On Tuesday evening, the PC Gamer ShootMania Tournament launched with almost 50 teams signed up to play in the month long double elimination tournament. With both amateur and professional players battling it out in the 3v3 Elite mode of the newly released FPS title from Nadeo, anything can happen and it almost always does. The tournament is played entirely in Elite mode, which you can read more about here . The first team to get to nine points takes the game, although they do have to win by a two-point margin. It's a best of three with the loser going down to the lower-bracket where every match could be their last. If you were unable to catch all the matches, you can still watch the VOD embedded below before you read on to avoid spoilers!
We had a few problems with the feed, so the broadcast starts at 53.56 and had to be broken up into multiple parts - you can find the remaining matches on our Twitch channel .
The first game of the evening featured the British trio PixelTwitch as they took on the Portuguese team GrowuPGaming. PixelTwitch have racked up an insane number of hours practising in such a short space of time but their opponents anticipated every step, jump and shot they made. By sitting back behind cover rather than leave the flag and hunt the attacker, GrowuPGaming were able to take the series 2 - 0 showcasing strong communication and teamwork.
They are by no means unbeatable, however: their positional play during attacking rounds leaves them frequently open to being flanked. This will have to be rectified if they are to topple the top seed 'Fnatic' in the third round. Most of the PixelTwitch losses in the first series were down to nerves causing rookie mistakes. It isn't time to uninstall the game yet, though - with disciplined practise and better communication, they stand a good chance of making a fantastic run through the lower bracket.
The final series of the session saw Team Infused vs chargers!. Infused.Microstar was the most consistent player all evening, showing audacious triple kills and patience while in defence but massive amounts of aggression during his attacking phase. chargers! played a solid game using the high ground to their advantage but ultimately, Infused was just too strong for them as they took the match 2 - 0.
I spoke to the tournament's expert commentators, Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from famed eSports crew Team Dignitas. "The big surprise for me and Zaccubus was to see PyRoGeN knocked down to the losers bracket by LemonDogs," says nVc. Although LemonDogs had a stand-in player in the form of Eliance from TCM, who inadvertently had one of the best attacking rounds on the map Spitfire that I have ever seen in ShootMania , we still saw some great and confident play all round. Their Round 3 match against Nine Zero is definitely the best of the bunch, so we'll certainly be covering that one. However, Nine Zero can beat anybody on their day and I'm really hoping that Eliance will stand-in again as their 3rd, I want to see more of those three.
"It's still too early to predict a winner. The obvious place to put your money is on Fnatic after winning the $100,000 tournament at IPL in San Francisco just two weeks ago," nVc explains, "but they then went on to lose to Dignitas.EU at the French Launch Party the following week. All in all it's mostly irrelevant as the beauty with ShootMania is that the competition among the top 3-5 teams is fierce, both teams could win it on any given day. Also, perhaps important to mention is that Dignitas.EU have since replaced Kowa with Quake legend Cypher for this event, they'll need to gel together quickly as we move forward in the tournament to prove they deserve 2nd seed despite the change."
With the top teams filtered through to the third round and the lower bracket full of teams attempting to hang on with their last life, next week is certain to bring even more exciting and diverse play.