Luminosity are on the brink of tiers. Since adding Diondre "YaBoiDre" Bond and Kaleb "moose" Jayne after First Strike, the team have seen a drastic improvement in ability, taking down established Tier 1 teams like Sentinels, Envy, and TSM.
But after a close 1-2 bout with Sentinels, a team Luminosity seemingly is lone in contesting consistently, the team were dropped into a do-or-die against Immortals in the first Lower Round.
"I think both of [us and Immortals] have been on the up," moose said. "Recently, we've been like kind of dropping a lot of games that we wouldn't, so we expected a tough game."
The vetoes were the first thing to throw off Luminosity, Immortals chose to pick Haven, a map Luminosity hasn't played an official on in nearly two months. But while they weren't sure if Immortals would pick it, they were prepared.
"We figured they'd pick Haven, mainly because we don't play it," Luminosity's IGL Brenden "stellar" McGrath said. "But, we did have a lot of information. We did our homework for their Haven, then we kind of just played around that."
The map preceding Haven was Split, Luminosity's map pick. The map was close for both teams, but Luminosity was unable to find a solid grip on the map. After making it to 11-9, Andrew "ShoT_UP" Orlowski led Immortals through a four round streak, yanking the map from Luminosity 13-11.
"I mean, ShoT_UP had an amazing game, right?" stellar explained. "He was popping off in the last five rounds, we were just giving up first kills. It's really hard to play defense 4v5. Like, really hard. I think that was kind of the main issue that we were having towards the end of the game. We weren't converting on our fresh bloods as much as we'd like to."
The map wasn't without its shining moments for Luminosity however, with moose headlining Split with a 1v4 clutch.
"So, I have an ultimate and I have never gotten a kill with this thing. I'm just gonna give it a rip," moose recalled. "Then I finally got two kills and then you know, ShoT_UP kind of whiffed on me in the back, so I got a free kill."
Down to a 1v1 against Kehmicals, who Luminosity were unaware was low, moose didn't know that he should've saved his grenade to use against the plant.
"And then right when he was planting I thought to myself like I could just satchel onto them. But then as I was in midair I'm like, 'Nah, I'm just gonna fake the satchel.' So it was on purpose, believe it or not, and it ended up working out. So it was like a split-second [sound] of actually satcheling on them and it worked out."
The mistakes weren't going to be continued on Haven, a map Luminosity has put time into before in an attempt to bolster their pool, and also with the foresight that it would be picked against them.
"They had a lot less information on us playing Haven than we had on them," stellar continued. "We were like, let's just do our best to play the map how we know to play and then Dre just wanted to play Jett on top of it and we were like, yep, let's just just do that. And then it worked out."
Luminosity's agent pick on Haven was unique, as the roster returned to the Jett for YaBoiDre, who previously played Raze on the map.
"This past week we were talking about scrimming Haven a bit because we thought our map pool was really weak," YaBoiDre recalled. "We feel like we just needed something that throws teams off."
"We scrimmed Haven like one time and I was on Jett, it went okay. Then, last night we got together and we asked again: do I want to run Jett? Like, do we actually want to do that? And I was just like, yeah, we can just ride it out like, fuck it. And then we just waited and it worked out well."
The play and the preparation worked for Luminosity, as YaBoiDre's performance handily gave Luminosity a strong lead on the second map. Luminosity closed out Haven with a full ace from their IGL stellar; that round would seemingly change the trajectory of the series.
"After that [last] Haven round, I was like... I don't know, everything dropped and I kind of just realized that I'm just gonna frag out," stellar recalled. "I knew I had confidence, but a ton of confidence going into the last map, not just for myself, but my teammates."
stellar's clutch performance on Bind was far and above nearly any other player on the map. Nice econ score too!
stellar came out swinging on Bind, going 23-10 and winning three 1vX situations, making up half of the clutches in the entire series. "I just put myself in the good spots where I know I could win rounds."
A large part of Luminosity's strength in the series came from their performance in eco rounds. Winning these rounds required coordination and traps, according to stellar, but having a stellar roster helps too.
"We also have really good players like aproto on the sheriff, moose on the sheriff, Dre... like literally anyone on the sheriff, you just win the round, it doesn't really matter."
Over the first hump of the lower bracket, Luminosity soldier onto the second lower round, where they'll next take on the loser of FaZe vs Envy.
"[We'll maybe take] like a day off tomorrow," stellar said. "Kinda hit the reset, watch the games, figure out how we're gonna play and then we'll get back to work on Monday, and our form of game plan around who we have to play."
Back on the win streak, Luminosity are pumped and will be back at full force for their match next week.
"I feel like my confidence has went up like so much," YaBoiDre said. "I've been playing very well and like almost every one of our series. I'm just keeping that same confidence rolling and I'm hoping I can keep it until the next week. I'm just feeling really confident."
"I'm not really caring, I'm not showing any respect to these teams, I'm just taking my fights and just wanting them when I have to."