2019: year in review
Today is the last day of 2019 and that is traditionally the time to make a review of what happened throughout the year for Team Sampi. This was our second year on eSports scene and it is safe to say that we made a huge progress compared to 2018 and this is only the beginning. In the end of December, we officially announced the first gaming house in the Czech Republic which will opened in March 2020. But let´s start from the very beginning of the this tremendously successful year, month by month.
The first ever Washington Capitals Faceoff featured 8 players who had qualified throughout 4 different online events. Besides our player EKI from Finland, the tournament had players from Canada, USA, and Sweden. The event had $10,000 in prize money.
Everything started off great for the Team Sampi player. EKI went into the grand final undefeated, and without having to use the double elimination bracket. In the grand final, which was played in a best of 3 format, EKI faced the Canadian player Justin ‘’Regs84’’ Reguly. A player EKI had already defeated in the winner bracket final in a very convincing fashion.
The grand final started off rough for EKI, and got beaten 4-0 in the 1st match. The 2nd match looked to be the same story, and Regs84 took a 2-0 lead. This time however, EKI was able to fight back and force overtime. The 2nd game could’ve gone either way in the overtime, but in the end it was Regs84 who had the last word and became the Washington Capitals Faceoff Champion. Three best players from this event later represented Washington Capitals against Tampa Bay in a showcase match.
A few weeks after the qualifier, Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää traveled once again to the USA. This time to represent Washington Capitals in the NHL19 show match against Tampa Bay Lightning. The show match was played in a special 3v3 game mode. The three players representing team Washington Capitals were Justin ‘’Regs84’’ Reguly, Joshua ‘’Joshfearless’’ D’Eri and Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää. The players had earned the spot after playing in the Washington Capitals event in February. An event where ‘’EKI’’ finished 2nd. Players representing Tampa Bay Lightning were johnwayneee90, Kriketsi17 and xDoumi.
In the first match of Best-of-five series, ‘’EKI‘’ with his team Washington Capitals took home the win with a score of 5-4. Both second and third game ended up 5-2 in favour of Washington Capitals and that was the end of the show match. EKI, Regs84 and THEY_SPEAK_OF_ME got rewarded with a custom made controllers after winning the show match.
The first offline event of 2019 is over for our TrackMania players Kappa and tween. Once again, Team Sampi leaves an offline event in TrackMania being undefeated. The players, who famously took 1st and 2nd at the world championship back in October of 2018, did it once again.
Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc won the first edition of Gaming WinterFest back in 2017. Last year, he didn’t attend the event due to a break in his career. This year however, he went back to Melun, France to regain his title, and once again proved himself as the best tech player in the world.
Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher ended 2018 on a high note, with the 1st place at Giant Cup 2018 and a 2nd place at the TrackMania World Championship 2018. 2019, on the other hand, has started off slow for the Slovakian player. With not making it into the TrackMania Grand League, and placing 5th-8th in the MAN vs. MAN WINTER 2019. After these two results, tween has put more effort into training than usually and it definitely paid off as he was very close to beating Kappa at this event.
The grand final ended up being the same four players as we saw in the winner bracket final. Kappa and tween from Team Sampi. Dutchy and MathiCs from Venture eSport.
Instead of ending up as a match between the teams, it ended up being a match where the Sampi players battled against each other for 1st place, while the Venture players battled against each other for the 3rd place.
The grand final ended up with both Kappa and tween having reached finalist mode, and the chance to become the Gaming WinterFest 2019 champions. In the end, it was the world champion, Kappa, who once again proved himself to be the best tech player in the scene at the moment. Making his streak of winning tech events to 3.
The streak of Team Sampi collecting medals at offline events continued. Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc took 2nd and Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher took 3rd in TrackMania² Stadium Tech event. Heading into the TrackMania event, both of the Team Sampi players were viewed as top contenders for the victory. Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher made history in 2014 when he became the first international player to win it. Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc won the event in 2017, as well as being in the grand final the last three years.
