After the fever of the roster, after serious changes: loosing core players, signing European guys, coming of s1mple as a stand-in, it seemed as though we were back on our feet and even were winning tier-1 in important leagues for some time. But then the fever returned, schneider came to help us, and we started all over again: new positions, emotions, habits. It looked like we got in some shape again, played an eye-popping match with Virtus.pro at GO:CL and reached the Final.
HellRaisers [2:1] Virtus.pro (14:16 @overpass, 21:17 @mirage, 16:10 @cache)
There was only one game week left before the Winter holidays, but it was extremely important, including a docking match with the Flipsid3 Tactics tactics for the ESL/ESEA league, the GO:CL final, games for reaching the LAN of the Game Show league and so on. And then something unbelievable happened, or maybe something expected: we lost absolutely all important matches on that week, and all that started with a loss to Dignitas.
Then went quite unpleasant stories: after that week sсhneider failed us, when he had decided to leave the team, having put us in a very difficult situation: the CIS qualifiers for the Minor were over, but we just simply did not have the European guy, and we had no idea what to do and whom to take into the team for that or any other tournament.
We still were waiting an answer from MLG, since one of the teams wanted to take part in the Last Chance qualifiers and we, theoretically, got a chance to gain a slot in the CIS Minor. It was the 29th of January, and among all candidates there was only one player from CIS, who is not well-known at all, and about 15 Europeans. However, considering the fact, that the qualifiers would start on the 4th of January, we did not have much time. As a result, I stopped at Zero — a young boy from Slovakia, who showed a quite strong play at the only played prac game, and we decided what qualifiers we were going to play.
The most interesting started here: in 50 minutes before the first match at the Euro qualifiers we got the sanction and a possible invitation to the CIS division, but to make it there we needed a CIS player. The problem with a CIS player was that we simply did not want to disqualify one of the teams by taking out their player, and the problem with the European qualifiers was that it was the single-elimination best-of-one for 512 teams. There was no any anti-cheat program, and a chance that we could lose one random map was very high. It all did implant doubt in the mind: there were a lot of arguments for and against, but, eventually, we decided to play the horrible European qualifier.
The situation was getting harder by the fact that we had lost our computers at the last moment, we had had to play from another place. The second problem was that I was responsible for coordination the team, and I had to do that, having two screens in front of me — they were ANGE1's and kUcheR's. It all happened because the FaceIT service did not support a function of the coach slot on the server. We played the first qualifier rather confidently, though it ran not without stories and mistakes from the organizers, who made some mess, but apologized and fixed everything on the next day.
HellRaisers [1:2] CG (12:16 @dust2, 16:4 @mirage, 6:16 @overpass)
I will write about this match individually. We lost it, but even if 20,000 people say to me that everything was clear there, I will not agree on that to the grave. That boys had sticky fingers, and it is a pity, that they did not make it into the group at the Minor LAN Final with us.
A player during his career, even against average teams, had about the 0.5-0.7 rating, but on the map against us, he suddenly got 2? Please..
As a result, mixed feeling, sadness and understanding that there was only one chance left and that we had to get through all that horrible path again, and may God let us make it to the games for the quota, which we had to fight for against the teams, which we had already lost to once, having a fear to lose again, since it would mean the end to everything.
We played the first day in a perfect way, as well as the second one. And it rather did not surprise me, but pleased: everything was easy, well coordinated and temperate. Confidently, without mistakes, which are simply not allowed in the bo1 format.
A match for the quota…
We were going up against an unknown French team, and that was made us nervous again. The only thing, that I managed to find out, was that Nathan (NBK) did not know that boys, but he saw them playing some local LAN tournament. As a result, we won that match with a 2:0 score and that calmed me down. We got time to get ready, the roster seemed to be good, and I was satisfied with everything about it, doing my job in a good manner. We would play…
HellRaisers [2:0] MIINLATE (16:11 @cache, 16:12 @dust2)
10.01.2016. The qualifiers for DH Leipzig 2016.
We did not have high hopes for that qualifier, but still we did want to win it so that we could get any kind of LAN experience before the Minor. The bracket was not easy: firstly we had to deal with the onliners from aTTaX. The first map against them was a real nightmare, we had not got enough sleep before the game and were tired by previous days, so all the five players in the team, as in the football demotivators, got lost on the map and it was really hard to find each of the player there. We took a breather, said that it was only the beginning and won the next two maps quite confidently. Then we faced off against our uncomplying friend from Bulgaria E-Frag.net. They surprised us with the pick and ban, took the first map, and it did not well go either in the first half on the second map, and four rounds gained on the CT side on cobblestone did not give much hope to get 12 points and to impress the rival with the moves every time. The only task was to make the rival make a mistake, to bury the economy with the force-buys etc, and we managed to do so. 12:3 in return and the final victory with a 16:14 score on the second map did empower our team. We took the third map quite easily, too, though it was an uncommon for us Mirage.
We lost the game with Dignitas for a quota only because we had not been ready to win yet. During all this time, due to the qualifiers, we played overpass not more than twice. We simply did not have enough experience of playing together to implement the advantage: someone was moving… someone was standing… And it all was like this during the entire side, and it was not about the tactics, but in implementation of the advantage, which we simply did not manage to do — we failed it. We have to work on it in the first place, and to make it, we have to play really a lot.
We keep going…
As soon as we took a breather after that very long marathon, the open qualifiers for Katowice have been announced. Two tournaments for one slot in each, and, as ill luck would have it, it will run one day before the Minor. Our preparation will get harmed, since we will lose 4 days, but, actually, we are used to this and, having a good mood, we begin our preparation! See you at the Minor at the end of the month. Thanks, everyone, who was supporting us during this long days of qualifiers. I hope that we will feel your support in Europe, since although not all players of our team are Ukrainians, we will be the only team there with the Ukrainian flag.
Cheer for HellRaisers!