PGI.S RANK DECISION: PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS
PUBG Global Invitational.S kicks off with Rank Decision, a twelve-match series devised to seed all thirty-two teams and lay the groundwork for the first Weekly Series. Once teams are ranked, the top sixteen teams will begin playing for their spot in the Weekly Final, granted to the winner of each match. As a team earns their spot in the Weekly Final, the next highest-ranked team fills their spot in the Weekly Series lobby. This format will keep the teams guessing and fans eagerly watching as we determine which team is the best in the world.
Before we jump into Weekly Series or Finals, we need to rank all thirty-two teams. As mentioned, the top sixteen teams at the end of the Rank Decision will move directly into the Weekly Series, making every team’s performance this weekend the top priority. Teams have been practicing and playing one another in scrims, but how will the matches play out once the results decide a team’s future for the week? When looking over the PGI.S lobby, it’s extremely easy to imagine a top-sixteen leaderboard. The problem though is that there are thirty-two teams that could have an incredible start to the tournament and place themselves on top early.
Rank Decision will be a significant factor in the journey of every team during the opening week of PGI.S. Top-sixteen teams naturally have more opportunities to obtain a spot in Weekly Final, compared to the teams ranked 17 - 32 who have anywhere between one and fifteen matches, based on their Rank Decision placement, to secure a Chicken Dinner and spot in the Weekly Final. With so much riding on the line during Rank Decision, teams are going to bring their A-Game to begin the event.
COASTING INTO TOP-SIXTEEN
Now that we’ve covered what’s at stake during Rank Decision, let’s take a look at the teams I believe will come out on top following the opening weekend of PGI.S. Without hesitation, these are several teams I’d be shocked to see not finish Rank Decision within the top-sixteen.
Tianba - China
Undoubtedly my front runner coming into the event, Tianba played exceptionally well during the 2020 season and enters PGI.S as one of, if not the, most consistent squad in the event. The roster is deadly and they’ve been playing some of their best PUBG as of late.
MultiCircle Gaming - China
MultiCircle Gaming comes into PGI.S with all of the momenta. Champions of the PUBG Continental Series 3: Asia, AfreecaTV PUBG League: 2020 Winter Season, and the TMC Global Invitational - the team finished up last season firing on all cylinders. All signs point towards “Tank” and his ability to make game-changing plays for his team. Add “Summer” and “EviLLee” and you get a top-sixteen Rank Decision placement with ease.
Oath Gaming - North America
“We’re talking about practice, man.” Look, I know scrims and early rumblings about success leading up to the event aren’t much to stand on, but those aren’t the only thing Oath Gaming has going for them right now. Acknowledging the positive things we’ve seen and heard about the team since their arrival in South Korea, it has to be reassuring to their fans when you take into consideration the team’s success throughout 2020 and their DreamHack Winter Showdown Championship to close out last season.
Soniqs - North America
We have the privilege of watching last season’s North American juggernaut test themselves against the very best teams on the global stage. The excitement levels for an NA fanboy couldn’t be higher. “TGLTN”, “M1ME”, “Shrimzy”, and “hwinn” have the potential to prove the naysayers wrong and demand respect for their regional dominance during 2020. If the team looks anything like their PCS2 NA and PCS3 NA selves, the Sonqis are easily securing themselves a spot inside the top-sixteen.
ON THE BUBBLE TEAMS
There is no denying that PGI.S will play host to the most dangerous teams throughout PUBG Esports, which is the biggest reason I have these teams “on the bubble” for a top-sixteen performance during Rank Decision. Granted, we have not had the luxury of watching these teams compete in the same lobby just yet, so I wouldn’t take anything said here as my final verdict on a team. In my opinion, these teams are on the edge of a top-sixteen and will sway my view of them in one way or another once the matches conclude Sunday.
ENCE - Europe
Established as a top-seven team from their region, ENCE has come close but has yet to produce a signature tournament win since joining forces in late-2019. Talent and experience exist on this roster, but do they have what it takes to find success on the PGI.S stage? While they may be a dark horse to win PGI.S, they’re a team that I believe could surprise some and find the top-sixteen during Rank Decision this weekend.
TSM - Europe
If we were heading into the Rank Decision weekend following PCS1 or PCS2 Europe, there’s a chance that I would have had TSM winning the event altogether. Unfortunately, the team saw a steady decline in their tournament results as the season advanced. After a strong showing in the Group Stage, TSM blundered in the PCS3 Europe Grand Finals and never recovered. I’d like to believe the team has hit a reset and enter the event prepared to perform to the level we’ve come to expect from this roster. “Fexx” and “Vard” are reasons enough to keep your eye on this team, with the firepower and prior success to keep TSM in the conversation for a successful opening week.
META GAMING - Latin America
Meta Gaming has made the most of their performances when given the opportunity. Which is something that I don’t see changing during this event. Like the other thirty-one rosters, Meta has four highly-skilled players, but we haven’t seen excellent results from these players on the global stage from a limited sample size. They’re a tough team to take down and always seem to weaken their opponent, even if they eventually lose the fight. They’re a bubble team for me because I’m still unsure about their play at this level. That said, I believe in them and think they’ll be a top-sixteen when the dust settles on Sunday.
NAVI - Europe
Led by “ceh9” and “TheTab” through the PUBG Continental Series 3, NAVI managed to finish in sixth, just behind a handful of EU powerhouses. Historically, this team plays some of their best matches on the international stage. Great performances during PGC 2019 and the GLL Grand Slam would suggest another solid outing for NAVI in the PGI.S Rank Decision, but will the team be able to adjust to the new format and lobby of competitors?