GLL PUBG Season 2 European Finalist: Pittsburgh Knights Win Big

Season two of the Global Loot League has come to an end with a number of different regions qualifying for the Grand Finals in August. The North America season ended last night with Team Gates winning week six overall, but Totality placing first.  Europe’s finals ended this afternoon and the top seven teams have been decided:

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The Pittsburgh Knights ended the tournament as the top squad, earning nearly five thousand points. The Knights also led the European division in overall kills with 147. The next three qualifying teams hovered around 4,100 using different approaches.  FaZe Clan finished second relying on aggressive pushing on enemy teams and fighting as much as possible. Team Vitality is a more patient group, winning round four in week six. Team Liquid understands how to place high without engaging better than anyone.

The next four teams to fill into those bottom four spots: Moonwolf in fifth (3,810 pts, 131 kills), Penta Esports in sixth (3,757 pts, 99 kills), and in the last qualifying spot Team Extra from Germany grab it wth a staggering 138 kills. Method missed out by a measly 48 points, meaning each one of those 138 Extra kills mattered in the end. G2 also missed out by a few hundred points. Razor thing margin up-and-down, with the Knights sperating themselves at the top.

 

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Overwatch Contenders Season Two starts with a bang as Mastermind GC and British Hurricanes fall in day one

The Overwatch Contenders season is back. Seven regions, 84 total teams, 6,048 players all looking for a chance to make it to the big leagues. Overall, contenders is flushed with talent and much like season one should bring some high-level Overwatch.

Yesterday marked the start of the European and Australian seasons. The same teams enter season two as the prohibitive favorites to win the league in almost all respective league. Starting in Europe, the season one champion British Hurricanes actually fell in their first matchup at the hands of Young and Beautiful. In the Australian region, similarly to the British Hurricanes, the season one Australian champ, Masterminds GC, losing to Dark Sided team who held them to only four points in four maps.

Europe

Looking back at the reason the British Hurricanes lost turns the focus to the meta switch and how these teams adjust to the move away from dive-compositions. In the first game of the season, Matt “Dids” Didehvar on Widowmaker and Mateusz “MATTH” Prymas on Hanzo gave the Hurricanes fits all afternoon. It was a constant barrage of picks onto the squishy characters. Hurricanes had no answer despite solid performances out of the damage department.

In the next few matches, the Angry Titans took care of business against Orgless and Hungry, followed by an exciting third match between two of the teams who qualified through trials. These two teams have a history: 6nakes being the trials champions and Bazooka Puppies barely sneaking into the top four. During trials, these two teams played a close five-game set, but 6nakes still got the better of them. In the loss today, it was a complete team effort, getting strong performances all over. However, without the ferocious Hanzo aggressive out of William “Asking” Vetter, the win was likely not happening.

In terms of teams to watch out for coming out of trials, 6nakes is undoubtedly that team. Similarly to Young and Beautiful, 6nakes is more inclined towards the snipers and with the meta being the way it is, Asking might be one of the newest threads in that division. It’s a balanced team, but the test will be against the contender’s teams and seeing how they stack up.

Australia

Australia got the jump on the rest of the contender’s leagues this week and have concluded week one of matches. With the Masterminds falling, the league has a different look extremely early into the season. The rest of the results were as expected, with the season one champion Sydney Drop Bears winning it easily over Blank Esports.

I wanted to take a second to recognize a most excellent play pulled off on first point Illios. As you’ll see in the video, this team boost the right heroes and move in the right direction, in-sync to dive directly onto the healers without being seen. Kanga Esports, fortunately, won the game because of this maneuver and avoided the reverse sweep out of Serenity.

Echo Fox Reverse Sweeps Team Kaliber a day after doing it to Red Reserve in the CWL Pro League

One day after ending Red Reserve’s win streak with a reverse sweep, Echo Fox comes from the depths of a 0-3 halftime deficit against Team Kaliber, in game three, down two maps, to pulling out one of the most remarkable comebacks of season two. It took all Echo Fox had to offer, but they pulled off the upset and moved ahead of TK in the standings.

Game One – Hardpoint

In similar fashion to Red Reserve, Team Kaliber started off playing a strong defensive game, mainly using Accuracy to hold down the hardpoint as the SMG’s go out and pick off Echo Fox at spawn. Accuracy was the hero of London Docks, as TK could rely on him holding down the point with little help. This lead to big plays, as Accuracy setup perfectly when the point was finally secured.

Accuracy ended up dropping 41 kills on Docks and was a +14 in kill-death ratio. He turned a number of bad situations into favorable ones, with the correct spacing on approaching SMG’s. Accuracy stayed out of range, making it tough to get in on him. Outside of that F3RO and Kenny traded enough to earn the win.

