EG Master's Cup: The Fnatic Way
Posted 2012-07-08 Bleys
EG Master's Cup: The Fnatic Way
EG MCS Season VII
The Evil Geniuses Master's Cup Series is a long running North American tournament which has just wrapped up Season VII. This season, 12 teams fought for a berth in the Playoffs and a chance to split $10,000. Only four teams would advance out of the Regular Season, and FnaticRaidCall was one of those, finishing the Regular Season in 3rd place with a record of 8-3 (+13 map score). The Playoffs were a double elimination format until the Grand Finals. There, the WB Finalist was given an advantage by knowing the line-up and map selection by the LB Finalist (rather than playing two series).
The EG Master's Cup Series has a format all its own. There are four 1v1 match ups, each a Best-of-3. If the teams are tied at 2-2 after that, an Ace Match will be played. In the Regular Season, the map score was counted in addition to the overall score to help determine standings among the original 12 teams.
The first round of the Playoffs matched up FnaticRaidCall with mousesports, the team that finished 2nd in the Regular Season. Though mousesports actually lost to Fnatic 3-1 when they met near the end of the Regular Season, mousesports's map score was +14 overall, a mere 1 map difference between them and FnaticRC. That difference changed nothing when they met in the first round of the Playoffs and Fnatic triumphed with another 3-1 score. Below, you can watch Oz's fantastic play against biGs.
|WB Round 1|
|Fnatic versus mousesports|
While Fnatic over mousesports was technically an upset, the teams were close in the rankings before the Playoffs began. The same cannot be said of #1 seed SlayerS against #4 seed compLexity, as SlayerS was dominant all season long and compLexity was the final team that made it to the Playoffs. But compLexity was on fire and took down SlayerS in the opening round, so Fnatic now faced compLexity in the Winner's Bracket Round 2.
Unfortunately, compLexity was able to force the Ace Match and took the series, putting Fnatic in the Loser's Bracket Finals and launching compLexity into the Grand Finals against whoever came out of the Loser's Bracket.
Below, you can watch aLive defeat GanZi.
|Fnatic versus coL|
The Loser's Bracket Finals consisted of FnaticRaidCall against SlayerS, who defeated mousesports to arrive here. The winner of this series would go on to face compLexity in the Grand Finals, and for both teams it would be a rematch - a chance at revenge.
FnaticRC was able to take the series against SlayerS, but it was incredibly close. SlayerS barely won the first two Best-of-3 matches 2-1, so Fnatic had to win the next two in order to force an Ace Match. They did just that, with ByuL dominating Puzzle 2-0 and aLive destroying Crank 2-0. In the Ace Match, aLive took down Miya 2-1 and suddenly Fnatic was in the Grand Finals against compLexity!
You can watch the extremely tight Ace Match below, featuring aLive and Miya.
|Fnatic versus SlayerS|
The Fourth Match
The Grand Finals would see FnaticRaidCall once again facing off against compLexity. The match began just like the Loser's Bracket Finals - Fnatic starts off in an 0-2 hole and needs to win the next two matches in order to force the Ace Match. In stirring fashion, ByuL and aLive are once again heroes for Fnatic and win their series to tie the score at 2-2. But in the Ace Match, aLive loses a heartbreaking 1-2 series against Killer and compLexity wins 3-2.
In the video below, you can watch ByuL turn the tide of the series against GanZi.
|Fnatic versus coL|
Season VII was a successful one for FnaticRaidCall. The third place finish in the Regular Season featured regular wins over top rival clans, including the elimination of Evil Geniuses by Fnatic near the end of the season, and individual players were able to showcase their talents in front of a large audience and against top level competition.
The Playoffs were incredible, as every team fought tooth and nail to remain alive. FnaticRaidCall was able to take down mousesports and eliminate the Korean favorite SlayerS, but could not finish off compLexity despite forcing the Ace Match both times. Still, a 2nd place finish for the team and $3,000 this season continues the success that Fnatic felt in Season VI when they finished 3rd, and should give enormous confidence to the players when Season VIII comes!
