As one of the most iconic events of 2014, Gfinity 3 holds a significant place within the memories of several fans, players and organisations alike. Personally, as G3 was the first ever gaming event I had attended, it retains a considerable amount of meaning to myself and I have missed it every single day since its conclusion.
As we edge closer to the end of yet another remarkable year for eSports, I believe this is a fantastic opportunity to re-live our most memorable and favourite moments of Gfinity 3… but where should I begin?
To kick things off, for me, one of the most iconic highlights of the event was the crowd’s reaction WHENEVER OpTic/OpTic Nation made an appearance. Each time one of our fellow Green Wall extraordinaires walked across the stage, the crowd would come alive and burst into a frenzy of cheering, creating a signature moment.
As one of the most popular, if not the most popular team within the entirety of Call of Duty eSports, OpTic Gaming consistently receive a large amount of support no matter where they are in the world and G3 was certainly no different. A good 60% of the crowd proudly branded themselves with the ‘OG’ crest across their attire, as they represented ‘America’s Favourite Gamer’, Matthew “Haag” Nadeshot, as well as the rest of the organisation. With routinely scheduled cheers whenever an OpTiC member secured a kill and an absolute UPROAR when they won a game, I definitely felt like I belonged in this community when Proofy and friends were on stage.
Another moment I thoroughly enjoyed while at G3 was the gamers enthusiasm presented towards testing their luck and skill at the casino – is it now time to admit that we all took a trip up there?
As the United Kingdom’s gambling laws differ to those of the United States, several visiting players took advantage of the lowered age restrictions (18 as opposed to 21 within the US) in an attempt to truly engage themselves within the London experience. Nadeshot himself was unable to hide his level of enthusiasm and excitement for a good game of poker and roulette in a variety of his YouTube videos.
If you were unable to meet the players inside the overwhelming Copperbox Arena, you definitely wouldn’t miss the chance to briefly catch them at the casino, located right in the centre of Stratford’s Westfield Shopping Centre.
I myself, amongst a group of diehard OpTic fans, managed to meet Hecz, Proofy and Clayster there, as the guys were happy to stand and chat until every last one of us had received a picture or an autograph. Proofy even mentioned that he loved London, except for one thing – the food being too healthy. I wonder if he still feels the same after their recent California retreat?
Next on my list would have to be the casters. Oh, our wonderful, reliable CoDcasters. Featuring Puckett, Benson, Gandhi, Bricetacular and so many more, their in-game knowledge and quick wit personalities truly aid the video games transformation from social pastime to spectator sport. Call of Duty just wouldn’t be the same without them.
With Gandhi running around shirtless during the intervals, as well as YouTube star Ali-A and Sky News Sunrise presenter Julia Hardy shooting free t-shirts into the crowd, G3 holds one of the most illustrious and memorable caster/presenter line-ups to date.
At one point, I even remember witnessing hundreds of people running out of the venue in chaos, and in panic I instinctively followed them, only to find out they were all queuing up to meet Maven and Gandhi, who again seemed more than happy to stand and smile until their jaws ached in countless ‘selfies’. Ali-A was also drowning in a sea of fans, yet patiently waited until every last fan walked away – I believe he may have even missed a bit of the final, featuring Epsilon and EnVyUs - #Dedication.
As well as the CoDcasters and special guests, several high profile organisation members also walked around the arena freely. For a large portion of the event, I recall both JKapp and Merk sitting behind me in the stands, with Mr. X even making an appearance at some point.
Players were randomly sat within the crowd, in and amongst the fans, and personally, I believe this made the event that much more memorable, due to the fact that members of the audience were able to grab a quick photo of their favourite eSports Athletes and ask them the questions they had been longing to hear the answers to, instead of mindlessly queuing for hours.
It definitely made the event that much more personal, and Nadeshot’s appearance with his GoPro enhanced the atmosphere, encouraging the crowd to happily flee from their seats to get a glimpse of America’s Favourite Gamer. See Nadeshot’s Gfinity Tournament Tour below.
Despite all of these impressive factors, my all-time favourite moments of Gfinity 3 are easily the various amounts of upsets witnessed within the tournament itself. Read any blog, any eSports report or prediction that took place before the event occurred and I can guarantee you that 80% of those articles had Evil Geniuses securing the championship, along with the £30,000 prize pool
I for one was pleasantly surprised when OpTic Nation defeated Team Kaliber 3-0 on Championship Sunday, as well as FaZe’s 3-0 victory over Evil Geniuses. Before Gfinity, the results of numerous MLG and UMG events had become predictable and boring, consequently resulting in many competitive Call of Duty fans longing for some fresh and exciting alterations within the scene. Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming and Team Kaliber had all previously established themselves as Call of Duty veterans throughout the last year. Therefore, it was quite refreshing to witness Team EnVyUs bringing the Gfinity title home for the BoysInBlue.
So, now that we have re-lived my personal favourite moments of Gfinity 3, feel free to comment and share your own highlights with us. Perhaps it was Jurd’s 4-in-a-row Blitz captures, Money B’s 1v3 clutch on Octane, Proofy’s last second game winning cap for OpTic Gaming, or finally meeting one of your idols. Whatever it is, we are looking forward to finding out!
Photo credit: eSportsNation, Oliverjboarder
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