In Kazan, the group stage of the phygital basketball tournament has come to a close, revealing the contenders advancing to the playoffs. Quarterfinal and semifinal duels are set for October 7th at the Kazan Expo.
По итогам второго дня шесть команд вышли в плей-офф, а RFSO Lokomotiv и UGRA. Reset проиграли свои матчи и покидают турнир. По правилам фиджитал-баскетбола команды должны сначала показать навыки игры в баскетбольном симуляторе, затем на паркете сыграть в баскетбол 2х2. Победитель определяется по сумме заброшенных мячей на обоих этапах.
The group stage matches started with a clash between RFSO Lokomotiv and RODINA MEDIA, both vying for third place in Group A. The teams' fights were tied on the digital court, each trying to gain the advantage with long-range shots. Yet, RODINA MEDIA showcased superior play, closing out the virtual stage with a 12:16 win. Their dominance persisted on the LED court, where they executed tenacious defense, sleek maneuvers around opponents, and pinpoint accuracy from deep. he match ended 20:31, propelling RODINA MEDIA into the quarterfinals and sending RFSO Lokomotiv home.
"Towards the end, we shifted to playing for the spectators - finessing, launching threes, executing spins. The scoreboard gave us that liberty, having established a robust lead. It morphed into a starkly grueling game, abundant with physical confrontations, the ball practically peeled from hands. For us, it was the match of our lives - a defeat would relegate us to mere sightseers. Undoubtedly, Kazan offers picturesque allure, but our foremost journey here was in the pursuit of victory, with all else following. Bowing out of such a premier tournament post the group stage was not penned in our plans," shared Alexandra Petrunenko, a player from the RODINA MEDIA team.
Despite their defeat, the basketball players from Krasnodar remained satisfied with their participation in the tenth Phygital Games.
"I'm pleased with the tournament itself, and it's delightful that we were invited. Everything was interesting and cool, and this game has brought me only positive emotions. I enjoyed both the digital and physical parts. The matches were very exciting, the opponents were great, and everything went well."
UGRA. Reset and SFU battled for the third place in Group B. The team from Krasnoyarsk rectified previous mistakes, with Egor Zheludov EGA soloing on the digital court, scoring 14 points. The game concluded with a 1:16 scoreline. Although the Ugra basketball players kicked off the physical stage with gusto, regaining 7 points in just a few minutes, the tail end of the game favored the Siberian team, ending 19:28. SFU advances to the quarterfinals, while UGRA. Reset exits the tournament.
"Opponents were wary strong. This is no longer a regional level, everything is very serious, especially the organization - they've secured a wonderful arena. I think this might be my first time in such huge venues, it's really cool. We will continue to fight. I am always set on winning, no matter who plays against me," said Egor Zheludov EGA, an SFU team player.
"In the digital stage, we made mistakes with our picks, choosing the wrong ones. As a result, we utterly failed to play effectively. We simply collapsed. A 15-point deficit is too significant to overcome on the court. Overall, the game didn’t go as we had planned. It was a complete disaster. Theoretically, it's possible to recover 15 points, but it's extremely difficult. However, we didn’t lose faith in ourselves and continued to fight," highlighted Oleg Malutin, the captain of the UGRA.Reset team.
UNICS and Liga Pro Team contended for the leadership in Group A. Mikhail Panchenko BigBabyMish from Liga Pro Team, displayed exquisite basketball on the virtual court, scoring 15 points. The digital part concluded with a 9:16 scoreline. Liga Pro Team continued to showcase their prowess on the LED court: stunning plays and powerful throws by Shalva Shatashvili Shell kept their opponents on edge. Everything pointed towards a confident victory for Liga Pro Team. In the final moments, Shell sealed the win with a signature long-range shot, bringing the score to 25:32. Liga Pro Team advances to the semifinals, while UNICS will compete in the quarterfinals.
"To be honest, esports only entered my life recently, when I arrived at the tournament. Before this, I’d only ever played games like 'Spider-Man' or soccer. But now, I've logged more console time in these past few days than in the last five years. Phygital is a really interesting extension of esports."
"Our digital stage didn't pan out; we gave our opponents a big head start. On the court, we committed many fouls, and the guys from St. Petersburg made their shots, so we were close, but they ultimately triumphed. No worries, we'll try to correct our mistakes tomorrow. We'll just have to play two games," stated Ilya Rusakov, captain of UNICS.
U.R. and Liga Pro Team 47 battled for the top spot in Group B. In the digital stage, Nikita Savchenkov TiGeR_lRls from Liga Pro Team 47 showcased a stellar performance, scoring 14 points throughout the stage (10:16). On the basketball court, the players from U.R. managed to enforce a competitive struggle against their opponents and evened the score at 30:30. The winner was determined in the final seconds when Vladislav Bechkov Bandit secured U.R. a spot in the semifinals with a long-range shot. This marks the first time in the tournament that a team has claimed victory after falling in the digital part.
"For the second time, we're bouncing back, demonstrating character in the finale – it was very challenging," says Bogdan Necheporenko, a player for U.R. "We knew that the opponents were esports players, and the goal was to maintain a minimal gap with them. We understood that, most likely, we would lose on the console, but we were confident that we would handle things on the court. We secured the victory because we have Vladislav Bechkov, who can nail a three-pointer when it matters most."
The group stage has concluded, revealing the playoff contenders. On October 7th, six teams will continue their battle for the main trophy of the tenth Phygital Games.
12:00 Liga Pro Team 47 vs RODINA MEDIA
13:05 UNICS vs SFU
18:00 U.R. vs TBD
19:05 Liga Pro Team vs TBD
The Way of a Champion phygital basketball tournament is held within the framework of the tenth Phygital Games at the Kazan Expo, Kazan. The total prize fund amounts to 1.25 million rubles. Tickets can be purchased on the kassir.ru website.