Article written by: John "JAYEL"
At last, the dust has settled. The highly anticipated Lower Bracket Final came to its end, with Third Impact spoiling the highly regarded RBG Esports 2-1. Now, we will have another rematch between Third Impact and Thunder Logic in the Grand Finals of ESEA Advanced. This was a match-up that no one in the Counter Nature Bracket Pick Em predicted, but it is the match-up that is deserved for both of these teams and all of us who will watch it.
Starting with Third Impact, they were able to grind out the Lower Bracket and conquer RBG Esports in an exciting three map series. In both of Third Impact’s wins, they were able to start the match strong and get an early lead. Slow starts have been an increasingly large problem for RBG Esports to deal with as of late. On the first map (Mirage), Third Impact jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on their T-side. It would end up being too much for RBG Esports to come back from, as the scoreline finished 16-12. On the third and final map (Nuke), Third Impact gave RBG Esports very little to work with, as they jumped ahead early with a 10-2 lead on CT-side. KayJay and the gang were able to string together a comeback, but it exerted too much and Third Impact kept focus and closed out overtime by winning the final four rounds in a row.
Now, we are back to the Grand Finals match-up between Third Impact and Thunder Logic. Third Impact will be down a map (best of five), as Thunder Logic will have the advantage for winning-out the Upper Bracket. And, as insane said in his interview that you will read further down in this article, “...Having a map disadvantage in a best of five is a huge challenge, and as long as there’s been double elimination playoffs in Advanced, no one from the Lower Bracket has won.”. However, if there is a team that is set to stand out and be different in this regard, it’s Third Impact.
As we stated in our article that previewed the Lower Bracket Finals, Third Impact has been on a tear. After losing both maps in overtime to Thunder Logic in the Upper Bracket of this season’s playoffs, Third Impact has only dropped one other map in this playoffs, which was to the respectable RBG Esports in the Lower Bracket Finals. If there is one certain advantage, it’s that Third Impact has been playing a ton of CS during this playoffs run. Their Advanced playoff record is 10-3, summing up to 13 maps played, compared to Thunder Logic’s 8. On top of that, Third Impact has been grinding through the WINNERS League Main playoffs, where they recently defeated Lethal Divide (now known as timbermen) to claim the $2,500 1st place prize. This was a back-to-back championship for the team, as they took 1st place in last season’s Main division playoffs, when they defeated RBG Esports. All this to say, if there is a team that is prepared to go 4-5 maps and grind out a comeback series--it’s Third Impact.
Quick Interview with insane from Third Impact
You guys have looked great on this side of the playoffs--is there anything in specific that you guys did or started doing to get into this form? What has your practice regiment been like during this playoffs?
The only thing that's been different since playoffs started is that I've been watching demos of the teams we're playing and developing a gameplan around it. I think the preparation isn't always relevant or as impactful as I would like, but it helps me as a player and as an IGL to have an idea of how the other team plays.
We've had a consistent practice schedule throughout the season and have done our best to keep it going during playoffs, but there's been a general lack of good scrims lately so we've had to take some days off and sometimes have shorter practice days.
You played Thunder Logic earlier in this playoffs, losing a close 2-0, with both games going into OT. What do you think was the difference in those two maps? What lost you guys that round of the playoffs?
They played better than I expected, mostly with some of their T-side calling, but ultimately, I think we lost to ourselves. There were times where we found ourselves straying from the gameplan, and a LOT of little and big mistakes added up. Even though we lost closely to another finalist, I feel like that was the worst we've played as a team all season. After losing a lot of rounds we knew we should have won, the vibe of our comms slipped into a lot of negativity and it hurt our chances of closing out both maps.
You guys had (or still have) a gaming house, right? How is/was that experience?
Just to clarify, JoJo is the only one of us to have gone to the gaming house. It's been offered as an option to the rest of us, but between work and school it just isn't possible for everyone else at the moment.
What’s your prediction for the finals Bo5?
Having a map disadvantage in a best of five is a huge challenge, and as long as there's been double elim playoffs in Advanced, no lower bracket finalist has won. That being said, we're going into this match with full confidence. We're cognizant of our individual and team mistakes from the last time we played them, and we're ready to get revenge and avenge our fallen brothers on RBG Esports. We win 3-0 (3-1).
As for Thunder Logic, not much has changed since our article discussing the Final Three of Advanced playoffs. This team has been a sleeping giant, awaiting their opportunity to close out the Advanced playoffs in dominating fashion. Inseaniac and co. will be looking to 2-0 TI in the finals and complete an impressive and undefeated playoffs run back into their rightful MDL home.
As stated earlier, Third Impact has been grinding through this July month. Filling their weeks with extra Lower Bracket matches for Advanced and conquering WINNERS League Main. Thunder Logic has not had the same amount of play, only participating in eight total matches this month (all in Advanced playoffs). It will be interesting to see if that has any effect on Thunder Logic’s start to this series, or if they will immediately jump into things and start where they left off against RBG Esports in the Upper Bracket.
Inseaniac has been taking heads in this post-season, holding an 86.79 ADR and 1.35 K/D, which are both the highest for Thunder Logic in playoffs. This is exciting to see, as we will all get to witness some great AWP duels between him and JoJo. If Inseaniac is able to overpower Third Impact’s AWP, this finals will likely be secured for Thunder Logic.
Despite playing five less matches than Third Impact in these playoffs, Thunder Logic still has the same size map pool as Third Impact (5). Thunder Logic has not played Inferno for the entirety of this SEASON. Absolutely zero matches played on it. Mirage however, was a little shaky for them, going an even 2-2 during the regular season on it.
Quick Interview with Inseaniac from Thunder Logic
What did you think of the competition in Advanced this season, after coming down from MDL? What were some of the biggest differences?
There's quite a big gap in skill between the Advanced teams and MDL teams of last season. A few teams in Advanced have a good team structure that could compare to MDL, but they lack the firepower.
You haven’t dropped a single map in playoffs so far, what has been your key(s) to success?
For us, the biggest factor to our success is the fact that we are all quite good friends outside of the game and we all know exactly how each of us likes to play the game and can adapt and play around each other really well. Also, our coach, Gillberg who has MDL experience and has been contributing tremendously to our overall success.
What has been you team’s practice regiment during playoffs?:
Our practice regimen is quite non-existent. We don't practice at all as Andy and Bryce are both playing Valorant. Also, Sharkie, Brian, and I are playing http://agar.io. It all contributes to the big picture though, because we are team bonding outside the game.
You played Third Impact earlier in this playoffs, winning a close 2-0, with both games going into OT. What do you think was the difference in those two maps? What do you think about playing them again in the finals?
Third Impact got close to beating us but if they want to win they can't give us a single opportunity to get back into the game. We're very momentum strung so when we start stringing rounds and getting hyped up we're pretty solid as 5. In the finals, we don't plan on letting them get that close as it was in our previous match-up. This is likely our last game together as 5, so we're trying to go out with a quick dub.
What’s your prediction for the finals Bo5?
Should be a quick series with a map advantage closing it up in 2 games maybe giving them 1 if they're lucky.
That's all from us here at Counter Nature. Thanks to Inseaniac and insane for both answering some questions to us. Good luck to both of these teams and congratulations making it to the Grand Finals.