European Gaming League (EGL's) third Gears of War tournament of the year took place in Liverpool last weekend, with nine teams competing for the chance to take home a cut of the $20,000 prize pool.
Ben Holsgrove provides a match report recap.
Operating over two days, EGL set up two groups in a round-robin format for Saturday’s games, then used the seedings from the group results to create a double elimination bracket which concluded on the Sunday.
The group stages provided few surprises, with the two favourites heading into the tournament (Spacestation Gaming and Lucent Esports) looking dominant. They topped their groups while not giving up a single map.
One small shock result came in the form of FoX Esports defeating Xcon Esports 2-1, when many thought Xcon were the stronger of the two teams heading into the game.
Saturday’s games concluded with Regal Reserve taking a 2-0 victory up against FoX Esports in the first round of the winners bracket, while Aerox Esports struggled to take down Xcon Esports, requiring a third map to close out the series.
However, the opening matches on Sunday shut down any chances of an upset as the tournament’s four strongest teams cruised past their opposition to secure their places in the top four.
Possibly the most exciting game of the tournament came in the 3rd round of the losers bracket between Regal Reserve and Aerox Esports. With a number of individual rivalries between the teams, as well as the relatively similar level of skill, tensions were high throughout the three-map thriller. Despite Aerox picking up a close 7-6 win on the first map, Regal Reserve completed the reverse sweep with 7-1, 7-4 victories and qualified for the losers final.
The winners final saw Spacestation Gaming take down Lucent Esports rather convincingly with 7-3 and 7-5 map victories. Then followed an exciting contest in the losers final between Lucent Esports and Regal Reserve, with Lucent edging the match-up with 7-6, 7-5 results.
Finally, the Grand Final pitched two teams together that were by far the favourites heading into EGL Liverpool. Having won both previous EGL tournaments, as well as a 3rd place finish at the New Orleans Open, Spacestation Gaming were the more likely team to come out on top in the final.
Lucent Esports threatened a bracket reset with a surprising 7-5 first map win, despite being out-slayed by their counterparts throughout game 1. Nevertheless, Spacestation bounced back with 7-4, 7-5 victories and the team were crowned champions of EGL Liverpool at their debut event under a new organisation.
A third consecutive EGL conquest for this Spacestation Gaming roster ensures that they maintain their Gears dominance on European soil. The team will be hoping to take their strong form into next month’s San Diego Open on September 28th to 30th, aiming to improve on their 3rd place finish at New Orleans in July.