Denial eSports kicked off the final day of UMG Orlando with their match against Stunner Gaming in the Winner’s Bracket Semifinals for a chance at a top-3 finish. Stunner’s roster consists of TJ Haly, Vexed, Huke, and Perplexed, and entering the match undefeated throughout the weekend, Stunner had been looking like a formidable opponent.
Denial had played extremely consistently yesterday, but fell flat against Stunner in this Winner’s Bracket match. Stunner won the series 3-0, taking Hardpoint on Retreat 230-155, Search and Destroy on Detroit 6-4, and Capture the Flag on Ascend 3-2. Although Denial lost this match, they began their quest for a Championship in the Loser’s Bracket.
Their next match was against eLevate, a team consisting of Killa, Spacely, Studyy, and Mirx. After winning their previous three matches in the Loser’s Bracket, eLevate had the momentum entering this match.
Denial started off strong in the match as they took Hardpoint on Detroit by a score of 249-202. Zooma led the Wolf Pack with 40 kills and 11 captures. After taking the 1-0 series lead, eLevate stormed back taking the next two maps, Search and Destroy on Recovery 6-5, and Uplink on Detroit 11-8. With their backs against the wall on the verge of elimination, Denial needed to step up and win the next two maps to advance.
The Wolf Pack showed resilience and won Capture the Flag on Ascend by a score of 4-2 to tie the series up at 2-2, and dominated eLevate on the final map, Search and Destroy on Terrace, by a score of 6-1. With this victory, Denial had secured a top-4 finish and a matchup against Team JustUs in the Loser’s Bracket Semifinals.
Team JustUs, another team entering their match against Denial on a three series win streak, consists of Slacked, Mochila, Enable, and Classic. Being one of the best respawn squads in Call of Duty, JustUs took the first map from Denial handily, Hardpoint on Solar by a score of 213-171. Down in the series again, Denial had to find a way to fight back and regain composure entering the second map, Search and Destroy on Bio Lab.
After going down 1-3 on S&D, Denial changed up their game plan slightly and took five of the next six rounds, winning the second map 6-4 and tying up the series at 1-1. Attach killed all four players on JustUs to take the final round on the map, which gave Denial the boost of confidence they desperately needed.
The Wolf Pack then went on to sweep the rest of the series, claiming victory on Capture the Flag on Retreat 3-2 and Uplink on Bio Lab 11-5. Saints led Denial on Capture the Flag with all three of their flag captures, and Zooma had eight of the team’s 11 points on Uplink to lead the Wolf Pack to a 3-1 series victory.
Denial was then pitted against the only team that had beaten them earlier in the day, Stunner. On the first map, Denial made it seem like a walk in the park as they led 123-45 after the first rotation of hills and ended up claiming victory by a score of 244-114. Attach dominated the Stunner Gaming squad with 46 kills and 16 captures, to go along with Replays’ astounding objective play as he added 18 captures of his own.
The Wolf Pack was exorbitantly confident after their first map victory, but it was soon to fade as they entered Search and Destroy on Detroit. Denial took an early 2-1 lead, but Stunner reeled off five straight rounds to take the map 6-2 and tie the series at 1-1.
Capture the Flag on Bio Lab followed suit as Stunner took a 2-0 lead entering halftime, as they held on to win the map 3-1. Perplexed had two captures for Stunner as Vexed added 31 kills to give their team the 2-1 series lead over Denial.
Denial’s last chance to turn the series around was Uplink on Comeback, and although Saints tied the score at 5-5 with just 11 seconds left, TJ Haly made the game winning shot as time expired to win the map by a score of 6-5 and win the series 3-1 in heartbreaking fashion.
The Wolf Pack performed extremely well throughout the three days of the event, losing just three series; two of them being to Stunner Gaming. With their loss in the Loser’s Bracket Finals, Denial finished in third place, behind Stunner in second and Optic Gaming winning UMG Orlando.
Denial returns to Season 1 league matches on Wednesday, January 7 with games against Team JustUs at 7:00pm and Rise Nation at 8:30pm.