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Quake: ESWC Q4 grand final recap

By: Liam Crowley - Published July 08, 2007 at 9:56 AM EDT - Writer Archive
Map 2: Phrantic

A map referred to at i30 as "Cooller's lair" was the obvious second pick and one on which both players knew they could bring their A-game. The crowd were to be treated to an excellent display of offensive, aggressive Quake and they roared with appreciation as the opening frags were dealt. Cooller again took an early 2-1 lead but within seconds the scoreline was reversed as av3k displayed some impressive lightning gun aim under pressure and then forced his opponent into the lava off the spawn. The Polish player eased his way into the lead as both players focussed on battling for the red armor primarily. Av3k's lightning gun and rocket launcher were just too strong for Cooller and the score was soon 6-3 in favor of the Pole. The momentum shifted again soon however and a lucky spawn was all Cooller needed to turn things around. The score was tied at 7-7 with 9 minutes left on the clock when Cooller took the lead for the second time on Phrantic with some incredible lg play of his own. Av3k instantly replied with a surprise attack at the lower yellow armor though, catching his opponent totally off guard and, following a quick conversion, putting the youngster back in the lead.

With control restored, av3k now went about extending that lead and with 7 minutes remaining it was 12-8 in his favor. Locking down the timings for both yellow armors, av3k held on to his 4 frag lead and with 5 minutes to go the score was 14-10. Both players were focusing mainly on the lightning gun and the battle to deny each other the weapon was an intriguing sub-plot to the match at hand. Cooller pulled one back to make it 14-11 but, as the Russian frantically searched for a conversion frag, one of the game's defining moment suddenly played out. During a standard engagement on the lower levels both players simultaneously decided to rocket jump to the upper yellow armor and, with both players caught by surprise, it was av3k who reacted first, blasting his opponent away with a well placed rocket. Cooller's comeback was on hold and the pair continued to trade frags as the clock ticked down. With $10,000 and an ESWC title on the line, Cooller started to get desperate and upped the ante with some aggressive pushes. With 60 seconds remaining it was 17-13 in favor of av3k and it seemed like the game was all but won. 50 seconds, 40, 30, 20 and Cooller finally takes a frag. Three more in 20 seconds wasn't beyond the realms of possibility but the Russian needed a lucky spawn and it just didn't come. Av3k finished the match with one last frag with Cooller's dreams of his first title of 2007 in shatters.

Final Score: av3k 18 - 14 Cooller

Av3k looked physically exhausted when the game ended and the crowd erupted into cheers. There was no mad grin or delirious celebration but instead, the 16 year old rose slowly from his chair and went to shake the hand of his mentor who he had just so excellently dispatched. Cooller acknowledged the gesture in kind but also looked like he had aged a decade in the past 30 minutes. By the time the post-match interviews were underway the impact of what had just happened seemed to hit av3k. Carmac and Bas, his manager in Serious-Gaming, were standing proud behind him and, after a quick phone call to his mother, he spoke to the assembled press. The young star remained humble and modest throughout and, showing maturity beyond his years, he responded to the question of whether he was now the best in the world with the simple answer "you can never say you are the best in the world, maybe I can say I was the best at ESWC 2007 but that's it".
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