The NPL Royale Matters
This week's NPL Royale might seem like an unwanted distraction from the NPL proper (which is picking up steam at the moment) but for some teams and players it could foreshadow what lies ahead.
The last NPL Royale saw some significant performances, both good and bad, that should give us all motivation to keep a close eye on this weekend's matches.
A strong performance from Overconfident saw Shrimzy picked up almost immediately by Ghost Gaming for the remainder of the phase, and once Overconfident missed out on promotion to the NPL, Stab was also picked up, this time by eUnited.
PlayerOne Esports put in a solid performance against top level opposition, a feat they have continued after making the jump up the NPL.
A big finals performance from Team Kru would have had an impact on Waldoe making the Rumblers' squad for the NPL the phase.
On the other end, Noble put on a really poor performance, which was reflective of their misfortunes to come as they slid down to the NPLC (where they currently sit on the bottom of the table)
There is hope however for the teams that struggle this weekend. The team now known as the Rumblers, currently sitting in 2nd in the NPL, failed (by 1 point) to make the final 16 of the last NPL Royale, and even lost a team mate, but still managed to finish 2nd in NPLC and win promotion to the big leagues. Either way, for certain players and teams, there is plenty at stake this weekend, and this well worth watching.
Watch this weekend on https://www.twitch.tv/playbattlegrounds
The European Season Begins
We are only 12 matches into the 22654 matches PEL season* and there are some familiar faces in familiar positions. Faze are near the top and so are Liquid, but a return to form from G2 has seen them currently sitting on top of the PEL ladder after Week 1 of Phase 2. Considered one of the world's best teams, they would have been absolutely gutted to have missed the last Global Event by a single point - particularly after the roster (including in their time under the Penta name) had finished 2018 so strongly and started the first 2 days of the PEL scoring 10 points per game.
ItzzChrizz and Braexco have 45 kills between them (which is more than all of Unity and Reciprocity combined) and when those 2 are firing, that's G2 at their best.
**It's actually 96 games, but it might as well be 22654 compared to the number of games in the NPL
The PCL is…Something
We are 3 weeks into the PCL and I am no closer to understanding how or why it is run the way that it is, but one thing of note at the halfway point - the traditional powerhouses of the game in China are having a bit of trouble.
17 Gaming are currently in 5th, after a slow start, which is brutally punishing in this format, but I expect them to be ok
4AM looked to have had the same issue as 17, with a bad week 1 and good week 2, but they had another bad week in week 3 and find themselves currently in 9th place
OMG have gone the other way. They started strongly (which was needed after their disastrous showing in London) but have done poorly in the last 2 week's, finding themselves sitting in 11th place.
The less said about Crystal Lister the better at this point as they currently sit in 23rd place with a lot of work to be done if they are to get anywhere.
The real story so far has been the consistency, and consistent improvement of current leaders Black Ananas. On this trajectory they are the team to watch out for at the global event at the end of the year