Week 1 of Division A matches is officially finished. At the end of this week, the standings are not what many have expected. While some teams with traditionally high performing players are up in the ranks (notably OpTic Gaming and Gen.G Esports), we’ve had some newcomers ascend them too, especially Midnight, who remain undefeated. Perhaps more surprisingly, some typically dominating teams hit rock bottom this week, most remarkably Luminosity Gaming.
As for today’s matches themselves, Midnight started things off with yet another victory, kicking fellow newcomer-heavy team UYU to the curb. Next, OpTic Gaming continued to claw their way back into dominance by handing Team Reciprocity their third series defeat this week. For the third match, Luminosity Gaming continued to die a slow, painful death, with Red Reserve being the latest to drive nails in their coffin. Finally, Gen.G Esports expressed their supremacy over Evil Geniuses, the only other team that had worse fortunes than Luminosity Gaming.
Match 1: Midnight vs. UYU
Midnight continues to be the top dogs in the Pro League, so far being undefeated, a radical change from being the underdogs months before. The latest team to feel their energy and crumble under it is UYU. Midnight typically must warm up during a game to achieve their best form, and Game 1 Hardpoint was no exception here. UYU and Midnight were relatively even for much of the game with UYU slightly ahead, but some clever use of the Tempest by Devin “LlamaGod” Tran allowed Midnight to pull ahead and seal the victory 250-185.
After this brief warm-up period by Midnight, it was almost no contest. Game 2 Search & Destroy saw UYU get their plans shut down by Midnight again and again, with Midnight only allowing a couple of rounds to slip from their grasp. Midnight won Game 2 with a score of 6-2. Game 3 Control was closer than you would think, as both teams were neck-and-neck with lives each round, but raw perseverance from Midnight saw them win with a hot 3-0 shutout.
Match 2: OpTic Gaming vs. Team Reciprocity
The casters noted that many of Reciprocity’s members were also members of UNILAD during the WWII season, a squad which gave OpTic much trouble that year. This match was an opportunity for revenge for OpTic, and they claimed it with proverbial tooth and claw. During Game 1 Hardpoint, Reciprocity claimed an early lead of over 70 points by the halfway point of the match. However, Ian “Crimsix” Porter of OpTic came in just in the nick of time during several key gunfights, just like a proverbial action hero. These moments proved to be turning points, and OpTic used their renewed momentum to claim the round 250-231. Game 2 Search & Destroy was similarly bloody and brutal, but Reciprocity would edge out the lead and claim the victory that game 6-4.
Game 3 Control, a game mode that’s usually been a source of trouble for OpTic Gaming, instead saw OpTic on top for once. It did look dicey for OpTic at first, for during the first Control round they practically gave a huge life lead away and just about threw the round. They quickly turned things around on Reciprocity, however, as they learned from their mistakes to claim the rest of the rounds for a 3-1 win. That certainly knocked the wind out of Reciprocity’s sails, as during Game 4 Hardpoint they got slaughtered. OpTic easily won Game 4 Hardpoint with a convincing score of 250-88.
Match 3: Luminosity Gaming vs. Red Reserve
I’m not a fan of Luminosity, but even so, this match was painful to watch. Game 1 Hardpoint saw its fair share of careless mistakes by Luminosity. The only glimmer of hope Luminosity had during that game was Peirce “Gunless” Hillman, who late in the game got an 11 kill streak, but even with score streaks earned the damage was already done by Red Reserve. Red Reserve won Game 1 with a score of 250-150. They went on to cause even more pain for Luminosity during Game 2 Search & Destroy. The only round Luminosity could win was Round 2, as afterward, it was straight up a disaster for them as they lost Game 2 with a score of 6-1 in favor of Red Reserve.
Luminosity showed signs of life during Game 3 Control. They dominated Red Reserve that game, winning all three rounds and not giving Red Reserve much room for error. This would not last. Luminosity attempted to play smart for Game 4 Hardpoint with careful map maneuvering and spawn manipulation, and for a time it was working. Unfortunately, they choked the early lead they had, allowing Red Reserve to win the game 250-236 and the series.
Match 4: Evil Geniuses vs. Gen.G Esports
Both Evil Geniuses and Gen.G had a lot to prove going into this match. Evil Geniuses desperately needed a series win, and Gen.G wanted to maintain their undefeated streak to keep pace with Midnight. Two teams entered the Thunderdome, but only Gen.G would leave with the victory. Things looked up for Evil Geniuses when they got their very first map win this week in Game 1 Hardpoint. They played a solid game and clinched a 250-203 victory, thanks to the MVP slaying of Matthew “Royalty” Faithfull.
Gen.G would not let this stand. In Game 2 Search & Destroy, they put their foot on the gas and didn’t let up until Evil Geniuses were under their wheels. Evil Geniuses did get a few rounds in, but Gen.G still crushed them 6-3. Evil Geniuses attempted to stage a valiant comeback in Game 3 Control, but it was not meant to be, as some severe misplays allowed Gen.G to grab the victory right out of their hands with a score of 3-2. They would be put out of their misery in Game 4 Hardpoint, where Gen.G steamrolled them 250-75.
That’s all for this week, as the teams take a much-needed break. However, the slaying will come back in earnest this coming Monday, February 11, and we here at ESTNN will cover it just for you.