by Ty Brody • September 29, 2020

With the start of PCS3 North America just around the corner, we've asked our talent to select the teams that they believe are most likely to win these entertaining, yet fictitious awards!

The 'Dark Horse' Award: The team most likely to come out of nowhere during the PCS3 Group Stage.

We know the “favorites” heading into the PCS3 Group Stage, but which team is going to surprise us with their performance over three weeks of group play? In the past, we’ve seen teams make a strong run through groups to enter the Grand Final with more expectations surrounding them. Who will that team be in PCS3?

Mike 'Porosaurus' Navarro: DUEL. A lot of teams have changed players on their rosters, but DUEL is recreating a little of the magic they found with the old Simplicity roster, and I think they have a good chance to shock a lot of people.

Matt 'Matrym' Oates: Comets.

Cameron Davis: I'm looking at Comets. Losing DTreats hurts a lot and neither Vegas or Lataa have the same hype around them they had at different parts of 2019. But despite that, if they and teammates Monte and Yaxley can figure out what made them click in previous squads there's a chance they can hang with the teams at the top.

Dustin 'Godspeed' Kane: Houston Hardshifts.

Stephanie 'Klov3r' Naboshek: Team Clueless. This team rose quickly during the NA Challenger Series 2. Although finishing 2nd in the cup, they've had massive growth and success. If they can manage the transition into the PCS groups, there's a big chance we'll see them rise quickly.

Steven 'Toffees' Pierce: DUEL.

The 'Mood Swing' Award: The team most likely to take their fans on an emotional roller coaster during PCS3.

We’ve seen it time and time again. One team will win several of the opening matches with an abundance of kills, struggle to get things back on track, and then dominate towards the end to make it incredibly tight as we wrap up the event. It’s exciting to watch, though extremely unnerving if you are a fan of that roster (or chose them in the Pick Em’ Challenge)! So, which of the twenty-four teams is going to take their fans on an up-and-down ride of emotion throughout the PCS3 tournament?

Klov3r: Shoot To Kill. Some of the most passionate fans in NA PUBG, they had a bit of a struggle during the start of the NA Grand finals. Let's see if they can shake off this rut and come out the gate swinging for PCS3.

Matyrm: Team Veritas.

Porosaurus: Rumblers. Now that they have had "Gaxy" for a full phase, I'm expecting Rumblers to be a contender in PCS3 - but they need to prove they can fight their way out of tough spots.

Cameron Davis: Clueless has a stacked team coming up from Challengers and they'll have a few good rounds off the bat, but it'll likely be a week or 2 playing at this level of competition before they settle in to their regular form.

The 'One-Hit Wonder' Award: The team most likely to dominate the Group Stage and then disappear during the Grand Final.

We’re looking at you, Rumblers (formerly Radiance). On occasion, the Group Stage will dramatically influence our way of thinking around a team heading into the Grand Final. We have seen the final reinforce the positives feelings we had about that team, but we’ve also witnessed it expose teams who dominated groups, and for whatever reason, are unable to put it together in the Grand Final.

Despite the familiarity amongst the sixteen teams that advance, the lobby toughens up, and any points accumulated from bullying the weaker squads become harder to come by. During PCS3, at least one team is bound to impress during the Group Stage before they begin sliding down the leaderboard in the Grand Final, but who does our talent believe that will be?

Toffees: Zenith Esports.

Porosaurus: ATC. The new roster should pop off, but in the past, we've seen new rosters do really well at first before eventually sliding back down to reality. Given their aggressive playstyle, ATC seems like the likely candidate.

Klov3r: Virtue. There's a lot of potential on this roster. But their ability to play well against the top-fifteen other teams in the Grand Final could make or break them when it counts.

Godspeed: Team Veritas

The 'John Wick' Award: The player most likely to earn the PCS3 Group Stage Kill bonus.

This one is easy. When you look at the rosters returning for PCS3, it’s impossible not to notice the players who occupied the top of the kills leaderboard during the previous series. Atop the list, Soniq’s “TGLTN”, and ATC's “Marcelek”. Each player led their team in kills and established themselves as one of the most dangerous players to encounter on the battlegrounds. Heading into PCS3, which player do you believe will lead the Group Stage in Kills?

Cameron Davis: It's TGLTN. The guy has been a powerhouse since he entered PCS2 and he's only gotten more comfortable within the Soniqs. The only thing standing in his way is sharing kills with his teammates.

Godspeed: TGLTN.

Porosaurus: TGLTN. He started heating up at the end of PCS2 and caught absolute fire in the Grand Finals. I've seen nothing to lead me to believe he will slow down.

Toffees: TGLTN.

Klov3r: TGLTN. Let's be honest, this man is a total beast and continued to grow as a player. Now that the Soniqs are clicking as a team, there's a potential to break that kill count in PCS3.

The 'Backpack' Award: The player most likely to carry his team to the PCS3 Grand Final.

Let’s face it, with PCS3 shaping up to be our most competitive series yet, we’re almost guaranteed to see a player put its team on their back and carry them into the Grand Final. It could be one of the eight teams entering from the NA Challenger Series, or it could be one of our presumed “favorites” that require one player to bail them out of a tough Group Stage.

This imaginary award is one that I’m personally interested to watch as the Group Stage plays out. It will be based on kills and damage dealt, although it's important to remember that a lot of the impact a player has will occur in-game with their scouting, communication, and decision making. I think you could make an argument that players have "carried" their team to the Grand Final without leading the team in kills or damage dealt, but are consistently put the team in a place to be successful. Sadly, we’re not privy to that kind of information so we'll have to go off the stats for something like this!

Porosaurus: Relo from Oath Gaming. PCS3 feels like it might finally be OATH's time, and if they're able to pull it off, it will be because of Relo.

Matrym: Gregshot, Fabled.

Klov3r: Marcelek put a lot of work in for ATC during PCS2, closely chasing TGLTN for many of the player awards. It's easy to see why ATC went far in PCS2 with Marcelek in play.

Toffees: Linksy, DUEL.

What are you most looking forward to during PCS3?

The upcoming series is shaping up to be another exciting and memorable event for PUBG Esports! We get to see the region's strongest teams battle for PCS superiority, a group of new teams and players, and retooled teams returning to improve on their PCS2 showing. With so much to look forward to, what are you most looking forward to during PCS3?

Klov3r: The return of Hambinooo and Team Clueless.

Matyrm: All of the new rosters.

Porosaurus: On paper, PCS3 looks like the most competitive North American lobby yet. The narrative has been that NA is a 3-team race, but I think PCS3 might prove different.

Godspeed: A much closer race to the grand finals.

Toffees: The return of Bahawaka!