Barrage's Long weekend began well, with the new management from Dukes having just merged, finally being initiated into the organisation. The Thursday was quiet, the only worry being the lack of press passes. The surplus of exhibitor passes and the nervousness of the next days competition. The night ended with cracking open a cold one with the boys and Taylor.
Friday was a much more enthusiastic day. The Rocket League and CSGO tournaments all started around midday and all teams were excited to get going. At least, that was until the games were delayed, and delayed, and broken. To give some context, the initial problem was the Belong website. Although it has potential, and clearly will be the default tournament site, it had major flaws that had been overlooked in testing. Names were not correct, and given out randomly, teams could not enter before the deadline; even the admins didn’t know how to fix it. CSGO eventually started six hours late, but fortunately our team pulled through the monotonous wait and won their group stages 4-0.
Our Rocket League team had a very different story. As soon as the groups were seeded, the team, consisting of CHEEKYlad, Junket and Nice³, knew there was something wrong. The top four seeded teams had been grouped together, to make an advanced group and three other intermediate groups. The Rocket League admin said this was a fault due to the Belong website, but since a few games had already been played, there was no restarting. Obviously, many of the top teams had issues with this, but we played on. At the end of the day, the Barrage Rocket League team had been knocked out, coming third in the groups. We were leaving it there, until we noticed on the website that an intermediate, non-seeded group only had two teams, since the others hadn’t turned up. So both teams went through, even though one team had lost all (1) of their games. It was outrageous, and Barrage Jeff, or Jeff to his friends, went for one final word with the admins. Having successfully metaphorically decapitated them, Jeff, with all his charm, was able to get the Rocket League tournament reset. The losers of the initial failed group staging were put into the lower bracket and winners into the upper. Drinks were then drunk, again.
Saturday, the peak day of Iseries had arrived, and all teams and staff were up early and eager. CSGO had a few wins, but they were close, until losing to an unfortunately ironically named org, ‘Choke Gaming’. Into the loser’s bracket of the tournament, the team had a hit to their morale, and lost again, this time to Osterity Esports. They were out, and devastated. Dreams for a top 4 finish had ended in a nightmare placing them in a disappointing top 16.
The Rocket League team, on the other hand, had their hopes renewed with a change of bracket. Now they weren’t kicked out, they were able to fight against teams seeded correctly, and won their first few games with infinite ease. Their first loss, (round loss, not game loss) came from our bitter rivals and analogical lovers. The game was 1-1, but Barrage was able to pull through in the overtime of the fourth match and get into the quarterfinals of the loser’s bracket. Tempest was next, and it was another three easy wins to progress to the semis, with another comfortable win against TAG. Finally, there’s a break and our Rocket League team were able to bask in their feat. After losing in the first day, dropping out with no hope in sight, they’re now in the top 3, matching their placement in the last Insomnia Break ends, and we expect another intense battle of the cars that will break our nerves and break our minds. It wasn’t, and we won 3-0 again.
It’s the final, the Grand Final. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. We’ve watched a miracle in the making as our team has died and risen from the ashes. Sweat is pouring down CHEEKYlad’s face, boost is hiding from Junket and Nice³ is thanking everyone for the amount of ironic ‘nice’ comments he’s had today. The final is a best of 7, and since Baws, the opposition, began in the winner’s bracket, they start with a one game advantage. We win three in a row, with CHEEKYlad getting five goals in one game. It’s looking up, the dream is so close; the cheers of glory can be heard in the near future. Then we lose a game, and the score is 3-2; things are still good but could turn at any second. The sixth game commences, and we need one more win, one more goal, one more victory. A second passes, the chills of the room are sensed by all that watch, the clocks all freeze. “GOAL!!!” is screamed by the commentators, as cheers echo around the room. Junket, ‘he who has no boost’, scored the winning goal. The match ends and everyone was in tears. Well, Taylor was. The rest was a blur of giant cheques, champagne and ‘Nice’ compliments. Our Rocket League team had won. Barrage had won.
Then we got drunk again and who knows what happened on Sunday.