I think it would be better to start from the moment, when I just arrived in the team.
When the question of my assignation was being discussed, we had already figured out our theoretical preparation and found out that we would do this in a few days. We thought it would take a few more days, but it didn’t change anything. We had an absolutely unready team with a new player and a new coach, which at least had to withdraw from a very difficult group. We started to play together, as a team from May 4 since four players were already in Kiev and they hadn’t played a game after the flights. On May 5 we found out that Mou successfully got a visa, but unfortunately he couldn’t get on the train. As a result he was in Kiev only on May 6 (I want to remind you that a flight to the tournament was planned for May 8). I’m not looking for an excuse; actually, I want you, dear fans, to understand that during this short period of time we did everything we could, we did the impossible. Thus we came right in time to choose the map pool. We trained 6 out of 7 maps, paid a bit more attention to the certain ones and were playing our tactics as much as we could. Since we didn’t have enough time, we had to try out everything in very weighty leagues, trying not to show the most important strategies.
Sometimes we would win, sometimes we would lose, but at least a drop of confidence that we might withdraw from the group I got, despite of the results of the last day. Then it was the day of departure. I couldn’t fly with my team due to my specific conditions with visa. I faced that problem, as you might have understood, because I was told about the trip a bit suddenly and for sure I wasn’t ready for that. Plus it’s not that easy to get a visa during May holidays. Well, I got it anyway, but there were no tickets left, so that’s why I had to fly alone and a bit later.
So, I came to the airport with Markeloff. While rest of the team was somewhere over Germany, I, feeling extremely sleepy, was meeting members of Flipsid3. And, to my misfortune, it was only the beginning of the story. I arrived in Paris being around half an hour late. I only had 20 minutes to get off the plane and onto the train. It seemed to be even worse since I had to go through customs, but this time I was lucky. Firstly, everyone, who was in a queue let me go first. Secondly, customs official got the situation and didn’t even ask what country I have a visa for. I ran to the platform, where our guys were waiting for me and listening to Anders, who was showing those smokes, which would help us to withdraw from the group a bit later. The trip in general was very fast and comfortable. We lived in a beautiful hotel, which was located about 200 meters from the venue, and as about the city, well, it was marvelous. I suddenly forgot how fatigued I was, we settled down rather fast and had a dinner whilst we started to watch BYOC, where enormous number of teams participated. After a while we walked around the city and without any discussion went to bed. You may also watch AdreN’s VLOG about this.
While getting there, I watched all recent Titan’s games and analyzed it a bit. We knew that our game was going to be late in the evening, but we were pleased to find out that every team is allowed to come anytime. We could do everything we wanted with their computers. Well, we did so. We came to support Flipsid3 (this team, by the way, brought me some special bonus. I bet that they would not come out from the group. I don’t want to mention the person and the sum, but anyway it softened the bitterness of their defeat a bit). Though there wasn’t much time until the game started, time was dragging. One thing improved our mood. KucheR and I decided to go to a shop and buy some stuff like water, bananas, chocolate. And suddenly we became witnesses of super car show, which actually was very rich Algerian wedding. The worst or the cheapest car there was Porsche. Instead of hackneyed klaxons, all those cars were pressing a trigger button, showing their power. The center of the city reminded me the race track. And people, who were running around with Algeria flags completed the picture.
HellRaisers [3-16] Titan @inferno
We started on T side and immediately our tactic was ‘unraveled’. Those guys were really good prepared for our game style, but due to them we got the important experience that helped us to advance ourselves. We were very lucky that they did it, because as I have said before we had no time to try out everything. That ‘slap in the face’ really helped us. We lost so banally and hopelessly that there wasn’t even time to be upset. The only right idea was that we should go out, breathe and not even try to quarrel or argue. And the solution came out itself. When we returned to our seats, we decided not to miss any game of our future opponents and were carefully watching them. As I had predicted before the tournament began, LDLC.White made many troubles to Team EnVyUs in the first match. The guys managed to play a series of overtimes, but due to the lack of experience, victory didn’t come to them. Wherein Team EnVyUs in overtimes was showing very important harvestings on T side on Inferno, which they might have had prepared for the playoff stage.
HellRaisers [16-14] LDLC White @cache
The start of game turned to be hard even though we have discussed absolutely every occasion, every situation. We knew what we would do in pistol round and we had a plan if we wouldn’t take it. But still we had to do the force-buying rounds, which, fortunately, we won and equalized the score in the first half. We felt very confident about our attack on every map, and first time we didn’t have any problems until we did that, my dear friends, mistake. We lost opponents’ eco round and put ourselves in a very difficult condition. The score was 14-13 in a favor of our team, we took a time-out. We were making really necessary and right decisions. Next round was decided to be eco, and after it we surely brought the game to the end.
Right after it we had probably the most important game, the match versus Titan on Train.
To begin with, we were the only team in official matches who played this map, and, to be honest, we lost both of the games. One of those games was match versus Titan, the second one was against Virtus.pro.
Drafting. This process took about 20 minutes. We won the right to pick first. There were 3 maps left: Cache, Dust 2, and Train. It was Titan’s turn to choose the map. They thought we wouldn’t risk playing on the map. They selected Cache. That also says a lot since they played on this map with all top teams. It was their principal pick. We immediately took Train and went outside to smoke and discuss what we will do.
HellRaisers [16-10] Titan @train
The game on CT side had no luck for us even though we had won the knife round. We still took 8 rounds, which I have to admit wasn’t that easy. We had a précised plan for T side, well-discussed pistol round and in addition to our harvestings we had an unready tactic with Ander’s smokes, which we named after him. As a result there was only one risky situation, when Alex killed three people on eco round, but still Kirill and Mou won the round 2 versus 3. Then everything was going according to the plan. Well, I could say that even rounds we lost were the part of our plan. I would say that because of doing it we put our opponent in very difficult economic situation. Thus the last two rounds Titan had to play with Scouts and either CZ75a or Five-SeveN. I can’t say that the victory made us very happy, but understanding and knowing that we did at least the minimum brought a bit confidence. When we finished playing, we returned to our hotel at 2 a.m. The game against Fnatic must have been at 2 p.m. For resting, training, and dinning we had less than 12 hours. You may watch how it was going here.
You might know that sleeping isn’t an easy thing. And probably you also feel much fresher when you went to bed at 9 p.m. and getting up at 6-7 o’clock instead of going sleep at 2 a.m. and getting up at 10. I, personally, awoke overwhelmed and tired. For sure it didn’t affect my mood at all, but still the situation wasn’t perfect. I, to be honest, didn’t get why organizers decided not to let Team EnVyUs and Dignitas play first since they had finished their groups before us. Perhaps it was the only minus of the tournament, because in general administrators were doing their best to make players feel comfortable.
HellRaisers [1-2] fnatic @inferno, overpass, dust2
The first map was Inferno, the Fnatic's pick. We took only 5 round on CT side, but due to the kUcheR’s motivation by saying “Guys, it’s not over. We should believe in a victory, we still can do it” we didn't give up. And guess what? We won it. The series of clutches and epic kills on T side brought us to the victory of the map. We were truly excited that time. We understood that though on the next two maps of map pool we were not that stable, we felt right about the maps and were ready for it. We also realized that those maps were not perfect for our opponents as well. But, unfortunately, we have lost both of the games.
Right after the game we made certain conclusions. We knew perfectly well how we should move on. The rest of the day we spent walking around. We visited the Finale and the next day we took off to the Paris. I was able to fly in that very day, but rest of the team had to spend twenty-four hours more in Paris due to holidays as there were not any adequate tickets. The report from с Dreamhack Tours 2015 might be found here.
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