Over the last 7+ months, I had been looking for teammates to enter tournaments with. Up until recently, I had no luck. But finally 2 weeks ago, my team was complete and we were ready to start practicing together. At first we weren’t all that great, but the more we played together the better we did. This past Sunday we entered into our first tournament in the ESL NA Cup #28 and we couldn’t have been more excited.
One of my teammates were unable to participate, but we do have a sub on our team so they played. We thought that this might be a step backwards but we pretty much picked up where we left off and started beating teams in ranked play by the scores of 7-1, 6-3, 5-2 etc. So I am thinking, “hey, we might take a few series today”. I didn’t think we could win it all, but to take a few best out of 3 series would go a long way for us going into next weeks tournament.
The time had come, the bracket was complete and we had our first tournament opponent (I believe their team name was “Back That Pass Up”). The countdown begins, 3…2….1….GO! and I and my team give it all we got. We were down 5-0 with just under a minute off the clock… by the halfway point of the match we were down 8-0, and by the final horn it was an 11-0 beat down. I had considered myself (Master, Silver 3/Gold 1 Doubles – Silver 1/Silver 2 3v3) and my Expert teammate pretty damn good for our ranks. We win 80% of our ranked games, our sub was only a Pro (Bronze 1/Bronze 2) player, but we thought for sure the plan we had in place was golden.
Even myself and my Expert teammate looked like deer in a headlight during this game. The team we played was so fast that whenever I saw an opportunity I would hesitate or second guess myself because I didn’t think I could make it in time. We played 99% of those games in our zone back to back like a pack of wolves were running around us ready to feast.
Game 2 had little to no hope as it started just as the first did. A quick 4-0 hole followed by a goal of our own and then 4 more goals against to the tune of an 8-1 loss. 19-1 in 2 games had never even been thought of by my team. I sat there and talked us up and knew my team had what it took to compete, and then they reached into our chests and ripped our hearts out. The feeling myself and my teammates had after that game still lingers today. I literally just got done playing a 10 game session with my Expert teammate and our confidence did not show up. We won half the games we played and half of those games were won in OT. A sudden change from winning games by 3-4 goals.
During one of the games my teammate said “I feel like they took something from us, and now we play with no confidence like we don’t deserve to be playing”. He was exactly right, they completely annihilated us from start to finish like we had never been beaten before. We plan on playing in this weeks tournament but if we cant pick up the pieces, we will have less of a chance to win than we did last week, we cant just walk into another buzz saw.
So what do we do? Our team is broken, our confidence is shattered, our skills (whatever there was there to begin with) seems to have diminished. Only time will tell if we get back to our feet, or stay down for the 10 count.
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