Key Takeaways From The MLG Launch Invitational
The first official Gears of War 4 LAN is now over and we have much to discuss. Many things that happened throughout the event were expected, but a few surprises kept things interesting. Here are my key takeaways from the Gears of War 4 MLG Launch Invitational.
Revenge Gaming is for real
Despite being the first team to qualify for the Gears of War 4 MLG Launch Invitational through the GameBattles 2K series, Revenge Gaming was not seen by very many people as a potential top finisher at this event. Seen as online warriors and outsiders compared to more established Gears pros, Revenge looked at this tournament to prove themselves, and boy did they ever.
In a tournament that saw OpTic Gaming not drop a single map, Revenge played them closer than any other team and made them claw out the closest 2-0 series of the weekend. From the loser's bracket, Revenge made quick work of the Australian team, Mindfreak and moved on to face eUnited, largely believed to be a top-three Gears team and the squad most likely to meet OpTic Gaming in the finals. Revenge had other plans, however, as they pulled off the upset against eUnited with a spectacularly unexpected 2-0 victory. Revenge went on to face NRG, another Gears powerhouse, and mount yet another upset, this time in what was arguably the most entertaining series of the tournament with a 2-1 win.
Revenge would eventually fall to Team EnVyUs in the loser's bracket finals 2-1, but the squad still secured a top-three finish and more importantly proved that they can no longer be overlooked. Doing so would be a fatal mistake for any team, as Revenge have proven that they can not only battle with the best of them, but also have the ability to dominate any of them.
Enigma6 Still Needs Answers
From the team's inception in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Enigma6 Group was expected to be a top contender with a roster of veterans such as Dylan "Eternity" Merrill and Chris "Affinity" Curren, and an all-star talent in Matt "Hudsonz" Hudson. However, fans would be let down throughout the tenure of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition as they failed to secure even a spot at either ESL's Pro League Season finals. As it stands, their best finish in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition was fifth at the MLG North American Open, this past July.
Moving into Gears of War 4, E6 made the surprising decision to drop Brendon "Po5eidon" O'Neill and bring in Ozby "Noxious" Romero and Christopher "Crushmo" Lauzon, two highly skilled players to improve their chances of qualifying for the Launch Invitational and increase their hopes of being a top-four contender with their improved slaying capability.
Despite this roster change, E6 would once again disappoint fans by failing to qualify for the Launch Invitational, only receiving their ticket due to the top-two EU teams being implicated in player impersonation.
E6 went go on to lose to both EnVyUs and Splyce, failing to take even a single map in the tournament. Despite showing early round promise, often winning initial engagements with the enemy, E6 failed to maintain map control or make proper rotations, a weakness teams would exploit. E6 has yet to find the answers needed for success, as their disappointing finishes are quickly becoming customary and all too frequent.
Solurs is back
Live long enough and you'll quickly realize that second chances are a rarity often afforded to only those with the right connections or someone of rare skill and talent. This holds true for business executives, entertainers and especially true for athletes and esports athletes. Brian "Solurs" Valenzuela fits in the latter category.
After mysteriously not showing up for the ESL Pro League Season 2 finals, Solurs was almost a ghost within the Gears community, not speaking with anyone for months. Why did he leave? Is he going to play again? Who would play with him after what he did? All questions that we assumed would never be answered until arguably the game's best player, Arody "Praized" Dipre was banned for player impersonation.
Team EnVyUs was in a scramble to find a suitable replacement for an irreplaceable talent, leaving many people wondering whothey could possibly find to fill such a massive void. Then, in a shocking announcement, Solurs was back and dressed in blue.
Solurs proved that he maintained top form during his time away from Gears esports, being one of the top performing players of the tournament. So much so that now there lies the question: does EnVyUs move to retain Solurs within the current roster? If not EnVyUs, some other team will certainly make an offer to acquire the young and talented player who seems to have a renewed commitment to the game.
OpTic Gaming Still Reigns Supreme
No surprise here, as OpTic Gaming continues to steamroll the competition, this time without dropping a single map. This unit has never lost with its full squad, dating all the way back to Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and they intend to keep it that way. The young titans are confident, hungry and show no signs of weakness. There is only one throne in this kingdom and for OpTic, the crown looks pretty light. Who will rise as the usurper? Perhaps no one at this rate.
What was youre major takeaway from the MLG Launch Invitational? Can anyone dethrone OpTic? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @GAMURScom.
photo credits: Major League Gaming