PCS5 AMERICAS NA GROUP STAGE: WEEK TWO HIGHLIGHTS
After the blistering start to this event, it was only fitting to wrap up the PCS5 North America Group Stage with another series of electrifying matches. Soniqs, Oath, and Wildcard Gaming claimed the top three positions and their rightful place in the Americas Grand Final. Just behind them, three additional invites to the Final remained up for grabs - creating must-watch action during the final matches of Week Two.
Soon we’ll jump right back into the battlegrounds for the PCS5 Americas Grand Final, but first, our focus will shift to the Last Chance Qualifier. The top six teams from NA and LATAM have already advanced, providing us twelve of the sixteen Grand Final teams. Now, the four vacant spots will soon be awarded to the top squads from the Last Chance Qualifier. While it may not be the ideal means to earn a seat in the Americas Grand Final, any of these squads will take it. The LCQ consists of the eight teams who placed between seventh and fourteenth in each sub-regions Group Stage.
We’ll have time to analyze this weekend’s Last Chance Qualifier, but for now, let’s take a look back at Week Two. It laid the foundation for an exciting Grand Final, determining twelve of the sixteen final teams. Of the six promoted teams from North America, the early favorites are without question the Soniqs and Oath Gaming. The Group Stage only strengthened the outlook on these two squads, particularly the Soniqs who managed to win eight of the twenty matches.
SONIQS CAN'T BE STOPPED
Just as you might start to think that the Soniqs’ incredible performances have begun to level out, they dominate the most important tournament of the season for practically every other roster. Think about it, the Soniqs have already done enough to punch their ticket to PGC 2021. For many other teams, a strong display here is entirely the difference between representing their region at PGC and watching the event from home. So, if there was an ideal time for other teams to rise to the occasion and challenge the region’s best, it was the PCS5 NA Group Stage.
Coming off the team’s uncharacteristic performance in the ESL PUBG Masters, this type of bounce-back performance in a tournament that actually has more at stake isn’t a complete surprise. Quite honestly, it’s really just par for the course. The Soniqs have demonstrated once again why their PUBG Esports’ most dangerous team, and will have yet another PCS title within reach in three weeks’ time.
OATH CONTINUES TO ROLL
Americas’ most recent Grand Final Champion followed up their ESL PUBG Masters victory with an incredible run in the PCS5 NA Group Stage. Oath’s play throughout the Group Stage makes me believe that they’ve fine-tuned their approach to this format with their confidence at an all-time high. Winning ESL PUBG Masters would certainly come with a boost to the team’s confidence, but following that up with another excellent performance in the especially important PCS5 NA Group Stage cannot be understated. Since the arrival of Kickstart shortly after PGI.S earlier this season, Oath’s play as a complete team has improved steadily. Only the guys can detail how exactly their synergy has developed, but their recent results speak for themselves.
For what it’s worth, Oath enters the PCS5 Americas Grand Final up against several of the very squads they outperformed during the ESL PUBG Masters. Not only of their regional rivals but at least three of the six advancing LATAM teams. This won’t be at the forefront of the team’s mind, but it's a reassuring thought for Oath fans to lean on when the Grand Final matches begin!
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP SIX
Wildcard Gaming earned third place overall, trailing Oath by one Chicken Dinner after twenty matches. Four wins and ninety-six kills are fairly impressive for this roster against a challenging NA Group Stage. The real test awaits them in the Grand Final, but their play up until this point has been impressive. Say what you will about individual stats in this format, but Maji deserves some praise for his thirty-one kills over a twenty-match series.
The PCS5 NA Group Stage offered some likely results, such as strong performances from the Soniqs and Oath. Having said that, there was a group of teams who battled for their position in the Grand Final and sent a couple of “fan favorites” packing to the Last Chance Qualifier. TSM FTX, Spacestation Gaming, and Dignitas will now fight to keep their PCS5 hopes alive while the Gascans, Adapt XD, and eUnited prepare for the Grand Final.
It may not exactly be the top six we anticipated heading into this Group Stage, then again, the current WWCD format keeps everyone guessing, in-game and out. The trio who round out our top six combines for seven wins accumulatively, one less than the Soniqs posted in first. If one of these teams is going to make some additional noise in the Grand Final, their production will need to see a major uptick during the Final.
WHAT’S UP NEXT
The Last Chance Qualifier. A sixteen-team lobby consisting of eight squads from each sub-region will compete across two days in a best-of-twelve to determine a top four. Those four teams will rejoin the Group Stage winners in the PCS5 Americas Grand Final. It’s every team’s final shot at the Grand Final, and a shortened format only amplifies the high-stress and action-packed matches. Some of the region’s most notable teams will be competing for one of the four vacant spots.
WHERE TO FOLLOW
The PCS5 Americas Grand Final and Last Chance Qualifier will be broadcasted live on:
Be sure to follow PUBG Esports on social media to stay up to date on everything.