On the heels of the PCS2 North America Grand Final, a series of noteworthy roster announcements indicated the unofficial start to “roster royale” in the North American region. As expected, a handful of teams have already assessed their needs and made the changes they feel necessary to improve their roster heading into PCS3. The burst of new lineups could be tough to track and easily missed if you’re not paying close attention to social media – so we’ve rounded up the biggest roster moves so far since PCS2 came to a close. We’ll also take a look at the impact it could have on the PCS3 Group Stage for each team respectively.
Note: While the official roster lock date is Friday, September 25, 2020; these roster moves were announced on the respective teams’ social media pages.
ADD: POONAGE, SHINBOI
HOLDOVER: ROTH, KICKSTART
Considering they’ve placed within the top-five of three consecutive events this year, Zenith Esports wasn’t a team I suspected to mix up their roster heading into PCS3. The team’s consistent play and steady presence towards the top of the leaderboard in each of the PCS events is a sign of their effectiveness and ability to challenge the strongest teams. At the same time, back-to-back fifth-place results in the Grand Final of PCS1 and PCS2 has the potential to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Also, it could be an indication of how close Zenith is to making the leap from a “fifth-place team” to an “established top-three contender” with just one or two key additions before PCS3 begins.
Zenith Esports may have found a solution in the exciting duo of “Poonage” and “Shinboi”. Teammates that qualified for PCS3 as members of YAHO following a third-place finish in the PCS2 Challenger Cup, the pair will transition over to Zenith to join their search for a PCS3 Championship. “Shinboi” led his team throughout the PCS2 Group Stage as a member of YAHO, and finished with ten more kills than his next teammate. Meanwhile, Zenith retains the core of their roster in “Roth” and “Kickstart”, both of which led the team in Kills and Damage for PCS1 and PCS2. They’ll round out their roster with two familiar and effective players that bring an added layer of firepower to the team. Anchored by the experienced in-game decision-making from “Roth” and “Kickstart”, Zenith may have found the two missing pieces to reach their goal during PCS3.
ADD: PENTALOL, LINKSY
HOLDOVER: CHERRY, WOOLY
Occasionally, teams will hit the reset button on their roster following a tough event. And while I wouldn’t necessarily label the DUEL roster announcement a reboot, it’s certainly going to be a different team than the one we followed during PCS2. It’s reasonable to say that DUEL underperformed for a decent portion of PCS2, placing fifteenth in the Group Stage to secure their spot in the Grand Final where they ultimately placed twelfth by the end of the event. While we did witness isolated moments of great play from the team, they lacked any of the consistent team performance that’s demanded of you in PCS. While it may have been disappointing for fans of DUEL and those with high expectations, it’s led to what I believe has the potential to be the biggest roster move going into PCS3.
DUEL has added “Pentalol” from Team Veritas, and “Linksy” from the APAC region’s Astra. Both players provide an uptick in experience to DUEL’s roster, however, very few are able to lean on experience to the extent of “Linksy”. He is one of only three players across all of PUBG Esport competitive regions to hold a 100-Rating experience based on the PUBG Esports Players Stats (PEPS+). Not to mention, he’ll be reuniting with his former NPL teammates “Wooly” and “Pentalol”. The trio played together for about three months, though his time with “Wooly” can be tracked all the way back to November of 2018.
Following this announcement, considering the talent and familiarity throughout the roster, it’s tough to not get excited for DUEL as we approach the PCS3 Group Stage.
ANY TROLLS IN CHAT
HOLDOVER: MARCELEK, AGHILA, KNORKIS
Any Trolls In Chat surpassed expectations during the PCS2 NA Grand Final but must take another step in their development to see a similar improvement during PCS3. Their fourth-place finish in the PCS2 NA Grand Final warrants any heightened expectations surrounding the roster coming into this event, but it also means that a new goal for this team has been set – that being a top-three placement. A feat that would require them to outperform and knock out at least one of the region’s looming “big-three” teams.
The team was already fully deserving of our attention throughout the PCS3 Group Stage whether or not they made a change to their roster based solely on their performance during PCS2. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why their latest addition has me even more interested to see them play during PCS3. A veteran of the North American PUBG Esports scene, “Sharpshot” coming over from Team Veritas, can immediately contribute to Any Trolls In Chat. Based on several important metrics to the player’s performance over the course of an event, his PUBG Esports Player Stats (PEPS+) rating during the PCS2 campaign was listed at 63 Overall – while the player he’s stepping in for was listed as 39 Overall. If It’s unclear just how familiar the team is with one another, which leads to the team’s synergy being my biggest concern. However, the addition of “Sharpshot”, at least on paper, is a clear improvement to ATC.