The time attack seeding started off well for the 2017-champion, and he finished 2nd. Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher had a less solid start to the event with finishing 19th in the seeding. Nevertheless, both players won their three first matches without any problems and qualified for the winner bracket semi-final.
The winner bracket semi-final ‘’Kappa’’ and ‘’tween’’ faced off against last years bronze medal winner, OmnipotZ. Both of our players managed to claim the two advancing slots, and advanced into the winner bracket final. Facing off against the defending Gamers Assembly champion, Thomas ‘’Pac’’ Cole, as well as the 3rd place finisher at Gaming WinterFest 2019, Rick ‘’Dutchy’’ Jaspers. The defending champion won the match-up, with ‘’Kappa’’ taking 2nd.
Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher now had one decisive match coming up in the consolidation final. Finishing top 2 here would mean a spot in the grand final. Finishing 3rd or 4th would mean the end of his tournament run. The Slovakian player proved to be the strongest and showed people that he deserved a spot in the grand final. This being his 4th event for Team Sampi and 4th time in a grand final.
Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc who now had made it into his 4th grand final in a row at Gamers Assembly, and tieing the record for the most amount of times in the grand final, looked to win his third offline event in a row.
In the grand final, the defending champion Thomas ‘’Pac’’ Cole proved to be the strongest and took home the title in front of our players.
Our Bulgarian FIFA19 player, Stanislav ‘’WickyBG’’ Chakarov, was once again able to leave the event with a medal around his neck. This time, similar to GO Malta 2018, he finished 2nd out of 75 players who had signed up. Heading into the event, ‘’WickyBG’’ had the objective of leaving Poitiers, France as the champion. The group stage started off in solid fashion and the Sampi player was able to get 6 wins and 2 draws. This placed him 1st in his group, and he had a spot in the playoffs. However, all the upcoming matches would be played in a single elimination bracket. One loss and ‘’WickyBG’’ would be out.
Stanislav ‘’WickyBG’’ Chakarov started Day 2 like he finished Day 1. He defeated his opponent Raiden 2-0 in his first playoff match and secured himself a placement among the TOP 16. The story continued on the same track, and ‘’WickyBG’’ defeated the next opponent Xenos08 4-1. The fight for semi-final was against a very tough opponent from G-Squad – Clutch. “WickyBG” was able to win 1-0 and move into the next phase. The semi-final game against Modrick from inFuroa eSport went also well and made Modrick rage quit before the final whistle blew. Heading into the grand final Stanislav ‘’WickyBG’’ Chakarov had yet to lose a match.
The grand final of the FIFA19 event was played against ‘Sneaky’ from LOSC. A final that took place on the main stage of Gamers Assembly. The viewers in attendance and fans who followed the stream got to see a close and exciting match. Sadly for ‘’WickyBG’’ he ended up getting the short end of the stick this time and lost the series 0-2.
The defending world champion in NHL19 , Erik “EKI” Tammenpaa, qualified himself once again for the NHL19 World Championship Global Finals by winning the Europen Regional Qualifier in Stockholm, Sweden in front of Hannes ‘’Hansulinho’’ Kettunen.
The European Regional Finals in NHL 19 took place in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday, May 18th. Eight players had qualified to the event from online qualifiers. Seven players from Finland and one from Austria. The Top 2 from the event would advance into the $100.000 world championship finals in Las Vegas, Nevada that takes place June 18th.
The semi-final opponent ended up being Kristian ‘’Kriketsi17’’ Veijola. ‘’Kriketsi17’’ had won his quarter-final 2-0 as well. Game 1 in the semi-final started off like Game 1 in the quarter-final, and EKI didn’t waste any time. Taking the lead, and keeping it throughout the whole game. Winning Game 1 with the score of 4-1, and taking the lead in the series with 1-0. One more win would put EKI on the plane to Las Vegas, Nevada. Game 2 ended up having the same story as the first one. EKI proving to be on another level, and winning Game 2 with the score of 3-0. Moving into the European Regional Final, but more importantly: securing himself a spot at the world championship finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the final of the European Regional Final, we saw the match-up against the two players who are going to represent Europe in Sin City. The Team Sampi player faced his countryman Hannes ‘’Hansulinho’’ Kettunen. Even with having secured himself a spot in Sin City, EKI didn’t slow down and took the lead 3-0 after the 1st period of Game 1 was over. In the 2nd and 3rd period, he continued, and won Game 1 with the score of 7-2. Game 2 ended up being a closer battle. Moving back and forth, with both players having success. However, in the end EKI was able to win Game 2 with a score of 8-4, and placing 1st in the European Regional Qualifier. EKI also took home $5.000 for winning.
