Tonight is the night, after a little less than two months of competition, it's all wrapping up in one hour tonight. Teams worked thoroughly to get to this point, the final placing isn't exactly what most would have bet on in January, but I'm glad this diversity is brought to the table, makes for a more eventful competition and is already having us longing for the next one.
But lets focus on the current Nations Cup, in which only two games are left. Portugal
will be facing Italy, it's the first time each nation find themselves in the third place final, the Portuguese being used to much better, and the Italians to much worse. Due to a shaky start, Italy was the team with the least points amongst the eight qualified for the playoffs, but that did not stop them from pulling the upset of the quarter-finals, defeating Sweden
against the odds and advancing to find France
in their way. But it was an upset they couldn't pull this time around and were cast in the Third Place Final. Portugal
came on top of the fourth group, after a fierce battle with France
for it. In the playoffs they encountered some resistance from Poland
who actually took them to a third map but didn't give much of a fight in Bomb. Those two teams have not met since the cup in 2006 where they played each other in the group stage, a cup which Portugal
ended up winning. This time around it's different, Italy certainly is the most improved squad this season, remember they finished last of the second group in 2008 without a single win, even dropping out in the end. More could have been hoped from Portugal
, their legendary combativeness was nowhere to be found this season, but even without it they find themselves in the final four, which tells us enough about their potential should they apply themselves next season.
Regarding the Grand Final, which is played at the same time as the other game, namely 22CET, it is an unprecedented meeting, I believe those teams have actually never met in an eliminatory game before, yet found themselves in the same groups many times throughout the years. As I stated in lengthy news right before the playoffs, the Dutchmen
looked as if they might not be making a two-peat following the problems that surrounded the captaincy of the team but they prevailed. Looking at the playoff tree, it might be assumptive to say that they have done the hardest, defeating powerhouses like the United States
, but they should not take anything for granted for their adversary, France
, has proven to be a fierce competitor and that it will do anything to make its first shot at the gold count. France
put some work in this cup and it shows, and all its players are thrilled to be finding themselves play at this stage of a competition. They have a gigantic fan base that's been supporting them since the first day and will undoubtedly fill the GTV tonight. Mentioning the GTV, note that sta0 managed to raise the number of slots to a staggering 500! Needless to say that should it be filled, it would be an unprecedented event in Urban Terror's history.
Let's hope the show tonight, no matter which game you decide to follow, will be up to the occasion and that it will prove a remarkable conclusion to a seemingly perfect Nations Cup! For anyone interested in following the games, starting at 21h50, the IP's for GTV will be spread throughout IRC, on #ClanBase.UrT or with the help of the z0rbot. As a final note, this is my last news post for this cup, I'll let dan
do the final one when it is time, I'll hopefully find all of you next year for an other amazing tournament, with perhaps even more nations?
Over and out, holden