After claiming victory in both pool play matches yesterday, Denial eSports looked to continue their dominance entering day 2 of UMG Orlando. The Wolf Pack defeated Rise Nation followed by Team EnvyUs in Pool C yesterday, and looked forward to matches against the two remaining teams in the pool, Epsilon eSports and Synergy Gaming.
Kicking off the day, Denial squared off against the team that fought through the open bracket to reach pool play, Epsilon eSports. Epsilon’s roster, compiled of European players, consists of Peatie, Josh, Madcat, and Dom.
Entering in the first map, Hardpoint on Bio Lab, Denial was confident after dominating in both of their matches the day before. The Wolf Pack jumped out to an early lead through the first hardpoint after tallying a 36-0 lead. Epsilon kept the match close through the first rotation of hills, amounting to a 108-107 lead, but Denial was too much as they defeated Epsilon by a score of 231-179. Zooma was the most crucial player for Denial as he collected 43 kills and 13 captures to lead his team to an early 1-0 series lead.
Map 2 was Search and Destroy on Terrace, and to no surprise, Zooma continued his reign of dominance in this series against Epsilon. Zooma compiled 14 kills to lead the Wolf Pack to a 6-4 victory in a close map against Epsilon. With a 2-0 series lead, Denial only needed one more map victory to close out the series.
Uplink on Detroit, usually one of the higher scoring maps for Uplink, ended up being an incredibly close and low-scoring match for Denial. After being tied 1-1 at halftime, Zooma scored two points within the first minute of the second half, which would be the deciding play of the match as Denial went on to claim victory 4-2.
Denial was in full control of the series against Epsilon as they went on to win 3-0. Zooma was incredible throughout all three maps in the series, compiling a 1.42 K/D, including 37 kills on the final map. After winning this series, the Wolf Pack were 3-0 in Pool C and had just one match left in pool play before moving on to bracket play.
In their final match in Pool C, Denial faced off against Synergy Gaming. Synergy consists of MBoze, Methodz, TcM, and Felony, and although this isn’t a team that has been together for a long period of time, they entered this match with a 2-0 record with impressive victories in pool play.
The series kicked off with Hardpoint on Retreat, which is considered as one of Denial’s best Hardpoints maps. After the Wolf Pack took a 103-88 lead halfway through the map, they never were able to collect any consistency, as they weren’t able to hold on to their lead while falling short of victory by a score of 208-178.
The second map was Search and Destroy on Detroit, and if Denial were looking for a map to turn the series around, they would need to step up here. The Wolf Pack went down 3-5, but ended up persevering and taking the map by a score of 6-5 and tying the series up 1-1.
After Denial took map 2, it began to go downhill for the Wolf Pack. The third map was Uplink on Comeback, and although it is generally one of Denial’s best maps, Synergy claimed victory by a score of 18-5. The final map of the series was Capture the Flag on Bio Lab, and Synergy took the map 5-2 and won the series by a score of 3-1.
Despite Denial losing their final match in pool play, the Wolf Pack had a strong performance in Pool C finishing second in the pool with a 3-1 record.
Advancing from Pool C into the Winner’s Bracket, Denial squared off against Team Kaliber for a top-6 finish. Team Kaliber consists of Goonjar, Sharp, Theory, and Loony, who are all experienced and accomplished players that are looking to take the next step as a team. After winning their pool and finishing with a 4-0 record, Team Kaliber seemed ready to take on the Wolf Pack.
The first map to kick off this series was Hardpoint on Solar, and to no surprise, Denial was ready for the big stage. The Wolf Pack took a dominating 152-63 lead after the first rotation of hardpoints, and although Team Kaliber put up a valiant effort, Denial ended up taking the map by a score of 227-189. Attach led the way for Denial as he amassed 46 kills to dominate Team Kaliber to take a 1-0 series lead.
Denial entered the second map, Search and Destroy on Riot, with utter confidence as they had only lost one S&D game so far in the tournament. The Wolf Pack started off strong with a 3-1 lead, and despite Team Kaliber tying up the score at 3-3, Denial pulled away and took the second map by a score of 6-3. Replays led Denial to a final round victory by finishing off the last three players for Team Kaliber to give the Wolf Pack a 2-0 series lead.
Heading into the third map, Uplink on Detroit, Denial was only in need of one more map win to claim victory in their first round of the Winner’s Bracket. Denial jumped out to a 4-2 lead at halftime, and never relinquished that lead as they claimed victory by a final score of 8-6.
Despite losing their final pool play match to Synergy, Denial regained their composure entering their Winner’s Bracket match against Team Kaliber and found a way to sweep them 3-0. Heading into the final day of UMG Orlando, Sunday, January 4, Denial has clinched a top-6 finish and will try to maneuver through the Winner’s Bracket as they look to take home the championship for the Wolf Pack.