The quarter-finals of the Future Esports Masters are finished! After four matches separated the wheat from the chaff, our four final teams took to the stage again today in the semi-final bracket. With a 10,000 SAR (US$2,666) prize pool to fight for, competition is fiercer than ever in the MENA region. Four teams remaining, but only two spots in the finals.
Osh-Tekk Warriors: Eaglex, mL77A, TMENEXT, Steel, Zoldyck
Pickles eSports: Arrow, xZiyad, M5LL, SuperNOVA, UD
Our first match was between the Osh-Tekk Warriors and Pickles eSports. Osh-Tekk Warriors showed dominance in the quarter-finals by going 7-1 against Elders Empire. Not far behind, however, is Pickles eSports who went 7-2 against team The Real Zone.
Prior to the match, the Osh-Tekk Warriors' "Eaglex" said that they were going in with an open mind and a generalized approach, saying that they were ready for "any map." On the contrary, Pickles eSports spared no effort in getting an edge, watching old stream recordings and practising new strategies specifically for their opponents.
The map chosen was Coastline, dashing Pickles' hopes for an open map. Osh-Tekk opened the bans with Capitao, followed by a targeted Montagne and Jager ban by Pickles, with a Mira ban by the Warriors to close things out.
The first half heavily favoured the Warriors, who came out of the gate winning four consecutive defence rounds. Time and time again, Osh-Tekks cohesiveness and coordination outgunned the raw aim of Pickles, opting to strike from behind and escape without consequence. On round 5, Pickles managed to secure a win and looked to turn the tides in their own favour, but again fell victim to the well-oiled machine of the Warriors on Round 6, ending the half 5-1 Osh-Tekk.
The second half was more of the same. Osh-Tekk consistently and repeatedly caught Pickles eSports unaware, secured a kill or two, and escaped without being refragged. Pickles took one more round of the second half, but eventually, Osh-Tekk prevailed.
It seems as if the Warriors' confidence and versatility won true. Osh-Tekk's own "Eaglex" said before the match that he was confident, because "after all we like eating pickles !"
StimulusES: MELLOWSHARK, V3BIID, XAZOZ, NAMED3Z, HZAZII
TheUltimates: B1RD, ELITE, MARIOEX, NEXUIZ, BAZOKA
Our last match of the day closed out the semi-final bracket, providing an opponent for the Warriors to face in the grand finals. These two teams, like the last, showed exceptional skill in the quarter-finals, with StimulusES and TheUltimates (TU) winning their games 7-1 and 7-3 respectively.
The map pick was Oregon, and Stimulus went with conventional Mira and Nomad bans, while TheUltimates vetoed Maestro and Thatcher. Opening and winning with a tower defence, TheUltimates secured a close round one. TU secured another round with basement defence, but Stimulus earned a win of their own.
Two more rounds went the way of TheUltimates, but the half ended with Stimulus fighting back and winning one more round, switching sides 4-2 Ultimates. TU started the second half off on the right foot, winning the first round now on attack. Fighting to stay in striking distance, round eight went to the StimulusES due to clever Echo plays, keeping only a two-point deficit. It didn't last for long, as TheUltimates clinched the match with two more wins.
Two entertaining games further demonstrating the skill and coordination present in the MENA region. The Osh-Tekk Warriors have displayed dominance and zeal in each firefight, each round, and each match. Set against them are the TheUltimates with only a slightly less impressive track record and a very real chance of winning the Future Esports Masters. Set your clocks, readers; the best of the MENA region face off tomorrow.