Game Two – Search & Destroy

Search & Destroy is where Echo Fox made it’s living against Evil Geniuses and Red Reserve yesterday, but going against F3RO and an impressive TK setup on Ardennes Forest, sending Accuracy top-side and letting F3RO roam, caused problems for Exho Fox. It was a struggle trying to break that setup, and that showed up with F3RO’s and Accuracy’s kill-death. Kenny, on the other hand, played extremely aggressive and often times traded positively on his SMG.

Kenny dropped 11 kills on the TK map win. Saints had his moments on this map for Echo Fox, but with Faccento getting shut down trying to work towards the high-ground, where Accuracy setup, it wasn’t enough. TK also worked the objective much more efficiently than Echo Fox getting almost double the plants.

Game Three – Flak Tower

45 seconds into Flak Tower, F3RO picked a few kills, grabbed the flag, and returned it to his base. This put immense pressure on Echo Fox to step up and do something. Nothing change after that in the first half, TK continued to push all half. F3RO went absolutely off early on. It wasn’t until a quick two caps from Temp that spurred the comeback.

In every situation, every map count, and any deficit, Echo Fox is finding miracle ways to win these maps. The work on Flak Tower is nothing short of miraculous. When this team needed plays, someone was bound to step up. Look at Temp, before his captures, he was getting out-fragged badly in his base against F3RO. However, when Echo Fox needed it most, he played objective-based and pushed two huge flag caps.

The hero play coming out of Aqua, against both TK and Red Reserve, deserves plenty of attention. He wasn’t the main fragger for Echo Fox, but when a play was needed to be made Aqua has consistently made it.

The Magic of Echo Fox Saints and Faccento

There’s plenty of crossover between these two teams. Faccento, as he said in his post-game interview, grew up playing with some of the TK guys. Saints earned his notoriety with Team Kaliber and are now one of the best assault rifle players in the CWL. There’s no love lost, and after their performances today it’s sure to add fuel to the rivalry fire.

In the last two days, Saints has put up daunting numbers, finding a large number of kills. The final two games of the matchup with TK lead to huge clutch plays from both players, the cornerstone of Echo Fox’s 3-0 week five was the clutch plays in key moments.

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CeRq Goes off as NRG Qualifies for ESL One New York with 3-0 Win over Complexity

The number one team in North America, NRG, showed up in a big spot in the ESL One NA qualifiers. NRG sweeps a Complexity team who pushed NRG to their limits in two close games, but fortunately for NRG CerQ is on their roster and cannot be stopped. In two games, CerQ dropped 67 total kills, actively carrying the rest of NRG through the finish line.

48 AWP kills for CeRq on two maps. His player rating soared above the rest of the competition, as he was able to clutch many different rounds. Despite Complexity landing a majority of first kills in fights, the work of CeRq on the AWP took away any advantage Complexity had for gaining that first kill. The problem was finding and killing CeRq before he got loose. Complexity had no counter and ended up losing 3-0.

Now, NRG is on a winning streak, and have won 17 of their last 20 games, but that didn’t lead way to some struggles in the ESL One Qualifier. NRG dropped games against Renegades, and even to Complexity who they played in the winners and losers bracket. The map Cache gave NRG trouble as they end the weekend undefeated on every other map and 0-2 on Cache. It’s a section NRG needs to focus on in practice.

Outside of CeRq, Fugly made quite the difference in this match for NRG. Complexity wasn’t putting up gaudy kill numbers, but most of their team was contributing on 80% of fights and earned a large number of first kills, but Fugly made it really tough for them to get to CerQ. His many contributions to fights, and turning around disadvantageous situations led to a close NRG victory. In total, NRG only snuck by with a five-round win differential, and they even went to OT in game one.

Featured photo via ESL One 

 

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Echo Fox Beats Top Two Teams in Division on Same Day

Echo Fox entered the day needing a lot of help to make the playoffs as the end of the season approaches. Fox started with a losing record of 3-4 and unfortunately had a date with the two best teams in division A. In all likelihood, Echo Fox was looking down the barrel of a 0-2 day and possibly ruining any chances at a playoff spot, but that’s not what ended up happening.

Luckily, Echo Fox got some huge performances in the games and dominated on their strongest game-type: Search and Destroy. It was a bloodbath on Search rounds with Aqua and SAINTS refusing to die while dealing huge damage. In their three Search wins today, those two players ended with a combined double-digit kill-death rating, meaning they were lapping Team Liquid and Red Reserve.

Take this play from Faceccento from Echo Fox, this video shows exactly how a player needs to play the one-vs-one situation, but also what objective minded movement entails. This play was the turning point of that match and sent EG spiraling a bit. In all honesty, no one recovers from a ninja bomb defuse.

