Local CS:GO experienced one of its biggest shocks in recent memory when Energy Esports beat Bravado Gaming at the inaugural RUSH LAN to claim the first of two qualifying spots for South African teams at ESWC. We caught up with Energy’s Dominic ‘Domsterr’ Sampaio to find out what it was like to finally get one over the seemingly unstoppable Bravado.
As some of you may already know, Domsterr has a particularly long and storied rivalry against the top team in South Africa, having come off second best against them far too often, eventually proclaiming himself to be: 2ndsterr.
“So it all started back when I was in Aperture Gaming at the start of 2016 where we attended a whole bunch of LAN’s throughout the year but of course only came second.
I eventually left Aperture Gaming after getting an offer from Carbon after the ESWC Qualifiers last year. I thought this might change things since Carbon was competing very closely with Bravado and had already beaten them at a LAN (Gamersfest). Unfortunately, even though we beat them a few times online, we didn’t manage to get the W on LAN, only coming close a few times and maintaining that second place.
I put my results from LAN’s on my Steam profile info and so after seeing all these second place finishes in this huge wall of text I decided to embrace this second place as a meme as it would hopefully soothe the crippling depression it was causing me (jk).”
Second best in the country isn’t really something to be too sad about. If he ever wants to feel better about finishing second at professional esports events, he should come play some pub games with us and he’ll see what a really depressing skill level is.
Fortunately for Domsterr, he found the perfect remedy with Energy Esports just over a week ago when he managed to beat Bravado Gaming at a LAN for the first time in his career.
“It was something you can’t describe! So many feelings rushing through you on that last final round to determine the winner. It’s something I hadn’t experienced before and I hope it keeps happening as I love it, haha.”
The win also gives them a unique opportunity to test their skills on the international stage at ESWC later this year.
“Being able to compete against players of a higher caliber/tier from different countries is something of a dream and this opportunity doesn’t always come around so I am not going to take any of it for granted.
I am very keen to test my skills against much tougher opponents as it will give us a good idea of how we are doing compared to the bigger international scene as well as my own individual level. If we can prove ourselves against these teams then it can open up windows and opportunities to becoming better.”
Bravado rifler Aran ‘Sonic’ Groesbeek fell ill prior to the event and subsequently lost his voice, resulting in them having to use stand-ins at times, and communication issues. The fact that they still managed to make it to the finals just goes to show how strong the current Bravado line-up is.
“I think [Sonic being sick] affected it somewhat. His fragging ability took a slight hit in my opinion but as you saw he still played like a beast. I think between Aran and his team it was the communication that really got affected because after the win I went up to him to shake his hand and he had no voice at all which in a team game like this is one of the key factors of winning.”
Incredibly, this wasn’t just the first time Energy have beaten Bravado at LAN, according to CriticalHit it’s quite literally the first time they’ve managed to take a map off them. With that in mind, how much energy (GLHF: Sorry.) do Domsterr and his teammates put into finding ways to beat their arch enemy?
“Bravado is pretty much our main focus as they are our rivals at the moment and there is kind of a gap between the top 8 teams in the country currently.
We have also just brought on an analyst in the form of Adam ‘wHam’ Postepski and he has been doing wonders for us not only in terms of analysis, but also he is really supportive and helpful if we need anything.
He is always encouraging us and has a really positive outlook at everything which rubs off on me personally.”
There’s only so much a team of five players can do to improve themselves. Having an outside perspective from an analyst or a coach, which South African teams are bringing on board more and more, can really help the team raise their game.
While Energy’s new analyst helped them to a virtually flawless performance in the tournament, maybe they should look into hiring a physio next as they weren’t nearly as slick in the real world.
“The toilets were on the other side of the venue. What ended up happening was Takbok needed the toilet during our match with Bravado and he plays with his shoes off. So he ended up sprinting towards the toilets and fell over as he couldn’t slow down on the tiles with socks, hahaha. In hindsight maybe it was a good thing as the adrenaline provided the win perhaps ;D.”
We’ll need to wait until these sides meet at a LAN again to find out exactly how much this win was down to Sonic being sick and how much was down to Takbok needing the bathroom, but until then this result has done something special for Energy and local CS:GO, it’s shown that Bravado are not unbeatable.
The illusion has been shattered and many teams will go into matches against them with far more belief.
“It certainly helped boost our confidence, although before the tournament we were already feeling confident as previous results with them were always pretty close, and everyone at the LAN was feeling comfortable in the setup.
It’s always a good and tough match when we face up against Bravado, and we have already shown we can beat a fully fit Bravado in the ESL African Season 1 league. But there’s a lot more opportunities this year for this re-match to happen so we will see.”
So with all their recent success is it time we drop the name 2ndsterr?
“I don’t think it’s enough to say I’m 1sterr yet ;).”