ESEA Season 34: Week 1 - Midweek Match Recaps

June 20, 2020
Article written by: Remington "R700" Rossignol

Three days into week one of season thirty-four and things are already starting to heat up. In today's midweek match recap we’re highlighting some of the hottest games that have gone down already. From Advanced to Open -- here is what you may have missed.

Table of Contents:

1. ESEA Advanced: Northern Forces take down Imperium Gaming (16-8)

2. ESEA Main: Probable Cause take down Rectify Esports (16-10)

3. ESEA Intermediate: RivaLss best the Zoomers in a nail biter (16-14)

4. ESEA Open: Real Anal Aliens achieve the dream over Ice Tray The Gang (16-0)

ESEA Advanced: Northern Forces take down Imperium Gaming (16-8)

Northern Forces

Our first highlighted match is from the advanced division where we saw Northern Forces take down Imperium Gaming on Inferno.

Knife round saw Northern Forces come out on top, electing to start on the CT-side. 

Imperium’s T-pistol round saw them throw a basic double fake into a B-site execute. What started as a promising site take was quickly snuffed out by ohkee. As he walked through the CT smoke to secure a 3k, with Pugg chiming in with a kill of his own. Ending the round before the bomb could be planted. The ensuing T-eco started off promising with fype claiming the first kill of the round with a clean ‘one deag’, punishing early alt-mid aggression from Northern Forces. Before going down, fype went on to hit another clean deagle shot--which was unfortunately all for naught. As Pugg went on to clean up the round, securing the second round in favor of the CT’s. Round six saw Imperium take their first round of the half with an A-site take, despite a well timed flank attempt from Nox. However, Northern Forces quickly responded. Early halls aggression saw them claim the first kill of round seven, which was quickly equalized by a delayed halls contact play from fype. Despite this, Northern Forces went on to secure the round. Round nine saw Imperium punishing the early aggression of Northern Forces, heading into the mid round with a 5v3 advantage. They soon swarmed the B-site, securing the round with three players surviving. Round ten saw Imperium string their first set of rounds together. Winning the round, as well as the ensuing Northern Forces eco in round eleven. In the final round of the half we saw Northern Forces get off to an early advantage, with Pugg securing a double kill entry fighting for banana with an MP9. He would go on to close the round from banana with a salvaged M4A4. With the score at half being 9-6 in favor of Northern Forces. 

Now on the T-side, Northern Forces elected to go for a mid round B-site execute. The round was won by Northern Forces with ohkee claiming the ensuing post plant victory with a 1v1 clutch. The following round saw Northern Forces nearly lose to the Imperium eco. But thanks to a 1v2 clutch from Alvin, the round was secured for Northern Forces. In round eighteen we saw Imperium secure their first round of the second half with a successful retake of the B-site. However, this victory would be short lived. In the ensuing round, Northern Forces forced down to $2,000. With only two players having armor, but all having upgraded pistols -- they managed to swarm the A-site and win out the ensuing post plant, with three of their players surviving. Refusing to go down without a fight: on match point Imperium Gaming’s EXIGE opened up the round with an early double kill down banana. EXIGE then went on to close the round, winning a 1v1 in the post plant. The final round of the game saw EXIGE secure the entry yet again. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, as Northern Forces went on to secure the round with the final kill coming in from Alvin.

Major Takeaways:
  1. The eco and force rounds of Imperium Gaming are not to be scoffed at. Despite not winning any eco rounds, every eco round they managed to take multiple guns out of their opponents hands. This kept their opponents’ economy in check, allowing them to capitalize on their round wins. I could see this being a factor in their upcoming matches. Should they find themselves in a close game, this could very well be the x-factor that pushes them over the finish line. 
  2. Northern Forces showed firsthand the power they have in the fragging department. ohkee ended the game on 116 ADR. Pugg finished with 99 ADR

ESEA Main: Probable Cause take down Rectify Esports (16-10)

Probable Cause

Both of these teams went 11-5 last season. Both made playoffs. Neither qualified for Advanced. In an exciting week one bout between these two teams: Probable Cause leave with the victory on Mirage.

