Denial eSports kicked off Season 1 of Advanced Warfare league matches on December 9 squaring off against Team Prophecy and Team eLevate.
In their first match of the night at 7:00pm, Denial was pitted against one of the most impressive squads from MLG Columbus, Team Prophecy. With a roster consisting of veterans Parasite and Ricky coupled with Legal and Fears, Prophecy is no team to be taken lightly.
Prophecy hosted the first map, Hardpoint on Bio Lab. Denial performed well throughout the majority of the match, even capping off an impressive streak to end the first rotation of hills to take the advantage halfway through the map.
Saints had an impressive performance for Denial; going 37-35 with 10 captures to lead the way for his team. But by the time the last few hills rolled around, Prophecy began outslaying Denial by an extensive margin to regain the lead. After dominating the last three hills, Prophecy was victorious on the first map by a score of 208-192. Ricky played well after going 41-34 with an impressive 11 captures for Prophecy.
On the second map, Denial took host for Search and Destroy on Solar. After winning the first three rounds, Prophecy rolled off five straight to take the 5-3 advantage over Denial. The turning point for this map was a shocking clutch by Zooma to give Denial hope, now trailing only 5-4. There was no stopping from there as Saints aced Prophecy for the 5-5 tie, which led to Denial taking the map in round 11 to win by a score of 6-5.
Knotting up map count at 1-1 was critical for Denial as host shifted to Prophecy for Uplink on Detroit. Prophecy kicked off the match with an early 4-0 lead after two quick scores. Zooma answered halfway through the first half with a two-pointer of his own, but Prophecy continued to pile it on as they took an 8-4 lead into the half.
Prophecy, with a more defensive-minded second half, ended up getting the best of Denial on map 3 by a score of 10-6. Prophecy’s strategy of leaving one player in the opponent’s base to distract the opposing players while the other two players huddle with the bomb carrier was too much for Denial as they could not adjust.
Map 4 was a completely different story, as Denial won Capture the Flag on Retreat by a score of 5-1. Attach and Replays had impressive performances as they both went 23-16, including two flag captures each. Prophecy scored an early cap in the first half, but Denial rallied two quickly after and three to start off the second half to do away with Prophecy.
As quickly as the tides turned in favor of Denial for map 4, it happened in the same fashion for Prophecy when the match went to map 5, Search and Destroy on Bio Lab. Prophecy went out to a quick 4-0 lead, and it looked as though there was no hope for Denial. The issue for Denial in the first four rounds was hitting A bomb site with no confidence, and played extremely tentative. In round 5, Denial pushed B bomb for the first time, and after getting the bomb down, finally won their first round to cut the score to 4-1. That one round was the only vindication Denial had from the deciding map 5, as Prophecy won the next two rounds giving them the 6-1 win in Search and Destroy and the 3-2 victory in the league match as a whole.
The overall performance from Denial was anything but disappointing. There were only a handful of extremely fixable mistakes that Denial encountered throughout the grueling five-match series. When losing Hardpoint on Bio Lab, the team tried to break hills alone and did not wait for teammates to help push; resulting in Prophecy picking off Denial one by one. The loss on Uplink was a learning process; Prophecy continued to leave one player in Denial’s base as a distraction, which allowed the other three players to focus on scoring. After realizing this strategy, Denial figured out strategies to counteract this and will be able to be more successful in their next match. And on the final Search and Destroy, Denial lacked confidence to the point where they would trap themselves in their base and not be able to break Prophecy’s setups. By playing faster and with more confidence, Denial would be able to win Search on Bio Lab consistently. Saints had an impressive performance throughout the five-match series, with 1.05 kill-death ratio and recording 37 kills on the first map.
Denial’s second match of the night was against Team eLevate at 8:30pm. Consisting of Killa, Mirx, Spacely, and Study, eLevate has a roster of talented players looking to make a name for their new squad. After winning their match earlier in the night 3-0 against Team Kaliber, eLevate was feeling confident coming into their match against Denial.
On the first map, Hardpoint on Solar, Denial kicked things off the exact way they wanted to. Getting off to a big lead, Denial began playing with confidence and focusing on the most important aspect of their team’s style: slaying. Saints had a massive game, going 46-27 with 12 captures and 3 defends. Denial ended up securing the win by a score of 221-175, and getting the essential victory on the first map of the series.
Denial continued on their hot streak heading into map 2, Search and Destroy on Bio Lab. After struggling mightily their first time around on Bio Lab against Prophecy, Denial played with more confidence and took the second map by a score of 6-4. The story of this map was Zooma, who dropped an impressive 13 kills while only dying 6 times. Replays played an essential role in Denial’s victory in this map while going 8-7 and two critical bomb plants.
With a 2-0 series lead heading into Capture the Flag on Retreat, a map they dominated Prophecy on earlier in the night, Denial had nothing but the utmost confidence. Team eLevate pushed out to a quick 2-0 lead heading into halftime, but Denial fought back to knot the game at 2-2 in the middle of the second half. After pulling the flag with just over a minute left, it looked as though Denial had the match in the bag with an almost clear path to their base. A few small mistakes led to eLevate returning their flag, along with the relay capture to take the 3-2 lead; and eventually holding on to win the map.
Uplink on Comeback, one of Denial’s best maps and game types, gave the squad a head of confidence entering map 4. Down 8-9 with just seconds left, Denial pushed through with the ball for a critical two-point play to take the lead and the victory by a score of 10-9. Replays and Saints had impressive performances, combining for 52 kills and 9 of the team’s 10 points.
Finishing the day with a 1-1 record, and a 5-4 total map count, Denial still played well and realized small mistakes that are easily fixable when they play next. Denial continues their Season 1 league matches tomorrow night, December 10, against Jus at 7:00pm and a rematch against Prophecy at 8:30pm.