Damage Control are VS Masters Champions
This past weekend saw the culmination of several months of hard work by the eight teams who took part in the VS Gaming Masters. The annual championship saw the eight teams go head-to-head on the main stage at the rAge expo for a prize pool of R550,000 and the prestigious title of VS Gaming Masters Champions.
The weekend’s action kicked off on Friday the 6th of October with Damage Control taking on Pulse Gaming, a match which many felt would set the scene for the entire tournament. Damage Control came into the Masters as the favourites, and all eyes were on them in the opening match. What we saw in the opening match was, unfortunately for Pulse Gaming, an extremely strong Damage Control - a team who knew that this was their competition to win.
Damage Control - The team to beat
Entering as the top seed, Damage Control played with a confidence which most of us had not been treated to in a long time. The team is one of the oldest MGOs in South Africa, having competed locally and internationally since the early 2000’s. After a dominant few years in Counter-Strike 1.6, the Damage Control team had a slow start to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, despite winning one of the opening tournaments for the new instalment. Regardless, the VS Gaming CS:GO Masters Championship was their time to shine, and boy did they.
After the opening match against Pulse Gaming, it became rather clear that Damage Control was the team to beat at this year’s competition. Unfortunately, no team could beat them as they ran through all their opponents. They remained in the upper-bracket throughout the competition winning best-of-ones against some of the tougher teams in the competition. On the opposite side of the bracket, XTC Esportsran a similar campaign until they met Damage Control in the upper-bracket final. Many thought, myself included, that XTC Esportswould meet resistance in the upper-bracket final, but would be able to hold their own against Damage Control. That was not the case as Damage Control made quick work of their opponents sending them to the lower-bracket final where they faced Veneration Esports.
The Rise of Veneration Esports
Veneration Esports’ journey was also an interesting one this competition. The relatively new team, having changed a few members since the previous Masters Cup, surprised everyone after their close defeat to Aperture Gaming in the opening round of the competition. VnR lost narrowly 16-14 to ApG and were sent to the lower-bracket to battle their way out. Down below they faced Pulse Gaming in the first round of the lower-bracket and comfortably took down their opponents sending the first team home. Next, they took on a struggling Ventus and delivered a similar result of 2-0 against the boys in blue.
In the lower-bracket semi-final, they faced Aperture Gaming once again, but this time in a best of three. We half expected Aperture Gaming to take a more comfortable win in the lower-bracket after winning narrowly against Veneration in the upper-bracket, but that was not the case. The series against Aperture Gaming was nothing short of annihilation. Veneration Esports, for the lack of a better word, bullied ApG and beat them 16-6 and 16-3 to send them home in 4th place. Next, they would take on XTC Esportsin the lower-bracket final.
Goodbye XTC Esports
Casters, analysts and teams felt this was the final run for the Veneration Esports team as they now faced a strong XTC Esports side in the lower-bracket final, but that was far from the case. After a relatively tight first game ending in 16-12, VnR took the second map with ease. We thought Inferno may sway the way of XTC Esports, but VnR seemed to have the scent of victory and comfortably took the second game 16-6, and the series, to meet Damage Control in the grand final.
All in a day's work
Damage Control, who had a one-game advantage, seemed to have everything on their side as the map choices were heavily in their favour. As I mentioned above, Damage Control played as if they knew this was their championship, and Veneration Esports were the unfortunate victims in this case. We did, however, expect a much closer grand final, but Damage Control had other plans. They took Veneration down in an extremely comfortable manner securing a 16-6 victory on Inferno and 16-7 on Cache, winning the grand final 3-0 with Riaan “style” Van Niekerk earning my MVP for the tournament showing that he’s still one of the best players in South Africa. After several years without a championship title, Damage Control cruised to a victory with no team being able to get double-digits against them.
Here are the final standings for the VS Gaming CS:GO Masters:
1st - Damage Control - R220,000
2nd - Veneration Esports - R99,000
3rd - XTC Esports- R55,000
4th - Aperture Gaming - R44,000
5th & 6th - Ventus Gaming and White Rabbit Gaming - R38,500
7th & 8th - Pulse Gaming and eXdee Gaming - R27,500
For the statisticians out there, here are some interesting numbers thanks to Billosoft.
Our top fragger for the weekend was BaNaNaZz from Veneration esports with 234 kills and 94 headshots. His overall KPD was 1.45 with 20 3K rounds and 3 4K rounds. The player with the least deaths was none other than Damage Control’s stYle with only 41 deaths. The player with the highest headshot percentage was KazimiR from Aperture Gaming with 70% with the closest second being Hulkies from White Rabbit Gaming with 57%.