Tuesday 18th of June, the six best NHL19 gamers in the world gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada. All with the same goal – to become world champion and win $50,000. Our player Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää was the defending, reigning champion after winning the last year world championship.
The six-player who had qualified to the event represented three different regions. ‘’EKI’’ and ‘’Hansulinho’’ from Europe, ‘’Top-shelf-cookie’’ and ‘’Johnwaynee’’ from America and ‘’Mg x Nuclear’’ and ‘’Yung Gren’’ from Canada.
The Team Sampi player, Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää had won his regional qualifier in solid fashion, and therefore already found himself in the semi-final. Two wins in a Best-of-3 format and the dream of defending his title would be accomplished. The three runner-ups from the different qualifiers had to play a round- robin tournament to determine who would advance into the semi-final along with the three regional winners.
After all the three players had won one and lost one, it was the American player ‘’Johnwaynee’’ who advanced from the round-robin tournament. Due to ‘’Johnwaynee’’ leaving his regional qualifier with a better win-loss ratio. The semi-final and grand-final of the NHL19 Gaming World Championship were played in a Best-of-3 format. Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää faced off against the round-robin winner ‘’Johnwayne’’.
The first match ended up being a thriller, and ‘’EKI’’ was thrown straight into the battleground. The match went back and forth with both players having success. ‘’Johnwaynee’’ taking the lead 1-0, before ‘’EKI’’ tied the score 1-1. The American continued being the guy who led the battle, and took the lead 2-1, before once again ‘’EKI’’ tied the score. Now it was the Finnish player who had the momentum and found himself in the lead with 3-2. But just when you thought ‘’EKI’’ was on his way to yet another match win in the GWC, ‘’Johnwaynee’’ came back and won the match 4-3. Now it was all or nothing for ‘’EKI’’. He had to win both of the remaining matches to advance into the grand final.
The second match we saw the ‘’EKI’’ that we’re used to seeing. Having control from the start, and keeping it until the end. Winning the match 3-1. Tying the score to 1-1 overall.
The decisive third match ended up being a unusual one. None of the players managed to score in the two first periods. Leading into the last period, the ticket to the grand-final was still up to grab for both players. ‘’EKI’’ was the player who managed to break the 0 first, and took the lead 1-0. And for a long time, it looked like the Finnish player had managed to qualify himself to his 2nd grand-final at the world championship in a row. However, with under one minute left on the game clock, ‘’Johnwaynee’’, was able to turn the tables around and with the match 2-1 and knocking out the defending world champion.
The grand-final ended up with ‘’Top-Shelf-Cookie’’ winning it in front of his countryman ‘’Johnwaynee’’. ‘’Mg x Nuclear’’ placed 3rd, and our player ‘’EKI’’ ended up placing 4th, winning $5.000. The full VOD of the whole tournament can be found HERE.
Our former FIFA players Lukas “DiDa” Cerny, Stepan “RIIJK” Sobocki and our current player Stanislav “WickyBG” Chakarov attended a bootcamp in Prague.
On Sunday 7th of July, ISPO Digitize hosted a FIFA 2v2 tournament in Munich, Germany. More than 130 duos had registered for the competition and Team Sampi had 2 teams competing for the trophy. The tournament started off with a classic group-stage with 4-5 teams in each of the overall 32 groups.
