The OGA PIT Minor was held last weekend in Split, Croatia. 8 teams attended the hybrid elimination tournament with the hopes of winning it in order to get a spot at the Six Invitational 2020. Team Liquid were the eventual winners in a relatively swift and pain free final.
1 - esports behaves in the same ways traditional sports does
Lets be honest here, there isn't a single soul on this planet who called the first round in their predictions. G2 and SSG were both 1/9 with the bookmakers before their games - for those that don't understand odds, this would mean putting £1 on G2 would return £1.11 including your stake. Liquid vs BDS and Secret vs Luminosity were much more 50/50 games.
Many people believe that esports is very linear and just because Team A > Team B doesn't mean that on the day, in the conditions of LAN and so on/so forth that Team A will win every time. We had a huge underdog story, MIBR beating the titans of the tournament, G2.
MIBR didn't even look like they thought they could win after Villa, G2 were probably already thinking about SSG. Yet out of seemingly nowhere, MIBR decided to just play their own game and ran riot - especially on Consulate. G2 looked like they were inside their own heads, MIBR looked like they were living rent free inside of G2's heads. It really was a shock of all shocks.
This, coupled with the two 50/50 games that really could have gone either way - BDS, who have been very strong at LANs playing vs Liquid who had a jetlagger player flown in some 24 hours prior. Secret - who had a very disappointing CL season but are supposedly monsters on LAN vs Luminosity - who aren't the best NA team overall, with a new addition - made the first day of OGA very interesting. For sure, what it proved is that skill is not the only factor in esports - on the day nerves/ preparation / mentality / shock decisions by opponents (Clubhouse double hard breach ban) can all affect things and level the playing field.
Sports is unpredictable, I support a team called Hull Kingston Rovers in a sport most of you wont have even heard of called Rugby League (it's a better version of Rugby for those of you that ask). There was a game in 2015 where we had to win or be relegated, the team we were playing had to beat us or they were relegated. We were a substantial number of points up around 5 minutes before the end of the game where they found some kind of second wind, they scored twice (including one on the last second) and kicked a drop goal to beat us and relegate us. Sport is absolutely wild.
Shocks happen, people in the esports bubble who grow up without traditional sport fail to realise this and therefore as soon as I log on to Twitter/Reddit after the G2 game, I see that it is full of people wearing their hearts on their sleeve. Supporters/viewers have incredible highs/incredible lows, whereas the people involved tend to maintain some kind of mid point. So don't be too surprised when your favourite team goes on a great run, alternatively don't stop supporting them if they go out of a major - it happens, its sport.
2 - The UK has some incredible casters
Whilst the overall production was sub par - the casting and observing in game was generally incredible. Before I touch on that, I was a spectator at home and I had no idea re the delays, but over 5 hours on stream with only 2 maps having been shown renders slightly ridiculous.
The UK casters, Ace, Dezachu, Fluke, Sternab and Demo - were all amazing. Alongside Hap (Bnl). It really does showcase how much talent has been found in the UK Prem scene alongside other people such as Xrtoika, Lethal, Iain Chambers and more also that could have been involved.
I personally would love to see the Ace/Dezachu pair going to a major now. They both put in an incredible amount of time to make sure what they're talking about and the stats behind it. Their play by play and overall fundamental understanding of the game would be ideal and a refreshing duo to be at the major. Invitational anyone?!?
3 - Liquid are the best looking team in the game of Rainbow Six
A fun one this one - but also serious. Liquid looked Mega at OGA Pit. They had the red and blue spiderman shirt on (big winner), but also the same tracksuit joggers and the same trainers/sneakers on.
It doesn't make a big impact, at all. However as I said, I have followed traditional sports all my life, I'm used to teams all matching exactly, it was aesthetically pleasing to see all 5 liquid players + coach + team manager in exactly the same gear looking Fresh. Excuse the pun.
It screamed of professionalism - if they're this professional regarding their choice of clothing. I can only imagine the level of professionalism that went into their preparation, their mentality and their game. Thats probably ultimately why they won.