Starting on the T-side, Rectify went straight into a B-site execute. With the initial kills going their way and bomb down, it looked like Rectify’s round. That was until Probable Cause players REV and JAM combined for four kills in the retake with enough time to defuse the bomb. Come round three, Rectify looked to be in the driver's seat yet again, holding A-site control with a 3 man advantage. That was until Probable Cause player cloudy pulled a spectacular clutch out of his hat. cloudy killed all three players from jungle with a single M4A4 mag. Rectify finally claimed their first T-side win in round five, with Crimson clutching a key 1v2 post-plant with low HP. However, this victory was short lived as Probable Cause snapped back with a force buy win in the following round. Rectify finally got on the board again in round eight with a textbook A-execute, keeping four of their players alive. The following round saw Rectify fight for mid control, which Probable Cause were willing to concede. Rectify turned the mid control into a late round A-site split, which earned them their third round win. By round twelve the scoreline was starting to equalize. With Rectify looking to tie the game 6-6. However, cloudy stepped up yet again with some heroic deagle kills on the A-site. Now, in a 1v1 retake with the bomb planted on the B-site, cloudy once again delivered. Snatching the round away from Rectify, making the scoreline 7-5. Rectify snapped back in round thirteen with another A-execute. Leaving their opponent on a pistol force the following round. Unfortunately, for Rectify, upgraded pistols was all Probable Cause needed to win the round. The half ended in a 9-6 scoreline, in favor of Probable Cause; with the last round coming off the back of a REV 4k. 

Rectify took the second half half pistol thanks to a bomb defuse in smoke by player tRiLL-. The second half looked promising for Rectify. The score was equalized at 10-10. Probable Cause then took the game by the horns, and ran with it. Going on to close out the game 16-10. With a vital round win off the back of a 2v2 victory in round twenty-four by JAM and cloudy

Major Takeaways:
  1. The game was a lot closer than the scoreline shows. The deciding factor was numerous clutch wins by Probable Cause. Probable Cause was simply hitting all of their shots. If Rectify won some of their advantage rounds and hit some better shots, they could’ve had this game.
  2. Both teams played a very fundamental Counter-Strike match. Both teams prepared well for this but sometimes it just isn’t your day.

Congrats to Probable Cause for taking the win!

ESEA Intermediate: RivaLss best the Zoomers in nail biter (16-14)


Nuke was the home of this week one Intermediate slugfest. Traditionally, Nuke is seen as one of the more tactical maps in the current competitive pool. It is statistically the most CT-sided map in both Open and Intermediate. However, match victor RivaLss jumped out of the gate with a very strong T-side performance in the first half which left them in the lead at half with a 9-6 score, despite losing the pistol.This was thanks to some solid entry work from RivaLss player phil, some hefty fragging from tmay, and crucially, the clutch performance of WiCKeD^

However, Zoomers did not roll over and quit. They racked up eight rounds on their own T-side before eventually being defeated 16-14. Zoomers player Dudley led the second half comeback with a whopping 126 ADR, as well as being responsible for 65% of his team’s T-side entries.

Major Takeaways:
  1. This match was a true slugfest, despite the tactical nature of the map. At the end of the game, both teams had combined for zero flash assists.

My congrats go out to RivaLss for their win, and I wish both teams the best of luck this season. And hey, if you need some help learning the god-flashes, you know who to call! ;)

ESEA Open: Real Anal Aliens achieve the dream over Ice Tray The Gang (16-0)

Real Anal Aliens

You have got to love it (well… unless you are Ice Tray The Gang). Nothing beats seeing a dominant 16-0. To add insult to injury, the map was Inferno. I remember getting my own 16-0 L in Open. However, that was on Train… A map that unless you have outright better aim, you are not going to win if you don’t know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, for my opponent that day, they were outmatched in both aim and map understanding. But Inferno, really? Considered by most to be one of the most loose and free-flowing maps. It can be expected that even if you are totally outmatched, you will get lucky in at least one round. Considering the lengthy CT-rotates as well as the two bomb sites being decently hard to retake compared to most other maps in the pool. You would figure one round, at least one, could be chipped away. However, the Real Anal Aliens put on a clinic in their first match of the season. Player p1erre helped save the dream by winning a key 1v2. While TheAxiom led the charge for his team with a whopping 137 ADR in the first half. He then signed the contract for the dream himself, with four kills in the second half pistol round -- solidifying his team's accomplishment, the coveted 16-0. Congrats guys, well played!

Major Takeaways:
  1. Players from the Real Anal Aliens: don’t forget this feeling... Don’t forget how good it feels to stand on top, to feel like you have utterly dominated your opponent. Know that the rest of your games will not come so easy. Statistics will tell you that you are not going to finish the season undefeated. You will face adversity. But if you truly want to feel like that again, remember that winning takes work, you can’t become complacent. You know that season I got the 16-0 W, we didn’t even make playoffs. Don’t ever fall for the trap of,  “yeah, I think we’re good enough”. There is always room for improvement. STAY ON YOUR GRIND!
  2. Players from Ice Tray The Gang: once you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. In some sense you should be glad it happened. Now you know what can be expected if you don’t put in the effort. If you truly want to be winners: let this be the start of a new day. Don’t give up, have faith in the grind, and work hard.

We hope you enjoyed our third article! See you very soon. :) 

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