Sri Lanka Cyber Games ’15 organized by Gamer.LK as a part of the Games Festival entertained gamers of different regions of the country. The hype ultimately concluded in Colombo crowning the absolute best. As a result, the main hall of BMICH trembled with uneven cheers of thousands from the 27th to 29th of November.
From the entrance itself, groups with similar jerseys were seen all over the premises. The colors only become more prominent as we came closer towards the action point. There were no lights, only the illuminations of colorful jerseys, monitors, and one brilliantly large screen brightened the arena. The crowd was hyped and so were we. We knew that we have entered the ultimate event of Lankan Gamers.
The lights were still out. The hall was in three sections: the DOTA area on the left, the Call of Duty area on the right, and the main stage right in the center of attraction. 76 PCs in total set a new record for the highest number of PCs seen in a local gaming event.
Apart from the main titles, we saw a large range of stalls by different sponsors having exciting games for all. There were time based challenges, virtual reality experiences, local leaderboards, and sponsored laptops packed with games to play. What’s the best part? It was all free!
While team games continued to get the big screens for the matches, a big improvement for the individual titles was also seen. That’s right, even Need for Speed was streamed on a larger screen this time.
League of Legends however didn’t have a shift from last year. The game happened away from the action packed hall in a corner past the Lanka Comic Con.
The crowd was unimaginably large! Game enthusiasts showing up during the weekend was well expected. However, an unexpectedly large crowd of youngsters (who bunked classes) were seen on Friday as well. The first day alone was as if it was the most action-packed day.
From the first day itself, a large number of female enthusiasts were seen at SLCG for the first time. An arguable ratio of 1 to 100 female/male ratio was seen for the first time in a crowd of arguably over 15,000 visitors over the three days.
A very natural gaming atmosphere containing pure fans and enthusiasts existed. For people who prefer calm and quiet environments, SLCG ’15 was definitely not the place to be.
The hall was indeed crowded and filled with cheers. We all went to SLCG expecting the finest of local eSports, and that is exactly what we saw and here’s why:
There was no doubt that DOTA 2 lived up to be the featured game of the year. The DOTA sensation only became more prominent as we entered the hall.
52 teams, at least one from almost all leading clans were seen in the draw. SLCG ’14 DOTA 2 Champions, x3.Death Sentence was nowhere seen in the draw. The always standalone team, Infinity Gaming has joined n00b Alliance. To add to that, PnX|The Kade, PnX|SyFy Gaming, and the reformed Death Sentence – x3.Vicious & Delicious (referred to as VD) were all in one side of the draw. This was the first sign of knowing the le clasico final between The Kade and Death Sentence (this time Vicious & Delicious) would not happen!
Meanwhile on the lower side of the draw, only a few prominent names such as nA | Infinity Gaming, x3.Origin Unknowns, and PnX|Cause of Fear were seen. Among the rest, there lay a dark horse. [C]arolina Panthers from Phoenix GaminG was there in the first round. Not many cared as their fate seemed thin during the 3rd round as they would face Infinity Gaming.
Infinity Gaming was defeated by [C]arolina Panthers and the crowd went wild. The hype was followed by another win against Cause of Fear.
The 3rd round of the top side of the draw was pretty predictable. It was the 4th round where the crowd gathered to watch SyFy face-off against the most-feared, VD.
VD showed how experience can outplay a team’s potential from the early laning stages itself. The match was pretty one sided, some well-timed team fights and strong pushes gave VD yet another victory over SyFy Gaming. Thus the most anticipated match of the tournament came, The Kade vs. VD.
Towards the middle of the game, VD showed their strength in overpowering Kade. The cheers started to side with VD for a while. The match was about to go into the hands of the reigning champs, but Kade declined defeat that easily. By showing why Anti-Mage is called one of his signature picks, Sathan with the force of Paradoxx and the rest of Kade made one of the most intense comebacks in the history of Lankan DOTA! The crowd went mad, literally to a point of a small situation popping up just as the match ended. It didn’t last long and the celebrations of PnX supporters continued as their main rival was kicked out of the draw even before the semifinals.
[C]arolina Panthers back in the scene defeated their last opponent, Origin Unknown in the lower side of the draw. For the first time ever, it was a PnX vs PnX DOTA 2 Colombo Finals. And it turned out to be the arguably best local DOTA match of the decade!
[C]arolina Panthers dominating The Kade! Kade’s ancient was exposed. Panthers had just one more task. And the biggest twist of Lankan eSports occurred. It was not the Panthers who stood up victorious; it was yet again The Kade with an amazing defense and one last successful push, and they remained as the best.
Panthers and Kade moved as the Colombo qualifiers for the grand finals. Due to time issues, the matches were postponed and they are yet to happen.
Nevertheless, DOTA lived up to being the featured game of the season with style.
The most demanding title only became larger. 100 teams were seen with representatives from every known clan in Sri Lanka. The size of the draw was only second to the hype of the matches. COD4 once again proved to be the most happening title in Sri Lanka.
While most matches were intense, there were some exceptional moments.
Team Maximum from Maximum eSports has been winning COD4 for the past two years. They were in the streak of becoming the only COD team to score a hat-trick. But the path was very tough. Mist’Walkers from Wolfgang came close to defeating Team Maximum in the quarters. It wasn’t enough. However, semis were as far as they could go. Aurora from n00b Alliance kicked Team Maximum to a massive 13-3 score, ending the last hope of Maximum eSports in the draw.
