On Saturday, sixteen teams will descend onto the battlegrounds to commence the NA Challenger Cup 3. The best-of-twelve tournament will take place over two days and feature the bottom eight teams from the PCS3 Group Stage, and eight teams who have advanced through the NA Challenger Series 3. Teams are fighting for a piece of the $15,000 USD prize pool and a spot in future PUBG Esports NA pro tier competitions.
The NA Challenger Cup 3 will feature a group of familiar teams for those who tuned into the PCS3 Group Stage, however, the additional eight squads will most likely play in front of a brand new audience this weekend. The event is a great opportunity for teams and players to make a name for themselves while climbing the ranks of PUBG Esports. Due to the tournament’s twelve-match schedule, teams won’t have much time to adjust once the matches begin this Saturday so a strong start is going to be more important than anything.
BOUNCE BACK FROM PCS3 GROUP STAGE
Many of us are familiar with the eight teams that enter the NA Challenger Cup 3 following their run through the PCS3 NA Group Stage. While that event may not have ended in the way that these eight teams hoped, their rosters still maintain the talent and experience required to come away with a successful tournament in the NA Challenger Cup 3.
Of our eight teams relegated from the PCS3 Group Stage, I’m most looking forward to seeing Team Clueless and Liberate. Both teams performed well through the Group Stage and collected their fair share of points while playing against the region’s best teams. “Hambinooo” made his return to NA Esports scene as part of Team Clueless, where he led the charge in both Kills and Damage Dealt over a 30-match schedule. While their final result didn’t meet the team’s expectations, I would expect Team Clueless to learn from the previous stage and come into the Challenger Cup as one of the most dangerous squads.
As for Liberate, the move to pick-up “Bahawaka” and “HelloSenpai” prior to the PCS3 Group Stage had the potential to secure this roster a Grand Final placement. However, despite Liberate’s high-profile additions, the team was unable to make it out of the Group Stage and will now fight for their spot in future PUBG Esports events. Roster changes aren’t easy for any team, so it may have been the root cause of Liberate’s regression to the mean during PCS3. Having now experienced an entire event as a four-man squad, I would expect to see Liberate arrive in dominant form this Saturday.
KEEP THE GOOD TIMES ROLLING
The eight teams advancing from the Challenger Cup Qualifiers have the opportunity to extend their rise through the ranks of PUBG Esports while simultaneously making a name for themselves when the action begins this Saturday. We’ll see the return of several PCS2 players such as “SimplyMatt”, “ Additt”, “Tetra”, and “Nitrogen”. All of whom are competing under a new emblem alongside new teammates since we last saw them at this level. Of the eight qualifier teams, I’m most excited to see if the experience and talent from players on Cozy Crew show up during the Challenger Cup. This roster enlists a triplet of former NPL players who I believe have the talent to navigate the best-of-twelve tournament while going up against a more skilled lobby.
Orion is another one of the eight teams that battled their way through qualifiers to earn a spot in this weekend’s tournament. The team has been playing for more than just themselves since the tragic passing of Alex “Ranger” Fitzgerald, a member of Orion and the PUBG Esports family. If you aren’t already supporting a team this weekend, it’s impossible to not wish the best for “Ranger’s” friends and teammates as they compete in the Challenger Cup. If there is a team that deserves to close out their series on a high note, it’s this team.