The tournament so far
For over a two months now we have been witnessing some extraordinary action in the Ownage Season 3 duel tournament. After quite a few thrillers, many crushing performances and of course some intense drama we now know the top 3.
Milton is waiting in the grand final for the winner of
Bulat. I think most people were expecting Milton and LocKtar to make the top 3 from the start, but while Bulat's success is not a surprise by any means, there were quite a few other strong players contending for his spot.
Season 2 champion
Avenger fell vs.
slabi in the winner's bracket to everyone's surprise and then was knocked out the tournament by Bulat's convincing performance on aerowalk and a tight struggle in dm4 (that unfortunately included some lag for Avenger).
mawe was one of my favorites to challenge Milton in the Grand Final, but he only made it to top 24 losing to
valla in the winner's bracket and then getting knocked out by
Zepp when he chose ztndm3 for the decider even though he had already lost on it in the first map of the series.
In my opinion the positive surprises of the tournament can be found from places 4 to 6. Everyone knows and respects valla's 4on4 skills, but few thought he would be able to secure 4th place finish in such a tough duel tournament. It turns out that his excellent fighting skills and game sense were enough to compensate for the lack of map knowledge on aerowalk and ztndm3.
slabi and Zepp share the 5th place after impressive tournament runs. Everyone will remember slabi's shocking victory over his countryman Avenger for quite a while, but he also took down
locust to prove it wasn't just a fluke. The master of dm6 and ztndm3 is a player to follow if you like want to see what excellent item timing and control can do for your duel performance.
Zepp's tournament didn't start so well, he used a different nick than in last season (Murk) which lead to an unfortunate seeding mishap. He had to play in a first round while all the other top level players got a free pass and then had to face
Goblin on the second round. Zepp lost that game and got knocked down to the loser's bracket. This however didn't stop the man from east as he started a rampage and ended the tournament with total of 13 matches played, way more than anyone else. On his way Zepp took down a very impressive list of strong tournament players:
bps.The Loser's Bracket Final LocKtar vs. Bulat
The duel specialist are ready. They have proven to be in shape by making the top 3. The trash talk
has started. It will be epic. It will be a best of 5.
Here's my prediction on what kind of game we shall be privileged to witness.dm4: The Bad Place
This is LocKtar's map, no question about it. He will rely on winning it to get a good start for the series and rightfully so, since it's also Bulat's weakest map. One thing to always keep in the mind though is the luck factor. Depending on the start this game could turn out to be an easy safe victory for LocKtar or an annoying fight against Bulat's safe play while he tries to retain his lead. Stealing this map would be a huge sway in the Russian's favor, but I just don't see it happening.ztndm3: Blood Run
Here the situation is reversed. Everything that was said for dm4 applies here, but now Bulat has the advantage and should be able to tie the match up.aerowalk: Aerowalk
This is the map I'm personally looking forwards to the most. Bulat is an extremely strong aerowalk player that has his own unique style of play. He doesn't try to push his advantage by aggressively running the items and getting the spawnfrags. Instead he plays a slow methodical game relying on positioning and his aim. Great example of this is his game vs. Avenger where he rarely had any control of the red armor at all, but still managed to pull out a really convincing victory.
All that said, I'm still going to give the advantage to LocKtar here. In the last year or so he has improved his aerowalk game by truly impressive amounts. Currently he's able to keep up with anyone as demonstrated by his victory over Milton in their encounter on winner's bracket final.dm6: The Dark Zone
This one promises to be an absolute thriller. Bulat already has two very impressive dm6 victories under his belt versus slabi and valla. LocKtar on the other took down Goblin and xpr on the Dark Zone, but did lose to slabi. I think it's just too close to call and at this point in the match it's as much about fighting your own nerves as it is about fighting your opponent.dm2: Claustrophobopolis
Keeping your head straight and your hand steady is what wins deciders. That's especially true if we end up seeing a dm2. Sure LocKtar is known as the dm2 master, but he hasn't been playing it a lot lately (as far as I know) and the map can be decided by such a small margins that I would hesitate to say that anyone has an advantage here. Unless we see some lucky spawnfrags or unfortunate start spawns, it will be the player who doesn't miss any of his rockets and who doesn't fall in to the lava that shall be victorious here.