Although they were presented as one of the favourites going into the Australian segment of the APAC qualifiers, T1.Dotters’ run through the first qualifying tournament was not a smooth one. Fighting through the tougher side of the bracket along with being plagued by disconnection issues and hardware faults, T1 overcame all hardships to solidify their spot at Sydney alongside Trident and Mindfreak.
The recently reformed 2014 COD Champs roster (with the addition of Fate) began the tournament the tournament swiftly, with a bye in Round 1 and a 3-0 victory against freQuency in Round 2. However, it would only be an uphill battle from here, facing off against Vanquish, another tournament favourite in Round 3.
Game 1 would prove to be a representation of what was to come. Neck and neck throughout the entire game, Vanquish finally seemed to be pulling ahead in the final minute. With twenty seconds remaining, Vq had a 19 point lead, meaning it was already borderline impossible for Dotters to forge a comeback by the time they had cleared out the hardpoint. Gritting their teeth as the final seconds ticked down, a miracle recovery was in sight but quickly was snatched away as a Vanquish player launched himself into the hardpoint for a critical contesting second, the game ending 199-198 in Vanquish’s favor. Surprisingly, the mentality of T1 seemed unwavered. T1 rebounded in impressive fashion, flaunting their S&D dominion (which every COD Champs 2014 viewer should be familiar with) throughout Game 2, resulting in a 6-0 victory. This would be replicated in an obviously critical Game 5, confirming their victory over Vanquish.
Trident, T1’s former organisation, were T1.Dotters’ next challenge which would end up being another and almost equally close series. Unfortunately falling 2-3 to Trident and former teammate Macka in a painful loss raised only controversy over whether his recent removal from the roster was warranted as T1 headed into a do-or-die match versus EndZone.
The obstacles confronting Dotters only got tougher from here. It wouldn’t be an online qualifier for a major eSports event without DDOS attacks and Issei found this out the hard way, being hit offline multiple times causing repeated Game 1 restarts until it was no longer an option. As merciless attacks on his router came flying in one after another, the teams eventually had to play on, as T1.Dotters fans now feared for the team’s vulnerable tournament life. Dotters weren’t giving up without a fight though. Despite being down a player, the remaining three players of the squad closed out Game 1 in an unbelievable victory including doubling EndZone on points for almost half the game.
Sadly this wasn’t the end to the battering of Iskatuu’s router as continuing attacks caused him to drop in and out as the teams headed into the next game. Thankfully, the siege on his network came to a halt upon a mid-game restart in Game 2, allowing T1 to finally take control of the series. Clean sweeping EndZone 3-0, Dotters were the third and final team to secure their spot at APAC Sydney.
Fighting off painful losses, hardware issues and incessant DDOSing, T1.Dotters proved for a second year in a row that they are still a formidable force in ANZ Call of Duty.
Congratulations to T1.Dotters, along with Plantronics.Mindfreak and Trident on their qualification for the APAC regional finals. Additionally, an honourable mention to ACL for upholding a clear focus on competitive integrity, being patient with players as they dealt with somewhat uncontrollable issues.
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Article by Zeror.
Image Credit: ACL