by Ty Brody

The PCS3 North America Group Stage is officially underway, providing us with our first look at the retooled rosters, brand-new teams, and returning favorites competing for the PCS3 title. While we’re only fifteen matches into the Group Stage and there is still plenty of time for teams to change course, the opening week of play still told us a lot about the twenty-four squads.

Following the first week of the Group Stage, our Power Ranking includes all twenty-four teams but will focus on the top-eight from this previous week. One of the biggest factors taken into consideration for our ranking is the team’s overall performance over their two days, however, we’ll place more weight onto the team’s second and final day to devise a trajectory of that team. This can allow a team to “rank” much higher or lower than their current PCS3 standing, which is the fun part and shouldn’t be taken TOO seriously!

1. Shoot To Kill (151 POINTS – 1ST PLACE)

The Ironmen of PUBG arrived in Grand Final form during Week 1 of the Group Stage and posted a monstrous 151 Points over their first ten matches. Although they tallied 103 of their points from kills, the team’s 48 placement points alone would have been enough to place them ahead of many fellow PCS3 competitors. The team resembled their dominant self after collecting consecutive 70+ points on each day of Week 1. It’s apparent that they’re the strongest team in this lobby and that STK isn’t gliding into the PCS3 NA Grand Final, they’re sprinting there.

2. Zenith Esports (87 POINTS – 4TH PLACE)

The team leaps over Hardshifts and Soniqs in this week’s Power Rankings thanks to their final day performance and the team’s consistency throughout the opening week of play. “Roth” currently leads his team with 21 Kills and ranks higher than (almost) all PCS3 players, the exception being three members from STK. This level of play is something we saw in moments during PCS2, but considering the team’s recent changes to the roster, it’s hard not to be encouraged by the team’s impressive start to PCS3.

3. Houston Hardshifts (114 POINTS – 2ND PLACE)

Hardshifts opened up the Group Stage with a master class on team fights and late-game survival, showcasing the strength and potential that many of us knew this roster held. The team went on a tear throughout Day 1, placing within the top three in five straight matches, before eventually cooling off to close out Week 1 in second-place. Hardshifts land at No. 3 on our Week One Power Ranking solely due to the steady play from Zenith Esports. Unlike Hardshifts, Zenith has established itself as a top-five team during PCS, and while the Hardshifts’ Day Two drop-off was to be expected, it does leave a hint of the difficulties this team has faced with climbing above another seventh or eighth place standing.

4. Soniqs (101 POINTS – 3RD PLACE)

We’ve seen this before. Soniqs displayed similarly conflicting single-day performances during PCS2, and last I checked, I believe that event worked out well for them in the long run. Consistency is everything in PUBG Esports and that’s the only reason Soniqs fall from their PCS3 standing of second-place to fourth on this week’s ranking. Their talent and ability to flip the switch when it’s game time is indisputable, however, the team’s momentum was severed after a mediocre performance to close out Week 1. No worries or panic buttons being pressed here, just an observation in regards to their place on this ranking heading into Week 2.

5. Guadalajara Gascans (70 POINTS – 6TH PLACE)

Easy, breezy, Guadalajara Gascans. I believe that’s their motto. The team recorded 30 points on Day One of the Group Stage followed up by an even 40 points on Day Two, making them one of the more consistent teams over Week One. I would assume the team is still working hard to iron out any kinks that arose following a pair of recent roster moves, which is reassuring when you consider that the team is in fifth-place while simultaneously getting to know one another as teammates on the battlegrounds. I like this roster, I believe in this team and their preparation, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gascans make a push for the top-three during Week Two.

6. Oath Gaming (58 POINTS – 8TH PLACE)

Oath Gaming has received a favorable boost in the Week 1 Power Rankings, but I believe it’s justified, especially when you rewatch the team’s play throughout the opening week of PCS3 and consider the potential this roster has going forward. With one complete series under the new roster’s belt and the deadly duo of “Snakers” and “Relo”, Oath nearly has a guaranteed spot in the Grand Finals. Their play over the first week earned them an eighth-place standing heading into Week Two, but the team bounced back after an unlucky opening day, and in my opinion, are poised to have a big Week Two.

7. Dodge (80 POINTS – 5TH PLACE)

Dodge began the PCS3 Group Stage with a roster that consisted of just one member from their previous lineup. As the team’s only returning player in the starting four, “finna” played alongside three new members as the team wrapped up Week One with excellent second-day performance. Dodge began the Group Stage experiencing the growing pains every new team faces and collected just twelve points over their initial five matches. On Sunday, the team won two matches and placed second in another, putting them just behind STK on the day and ahead of third-place by a total of thirty points. One of their latest additions to the team, and a familiar face to long term PUBG Esports fans, “ADAM” provided some insight on the team’s approach to the Group Stage as a new squad:

“There is still a lot that we have to build as a team. Chemistry and other small things that we have to build together, and we’re using this Group Stage as the driving force to make that process happen.” “We’re working outside of our comfort zone and trying to find our groove as a team.” – ADAM “ADAM” DIDIANO

8. Team Veritas (57 POINTS – 9TH PLACE)

Over the course of the opening week, it seemed as though Team Veritas has everything they need to develop into one of North America’s deadliest teams. As another team experiencing the side effects of a Roster Royale move during the break, Team Veritas still has plenty of time to sort out any issues within the team’s synergy to improve and secure a spot in the Grand Final. On paper, this team is simply too talented to place outside of the top-sixteen and everyone is aware of that. Heading into Week 2, it’s going to be interesting to see if the team can level out their point production across both days and become a bit more consistent than Week 1. If not, they’ll have one more chance to get things straightened out before the Grand Final rolls around.

9. Tactical 8 (66 points – 7th place)

10. The Rumblers (53 points – 11th place)

11. Comets (55 points – 10th place)

12. Illusion (48 points – 13th place)

13. Any Trolls In Chat (48 points – 14th place)

14. Gravity (52 points – 12th place)

15. San Diego Rarity (46 points – 15th place)

16. Virtue (41 points – 17th place)

17. Fabled (42 points – 16th place)

18. DUEL (41 points – 18th place)

19. Team Clueless (34 points – 19th Place)

20. Elus1ve (34 points – 20th place)

21. Ascendance Esports (31 points – 21st place)

22. One Eye Open (22 points – 23rd place)

23. Liberate (25 points – 22nd place)

24. Pros Don’t Snake (16 points – 24th place)

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