The opening week of PGI.S began with six consecutive days of action, advancing sixteen teams to the first-ever Weekly Final. Each winning team of sixteen Weekly Survival matches secured their spot in this weekend’s final. Qualified teams will compete in a best-of-ten for the $50,000 USD prize pool, awarded to the top-four squads following the final match on Sunday. If you’re unfamiliar with the format for PGI.S, check out our breakdown of the event here. The Weekly Final will award one team with $25,000 USD and set them closer to claiming the title of PGI.S Champions.
As teams battled through Rank Decision and into the Weekly Survival, we began noticing adjustments to the approach from a few teams. During the Rank Decision matches that kicked off the event, there seemed to be a fair amount of feeling out amongst the thirty-two teams. It was almost as if teams were hesitant to fully commit to plays that are typically second nature for them. Many of the players have never competed against the very best from multiple regions around the world, particularly the North American teams, who surprisingly, proved their doubters wrong with a brilliant start to PGI.S.
Weekly Survival began with the top-sixteen teams determined by the results from Rank Decision. Those teams played one match, won by the Soniqs, who was then quickly replaced in the lobby with the seventeenth-ranked team. This sequence continued until we had sixteen match-winners and the field for this weekend’s final.
WIN AND YOU’RE IN
What better way to start the week than coming out and winning the very first match of Weekly Survival? Soniqs eliminated any potential stress and pressure with a ten-kill win to kick off a week of nerve-racking matches that kept fans on the edge of their seat. North America’s strongest squad continued to dominate, despite being surrounded by the best players and teams from every corner of the globe. The team’s ability to match up against “real competition” remained in question as we moved closer to this event, that said, all early indicators point to the Soniqs playing just fine on the global stage. The team looks comfortable, confident, and prepared for whatever the tournament may throw at them.
While their win may not have come on the opening round, we did witness some great performances from the likes of Infantry, Shoot To Kill, Natus Vincere, and Team Liquid in the matches that followed. All of these teams punched their ticket to the Weekly Final with wins on Day One of the Weekly Survival, keeping things nice and simple for some of the tournament’s most notable names. Naturally, as the matches progressed, the pressure began to mount for teams who had yet to capture an elusive Chicken Dinner.
Of the four North American teams, three earned themselves a spot inside this weekend’s final. Day One victories from Soniqs and Shoot To Kill were a good sign for the region early on, with Oath Gaming eventually finding a well-deserved win to open up Day Three. Zenith Esports will be the only NA team not competing this weekend, but the squad has plenty of positives to take away from an extremely competitive finish to their week one action.
HONORABLE MENTIONS FROM WEEK ONE
As the number of matches remaining to secure a spot in the Weekly Final dwindled, there were a couple of teams who continually fought their way to the end of a match but would ultimately come up short. If you tuned in you’d know that Digital Athletics was one of the best teams on the battlegrounds this week. The team had four top-three placements in a format that only awards first place, this made the first Weekly Survival a nightmare for DA since they were unable to be the last team standing. In a traditional format with the scoring teams are used to, Digital Athletics may have run away with the event, they were playing that well. Unfortunately, they’ll be sidelined over the weekend and forced to watch the sixteen qualified teams fight it out before rejoining the action on Tuesday.
FaZe Clan qualified, but they sure made their fans sweat it out as they waited until the sixteenth match to secure their spot in the final. After their run-in with Shoot To Kill during the latter matches of Rank Decision, it would be interesting to watch how FaZe responded during Weekly Survival. From the time FaZe joined the lobby, the team would only have nine matches to obtain a match win, a challenging task for any team that leaps into a lobby on the fly. Luckily for FaZe and their fans watching at home, the team managed to win the sixteenth and final match, rounding out the first Weekly Survival of PGI.S. The order in which you qualify for the Weekly Final has zero impact on this weekend’s event, which means FaZe will enter the two-day ‘BO10’ with the same shot as anyone else. And if you’re familiar with the FaZe Clan roster and their prior success on LAN, I wouldn’t feel too comfortable if I was dropping onto battlegrounds alongside them this weekend.