Sampi.CZE (DiDa & RIIJK) won all three matches in group 17 and advanced to the play-off from first place. Sampi.BUL (WickyBG & Respol) had lost one group-stage match and ended up on second place in group 5. The play-off went pretty smooth for both our teams. WickyBG & Respol faced players from FC Viktoria Plzeň in their TOP16 match. After a very close battle, our duo advanced with a score of 3-2. However that´s where their journey ended. The Turkish players Zafer Maden & Burak Korkut ended their journey in the tournament.
RIIJK & DiDa were unstoppable and went through the tournament incredibly smoothly. They had made it into the grand-final played on main stage, against Fabian Richter & Sebastian Goldbrunner. The score was 3-3 and the decision had to go to penalties. Unfortunately, the lottery didn´t go in our favour this time and RIIJK & DiDa took second place overall.
Our player Erik ‘’EKI’’ Tammenpää and former player Arttu ‘’Artuzio’’ Mustila had both secured themselves a spot in the Finnish Championships 1v1 tournament which took place in Helsinki. ‘’EKI’’ headed into the event as the defending champion, and therefore being invited to the event with Seed 1. ‘’Artuzio’’ had made it through the qualification bracket.
The tournament started solidly for both of our players. Both ‘’EKI’’ and ‘’Artuzio’’ won their group and headed into the playoff phase. However, in the first playoff match, Arttu ‘’Artuzio’’ Mustila ended up losing a close match against ‘’FlyerKungen’’ 2-1. Meaning that he ended up placing in the TOP8. ‘’EKI’’ ended up facing a strong player in ‘’PleeMaker’’ in the quarter-final. ‘’PleeMaker’’ who barely missed out on playing in the world cup finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, ‘’EKI’’ proved to be one level above ‘’PleeMaker’’ in this match, and advanced with a 2-0 score.
The next match-up and the last obstacle for the grand final ended up being yet another tough match for ‘’EKI’’. This time it was ‘’Hansulinho’’ who was on the other side of the ice. ‘’Hansulinho’’ who along with ‘’EKI’’ played in the world championship in Las Vegas recently. But as in the European Regional GWC final, ‘’EKI’’ was once again the better player and advanced with a 2-0 score. In the grand final, he ended up facing ‘’Kriketsi’’. The match ended up with the defending champion ‘’EKI’’ losing the series 2-0, and a new Finnish champion was crowned.
German football club SG Dynamo Dresden, in cooperation with Esport Event Company, hosted a 2v2 tournament in FIFA19. DiDa & RIIJK went to Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion to participate in their second ever tournament as a team, after they took silver medals earlier this year at ISPO Digitize in Munich. Interestingly enough, this event was played in “85 mode”. That means that all the teams had an equal rating of 85 and were then equally good. Our players DiDa & RIIJK played with SK Slavia Praha the whole tournament.
At the beginning, 93 registered teams were randomly put into groups of 3 teams. TOP2 from every group would then advance to the playoffs. Best-of-one format was applied throughout the entire event, except grand-final which was played in best-of-three format. DiDa & RIIJK entered the tournament really well. They managed to win all the matches in group 39. Their overall score was 21:2 (3:1, 8:0, 2:1, 8:0). Because of their best possible seeding, they got a freewin in the first playoff round. Next up was a TOP64 match against Justin Pietzsch & Tobias Berthel, which our players won 6:2. In the TOP32 match, our duo won 5:0 versus Phil Frenzel & Phillipp Hauschild. TOP16 match was really close until the very end. DiDa & RIIJK scored the decisive goal in 86th minute and won 1:0 against Felix Weinhold & Dave Eckhold.
This was the last match that our players managed to win. Next up was the TOP8 battle against Efkan Agoez & Jason Genz which we unfortunately lost 1:4. These opponents played some amazing FIFA and went all the way to the grand-final.
Team Sampi took part at FORGAMES Expo in Prague. We had our own Sampi booth with giveaways, organized a 2v2 FIFA Sampi eClub Challenge and our Czech former player Stepan “RIIJK” Sobocki took second place at PLAYSTATION Tournament in FIFA19. This was a very special event for us as we had a chance to interact with our fans face-to-face for the first time ever. Special thanks to our beautiful Sampi Ladies Kája and Týna for such an excellent job. You guys sent us a lot of positive feedback which we are really grateful for.
