After a long night of delays and setbacks via airport realignments, Sean and Kory finally arrive at the hotel and join Mike, Spencer and myself just shy of midnight and are able to grab a quick bite to eat before attempting to catch as much sleep as they can. The next few hours going forward after arriving that late are crucial to any players mentality and stability going into a tournament day; needless to say, those two were fighting a hard fought battle to keep their sleep schedules regulated despite the timezone changes and jet lag. Unless you've been there and you've done that it really can be a hard concept to grasp of the mental and physical strength requirements of those that travel both domestically and internationally to compete in their respected fields.
The day begins like most tournament days, in the lobby of the hotel or nearest place that breakfast is available. The team is given set hard times to hit throughout the day and the ones that choose to skip meal per individual ritual are allowed to do so. As a manager I completely understand that it's vital that players stick to what works for them, on the opposite note however, I have also done what I can to encourage the ones that find themselves falling into a slumping pattern to mix it up. Sometimes moving towards refreshment can change a players perspective just enough that it will give them the edge needed to hurdle any obstacles that are hindering them.
We decided to make the walk over to the venue with the Fnatic CS:GO team. Upon arriving to Milan Games Week we decided to enter at the front door. The line to get into the event was more like a mob of 300+ teen to mid-twenty aged males in which I found myself plowing through the ranks in order to get all six of us to the front of the line. At this point, the event had not opened yet and as such we were met with resistance in our efforts to get to the door. After we had made it through, I noticed that one of my ducklings had not been able to get through with the rest of crew. When I did a headcount coming through the door, Jordan had not made it through to the other side. I did what I had to do and waded my way back out through the sea of gamers to find him and we then moved back inside towards the tournament area.
The organization of FACEIT has done a phenomenal job of keeping things level headed despite all of the delays they encountered on day one of their first ever LAN event. The multiple hour delay going into our first match against Team LDLC is something that I felt was similar to "freezing the kicker" in an American football game. There were times in which they believed that the problems had been solved, my players would begin warming up again, only to find out that there were indeed another set of delays. This is no excuse for our loss, but it definitely did not help going into the match up. After we played, we held our normal post-game recap of what we did right as well as what we did wrong in an effort to make corrections going forward. Our day at the venue ended just before the first match of Team iBUYPOWER. We headed back to the hotel to drop our bags and get some dinner before returning to the lobby to attend a Manager/Captain meeting held by FACEIT.
As the first day of FACEIT Season 2 LAN Finals come to a close it becomes abundantly obvious that there are many things that never quite change in the Counter-Strike community. Delays are inevitable at this point whether it be on the hands of event organizers or the developers of our beloved game. There are immense amounts of knowledge to be gained from each and every event both inside and outside of the game. On our end we are able to take away learning our opponent in many different aspects to include tendencies as well as certain patterns they may set in their strategy end-game. These can be useful tools going forward especially as we progress towards more tournaments during this busy time of the year.