Going into this event being the Season 1 Champions, Denial was in place to take home yet another LAN title after their advancement into the finals. While they were not playing with their normal roster, RedNick Icy happily took the place of Solurs on the main stage. I took much more time to breakdown this matchup and I hope that you guys like what I’ve done. It will give me an idea of how I should cover the upcoming Season 2 Finals.
Map 1: Gridlock Round 1 kicked off with as much excitement as one could imagine. Crushmo came out swinging as he was able to take out three members of the Wolfpack by himself, helping Mercenaries For Hire take round 1. Fatalstryke came out huge in round 2 rocking his American Flag bandana and picking up two kills for MFH and ultimately helping them secure yet another round win. Round 3 showed some amazing teamwork by Fatalstryke and Crushmo as they made the push into the boom pit, with the support of Hudsonz posted up in the sniper tower, this was a third round win for MFH. Going into round 4, both Fatalstryke and Crushmo were sitting atop their team with 4 kills each. Denial made a strong push for sniper this round and was able to get it in the hands of Mental who put up a beautiful headshot on Hudsonz. Unfortunately the round did come down to Lava being left in a 1v2 situation and was no match for the boomshot of Fatalstryke. Securing this round win gave MFH the map win with a massive upset of 4-0 over the Wolfpack.
Map 2: Clocktower Round 1 showed a whole new strategy from the Wolfpack as Lava actually picked up the sniper. With the Wolfpack securing all three weapon pickups and dropping two players of MFH soon into the round. It came down to a brutal 1v4 for Crushmo. Although he was able to drop RedNick Icy after a missed boomshot, Xplosive ended the round for the Wolfpack with a kill on Crushmo and bringing his round 1 kills to 3. Round 2 took place all up top barriers as Lava showed us some of the most dominant pistol play we’ve seen yet. Xplosive also wrapped up another 2 kills bring his round 2 tally up to 5 kills in this sweeping round win. Round 3 showed Crushmo rushing the low stairs flank on the Wolfpack, but Xplosive and Mental could not be stopped as they bounced around with their shotguns on point. It seemed that after this round 3 win, the Wolfpack was not going to be stopped as they headed into round 4. With a surprise fight from MFH, the round came down to a 1v1 with RedNick Icy and Hudsonz. With the sniper being picked up by Icy, Hudsonz certainly kept a safe distance to avoid any quick headpops and kept his cool as Icy came in for the fight to secure the first round win of map 2 for MFH. Round 5 came down to MFH trying to carry their round win momentum to far. The Wolfpack could not be stopped as they swept the round with ease. Xplosive ended up with 10 kills in this game showing that he will not be forgotten in this LAN. The Wolfpack takes map 2 4-1 and ties the map count now 1-1.
Map 3: Fuel Depot Round 1 showed a very different MFH as they were able to secure a quick kill on Lava and then push the Wolfpack back into hangar spawn. With the sniper in the hands of Mental however, this could have been a dangerous rush strategy. A beautifully executed headshot by Hudsonz kicked off a momentum for MFH as they were able to push in and clean up Xplosive and Icy for the round 1 win. Round 2 showed a brutal front door push with Lava almost being taken out right off the bat. Luckily he as able to recover after Ribs was taken down. Coming down to a 2v2, Xplosive and Lava were in a stand off with Hudsonz and Crushmo, which after some location swapping, ended in a draw. Going into the round 2 replay, a quick Mental sniper pickup lead to a huge helipad war as Lava showed us his amazing grenade play yet again. However Crushmo played his boomshot perfectly and left Mental as the lone survivor. With a devistating own teammate down from Hudsonz, mental is able to clutch a beautiful 1v2 to secure round 2. Round 3 showed a dominant Mental pistol and helped secure the round bringing the tally to 2-1 in favor of the Wolfpack. Xplosive went off in round 4 as MFH tried pushing the front door and boomshot. He secured a beautiful exectuion followed by back to back shotty headshots to give the Wolfpack a 3-1 round advantage. Round 5 showed a brand new Crushmo as he came out killing all four members of the Wolfpack helping MFH secure their second round win on map 2. Mental was finally able to show us those beautiful quick reaction sniper shots as he pooped the heads of three MFH players to secure his teams 4-2 win on map 2.