AirFrance airlines hosted the first ever eSports tournament in a flying plane. Ten qualified players from all over Europe competed on a sky way from Paris to Toulouse and Marek “tween” Pacher was one of them. The tournament was also the first event where a revolutionary Li-Fi technology was used in the air.
The tournament itself was a very tricky to handle for the players. There were other passengers, media crew and players had to deal with really small monitors and slow game in terms of frames per second. For tween however, the biggest struggle was the gaming input. He always played with keyboard since the first time he launched Trackmania almost 13 years ago. But in the plane, he had to play with controller which was a gamechanger for him. Even though he practiced at home for 2 months, he couldn´t fully get used to it and finished the tournament on second to last place.
“Taking part in the first tournament in the sky was truly an experience. We were welcomed on board and the other passengers were curious about what was happening around them. I think in-flight gaming has a future, it’s a fitting place for entertainment. However, the organizers were pushed to their limits. In an extremely small time and space they had to solve problems the players were having. After a while I was told that despite the glaring issue that I had with the performance of my tablet, the tournament has to start right now. It’s a pity that some of the problems could have been avoided, but, I really appreciate the experience and the fun that was shared.”
Team Sampi player Martin “Kappa” Krompolc made history as he became the back-to-back World Champion in Trackmania 2: Stadium. Coming to Paris as the defending champion from last year, Kappa was the betting favorite to win this year again. He proved the bookmakers right as he held the trophy over his head once again. This achievement puts Kappa amongst the most successful eSport players in the Czech Republic ever to play video games and on the first place in world’s Trackmania power rankings.
This year, the championship was named Trackmania Grand League. The tournament started way back in February 2019. The best 16 players advanced to play-offs and only 4 made it to the Grand Final which was played at Paris Games Week on Ubisoft main stage. The players were Kappa, Papou, Pac and Bren. The whole final match was pretty close until Kappa started to push it to the limits and gained a slight lead over his opponents when he was at the 100 point mark. He became the only finalist with 120 points while Pac was on 110, Papou on 99 and Bren on 96. The pressure was enormously high and Kappa did not win the next 2 rounds, however he managed to win his 3rd finalist attempt and become the back-to-back World Champion.
“The season has come to an end and I’m super happy I fulfilled the goals I had had since the beginning. Despite looking relatively weak during the league phase, I knew I would be on point for the phase that mattered the most. The LAN event itself this time hosted only the very last match which was quite unusual so I also had to adapt my preparation process to that in order to be on the top level from the first minute. However, I couldn’t find the groove in the first part of the match and was constantly behind the leader more than 10 points. This time it took me 3 maps to unveal the strongest version of myself and since then I started creating a comfortable lead over the other three players. I finished it off on one of the maps that had been scaring me the most throughout the whole season. That’s something I’m especially proud of!”
Team Sampi announced that Dominik “Seron” Čermák will join our FIFA section. Being only 15 years old, Seron is considered to be the greatest talent in the Czech Republic. His achievements under his latest employer Nessus Gaming / FK Teplice are a great promise for the future under our colors. Seron has won Y-Games, 2x Topgaming FUTNATION Monthly Final and placed second in CZC.cz iSport Liga Offline Final. Also, EKI extended his contract for another year and will represent us in the next season.
Sampi GAMING HOUSE
Team Sampi presented the first ever gaming house in the Czech Republic. We have been working on this project for the past year and now it was finally time to reveal it. Ten professional computer, PlayStation 4 and XBOX players will be permanently accommodated inside the 538 m² house in Tuchoměřice village between Prague and Prague Airpot (Letiště Václava Havla).
Jakub Jankto, CEO: „This is one of the biggest projects in eSports. We are preparing some projects for the players that will involve not only gaming. Business of eSports has a huge potential for the future. We are glad that we were able to realize such project. The goal is to fully professionalize our players and team as a whole. We will compete with the very best teams in the world.“
Thank you everyone for huge support during the whole year. It motivates and encourages us to work even harder in 2020!