ESL PUBG MASTERS AMERICAS GRAND FINAL: WEEK TWO HIGHLIGHTS
Week Two of the ESL PUBG Masters Americas Grand Final delivered another three-day series littered with exciting moments as the tournament determined its champion! Week Two belonged to the Young Kings, who secured three consecutive Chicken Dinners on Saturday to pave the way to the weekly series victory. The team began fighting their way later into the rounds more frequently and nearly added a fourth victory on several occasions during the final day. Led by the team’s most experienced players, YK earned the respect of anyone that doubted them prior to this week.
However, the event’s cumulative scoring system combines both weekends to ultimately determine the ESL PUBG Masters Champion. Once the dust settled following an outstanding final match, the leaderboards were doubled and triple checked, and OATH was crowned ESL PUBG Masters Americas Grand Final Champions! First place in Week One and Sixth during Week Two was enough to earn OATH the first-place title - the PGC Points collected also punched the team’s tickets to PUBG’s biggest event of the season, PGC 2021.
OATH certainly deserves our attention after their incredible performance, but the Young Kings do as well. Over the course of this week’s twelve matches, the YK secured three Chicken Dinners to earn themselves first place. Those wins came in three consecutive matches on Saturday and eventually placed them on top for the Week Two victory. Excellent individual play from and1FPS and zFluxxx was impossible to miss, as the duo carried the Young Kings to victory.
The highlights continued to roll in as we progressed through the matches but were topped off with one final match that finished in the heart of Pochinki - resulting in one of the most exhilarating finishes of recent memory! Before we take another look at some of the best plays from this weekend, let’s run through some of the lasting storylines after another incredible event.
With this win, it’s safe to say that OATH has properly reasserted itself as one of the region’s most formidable squads. This was their first ‘WWCD’ era tournament victory, and their play with the format in mind was impressive throughout. This team has had some success with the ‘Most Chickens’ format previously, but winning the ESL PUBG Masters certainly eliminates any doubt surrounding OATH as a top contender heading into PCS5. Between the team’s incredibly talented roster, their preparation behind the scenes with coach Trevor Meredith, or the timely performances when it's needed most, OATH is well on its way to proudly represent the Americas region at the 2021 PUBG Global Championship.
This Grand Final also left us with a handful of unanswered questions. Like, what happened to a few of North Americas’ best teams? Soniqs, Dignitas, Spacestation Gaming… some of the most notable orgs from the region finished outside of the top-six. Maybe this was a fluke and we’re going to overreact about it for the next couple of weeks, nevertheless, it’s tough to see the defending PCS and PGI.S Champions bumping elbows with middle-of-the-pack teams. Another one is what Roster Royale will produce before we reach the start of PCS5. After an event like this, players are always on the move to reinforce their lineup before the next event begins.
I believe the Soniqs can easily recover from this event and it won't be long before we're talking about them round-after-round during PCS5. That said, subpar play from Dignitas and Spacestation Gaming comes as a surprise and even makes me question if we'll see the same squad run it back for what will be their most important event of the season during PCS5. It was announced today by Uncivil that he's now LFT and will not return to SSG for PCS5. As for Dignitas, their Week One fifth-place performance is a solid start to the event, but a fifteenth-place outing during Week Two leaves a bad taste in your mouth as we look ahead to the next event.
And for Spacestation Gaming, the team just doesn’t appear to be on the same page. It feels as though they’re consistently finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. The team gets into a solid position with an opportunity to capitalize and it slips away. Frankly, this roster is just too skilled individually to finish the Grand Final in twelfth overall. With an important PCS5 event on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what SSG adjusts in their approach, takes away from this experience, and comes into the next tournament with.
YOUNG KINGS WIN THREE IN A ROW
Young Kings was perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of the ESL PUBG Masters Americas Grand Final. This team was fairly quiet throughout Week One where they ultimately finished outside of the top-eight without a single Chicken Dinner. So, heading into Week Two, a three-match win streak that would carry the team into first couldn't have been further from our minds. During the fourth and final match of Saturday, Ykuz earned the Young Kings their third dinner of the night in a one-versus-one against Fiumba.
TSM FTX CLAIM THEIR CHICKEN DINNER
After missing the top-eight entirely during Week One, TSM FTX made sure to finish their event on a strong note. The team earned second place during Week Two with a pair of Chicken Dinners and 68 Kills. Only one win behind the Young Kings for the Weekly Series lead, TSM FTX played much better down the stretch in this Grand Final. Their second-place Week Two finish earned them the fifth-place position overall, adding 95 PGC Points to their total.
MAYHEM IN THE STREETS OF POCHINKI
This event couldn't have wrapped up in a more chaotic fashion than it did Sunday night. Summed up perfectly by PORO himself, this final phase was "all smokes, no FPS". Teams fought for the final Chicken Dinner of the tournament, and Phase 9 forced an overcrowded lobby into the smoke-covered streets of Pochinki. Frags, Molotovs, and Stun grenades were tossed everywhere, though it would be Fiumba who ultimately secured the final win of the event. There was a moment where it appeared that TSM FTX had outdone the rest and held onto their high ground with grenades, but it only assisted Fiumba in the end.