Last week, legendary CLA coaches marac90 and FICO, along withCroatian division member t0m3, set foot in Bar, Montenegro, to participate in the eAdriatic Open Finals. The competition featured a battle between the 32 best players from eight regions for a chance to win a 10,000 EUR Grand Prize.
Before being able to compete in the Finals, t0m3, and marac90 blasted through Regional Qualifications, while FICO got to start from the Finals via the wildcard.
As per the format, Open Finals begins with the Group Stage, after which players move forward into the Bo3 knockout phase, with the tournament champion decided in the Bo5 final duel.
During the Open Finals, both t0m3 and marac90 advanced through the Playoff stage and entered the Knockout phase, where they each won their first matches. Unfortunately, both of them were defeated in the next stage of the winner's bracket: t0m3 lost to future finalist Aleksandar Maksimovic, while marac90 was also bested by his opponent. To add to the disappointment, marac90 suffered another loss in the loser's bracket and was eliminated from the competition. On the other hand, t0m3 managed to secure a victory in the loser's bracket against the well-known Hungarian pro player DomiNation_Sero, but was also ultimately eliminated in the following match.
As for FICO, at first, he had breezed through the Group Stage undefeated and won his first knockout round. In the subsequent round, he faced difficulties against the player who had eliminated t0m3 from the competition. After an initial loss, FICO rallied to win the best-of-three series. Next, he clinched a victory in the semi-final match against Aleksandar Maksimovic. In the winner's bracket final, after two hard-fought matches that left them tied at 1-1, each needed just one more game to progress. Undeterred, FICO delivered possibly his best performance of the entire tournament, clinching the win and securing his spot in the Grand Final.
During the Bo5 final battle, FICO started with a 1-0 advantage, as he had progressed through the winner's bracket and needed just two more wins to claim the championship. During the first match, he had total control and was leading until about the 80th minute, when the victory somehow slipped away, and the match resulted in a loss. The third duel was decided by penalties, and FICO was able to take the lead back, making the total score 2-1. The next game also went to penalties, but this time, FICO, despite having the winning shot, unfortunately missed it and lost the shootout, making the final score tied up once again. From then, only one final game remained. With only one game remaining, FICO gave it his all, securing a 2-score lead early in the match and ultimately triumphing with a 4-1 victory to become the ultimate champion of the eAdriatic Open Finals.
Our special congratulations go to FICO for his unwavering resolve. We also want to take a moment to thank marac90 and t0m3; despite not winning the tournament, they have proven themselves more than worthy, managing to reach the higher stages of the competition, which is no small achievement.
Overall, we are delighted to see our players participate in such massive events as the eAdriatic Open Finals. It surely served as a valuable experience for them and marked a significant chapter in their esports careers. We are eagerly awaiting coverage of more exciting events featuring CLA players.