Red Reserve Failing to Close the Game Out

The day started out badly for the underdog, Echo Fox. Falling in the first two games to Red Reserve. A Red Reserve team leading the division at a 6-1 record and coming off a successful campaign at CWL Anaheim, but Echo Fox and Saints had a different plan. The plan involved completely shutting down the Anaheim MVP in Red Reserve Zer0. And despite falling down 2-0, Echo Fox found a new gear allowing them to push through.

Aside from the cleverness and execution on Search maps from Echo Fox, it was the fast pace play of Hardpoint that won them these games today. It was Echo Fox as the aggressor, making it tough to get anything in terms of positioning against them. The rotations on points and gun-fight defense earned them a number of maps that they usually struggle on.

The work of Saints, Temp, Faccento in a more objective-minded role, and Aqua, who absolutely came in clutch on Search maps will try and bring this momentum to catch Team Kaliber and Envy, who sit at 5-3. The effort will require more outstanding hardpoint defenses like this one.

Rest of the Results

Team Kaliber did help their playoff chances today with a 3-1 win over Spylce, which came through excellent slaying from Kenny and the rest of TK. The win moves them a half a game above Exho Fox and pushes Splyce down the standings at 3-5. Team Kaliber made few mistakes in the win and made plays when they needed it most.

Envy Us also got a big win over FaZe, and stick a half-game above Echo Fox like Team Kaliber. In the next few days, TK will get to face Echo Fox, which is an incredibly important game after how Echo Fox exploded today. Both EnvyUs and TK face both Echo Fox and Epsilon (0-8) so it could be a similar type of result for both teams.

Fortunately for the top teams, despite a bad start to week five they will have a shot at each other and to potentially win the top seed in the division outright. It’s possible to see some movement of that first and second seed if things go astray the rest of the week. Will be interesting to see how EG and Red Reserve bounce back after the loss to Echo Fox.

Featured photo courtesy of MLG 

BlossoM Secures the Top Spot at OWC Contenders 2018: Trials Korea with Win over WGS H2

The former management team behind the GC Busan organization back before they were members of the London Spitfire, seemed to have put together another up-and-coming squad. BlossoM will now get a chance to compete in Overwatch Contenders Korea and based on the talent from two main DPS-players, to Swoon and his impressive Zenyatta, this team could be dangerous.

Securing the undefeated trials record tonight came at the hands of strong team play, shutting down World Game Star H2, who’s also being promoted to challengers. The three other teams are MVP Space, who finished second overall, and GC Busan Wave, meaning Meta Athena will miss out on a promotion. Meta Athena, one of the more consistent organizations in Overwatch, lost out by one map win. The +8 map differential was one behind WGS H2’s +9.

BlossoM Royal Road?

The surge of Blossom in trials has made it more difficult on teams like Meta Athena and other teams looking to qualify. Even after huge turnover of player and coaching staff this year: losing Gambler to Seoul Dynasty, and their former head coach Agape to the London Spitfire; The Blossom are improving at an impressive rate. On top of all that, Blossom was one of the teams involved in boosting, resulting in a few former players being released from the team.

The addition of Ans, who has arguably been their best player in Trials on Widowmaker, loosened the load for everyone. Also adding LIP as a late addition heading into Trials worked out tremendously for Blossom, as he slotted in nicely as the fill-in damage main aside Ans’s Widow. In reality, the two tanks are the ones responsible for such a dominating effort in Trials. Both SeeYa and Mineral did nothing but create space for that newly added backline. It was a culmination of the spacing, aiming, and execution that led to the 7-0 record.

It’s clear this team has taken massive jumps in coordination and skills since the few appearance we saw of them in April. The overall team record is only 8-4. Only 12 matches on record and this team is now looking like a real threat to make even more improvements heading into Contenders.

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Tweek the latest Bayonetta to win a 2GG Event

In Tweek’s most recent results, dating back to the latter half of 2017, there’s a distinct upshift in his overall placings. Since he first dabbled in the Bayo waters at The Big House 7, Tweek has gone on to win four major events with Bayonetta, including the supermajor this weekend: 2GG: Hyrule Saga.

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In fact, Tweek’s switch is almost directly in response to Salem’s winning streak over his Cloud. Salem’s Bayonetta eliminated Tweek four times last year and since that time Tweek’s gone 2-0 in the mirror match up and beat him solidly. At Hyrule Saga, Tweek put on quite the performance, handily beating a number of strong opponents throughout the weekend.

With MKLeo bowing out early losing once on Saturday to Japanese Dedede player Zaki, and after managing to reach to reach top eight through the losers bracket, falling to Captain Zack’s Bayonetta in losers quarterfinals. The players who made it through had a rough time dealing with Tweek’s precise Bayonetta spacing.

It’s Tweek’s fourth win of the year, moving into first in the 2GG standings. He continues to improve and more importantly, consistently show up and play a strong game. The number one of the world is still very much up for grabs, and Tweek could be the next player to step into the limelight

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