A look at the finalist: SACRAMENTO
BESL Pro Season 4 grand final is set to take place on the 23rd of November at the Saku Suurhall arena in Tallinn, Estonia with the match being hosted as part of HyperTown Tallinn 2019. 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 two best teams from the online stage. These teams are going to finish playing out the single-elimination playoff bracket that started online with the grand final being played out as an epic best-of-five game series!
The winner of the grand final 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 grand final this time around!
Our first ‘A look at the finalist’ series article goes to Latvians of SACRAMENTO who are without a doubt the ultimate dark-horse team of this season!
SACRAMENTO began their journey in BESL Pro in a very uncharacteristic and unlucky fashion, to say the least. Firstly, they received a forfeit loss in their first Swiss group stage game series against MAKONGA due to playing with a player that had a standing FACEIT ban for cheating.
Secondly, in week two of the competition, they were not disciplined enough to turn up in time for their game series against Dmondo thus once again receiving a forfeit loss due to being more than fifteen minutes late to a league game.
At the beginning of week three, SACRAMENTO were down 0-2 in the Swiss group stage and one more loss would eliminate them from the competition. With backs against the wall, one would think that a fairly inexperienced squad like SACRAMENTO would crumble and end their run then and there, but that wasn’t the case at all!
For the rest of the swiss group stage, SACRAMENTO did not lose a single map as they took down the likes of WORTEX, ayned and alltheRAGE with clean 2-0 scorelines, thus earning themselves a spot in the playoffs with a win-loss record of 3-2.
However, the game series result was later overturned as it turned out that SACRAMENTO’s player Woro2k had a VAC banned account to his name, thus he shouldn’t have been allowed to play in the league. With the stakes being as high as they were, both teams agreed to just re-play the said game series, but the outcome was an even more dominant showing from the Latvian squad!
Finally, in the most important game series of the online part of the season (the semi-final), SACRAMENTO had to battle against their countrymen of Team Titan and after two very close maps, SACRAMENTO came out victorious earning themselves their first ever spot at the BESL Pro LAN finals!
First of all - congratulations on making it to your first ever BESL Pro LAN finals! Going back to the beginning of September, when you qualified for the fourth season of our league via the last chance qualifier, did you ever really expect to make it all the way to the grand final? Or were you a bit more down to earth thinking that something like top 4 or top 8 finish would be a good result here?
We didn’t really expect much going into this event, but once we actually started to perform and win games, we started to believe in ourselves, and that confidence kept growing with every series that we played.
Your journey in the Swiss group stage began with an unfortunate set of events. First of all, in week one, you received a forfeit loss against MAKONGA as it turned out that one of your players, Eriks "kryzstal" Strazdins, has an active FACEIT ban for cheating, while in week two you just didn’t show up in time for your game. While I can understand you guys not knowing about a previous ban that one of your teammates has, I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that you didn’t turn up in time for your week two game against Dmondo. What happened that day?
It was purely a result of no communication between ourselves as some of us thought that the game was scheduled for a different time while others knew the correct time. So, in the end, we turned up for the game a bit too late and as a result we got punished with a forfeit loss.
At that point, you had your backs against the wall as one more loss would eliminate you from the competition. With no more room for error, how did you manage to turn it all around and finish off the swiss group stage with three victories against WORTEX, ayned and alltheRAGE without dropping a single map?
Against both WORTEX and ayned we knew that we can win if we play like we should, while alltheRAGE was a whole different beast and we thought that we would be eliminated then and there. But everyone just showed up when it was needed the most and after that victory we started joking amongst ourselves on the lines of “hey, let’s win the next games as well”. So we just kept going and with each lead that we had in the server, and each time someone accused us of something, we just got more hyped which resulted in us being more confident.
In your ¼ final game series, you were matched up against then still undefeated Estonians of Domino Gaming. On paper, they were heavy favorites but you still managed to win against them twice, both with and without Woro2k in the roster. Can you tell us a little bit more about how exactly did you do it because neither one of Dmondo, ayned or Timechasers were able to do that in the weeks prior?
hek: Actually, we didn’t think that the games against Domino Gaming are going to go our way. In our first encounter, Woro2k helped us a lot and there is no denying that, but even after that when we played against them the second time with reN, we knew that if we were able to beat them once, then we can surely to do it again. From my perspective, it felt like they gave up after the first map of our re-match, so we just seized the opportunity.
After a somewhat dominant showing against Domino Gaming, you progressed further in the playoffs bracket where you had to meet your countrymen in the form of Team Titan. How did you feel about this match-up? Were you confident that if you were able to beat Domino Gaming the day before that there should be no problem winning against Team Titan as well? Or did you expect a close game?
hek: We knew that Team Titan is going to be extremely prepared because they were very hungry for that LAN finals spot, though, pure match-up wise, we knew how all of their guys like to play individually, so we had at least that going for us. Overall, we did expect this series to be a very close one, possibly the closest that we’ve had this whole season, and it definitely delivered. The game was super close and we were heavily relying on our aim to carry us through. In the end, we had a little bit more luck on our side and we were able to win some of the most important rounds and take the series.
Moving on to the grand final in Tallinn. As previously mentioned, this is your first time ever making it to the BESL Pro LAN finals and while I know that you, d3k and reN have played in plenty of LAN events before, your team also has a duo of youngsters in the form of klaudi and MyLastChance, and for them this certainly is going to be a new experience playing on the big stage in front of a live crowd. Do you think that this is going to play a part in how well you do in the grand final? Or are you confident that you are going to be able to replicate the same level of performance in a LAN environment?
hek: It’s hard to tell because from my previous experiences playing with both klaudi and MyLastChance I know that they are both very calm and mature when it comes to stuff in-game. But, obviously, some stressful and chaotic situations might come up during the grand final and it might impact their ability to perform. Though, if that happens then I would say that it is on us, the more experienced players, to try to calm them down and ensure that they can bring their A-game even on the big stage with a live audience.
In the grand final, you are going to meet Dmondo, who, similarly to you, have also had a bit of a Cinderella run this season as they also finished the swiss group stage with a win-loss record of 3-2, but came out guns blazing in the playoffs bracket by taking down the likes of Timechasers and 1337HUANIA. How would you say you view your chances against Dmondo in the best-of-five grand final?
hek: These guys are really good, there is no doubt about that, but so are we. I feel like we both have very similar play-style that relies heavily on aim and individual plays so at the end of the day I would say that the outcome of this duel will mostly come down to who shows up on the big LAN finals stage and who doesn’t. If both teams turn up, then this is going to be a blood-bath and anyone could take home the trophy.
Thanks for your time hek! I wish the best of luck to you and your team in Tallinn! Do you have any final words or shoutouts you want to give?
hek: I want to say thank you to all of my teammates for giving their all when it comes to this season’s games. For me, it doesn’t matter if we end up winning the grand final or not, because making it to the LAN finals is already a big achievement for us. Shoutout to Eriks "kryzstal" Strazdins!
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 leading up to the most important game of the season - the grand final! From interviews with the teams to the grand final preview article letting you know what to expect from the match happening at the HyperTown Tallinn 2019.
BESL Pro Season 4 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 two best teams from the online part of the competition are going to meet each other in an epic best-of-five grand final on the 23rd of November in Saku Suurhall at HyperTown Tallinn 2019. Visit hypertown.pro for more info about the festival and tickets.
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News by: Bruno ‘Gekons’ Gailītis