The IGN Pro League’s 5th event was this past weekend at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and featured North America’s largest ShootMania tournament to date. The tournament prize pool was $100,000, split among all eight of the qualifying teams.
Teams flew in from around the world to compete, including several European teams. Both Team TCM and Colwn earned themselves a trip to Las Vegas by qualifying in the two European IPL5 qualifier rounds, while Planet Xpress, Spin Move, Epsilon and compLexity (formerly asphyxia) earned their way to the live event by winning the North American Qualifier tournaments.
The action began on Friday, November 30 with a Wildcard tournament in which 12 teams battled for the eighth and final spot in the money tournament. The wildcard included two European teams, FnaticRC and Dignitas who each funded their own way to Las Vegas having just missed out during the qualification rounds. Fnatic faced off against the Frag Dolls and Do Not Jump on their way to the Final Round, while Dignitas played matches versus ROOT and Monomaniac eSports. The final wildcard showdown between Dignitas and FnaticRC ended three rounds to none for FnaticRC, ending Team Dignitas’ hopes for a shot at the money and awarding FnaticRC the 8th and final spot in the IPL5 ShootMania Elite tournament.
On Saturday teams moved into group play. Group A consisted of Colwn, SK Gaming, Spin Move and Epsilon eSports battling it out for spots in the finals. The top three teams each had records of two wins and one loss, however, after giving up at least one game to each of their opponents in Group A, Epsilon eSports was eliminated as Colwn and SK Gaming took the top two spots. Group B, consisting of FnaticRC, Planet Xpress, TCM Gaming and complexity, had clearer results. FnaticRC were once again perfect dropping zero games in either the qualifier or group play to advance alongside Planet Xpress with a record of two wins and 1 loss.
Sunday featured three matches to cap the tournament, but the result might have looked familiar to anyone who watched the ESWC ShootMania Tournament a month ago. Despite fantastic play from Talespin, buds and vince, as well as a great deal of crowd support for the North American based team, Colwn took the match three games to zero in a best of five. Likewise, SK Gaming’s Rapha, id and clock battled hard to the cheers of the home country crowd but were unable to take any games from FnaticRC.
The finals between Colwn and FnaticRC were a treat to see, featuring some of the greatest players not just in the ShootMania community, but the Quake and Unreal Tournament communities as well.
As the underdogs, JiePie, LekaiM and Strenx of FnaticRC heard remarkable support from the large crowd who gathered for the finals, but were unable to overcome Colwn’s play, which could only be described as perfect. Despite giving up an early lead to FnaticRC on the first map, players Winz, Stermy and akm of Colwn played flawlessly for the remainder of the map and the match, winning all three games of the best of five to replicate their first place win at ESWC and win the $30,000 prize.
Kudos to everyone who competed, the matches were fierce, but special congratulations to Colwn for their big victory at IPL5!