Not long ago, it looked like the i46 American Project was going to fall in line with some of the worst fund raising efforts in human history. It felt like the eXtelevision crew had gone door to door schilling homemade raw cookie dough wrapped in toilet paper saying that any money given in exchange for said intestinal atomic bomb would go towards helping local animal shelters purchase more efficient euthanasia equipment. And then somehow, suddenly, we awoke to find the donation total up to $10,000 despite the hordes of people like Pirate Radio's kaidus rolling around on the floor clutching his belly, scraps of toilet paper lining his lips and vomit on the floor. We were spared the fate of every ill-advised, sexually-charged Kickstarter:
The bulk of that came from the initial month-long set of donations, culminating with the eXtv hosted i46 round robin tournament. But the next big chunk, about four grand, came after this past Sunday's VanillaTV showmatch between Classic Mixup and TCM Gaming. Everyone got to watch as Ruwin “Sven” Zobler went crazy over a set of three maps and totaled around 120 frags. The hope is that once more this weekend, you crazy kids with way too much money to spare and a crippling need for attention and acknowledgment will fire money off to the eXtv chipin as Greg reads your names off and congratulates you for your contribution to the horde. Let's learn a bit about the new set of American and European gaming gurus that will be the stars of this weekend's show!
- Anders "F2" Carstensen
- Jean Louis "Knoxxx" Boyer
- Tim "GeaR" Glöckler
- Tomas "Extremer" Astrauskas
- Patrick "Shintaz" Panebianco
- Stefan "schocky" Berends
If you were a weird hipster with an acoustic guitar and a love of European TF2, the New Weird America psych folk song you penned would be about either Team Dignitas or these boys. The Dignitas song would be rich and beautiful, it would have highs and lows, nude Finnish men rubbing their genitalia on the overly large foreheads of certain casters, and so many other wondrous adventures. Epsilon's song would be monotonous and mechanical and it would massively utilize auto-tune and pitch correction, and while nobody would be all too happy to listen to it, they could appreciate its various technical masteries. Epsilon is Dream Theater as they dealt with Extremer's ever-destructive alcoholism, you could say.
The one constant during Epsilon's run of success has been the Danish medic F2. As the river rages around him, as Knoxxx screams until his voice gives way, F2 remains a calm and commanding influence. He is known for his strong mechanics, his rich tactical gaming mind, and his constant state of unflappedness. There is only one known instance of F2 showing emotion during a game, and that was when he mistakenly watched a video during i43 of his family having their throats slit and being set aflame.
And even then, you could barely tell. It is clear that the member of this combo who brings the emotion is Knoxxx, who at times can feel like a European version of Tyrone (minus any semblance of charisma or swag). This match will be the first time Epsilon has played TF2 since Knoxxx's ego was shattered and bruised when he walked away from the ETF2L Awards Ceremony empty handed and he fired off a rant towards Greg that basically said “these shits don't carry Epsilon, I DO!” (not an exact quote, please don't sue me Epsilon e-sports). If there is a better award than crushing on some Americans who have 175 ping when you are playing at 15 ping, then I sure don't know what it is.
Rounding out the combo for Epsilon.TF2 would normally be Extremer, the wodka-loving third world superhero. For this weekend however, his availability has been compromised. Rather than staring intently at a monitor while his increasingly sweaty hands fondle a mouse and keyboard, his dripping wet hands will be making some fine Russian ladies dripping wet.
In his place is... uhhh.... someone? Early rumor is that they want to get Numlocked to play with their secondary option being Retsh0ck. Regardless of who they get as their mercenary, the true heart and soul of the team is their scouts... or would be, if wltrs had not just gone inactive due to his inability to make it to i46. His replacement will be DayZ and Shootmania legend, Shintaz. Having just taken third place finish at a Parisian Shootmania tournament and following that up with a prolonged war against the Jewish DayZ crew, big questions exist about Shintaz's rust or lack thereof. But honestly dude, when you have Beautiful Stefan, does it really matter? Also known as Schocky, the blonde German bomber has had more clutch moments than any other player in European TF2. Perhaps best of all is his humbleness and ability to accept blame – when Schocky knows he failed, he owns up to it:
- Dante "shade" F
- Tyrone "Tyrone" Wang
- Andrew "Dave__AC" Cook
- Grant "b4nny" Vincent
- Paul "cyzer" S
- Matt "clockwork" Dias
So what better team to square off with Epsilon than the American equivalent? Arguably the most dominant team we have on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, Leviathan Gaming just pulled off a “miracle” by winning the season eleven ESEA LAN coming in as the fourth seed. It feels like no matter what happens to LG's roster and no matter who they replace, as long as Tyrone is around, everything will be okay. There is not a more dynamic, level headed player in Invite. The results speak for themselves – Tyrone has been playing for about as long as anyone, and as a result of his extreme dedication, extensive deathmatch practice, and lengthy demo reviews, he has been able to carry LG to three LAN wins. Dude has his haters, but he has enough charisma and swag to turn them all around to his side. Example one:
The second “soldier” for LG is fan favorite Mackey, beloved not for his sick rockets or crazy jumps but for the weird angled headshots he gets and the record number of off-classes he makes in a single game. Dave___________AC is LG's usual roamer but due to some rather Extemer-esque personal issues, he will be too busy getting it in to play video games in Europe.
Bringing up the rear of the roster while providing plenty of carrying are the very ethnic scout pair of Leviathan. First is the Punjabi Powerhouse, Cyzer, who has finally grown out of his image as the Garbage Man to become the Custodial Engineer. While once responsible for picking up trash on the side of the road, this dude's got enough power now to delegate those tasks. His scout partner Clockwork seems more suited for a European team, what with the combination of Iranian and Portuguese blood coursing through his veins. Every time LAN rolls around, people expect LG to suffer – and then Clockwork reminds everyone that the spirit of his ancestors is forte dentro de si.
Pictured here are the Leviathan Five with their sponsor, Gatsby. Perhaps the most impressive part of this team's roaring success is how they manage to do it with just five players. Sometimes it even makes ol' atheistic me think that there's an almighty deity out there pulling his magical strings...
Make sure to tune in to this match between Epsilon e-Sports and Leviathan Gaming Sunday, July 29th at 21:15 CEST/3:15 EDT. And this time, the casters actually will be Greg and cbear!