Map 4: Canals Round 1 began a lot slower than I personally imagined. With it coming down to 2v3 in favor of MFH, both Lava and Mental had secured a sniper. Lava quickly showed the he can take out heads when needed and evened the odds by bringing it to a 2v2. Ribs was able to clean up both Wolfpack players some beautiful pistol/shotty combo plays however to secure a round 1 win. With some massive nade bridge action taking place, Hudsonz put up yet another devastating team kill by delivering a headshot on Fatalstryke. Also leaving him in a now 1v3 situation against the Wolfpack. Mental was able to secure the quick kill and bring the round count to 1-1. Round 3 showed yet another flank route from Crushmo as he was able to quickly take down Mental. Crushmo picked up another 2 kills for MFH and then was able to hunt down Lava and secure the win to take the round count to 2-1 in favor of MFH. Round 4 finally showed some play from Icy as he was able to secure a couple kills for his team. Lava helped clean up MFH for another round tie of 2-2. Round 5 showed a very aggressive strategy by MFH as they made very quick, team-based, plays to secure yet another round bringing them up 3-2 on Canals. Round 6 led MFH to changer their strategy and push low side bridge. Unfortunately for them, Xplosive is not going to allow them to take a win that easily. Lava was able to make a useful double kill and allow for his team to be left 3v1 against Hudsonz. I think we can all agree that when Hudsonz clutched 2 kills right off the bat and brought it down to a 1v1, we were caught off guard. The Wolfpack certainly was. With Mental and Hudsonz playing who is going to make the first move, Mental finally made the push to fight and Hudsonz dropped him with almost no effort. After such a huge 1v3 clutch by Hudsonz, we are going to game 5!! MFH takes map 4 with a 4-2 over the Wolfpack!
Map 5: Mansion Round 1 showed some very reckless play on the Wolfpack as they basically allowed Fatalstryke to quickly take out 2 of them. Although Mental was able to answer with a kill on Ribs, it was simply just not enough. MFH takes round 1. Round 2 showed the Wolfpack we all know as they just rolled through MFH. Icy helped so much this round, not only by picking up the kills, but also as the pure stopping power. Wolfpack takes round 2 to tie up the round count at 1-1. Round 3 yielded yet another big round for the Wolfpack as they quickly secured yet another round win. Mental’s perfect grenade placement allowed them to go up on round count 2-1. With a change of pace in round 4, MFH came out and dropped Mental early as he made his play for grenades. After that, it seemed like the only showing in the kill feed was Wolfpack members being dropped left and right. This round went to MFH as they tie the round count 2-2. Round 5 showed yet another power play from Xplosive as he pushed the boom pit and was able to get things started for Wolfpack as it was player after player of MFH being taken down. Mental came in to clean up and put his team only one round away from taking the MES Event! WE ARE GOING TO ROUND 7!! Beautiful pushes and plays by MFH lead to a huge round win! Not only are we in a game 5 as it is, but we are going to the most important round of this matchup! You could tell right off the bat that this was a huge round as both teams held their ground and made sure not to give away any easy kills. With Lava given the ability to pick up grenades, MFH has already made one of the biggest mistakes they could have. First blood finally comes as Xplosive takes out Fatalstryke, followed by even more Xplosive dominance as he use the boomshot to make MFH fall at his feet! Wolfpack shows why they are the Season 1 Champions as they take Mansion 4-3 and win the series matchup 3-2!
Congrats Wolfpack on some amazing games! Less I forget to shoutout to the guys on MFH, you guys played some awesome games and really made some killer plays. This is what the Gears of War eSports scene is about. This type of nail biting, down to the wire play! This certainly does bring into question how Denial is going to be playing for the finals. Given that they were not even playing with Solurs, they looked strong as ever and ready for PAX Boston. Only time will tell if they can return to the finals and take away another trophy!