dust2), thus once again booking themselves a trip to the BESL Pro LAN finals happening in Riga, Latvia.
First of all - congratulations on qualifying for your fourth LAN finals event in five seasons! As you’re such a veteran at these kinds of things, I will just skip the part where I ask you ‘how you did it’, but instead, let’s talk about Lithuanian CS. Ever since Season 3, when we saw two Lithuanian teams attending the LAN finals for the first time, Lithuanian CS has grown immensely, and this season, six out of eight playoff teams were from Lithuania. What do you think is the reason for the Lithuanian scene getting ahead of Latvians/Estonians?
Thanks a lot! Actually, I can’t really comment much about this, because I don’t know any inside information about the Latvian and Estonian scenes. What I can say, though, is that Lithuania has only one team who is improving their results every season and that is Timechasers! Besides them, we can only see Lithuanian mix-teams who are doing pretty good.
If I had to speculate, I would say that Latvian/Estonian players don’t have that big of a drive to play the game. For example, let’s look at ESEA Rank G - we have around 20 players from Lithuania, while there are only a few from Latvia and I haven't seen anyone from Estonia. These two countries are not even trying to qualify there, maybe that is the reason why they are lagging behind.
Historically, whenever BESL Pro LAN finals happen in Riga, you guys are always the ones coming out on top and taking the trophy home! It happened in Season 1 when you managed to out-play the home crowd favorites SkinLordz in the grand final, and it also happened in Season 3 when you took down wolsung despite losing the first map in the series. So tell me - what is it with you and LAN finals in Riga? Does it really have a special feel to it or is it just a coincidence that Riga is the place where you thrive?
If we gonna win these finals I should think about moving to Latvia haha!
But on a serious note - I would say that both times when we played in Riga, we had really good team chemistry and strong players, while other teams were a bit weaker. As for the Season 2 LAN finals in Estonia - back then wolsung had both broky and YEKINDAR who are not competing in BESL Pro anymore.
Speaking about your run in the Swiss group stage - similarly to the previous two seasons, you once again managed to come out of the first stage of the competition without any bruises (losses). So, technically speaking, you’re 9-0 in the Swiss group stages if we combine the last three seasons. You might think of it as no biggy, yet you are the only ones who hold such a record. What is the key to being so consistent? Or would you say that the competition level is not as high as some might think?
Being so consistent is a result of many factors. Firstly, we’ve managed to keep the team’s core of me, Aikas and Butters together. With these guys, we make a really good team environment for the young and talented players such as slokker and Bymas, so they can feel comfortable and are able to play their A-game. If we would compare all the BESL Pro teams, I can guarantee you that we have the best team environment, because of our ability to take games seriously but in a relaxed manner at the same time. Secondly, if I remember correctly, we’ve never met any big favorites in the Swiss group stage, because of our previous season standings.
In your ¼ final game series, you were matched up against your countrymen of 1944. For me, these guys were one of the biggest surprises of this season as they qualified for BESL Pro via one of the open qualifiers, and honestly, as I didn’t know any of their players, I just wrote them off to be one of the teams that gets eliminated. Though, when you spilled some tea during your interview with Heccu, my brain somehow instantly recognized the names of flipside and marten. Are these the players you were talking about? And would you care to enlighten us with the interactions that you have had with them that have led to you having ‘no respect’ towards these guys?
Yes, these are the guys about whom I talked about during the interview.
Back into the old GameplayDNA days, when our roster was me, Haflex, Forget1 (?), pounh and flipside, we played in a LAN event which was made by GameShow (Belarussian company) and we finished in 4th place if I remember correctly. At that time, flipside was the only one who was speaking Russian fluently so he was the guy who was responsible for all communications with the event organizers. The company had some problems with the prize pool payments, so they delayed it for approximately one year. Eventually, they sent all the money, which was around 900 EUR (converting from Russian Rubles), and flipside didn’t tell us that and took all the money for himself.
As for marten - I remember a situation when flipside and marten invited me to play Gfinity cup with two more Russian players. Gfinity cup was a tournament where you could win 200 pounds for the 1st place. When we started playing, I noticed that they both were not using their main steam accounts, so I instantly got suspicious of why they are doing that. As I later found out, they were cheating!
As we now know, your ‘no respect’ approach to your ¼ final game series against 1944 worked and you guys managed to win them in two maps straight with scorelines of 16:11 on vertigo and 16:8 on dust2. I think that it goes without saying that this was the overall scoreline that you expected the series to end with, but be honest here - were you a bit shook when they picked vertigo as their map of choice? Additionally, did being down 3:7 in the first half gave you a “we might lose this” kind of scare, or were you confident that you are going to turn it around eventually?
Before the match, I checked their picks and bans and it was pretty obvious that they are gonna shift away from the usual PUG maps, so, on paper, we were ready for that. The only way how they could have won that match was if they were to DDoS us (which flipside was famous for in Lithuania) or if they used cheats. Other than that, they had prepared some T side setups and executes, but on the CT side, they didn’t know what to do. So to answer your question - no, we didn’t have a moment when we thought that we can lose this. We usually don’t think about things like that and even if we lost vertigo we had two more maps to make a comeback.
Moving on to the LAN finals in Riga - in your semi-final game series you’re going to face off against your fellow countrymen of alltheRAGE. As you guys are far more experienced at events like these, not to mention, you have two BESL Pro titles under your belt, I think it’s quite obvious that you are the favorites in this match-up. On the other hand, only Boo from alltheRAGE guys has been to a BESL Pro LAN finals event before. With that being said - how do you think they will deal with the pressure of playing on the big stage in front of a live audience for the first time and will it affect their performance?
Although I think that most of the guys from team alltheRAGE are ready to play on the stage, I still think that we do have the upper hand in this match-up. I don’t think that the pressure of a live audience is going to affect them that much. However, we will use some LAN tricks against them and abuse their mistakes that they will definitely do more in a LAN environment compared to online.
If things go well and you do defeat alltheRAGE in the semi-final, then you would go up against the winners of the Akatsuki and Timechasers duel. I imagine that you would really love to play against Akatsuki as they were the ones who knocked you guys out last season in the semi-final, thus you missed your first-ever LAN finals event. Is that the case? Do you seek revenge against them (in a purely competitive kind of way obviously)?
We don’t really think about the last season that much and how they knocked us out of the tournament since we think that we shouldn’t have met them in the semi-final. If not for the enormous roster changes and stand-ins, they would have probably not even reached the playoffs. And even if they would have reached the playoffs, then we would beat their original roster. However, if they would have had the roster that they played the finals with from the start of the season, then they would have gone 3-0 in the Swiss group stage and we wouldn’t have met them until the final. Anyhow, if we do meet them in the grand final, then that’s going to be a really interesting match-up!
Thank you for your time! I wish the best of luck to you and your team in Riga! Do you have any final words or shoutouts you want to give?
Stay tuned as even though the online portion of the season has come to an end, our news section is still going to be filled with interesting content such as interviews with the teams that made it to the finals and the big LAN finals preview article to let you guys know what to expect from the matches happening at the HyperTown urban & esports festival!
BESL Pro Season 5 is a seven-week competition between the sixteen best Baltic state CS:GO teams for their share of the €9,000 prize pool and the right to call themselves the best in Baltic states.
The four best teams from the online part of the competition are going to meet each other on the Samsung Odyssey esports stage on the 15th of February at Kipsala exhibition center in Riga, Latvia at the HyperTown Riga 2020 urban & esports festival. Visit hypertown.pro for more info about the festival and tickets.
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Article by: Bruno ‘Gekons’ Gailītis