There was a $10,000 prize pool for the tournament, and this is how it was distributed among the top 3 teams:
1st - compLexity $5,000
2nd - FnaticRC $3,000
3rd - SlayerS $2,000
Now that the season is over, I was able to sit down with FnaticRaidCall's Starcraft 2 manager, Elroy "Noname" Pinto and ask him a few questions about his thoughts on FnaticRC's performance, the EG Master's Cup Series, and team leagues in general.
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How would you characterize FnaticRaidCall's performance in the EG Master's Cup Series Season VII?
I believe it was satisfactory. I remember the admins contacted us at the start of the season to ask if we could even field a team anymore. We even played the NASTL qualifier and got destroyed by Dignitas in the first round. Things have picked up since and yes we have executed what we set out to do. I wanted to win the league though, I think 2nd place doesn't do justice to our team.
FnaticRC has participated in Seasons V, VI, and VII (the Starcraft 2 team editions of the EG MCS). Will we be seeing Fnatic in Season VIII?
Hell yeah! No reason not to. With the additional players we have added on Fnatic, we will be easily capable of handling 2 or even 3 team leagues. IPL TAC is what I want to participate in, as well. EGMCSL reminds me of the old days of WC3L. It is also my comeback to being a team manager after I was overseeing Duran in SC2 for the first year.
How is the order of the players decided? Is that a pre-arranged line up with individual spots or is the order chosen at the time of play?
It depends, given our lineup I can be very flexible with maps. I often let players express their opinions on choices of maps but eventually we follow the rules and send in our lineups a day or so before matches are scheduled to be played. I think it is important in this day for managers to have a more proactive role in team leagues such as EGMCSL rather than just being relegated to signing up players for tournaments and playing travel agent for LAN events.
Can you comment on Fnatic's recent participation in team leagues like the EG MCS and the GSTL? Do you take team leagues into consideration when selecting which players to recruit and sign? What is the level of priority that team leagues take for the Starcraft 2 squad?
We had the invite to join the IPL TAC 3 and we had to decline it purely because of GSTL and EG MCSL. We also had KSL and playing in the IPL TAC would have taken its toll on the guys. I believe team leagues is something which every player wants to compete in. There's a certain amount of joy experienced only in a team league and I have experienced this first hand in my WC3L days. It makes you want to play more team leagues! Obviously LAN events are at the highest priority but team leagues are only 2nd to such massive events. In the coming months I aim to have us participate in the next season of IPL TAC as well.
How does participating in a North American based tournament impact the performance of players that are training in Fnatic's Gaming House in Korea?
Not a lot, there's a certain amount of lag associated with playing on the NA server but the server rules have been really good so there's not much argument surrounding this. Also a lot of teams sport professional players so playing at otherwise difficult times is fairly easy. I believe every team out there has become more flexibile which makes team leagues easy.
Do you have anything you'd like to say with regard to the format of the tournament, either about the Regular Season or the Playoffs?
I was not really impressed with the Grand Finals ruling that the WB finalist got to see our lineup before they seeded theirs. I think they should have either made it 2x clanwars or allowed them to pick maps and/or server preference. I didn't like that this was told to us at playoffs and none of the other managers found it to be a problem. I am not one to whine but if CoL hadn't seen our lineup before the game we would have beaten them 3-1. Regardless what is done is done, CoL played a great throughout the tournament so I don't want to take away anything from them. I do hope the admins look into the format though for next season. Aside from this I believe it was a fairly good league, the inclusion of a fanvote to decide some teams at the start wasn't the best way forward and qualifiers should have been done but I guess the admins know best. I want to thank all our fans for supporting us in EGMCSL and next season we're going to finish the season in first place and win the league. We will give them something to look forward next season.