Entering Friday with the second seed, Denial eSports had full confidence kicking off their match against the seventh seed, Team EnVyUs. Attach kicked off the series with a dominating performance as he recorded 43 kills and 12 captures as Denial won Hardpoint on Solar by a score of 218-147. Despite taking the early 1-0 lead, the Wolf Pack were shocked as they dropped the next three maps, Search and Destroy on Bio Lab 6-4, Uplink on Detroit 7-6, and Capture the Flag on Ascend 5-1, ultimately dropping the series by a score of 3-1.
Losing their opening series, the Wolf Pack were then dropped into the Loser’s Bracket; pitted against Prophecy in Loser’s Round 1. Continuing their strong showing on Hardpoint, Denial destroyed Proph by a score of 250-95 on Retreat. Attach asserted his dominance once again with 42 kills, 13 captures, and 4 defends for the Wolf Pack. Denial continued their impressive performance with a 6-1 victory in Search and Destroy on Terrace, but then fell 4-3 on Capture the Flag on Bio Lab. With a 2-1 series lead, the Wolf Pack then entered one of their most favored game type and map combinations: Uplink on Comeback. Despite a slow first half and a close game when switching sides, Clayster and Replays combined for 65 kills to lead the Wolf Pack to a 20-3 victory and a 3-1 series lead.
Loser’s Round 2 was against Aware, who had just suffered a loss from OpTic Gaming in the previous round. This match was extremely back and forth, as both teams traded the first four maps. Aware dominated Hardpoint on Bio Lab by a score of 250-130, but Denial showed their vengeance on Search and Destroy on Solar as Clayster had 16 kills as he lead his team to a 6-4 victory. With the series knotted at 1-1, Aware took Capture the Flag on Retreat in a tight overtime 4-3, but Denial answered decisively by taking Uplink on Detroit by a score of 9-4. In the deciding final map, Search and Destroy on Riot, Replays showed his leadership capabilities as he took charge and led the Wolf Pack to a 6-3 victory with 12 kills and 3 bomb plants.
Denial then faced off against one of the toughest teams at the tournament in Loser’s Round 3, FaZe Clan. Clayster dominated once again as he recorded 45 kills in the Wolf Pack’s 250-180 victory in Hardpoint on Detroit. FaZe shocked Denial in Search and Destroy on Recovery, as the Wolf Pack could not get anything going and dropped the map 6-2. Despite being tied at 1-1, Denial was comfortable the whole way through as they took the next two maps, winning Uplink on Bio Lab 8-3 and Capture the Flag on Retreat 3-2 in overtime.
Heading into the Loser’s Finals against Team Kaliber, the Wolf Pack had already guaranteed a top 3 finish. But after Team Kaliber’s tough loss to OpTic Gaming in their previous match, Team Kaliber was clearly a bit discouraged. Hardpoint on Retreat was the first map, and Clayster kept going where he left off. Clayster recorded 47 kills to go along with 7 captures to lead Denial to a 212-200 victory. After dropping the first map of the series in such a close fashion, Team Kaliber could not find a way to get back into the series. Denial claimed victory on the second map, Search and Destroy on Terrace, by a score of 6-3, and third map, Uplink on Comeback, by a score of 18-5, to sweep the series 3-0 and advance to the Grand Finals to face OpTic Gaming.
Denial had been dominant entering the first Hardpoint on Bio Lab against OpTic, but unfortunately for the Wolf Pack, Bio Lab is their least advantageous map for Hardpoint. Crimsix and Scump each recorded 40 kills for OpTic and they claimed victory by a score of 250-136, taking a 1-0 series lead. Denial’s chances looked better in the second map, Search and Destroy on Riot, but even after claiming the 5-4 lead, OpTic won the next 2 rounds and took the 6-5 victory, along with the 2-0 series lead. The Wolf Pack looked demoralized after that loss and fell on the third map as well, by a final score of 4-1. OpTic Gaming, the number 1 overall seed, won the series 3-0 and were named the Pro League Season 1 Champions.
Claiming second place is nothing to scoff at; this was the new Wolf Pack roster’s first LAN event and there are still kinks to work out. JKap, a player who has not been performing to the best of his capabilities lately, played outstanding this weekend and showed that he is still able play as an elite player in Advanced Warfare. Clayster also dominated in a variety of different game modes, including multiple 40-kill games in Hardpoint and an impressive 16-kill performance in Search and Destroy. All in all, the Wolf Pack performed well as they secured second place; and will look to do even better in two weeks as Regionals roll around.