Liam "crow" Crowley recounts the ESWC 2007 Quake 4 final featuring av3k and Cooller.
The ESWC 2007 Quake 4 final was a classic battle of youth versus experience. The 16 year old Quake prodigy av3k would take on his mentor and idol Cooller for $10,000 and a place in the history books. Both players were expected to reach the final and throughout the tournament they didn't disappoint. The likes of forever, winz and GaRpY were made to look distinctly ordinary as the pair progressed to the final without dropping a single map. Av3k was probably the favorite coming into this event but Cooller's form had been exceptional all weekend, Quake legend Sujoy Roy even claimed he was "back to his best". The pre-game formalities went off without a hitch as the pair set up on the main stage with the crowd of thousands raring to go. The French commentators discussed at length the teacher student relationship av3k shares with Cooller but as the match began one thing was clear, here they met as not just as equals, but as opponents.
Map 1: Monsoon
Pulses were racing as the first map, av3k's choice, kicked off and the atmosphere in the main stage area was electric. The opening exchanges saw Cooller take an early 2-1 lead as both players tested each other and probed for a possible weakness. Av3k had earlier claimed that Cooller got nervous when going up against rail-heavy players and it was clear that he was going to attempt to exploit this to the fullest on Monsoon. Av3k's rail-lg combo soon enabled him to put Cooller under serious pressure and control slowly slipped away from the Russian. With the game tied at 3-3 it was clear the momentum had shifted and within minutes av3k had build up a healthy 12-3 lead. The Polish player's item timing was impeccable and Cooller struggled to pick up enough armor and health to challenge his opponent at all. An ex-ESWC champion himself, Cooller did have a few tricks up his sleeve however and some smart play enabled him to distract av3k and steal the mega health, shifting the balance of power. A comeback was well underway when suddenly without explanation the game was paused.
Apparently av3k's was having sound related issues and after he was unable to resolve the issue himself, two ESWC admins appeared on stage to try to help. Av3k looked unsatisfied but the game was resumed and Cooller immediately took advantage of his opponent's wariness. Despite his apparent phobia of the railgun, Cooller was hitting shots with it like there was no tomorrow and he soon cut av3k's lead down to 5 frags. The crowd was going wild with the large Russian contingent becoming particularly vocal. Av3k pulled back a frag with some great lightning gun to raise his lead to 13-7 but Cooller swiftly resumed control, picking up two more frags before the game once again had to be paused. It looked like av3k's sound problems were persisting and a heated discussion between the Polish player and a member of the ESWC staff followed. The crowd was becoming restless and began a slow clap to get things going again. The match eventually resumed but av3k looked distracted and Cooller was again more than ready to take advantage. With the Russian firmly in control, av3k did manage to steal away the red armor but was swiftly punished by his opponents lightning gun. The gap was narrowed to just two frags at one stage, but following an intense battle for the yellow armor, Cooller suffered the ignominy of falling to his death only a short drop below. This left the scores at 13-10 and although Cooller managed to take the next frag against his low-health av3k, the Russian's control was broken and av3k awoke from his stupor to extend his lead with three minutes remaining. A smart rocket frag coupled with a quick conversion gave av3k back his three frag lead. With one minute left on the clock, av3k switched to a defensive style and Cooller was only able to pick up one more frag while simultaneously blowing himself up with the same rocket. Map 1 to av3k!
Final Score: av3k 15 - 12 Cooller
(Next Page: Map 2)