With just over 5 weeks to prepare for the Black Ops 3 event at UMG South Carolina, the team touched down on Thursday in Myrtle Beach, ready to embark on their first event together as a team.
With the event having many issues throughout the day, including PlayStation connectivity issues and no-shows it was at least six hours before the team got to play against their first live opposition in the form of Elysian Esports.
Following the trend of issues at the event the first map on Hardpoint was hampered by a loss of communication through the consoles and forced a first map loss, that was made more frustrating due to it's agonisingly close scoreline of 235-250 in which a comeback trail was looking imminent.
The second map didn't bring in any more luck for the boys either. As complete immobility hampered valuable player Njoi for a large portion of the game and with no option for a break without a forfeit being enforced, our valiant efforts couldn't bring home the win. Not to say that Elysian aren't worthy of a victory, but rather that we would have preferred a fairer fight in more ideal conditions.
There was food for thought for the players as they returned to their hotels, reflecting on individual mistakes but also affirming one another that the technical issues were outside of their control. Managers Shadow and Shazam in attendance, acknowledged the difficulties the teams faced during the first day of the event and were still greatly encouraged by the boys.
Now in the lower bracket the team were fighting against elimination, knowing that their next opponent was likely to be Cloud 9, a top-seeded team finding themselves there due to facing fellow top-seeders (and eSport vets) Team Liquid in Round 2. With Cloud 9 swiftly confirmed as next in line we entered the Main Stage booths ready to showcase the team's potential to a huge audience.
Rize vs Cloud 9 - Main Stage LB Round 4
With the casters and fans putting C9 as firm favourites there was an uphill struggle to change opinions in the game; something that is almost as important as winning outright in the Call of Duty scene. The first map went as they expected, with a lack of game-time that day the overall more experience of C9 raised few eyebrows as the team went down a map.
What happened next during CTF turned one or two heads...
Picking up a map victory and levelling the scores to 1-1 against huge favourites it was an obvious boost for the team and was reflected in the Search and Destroy decider as the team stormed ahead in the opening rounds.
Losing in such a fashion is hard to take but at the same time we're certain we gained a lot of respect from the community and hopefully gained some new fans. The players were in relatively good spirits following their exit from the tournament, pleased with the impact they had made on such a highly rated side in Cloud 9.
"Get used to the name Rogue on main stage." - @rize_Rogue
In the end the event had its own success story, the emergence of a side that can upset the odds and bring excitement to the community. With more qualifiers lined up the team are looking towards gaining enough points to earn a place in the CoD Champs qualifying event later this year.