7AM saw a positive weekend taking part in the first step of the Open Tour Benelux. With the cut throat group stages, 7AM did what they needed to do by beating all opponents in group A. Wins against Goeie Pot, Potatoes of Aerolith, cOnk esports and a strong finish against Team THRLL Academy completed a clean slate for Saturday’s action.
Summing up Saturday from a player’s point of view Vinnie commented, “We were very excited to finally be able to play the open tour to show teams how we have improved, we entered the competition with high expectations and day 1 went very fast! We had a speed run and convincingly beat THRLL Academy with a well executed team comp”.
Team captain Yoni also heaped praise on how the teams within the group handled their games “The groups day was quick and solid, all the teams were perfectly in time to start the games and rarely ever paused games.”
With a place in Sunday’s quarter finals sealed, they awaited the challenge of eventual group H winners TimeOut Academy. A 2-0 win filled the guys with confidence but Yoni was cautious after noticing a few mistakes that went unpunished by the side of TimeOut Academy.
Moving onto the semi finals is where the team really met their challenge against Tundra Gaming. A seemingly comfortable win in the first game of the BO3 outlined 7AM’s intention to again take the quick route forward and into the final but Tundra had other ideas. Game 2 was a much tougher test “in game 2 I personally feel we had some mistakes in our draft and we didn’t play enough comfort, I personally got heavily punished by Hachi for that” Vinnie referencing to Hachi’s menacing Fiora.
So all tied at 1-1 7AM took a what could have been a final earning lead by securing 3 drakes and a solid lead but it wasn’t to be as Yoni said “we went on to game 3 where we had a solid lead and 3 drakes on the board. We were getting picks left right and centre and were looking very promising to take the win. However, due to too much enthusiasm and lack of tactical focus we mis-played the dragon soul fight massively, this swung the entire tempo and lead towards them and we were unable to claw our way back into the game. I think for me personally it was also a big responsibility to keep control over that kind of situation and I didn’t see it. So I feel quite responsible however we learnt a lot out of these mis-plays and they are easy to go and look back and have a certain idea on how we would approach a situation like that next time. I also think that personally I didn’t take enough breaks in between games (move away from the pc for a bit) which caused me to lose the absolute focus I had in the first couple of games.”
So on the face of it, a difficult loss but as a team they are hungry to rectify the mistakes and improve as Yoni mentions “How we approach the situation afterwards is just pure class. We are of course sad we didn’t make it through till the end, but were eager to resolve our mistakes and prep ever harder for the next one.”
Despite coming up short of the finals the run was enjoyed by all and not just from a team point of view as Vinnie sums up “We were pretty disappointed we couldn’t take the W but I have to say that the top 4 teams were really strong and the competition in day 2 overall was very solid. I personally didn’t expect that there was still this decent amount of talent in the Benelux, a few standout performers I would like to mention are: Hachi, Zhii, Yillan, Rechter, Smiglo on Ekko! I can say that all teams and players have been very respectful towards each other and I’m sure we will push each other to a higher level over time. It was fun to see the community streams and how they helped making this weekend be a fun experience! After tasting from the first step of open tour we are hungry to improve and hopefully take it all in the upcoming step!”
A great opening step for the Open Tour Benelux, everyone at Team 7AM would like to thank the organisers, teams and congratulate the winners Absolute Legends. Step 2 commences March 7th, keep an eye on our social channels for updates leading up to it!