It has been an another incredible few weeks in esports action. MLG brought incredible Call of Duty game play to Seattle, The Madden Ultimate League has been reduced to just four competitors, and three weeks of Overwatch League competition are in the books. With so much to look at let’s get right into it.
Three weeks of Stage 3 action are in the books and this has been the most entertaining split yet. Despite being stuck in 6th place for both the first and second stage, the Boston Uprising have dominated the third stage of action so far with a perfect 6-0 record, making them the only undefeated this stage. Making this more impressive is the fact they defeated New York 3-2 in week 2 before narrowly beating both London (3-2) and Seoul (2-1) in Week 3.
Boston isn’t the only unfamiliar face to the top of the standings, as currently the San Francisco Shock reside within the top four boasting a 4-2 record. The team has finished in 9th place in both of the previous stages only accumulating three wins per stage, making their current position a drastic improvement on past performances. Coming off a perfect week where they bested both Dallas and Philadelphia this young squad is certainly one to keep an eye on the remainder of the stage and season.
Another interesting story line to emerge from the third stage so far is the faltering London Spitfires. After clearly being one of the top two teams in the first two stages of competition, winning the first stage and falling in the semi-finals in Stage 2, they have stumbled to a 2-4 record in the first half of Stage 3. With their only victory in the first two weeks coming against the struggling Florida Mayhem things were looking worrisome for the Spitfire. This week didn’t start off much better being narrowly defeated 3-2 by Boston, but London bounced back in the second half of the week handing the LA Valiant their first loss of the season. Looking much better this week than in the first two weeks of the Stage, it is far too early to count the Spitfire out of the playoff hunt this stage.
Action resumes live Wednesday night at 7pm ET on Twitch with a match between the Boston Uprising and Shanghai Dragons.
Although the first stage of the Pro League concluded not long ago Call of Duty players had their boots on the ground once again in Seattle this weekend for the fifth major open LAN of the 2018 season. With plenty of controversial roster changes between the previous event in Atlanta and this weekend, Seattle was one of the most highly anticipated events of the season to date and lived up to expectations.
Despite exiting Atlanta as champions Rise Gaming entered Seattle with a different roster due to a flurry of roster changes between events. As a result the squad once again had something to prove but they weren’t the only ones seeking victory this weekend. OpTic Gaming was desperately searching for their first LAN victory of the season while FaZe Clan were looking to follow up on their Stage 1 Final Victory.
Unfortunately for both FaZe and OpTic, they would struggle all weekend long. Both exited the group stage right in the middle, in third of the five teams. Faze was able to win three of their four group stage series, but their 11-8 map record put them behind Lightning Pandas and Echo Fox. OpTic fared a little worse, only winning two of their four group stage series with an 8-7 overall map record. This made the elimination portion of the event significantly more difficult for both teams as it meant they began in the lower bracket, affording them no additional losses before elimination. For FaZe, this resulted in them placing just outside the top 8 at the second consecutive major open event. Finding Team Kaliber in the fourth round of the lower bracket, FaZe were simply unable to get anything to click for them, and got swept aside 3-0.
OpTic did even worse this weekend, finishing outside the top 12 for the first time since the Fall Championship in 2013. They too were swept in their final series, being knocked out by Luminosity Gaming in the third round. For a team that has been struggling to meet expectations all season long and already had rumors of roster changes swirling around them, expect the Greenwall to look slightly different next time we see them in action.
Unlike OpTic and FaZe, Rise Gaming did exactly what they set out to this weekend, and earned themselves a repeat championship. A terrible start to the weekend saw them barely advance from the group stage, going an abysmal 1-4 and only winning 7 of the 16 maps they played. Things drastically turned in the elimination bracket however sweeping their first two series before narrowly defeating Team EnVyUs and Luminosity Gaming in thrilling series that required the full five games. They then swept Ghost Gaming and easily dispatched of Echo Fox 3-1 finding themselves in the Semi Finals against eUnited. By this point there was no stopping this Rise Gaming roster, and they also swept eUnited who had looked so impressive all weekend long, putting them in the finals against Evil Geniuses. Fueled by the momentum of their fantastic lower bracket run, they won the first series 3-1 before delivering a clean sweep to seal their victory.
Pro League action returns with the beginning of Stage 2 on May 15th while the next official open competition stop on this year’s circuit will be in Anaheim, June 15th – 17th.
The Madden Ultimate League Playoffs have officially begun and the first day of action saw 8 of the remaining 12 competitors be eliminated from the competition. The impressive regular season performances of Drini, Problem, Blocky and Young Kiv earned them bye’s in the first round but only three of them still remain in the competition. Problem was defeated by True 27-20 in the Quarterfinals, ending what started off as such a promising season. This means True will now square off against Drini in the legend conference finals, while Blocky and Young Kiv will finally be able to determine who the best player in the Elite conference is this year. The action all takes place live on the final day of the NFL Draft, April 28th. The Conference Championships begin at 3:15pm ET and will be streamed live on Twitch. The Madden Bowl kickoff is at 7pm ET and will be additionally be featured on ESPN2.