From the other side, we saw 3 clans united to cheer in a match. It was none other than the PnX|Inside Gaming vs nA | Phase match. The cheers came one after the other. “Let’s go nA, let’s go!” rumbled the hall. Cheers in vain, Inside Gaming got the better of Phase and moved on to the Colombo final.
For the first time, a PnX team reached the COD4 Colombo finals. That however did not matter to Aurora as they defeated Inside gaming to become the Colombo winner.
The grand finals took place directly afterwards where the regional qualifiers faced against each other. Aurora defeated the Kandy runner-up, Team kokis to reach the final while the Kandy winner, x3.Team iPwn beat Inside Gaming in a very tight 13-11 score to secure the second seat.
The matches were close! In the best of 3 matches final: aurora won the first, iPwn won the second. The tie-breaker came. 4-2 to iPwn, the new COD4 champions of Sri Lanka!
More CSGO teams were seen compared to last year. However, the matches were mainly focused between PnX and x3 teams this year.
X3.Feuriex defeated x3.Crack-Smoking Monkeys to reach the finals and PnX|Encore defeated PnX|Heroes to secure the remaining seat.
Only one match was played though due to time concerns. With one map lead to Encore, the grand finals postponed to another day.
League had a significant increase in registrations. Out of 29 teams, Team REKT (now under Xiphos eSports), team DeiYo, and PnX|Team Phoenix predictably took the spotlight.
The tables turned when REKT was defeated by DeiYo in the semifinals! The news reached all ears as the favorite team of the season came to an unexpected defeat. With that, DeiYo moved forward to face Phoenix in the finals.
In a best of 3 matches, Team Phoenix won two games in a row to defeat Team DeiYo and become the new champions!
This year’s HALO was a special year for the reigning champions, x3.Reapers with Snipers as they were on a 5 year streak.
To their challenge, a newly formed mix team named PnX|Cause of Fear appeared. However, the challenge seemed negligible as Reapers was able to outplay COF to once again be the HALO champions!
FIFA ’15 once again had the largest individuals draw. With nearly 150 participants, a very long draw was once again seen.
The awaited match between Game Changer vs PnX only happened in the semifinals with PnX|Android, where Android defeated Game Changer to reach the finals against PnX|Heat.
The Colombo finalists met in the grand finals as well beating the regional qualifiers. And in both confrontations, Heat defeated Android to be the youngest FIFA champion in Sri Lanka!
Mortal Kombat X attracted a large crowd this year. From a draw of 86 Kombatants, a double elimination bracket was made for the top 16.
Matches heated up towards the middle of the rounds where the rivalries between x3.STRONGHOLD and PnX came into the screen. Reigning champion, PnX|Demon however had a very smooth journey all the way to the final without losing a single match. From the loser-bracket, it was PnX|Phantom who came to face STRONGHOLD to get the second chance to face Demon in the Colombo finals.
Best of 3 games, Phantom won two in a row with a celebration to secure his seat against Demon in the finals.
The Colombo final was identical to the grand finals. Demon and Phantom defeated the regional qualifiers to once again face each other for the 3rd time. The result remained the same; Demon continued to be the Mortal Kombat champion to an extremely close 3-2 score.
NFS took a new way of having the matches. The preliminary round was based on timing where all participants were given a track to score their best time. From that, the top timed racers were selected.
After many SLCGs, the infamous Mr.M3 (new recruit of Phoenix GaminG) who is said to be the best racer who doesn’t compete contended. M3 got the second best timing, first being PnX|GrimmJow. And the rumor was no lie; M3 made quick progression towards the Colombo final and won against GrimmJow.
Once again, the grand finals showed the same result as it was with MKX and FIFA. In a close race, Mr.M3 defeated GrimmJow again to become the new NFS champion!
A surprisingly large number of participants were seen for TrackMania this year. So were spectators. PnX|Binura, just as for the Reapers in HALO, had a streak on the line.
To his challenge, x3.Zero, GrimmJow and CB from PnX showed up. Binura however, like Demon in MKX, had a very smooth journey towards the final without losing a single round. He faced his main rival and partner in games, GrimmJow in the grand finals.
By winning 10 rounds in a row to get a perfect score, Binura defeated GrimmJow to remain as the TrackMania champion in Sri Lanka!
The youngest SLCG participant once again turned out to be PnX|Turbo for Tekken. This time however, all of his opponents were his known rivals.
Turbo also made quick progression towards the final in a double elimination draw without losing any matches. To face him in the finals, this year it was PnX|AR.
The losing streak was broken, the ten year old PnX|Turbo at last won a SLCG to become the youngest SLCG winner in history!
In addition to the titles, there was a Female League for Mortal Kombat X and NFS Most Wanted. Yes, 8 girls were seen in some femininely fierce matches backed by many male supporters.
The first ever Ingress tournament was also held as a part of SLCG. Gamers were not entirely seated this year. In fact, they really had to run around Colombo to win this game.
The weekend came to an end with arguably the loudest cheers heard in Colombo throughout the year. With two titles yet to conclude, a strong performance by Phoenix GaminG followed by Xiphos eSports was seen.
Undoubtedly, all participants, spectators, and even we agree that this was the best SLCG we have ever seen.
Taking everything into a conclusion, Gamer.LK managed to host a well attended “Games Festival” to entertain enthusiasts of all types. May it be nail-biting matches for cyber-athletes or board games for visitors, it was all there and it was there for all to enjoy.
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Swift Operators and Expressions
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Uditha Bandara is a corporate trainer and a consultant specializing in Mobile Application development for Android and IOS. He was South East Asia’s First XNA/DirectX MVP (Most Valuable Professional). He has conducted sessions at events and conferences in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. -http://uditha.wordpress.com
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