It’s that time once again. The ESL PUBG Masters Americas Grand Final features sixteen of the region’s best teams, ready to settle their differences on the battlegrounds over the next two weekends. Playing for a lion share of the $50,000 USD Prize Pool and as many PGC Points as possible, the Grand Final is sure to produce another exciting weekend of PUBG Esports action.
Unfolding across the next two weekends, the Americas Grand Final will be played as two individual Weekly Series. The top-eight teams will be awarded prize money based on their placement each weekend, the ESL PUBG Masters Champion will be determined by which team has accumulated the most Prize Money between both Weekly Series.
THE FRONT RUNNERS
As with any event featuring the North Americans, the conversation rightfully begins and ends with the Soniqs. They’re already proven, regionally and internationally, to be the best team across all of PUBG Esports. It’s a title that’s tough and debated when awarded to one squad, but at this point, they’ve earned that recognition until someone ousts NA’s boys in blue. Even with a format change thrown at them, the Soniqs adapted to the new meta and continued to dominate the region’s toughest lobbies. That said, no matter how impressive this team has been, everyone is presented with unpredictable hurdles over the course of a Grand Final, and this format doesn’t care if you fought into the top-three and racked up plenty of kills on the way. It forces the ‘Chicken Dinner or Bust’ playstyle and that can be a tall task for any team if the odds are stacked against you. For now, there aren’t any signs of the Soniqs slowing down, but even the greatest of all time can have a bad weekend.
Behind the obvious favorite heading into this Grand Final, there is a group of teams with championship-caliber rosters and experience winning at the top of the region. TSM FTX, Dignitas, Oath, and Spacestation Gaming are the four teams that come to mind. I think TSM FTX has an excellent opportunity to reclaim the top position of the Americas region, they are after all the defending ESL PUBG Masters Americas Champions and looked great throughout the Group Stage. If they’re going to dethrone the Soniqs, the team is going to need around four wins over this weekend’s twelve matches. That looks to be the number of Chicken Dinners it’s going to take, at least in shortened events like our first Weekly Series, to place on top. If they’re able to grab a couple on Day One, the pressure could subside as we play through the later matches this weekend.
Dignitas, Oath, and Spacestation Gaming have each demonstrated why they’re considered to be a part of North America’s ‘Big Five’. These teams all have talented rosters starring the likes of sparkingg, Relo, and Kickstart, who individually are more than capable of stealing the spotlight during the opening weekend. Behind the big names, all three of these ‘front runners’ have well-rounded squads with the necessary skill and experience to finish atop the leaderboard after twelve matches.
TEAMS TO WATCH
We know the teams at large heading into this Grand Final, but each tournament showcases a squad or two that rise to the occasion, exceed expectations, and leave a lasting impression. Looking over the leaderboard prior to any matches, I can’t help but notice the Young Kings and Team Veritas.
These two squads aren’t dark horses or teams looking to make a name for themselves. Each has had some recent success but has retooled their lineups coming into this event. Team Veritas said farewell to mykLe and Jazza but welcomed in Lobes and JR – two players who appear to play well alongside DannyG and Ethan. As for Young Kings (originally Team Mystery) the team brought in And1FPS and Pablex, the duo assisted the team to claim two Chicken Dinners in the Group Stage and finish fourth overall.
Outside of those two teams, we have another group of familiar faces that always keep things interesting. The Gascans, Dodge, Trogloditas, 303 Esports, and A Creche could each make a run of their own towards the top of the leaderboard this weekend. It’s entirely possible that any of these teams settle into a top-eight position as the matches progress over the next three days.
WHERE TO FOLLOW
The ESL PUBG Masters Americas Grand Final will be broadcasted live on:
Be sure to follow PUBG Esports on social media to stay up to date on everything.