The Gfinity Championship has reached its halfway mark and since the launch of the Gfinity Arena we’ve witnessed the birth of new stars, uncovered hidden talent, aided the creation of a new dynasty and more importantly, put on 10 amazing events for your enjoyment!
As the Gfinity Championship takes a scheduled break, we thought it would be appropriate to relive the highlights of each event thus far!
FIFA Spring Masters and Play Like A Legend
After months of planning and preparation, the Gfinity Championship series finally commenced on March 7th with the FIFA Spring Masters I. A combination of qualified and invited players would descend upon London, with only one matter on their mind, securing the inaugural Gfinity Championship Trophy.
Casted by YouTube sensation Spencer Owen and ex-professional players Chris Bullard and Dave Bytheway, worldwide favourites Tass and Vitality Brian progressed to the semi-finals as expected, however, they were both respectively eliminated from the competition by the hands of two online qualifiers, Ferperry and A Huge Gorilla.
Both players possessed an incredibly aggressive playstyle, typically aiming to outscore their opponents. However, we would see wonderkid Spencer ‘A Huge Gorilla’ Ealing adapt to his opponents characteristics appropriately and leave his first event LAN event with a noteworthy Championship performance!
Returning to the Gfinity Arena, the FIFA Championship series featured a new addition in the form of the Play Like A Legend FIFA Ultimate Team Tournament, presented by Xbox. Split across the weekend, Saturday saw Vitality Brian regain his spot at the top of the podium as he secured the FIFA Spring Masters II and a substantial $2,000. However, despite a disappointing first day, Sunday would see A Huge Gorilla reiterate his current dominance, as he secured his second LAN victory and a nifty £4,000.
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StarCraft Spring Masters
For the first AND second time in history; 2015 thus far has seen WCS hit the shores of the United Kingdom twice thanks to the Gfinity StarCraft Spring Masters I & II! Players from all over the globe converged on London - with a $10,000 Prize Pool and 800 WCS Points on the line.
Joined by a wide selection of Casters and Analysts, including (but not limited to): DeMuslim, Khaldor, Nathanias, Petraeus, Ret, JoRoSaR, and Richard Lewis. All this goodness before we've even mentioned the Pro Players who appeared!
Worldwide favourites including: Snute, Heart, and Jaedong all competed for the right to be crowned the first ever Gfinity Masters Champion. Eventually, following a dominant 4-2 Grand Final against Hydra, the Forcefield micro from the Protoss PartinG was too much and he walked away with the gold - as well as $5,000 and 300 WCS Points to his name. High-fiving half of the attending audience in the Arena as he did!
Not wishing to be out-done, the Spring Masters II featured such illustrious players as sOs, Patience, and TRUE! It seemed the Zerg rush was unstoppable, as we saw it come down to an all Korean Zerg Ro4. Hydra made it into his second Gfinity Grand Final, but unfortunately fell just short once again thanks to the overwhelming swarms from fellow Zerg Solar – who took the Championship 4-1 and lifted his first WCS trophy of 2015 proudly for all to see.
Who knows what the Summer Masters could bring...
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Hearthstone Spring Masters
Although Hearthstone may be the infant eSports title hosted by Gfinity, the online collectible card game established itself well within the Championship Series, showcasing a number of entertaining matches, undeniable talent and an abundance of rising stars.
While, The Hearthstone Spring Masters welcomed the likes of worldwide favourites, Lifecoach, Amaz, Orange, Forsen, Faramir and more, the show was stolen by several open qualifiers, with teenaged wonderkids Anaro and lbdutchboy placing in the Top 4 of their respective tournaments, while Zozus and Kroba both earned themselves a highly respectable 2nd place finish.
However, despite the phenomenon of “randomosity”, the Hearthstone Spring Masters would become the only Gfinity Championships to feature a recurring back-to-back champion, Firebat.
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Call of Duty Open
The Gfinity Call of Duty Open welcomed 29 of Europe’s most elite and promising competitive organisations, as they battled it out for fame, glory and a stake at the substantial £10,000 prize pot, sponsored by The Sun.
