The National Championship Series wrapped its first event! The GEXDCAE NCS Minor featured sixteen CS:GO teams split into four group stages, A through D, battling it out for $3,200. Additionally, these teams will compete for NCS points that grant competitors an early lead which will secure their seat year-end NCS Championship event.
Hosted at the RISE Demonstration Center in Washington D.C., the first NCS Minor proved to be an absolute slugfest. The volatile best of one group-stage format meant that even the tournament champions,Holo eSports endured close brushes with defeat before the bracket stage had even begun.
- Holo eSports – Ematics, aleksandar, lenon, ReckMONSTER, 4Pack
- Snatch and Bag v2 – Nuked, koL, Droid, Grave, Mack
- Uncene’s Kangaroo Gang – Atomik, Uncene, luhar, Naf-jones, Eptima
- LANGODS 0.5 – Matt-V-, homer, DrLejos, wilden, Beef
Group A was claimed by Holo eSports who survived a close call in a 16-12 match with LANGODS 0.5, before moving on to dominate Snatch and Bag v2 to claim first in the group and move on to the bracket stage. Snatch and Bag v2 went on to narrowly survive the group, defeating Uncene’s Kangaroo Gang 16-13, landing themselves a second place seed in the elimination stage. However, the excitement wasn’t contained to Group A!
- THE X1 MOB – sfX -x1-, agony, conan-kun, dolphy, Asuna
- Team Name – nitsuA, farg, Bau3r, sceebo, honey
- need top – Omega, Wodrah, SpEaR, Meli0, Maxo
- Academy Puggers – Fdiddy, Loki, Slug, Sweeps, f1sh
The main story of Group B is the absolute dominance of The X1 Mob. Made up of N3rd Street Gamers’ fan favorites and LAN veterans such as Jasper “sFx” Ko and Bryce “PureR” Lowell. The X1 Mob made short work of their group, keeping their opponents map score constrained within single digits for the duration of the group. Due to this dominance, it was a competition of survival between the three remaining teams of the group to see who would come out bloodied, but still ready to fight out of group B. Team Name managed to make their way through the lower bracket match taking out Academy Puggers on their way into the quarter finals.
X1 Mob Competes Against Snatch and Bag v2 (Courtesy of GXDCAE)
- Aug Squad – boomy, everj, saosin, ticx , temperature
- VCU – Chaz, Lep, Blur, Wolfeye, Akathevirus
- Virginia Tech – Frozenzz, niise, remnant, Koren, Ellis
- Afraid – del, starry, moXie, dAv, syN
Aug Squad and VCU cruised easily through their first round matchups, and Aug Squad proved to be little more than speed bump on VCU’s way to the bracket. Aug Squad rallied in turn was able to rally, defeating Virginia Tech and earning the second place seed for their group.
- Lore – inferiior, yaZi, Hyper, Wilky, Kerflompinator
- Northeast Mayhem – chops, MunK, dvl, squidah, mock
- SpectreGG – Kermi, fiji , bluish_azul, tomcho34, aebr
- Bugsy’s Boiz – Zachle, Bugsythebean, Gord2k, a6x, mupp3t
Group D proved to be a stomping ground for Lore and North East Mayhem. Taking to their group with gusto; Lore demolished Bugsy’s Boiz completely unscathed, emerging with a 16-0 map score. In the winners match North East Mayhem fought a close match with Lore and prevailed 16-11. Not content with elimination Lore fought through the second place match, landing the final coveted bracket seed.
The first round of eight in the bracket stage is where the wheat was truly separated from the chaff. The less volatilevolitiale best-of-three format prevents a single mistake from preventing a team from advancing. Most of the quarter finals proved to be a one sided affair, with Team Name, The X1 Mob, and Aug Squad advancing without dropping a single map. Only Holo eSports was put to the test, losing a single map to Lore before making their way to the semi-finals.
DarfMike and L1nguist1K Casting the GEXDCAE NCS Minor (Courtesy of L1nguist1k)
We now enter the semi-finals stage where the field will be again reduced so only that the top two contenders remain. As it stands here, Holo eSports and Team Name will face off while X1 Mob and Aug Squad will struggle for their own place at the grand finals table. Holo eSports crushed Team Name in their quest for the crown. Holo came into Inferno with a map point lead, but Team Name, kept the gap narrow. With the score 15-13 map score in Holo’s favor they decided to go all in, spending for AKs and a full utility buy for their entire team. The gambit paid off with 4Pack managing to clutch things out with a two kill from place, propelling his team into the grand finals. Aug Squad upset favorites, The X1 Mob who had previously taken 2nd place at the Cougar Washington D.C. Open last year to gain secure their own place in the finals. Aug Squad scored secured an early economic advantage and continued abused it throughout the grueling match. At a 15-9 map score The X1 Mob found themselves up against the ropes, down to pistols against their fully kitted opponents, they attempted to pull a miracle, but ultimately managed to bring down only two of Aug Squad’s players before being eliminated from the tournament.
The grand finals proved to be a nail biting affair, with Holo eSports taking an early map score lead over AUG Squad. Holo eSports backed their opponents into a late game corner on Nuke, defeating Aug Squad’s final full buy and at 14-9 and easily bringing things to the second map after a straightforward final round. , but Aug Squad managed to make a game of things on map two. After dropping down 14-5, Aug Squad pulled themselves together and rallied for a comeback narrowing the score to 14-10. However, that would be the last gust that Aug Squad could muster finishing short of pushing the grand finals to map 3 with a final map score of 16-11.
With a congratulations to Aug Squad, the team takes home the first NCS points of and a pocket full of cash.
DarfMike Interviews Newly Minted Champion aleksandar
The NCS circuit has only just begun, and 2019 will feature the largest N3rd Street Gamers circuit to date! With hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizing, and NCS points up for grabs; every event from Academy to Major will serve as a key stepping stone towards the grand finals at the year’s end!