Due to the sheer magnitude of the event, our recap will mostly be focused around Call of Duty with sprinklings of other esports – read on for more. We’re tweeting all updates live from SLCG itself – follow @readmelk for instant on the spot play-by-play reports. Photos of everything will be uploaded at the end of day 3. Now onto the show.
The Sri Lankan Cyber Games kicked off with Call of Duty 4, with some 200+ eager competitive gamers (some of them as far away as Galle, Kandy and Matara) playing the part of the audience.
First up was Techmorph Si3rRa against Team SkuLL – Si3rRa dominated early on with SkuLL’s unfortunately tendency to rush directly into their jaws, racking up an 8-0 score before SkuLL | CastieL and Diablo started playing a more cautious, coordinated game. After 2 victorious rounds for SkuLL Si3rRa switched to a much more aggressive plan and started rushing SkuLL relentlessly, wiping them out with a score of 13-4. We weren’t too suprised. Techmorph’s one of the largest organized gaming clans in Sri Lanka, with several teams participating in Day One alone. Si3rRa qualifies for the next round.
The next two matchups on the draw were one RedxBlackOnyx vs the Hell’s Angels and Phoenix Gaming’s Toxic team vs the Wolfpack. Both matches were rescheduled due to player absence. The DW-Mistwalkers drew the newcomers Angry Birds, playing on the “Crash” map. It was clear the Angry Birds were inexperienced compared to Toxic – they started off with some odd weapon selection choices, such as AK-47’s with silencers, and failed in early attempts to rush Bomb Site A for the plant. Despite some spirited footwork, they were taken down 13-0 by Toxic’s tightly scripted gaming. A flawless victory. The Mistwalkers qualify for the next round.
At this point SLCG is in full swing – the hall is literally packed. There’s a Dialog booth over at the entrance. Every minute visiting gamers eye the Armageddon gaming gear used by the participants and head over to the Techtools / Armageddon stall to check out the prices.
Two unknown teams came up next: DrDz (the Androidz) playing against Team Strikerz. Like the previous map, one team – the Strikerz – started losing early and matters only got worse after the halftime switch: Androids walked onto the next round with a 13-4 victory.
Next came the single most memorable match of the entire day: the Underdogs vs Asterix WDF. No two teams were ever so evenly matched in the first round and these two. The match began with an even 1-1: Underdogs on attack, WDF defending. 2-2, 5-5 – every time one team pulled ahead the other matched the win. The Underdogs started off with a number of fails – flashes, grenades, even a teamkill – and warmed up at halftime. |UD| Funny and |WDF| saXo stood out, often going head to head in sniper battles. 11-12 in the Underdog’s favor – and saXo secured a win and drew the match. Draw!
This play would continue not for one, but two more matches. A knife round netted WDF the choice for the next map: a heavy game focused around Crash’s bombsite A ended in a draw at 3-3. Atom from the Underdogs and DK from WDF got into stellar form during this match. After the third draw, the Underdogs pulled out ahead at the very last minute on Crossfire to nail a 4-2 victory. All in all – four rounds fought and a superb, even exhausting performance from both teams. Asterix WDF goes home: Underdogs qualify to the next round.
Redex Black Onyx, who turn out to be another entry by clan Techmorph, walks in. Cindy in rBO was the only girl gamer on a COD4 team and thus deserves an honorary mention. Techmorph Redex Black Onyx vs the Hell’s Angels started off with TM [rBO] playing defense in Crash. 11 rounds later the Hell’s Angels had yet to score – with IronH!D and Fragy pulling off some brutal kills, TM [rBO] won 12-1. TM [rBO] qualifies to the next round to play against Ox!D3 team Rapid. As it turns out, the next round is already here – the Ox!D3s are in the audience and ready to roll.
Without further ado the Ox!D3 Rapid vs TM [rBO] match commenced on the CityStreets map. Round 1 ended with TM | Fragy in a 1-vs-4 situation against 4 Ox!D3. The next round was similar with only IronH!D left. At the end of the third round it’s still 3-0 in Ox!D3’s favor. TM [rBO] retaliated on the fourth round, gunning down [R] Crywolf. At halftime it’s 7-3 in Ox!D3’s favor. It looked as if the tables turned for Ox!D3 Rapid after halftime, but the game concludes at a 13-7 win for Ox!D3 Rapid.
Next sees the newcomers Future Soldiers fighting against yet another Techmorph team – TM | Alagembo. (It was stated before that Techmorph is a pretty massive community) Despite the name, the Alagembo won fair and square at 13-5 in an unremarkable match. As it turned out, they qualified for the second round against Ox!d3 Team Hertz, who put them down 13-4 with Ox!D3’s PYRO and Furball leading the charge. The Ox!D3’s profited most from the day, putting down two Techmorph teams and qualifying both their teams to the third round.
Next up is the long-awaited Pheonix team, which turns out to be a mixed (members from multiple teams playing together) team called Pnx Respawn, up against Polka [who plays under the BOA clantag]. Pnx won 13-2 and qualified for the next round against the Androids, who qualified in their previous match. Despite some competitive playing by the Androids, PnX outperformed them, taking an early 2-0 lead and holding it all the way to a 13-6 win. Androids got their first win at 6-1 and were subsequently knifed to death by PnX Leon and PnX Booth. PnX Respawn qualified to moved onto the next round.
Taking the seats afterward were Maximum Gamers vs Techmorph Ouch. Despite the hour, this was a very closely watched match by the spectators: both teams have made a name for themselves over the years. The game started off balanced, with Maximum Gamers pulling off an early lead playing attack. Ouch responded with cautious play, racking up kills with their AK47 squad. Ouch took a lead in the first half by isolating and hunting down the Maximum Gamers one by one in clutch situations. $iriu$, esswee leading the field fro Maximum, V3nom<3 and RuGrat scoring high for Ouch: the games disintegrate rapidly into clutch situations, with many of the Maximum team being wiped out by grenades. Max performed superbly in such high-pressure situations, bringing it back up to 9-8 (Ouch’s favor). Ouch, playing more cohesively as a team, finished off the match at 13-8 to loud cheers from their assembled fans.
The match before the last saw the Beach Boys pitted against the Blood Brothers on the first Backlot map for the day. Confusion reigned among the spectators with both teams using the BB clantags. The Beach Boys scored a promising 3-1 before the Blood Brothers pulled even at halftime: a closely fought 13-10 match saw the Beach Boys emerging victorious.
The Techmorphs have to be commended for their patience. By the time the final match took place (Aurora against TM (RXP) it was past 10 in the evening. Aurora started on attack, but unfortunately the match had to be postponed due to The BMICH’s lights-out rules.
That wraps up everything that happened on the first day – GL and HF, readers (that’s gamer slang for good luck and have fun). GG, all participants. See you again for the Day Two recap.