Participants were placed into 8 groups of 4, with the top two teams from each pool successfully progressing into the Winner’s Bracket, while the 3rd placed team qualified for a spot in the Lower Bracket. Ultimately, pool play concluded as most would have predicted, with arguably the most notable affair appearing in the successful progression of two female teams, Riot Gaming and Team No Thumbs.
It’s on Championship Sunday, that we began to see a void in experience, as the veteran teams began to assert their dominance. As expected, the top 5 final placements of the Gfinity Call of Duty Open were populated by seasoned professionals, however, surprisingly, one of the favourite teams to win the event, Infused, finished 5th-6th, alongside Epiphany Interactive.
The Grand Finals welcomed European powerhouses Epsilon eSports and emerging titans Aware Gaming. As Aware had recently outplaced Epsilon at the coveted Call of Duty Championships, they understandably possessed the self-proclaimed title of ‘Best in Europe’. Therefore, this matchup was not solely focused upon the mere £2,500 variation in prize funds, but rather the official crown of European Champions.
However, despite the intense pressure, Epsilon were able to maintain their composure and secure the series 3-2, as they reiterated their title as the best team in Europe.
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Call of Duty Open Spring Masters
The first Gfinity Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Spring Masters took place on the 8-10th May, where 16 teams congregated upon London, from all corners of the globe, battling it out with one another with hopes of attaining the title of Gfinity Champions as well as a slice of the $25,000 prize pool on offer.
There were upsets, exceptional plays and a full weekend of exciting Call of Duty action. The European teams managed to make more of an impact on their eternal North American rivals than usual, but it all ended up with a grand finals for the ages: OpTic Gaming versus a Team Prophecy outfit led by Aches.
The entire series was a crazily intense affair, with plays and subsequently maps being traded back and forth. It's honestly worth heading on over to the Gfinity YouTube channel and checking out the VOD of the Grand Finals if you didn't get a chance to watch them live, because it was certainly the highlight of the entire weekend.
However, despite their best efforts, Prophecy was eventually overcome, and OpTic secured back-to-back Europeans victories with the collaboration of Enable.
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Counter Strike: Global Offensive Spring Masters
Kicking off the action at the Gfinity Arena, the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Spring Masters I welcomed 8 of the world’s leading CS:GO teams to London, as they competed for the coveted title of Gfinity Champion, as well as the slice of the $50,000 prize pool on offer.
Joined by a wide selection of Analysts and Casters, including (but not limited to): Thorin, Richard Lewis, Sir Scoots, Semmler, James Banks, Chewwy and Kyanite, the weekend played host to a number exceptional plays and exciting CS:GO action.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Virtus.Pro, Team EnVyUs and Cloud 9 would all progress into the single elimination bracket of the tournament. However, as expected, the Grand Finals would welcome the fan favourite powerhouse of NiP and nV. Although NiP were able to secure an early 1-0 lead in the series, we would see nV turn the tides around, and walk away with a 3-1 championship victory and the Gfinity CS:GO Spring Master I trophy.
Following the community feedback from the first event, the CS:GO Spring Master II saw a variation in several aspects upon its return to the Gfinity Arena. A new structure, increased prize pools, and most importantly bigger booths, all featured an appearance in the second instalment of the CS Masters.
In addition to this, while the Spring Masters I presented a rather predictable bracket, the Spring Masters II presented a number unexpected upsets. Previous finalists Team EnVyUs and Ninjas in Pyjamas would both place 5/6th, while Titan, Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro, FNATIC would place in the Top 4.
The Grand Finals would see FNATIC vs Virtus.pro fight back and forth in an intense battle, however despite several closely contested maps, and an intense 19-16 overtime round, FNATIC would sweep Virtus.pro and lift the Gfinity Masters II trophy.
Keep up to date with all the latest gaming and eSports news via our Twitter: @GfinityOnline.
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