The PUBG Global Championships began in Oakland today, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. A pre-tournament favourite flexed their muscle early while some teams came through with great surprise performances.
While it can never be known for sure heading into a first day like this, but with teams looking to avoid having to fight for qualification on Sunday, it seems that beating 5 points a game (30 for the day) would need to be a minimum aim to finish in the top 8, but anything can happen in a best of 6.
Here are the stories of Day 1
ACE are a FORCE
Entus ACE came into this tournament with lower expectations than their flashier counterparts in Entus FORCE, but they come out of day 1 with the first chicken dinner of the tournament, and 4 top 5 finishes in just 6 matches. At this level of competition, that is an extremely impressive start. Joy in particular has looked very strong early. If this is what their “second” team can do, look out Lobby B tomorrow
There’s Life Left in Ghost
When Ghost Gaming qualified for PGC with a 9th place finish in phase 3, there were some that weren’t happy with the system that allowed the so called mediocrity to get to the world stage. However as they are making a habit of, Ghost have shown up for the international competition. Playing as a disciplined unit, with a new drop spot on 2 of the 3 maps, this team would have been forgiven for spending the day scrapping for points in the middle of the table, but that was not the forecast for today. DrasseL was hitting bolt shots like it was Phase 2 and Miccoy averaged 3.67 kills across the 3 Erangel matches to ensure the team gets a day off on Sunday. They had some circle luck in patches, but they made the most of what they were given and with Shrimzy and Vegas playing to their potential, This start is just what they needed to give them their best chance to make it to the final lobby
Erangel is Key
It’s not only the fact that half of the matches are played on Erangel that makes it such a key to doing well, but also the order of the matches. Day 1 saw 4 teams have really strong Erangel matches with Ghost, Vendetta*, Faze and Entus ACE all reaching the invisible 30 point line before the tournament managed to get off the famous original island. That put all of those teams in a position to play the second half of the day without the added pressure and stress and gave them a chance to concentrate on learning more about their opponents in the second half of the day.
*A quick note on Vendetta, they may have won the LAN tournament in OCE to get here, but very few people were expecting them to do that well on this stage. Today was a statement from them that beating Athletico is a tough task, and doing it was no fluke.
They might not have won the day, but Faze Clan showed that they have not lost anything since the finish of the PEL. Nobody has yet challenged Ubah’s status as the worlds best player and their kill heavy style ensures that one of the scariest sounds in professional PUBG is a caster saying “(your team) is about to run into with Faze”. Towards the end of the second match of the day Faze took fights with multiple teams at once and didn’t lose a player. People like to mention how often Faze gets the circle, but at some point there has to be recognition that they are putting themselves in these spots with great experience and map knowledge. Expect them to get better every week before making a big run at the world title.
Comeback of the Day of the Comeback
As important as it is to have a good start on Erangel, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to qualify if you start slow. First Tempo Storm were on just 3 points after 2 games and languishing in second last before having an explosive game 3 and 5 to see them finish the day in 3rd place while . Then there was NAVI sitting in 3rd last place at the half way point of the day. For a team and a region that likes to talk a big game, it was a shock to see the talented squad so low, but it wasn’t going to stay that way. They are still struggling to get kills, with only 16 coming from the 6 matches, but they managed to not finish outside of the top 3 in any of the games in the second half of the day and comfortably qualified for next weekend. as good as those comebacks were, they can’t beat the comeback of the day, which of course goes to Gen.G. Going into the last match the PKL Phase 2 winners were sitting in 13th place and in desperate need of a win to avoid having to play on Sunday. They delivered. Not only did they win the match, but they got 12 kills, including a 3 v 1 finish from Loki in a true star moment from the experienced Fragger. If they can use that as a catapult back to the form that we expect from them, then this tournament is going to be a nightmare for everyone else.
We are only 1 day into a 3 week tournament and it has already been insanely good. Let’s hope the standard stays this high!