There are no signs of 2019 slowing down with another phenomenal week of esports. Between Genesis beginning competitive play for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the DOTA Dream League Major qualifiers, CWL action getting underway and Gfinity hosting their FIFA major it was an action packed week with a lot to cover. There is no time to waste so let’s dive in!
Genesis returned to bring the fighting game community the first ever major event for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate alongside melee action. It was an incredible weekend with most of the regular names and faces making an appearance and a few newcomers making a statement themselves.
Despite names such as Armada, Leffen and Mew2King entering the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition none of them would make it into the tournament’s top eight players. Ultimately it was Mexico’s mkLeo who rallied all the way through the tournament’s lower bracket to secure the victory.
It wasn’t an easy road for Leo, having to defeat Dabuz in the quarter finals before the lower bracket finals went the full five games against Samsora. This set the stage for a finals match against Void, who proved Pichu is a completely viable character selection even at the top tier of play. With Void entering the series from the upper bracket Leo had to win consecutive best of five series to be declared the winner.
He was able to do this with relative ease, allowing Void to only win one game in each series through masterful use of Lucina.
One of the biggest stories from this event was the rise of Zackray, the 15 year old Japanese prodigy. He was able to dominate various notable names over the course of the event through incredible use of Wolf. Although he finished in 5th/6th, he demonstrated he has an immense amount of talent and is surely a player to keep an eye on as he gains more experience.
In doubles it was the American duo Dark Wizzy and Salem who managed to secure the top spot defeating another pair of Americans, Light and Marss, in an intense series of their own. Wizzy and Salem advanced through the top bracket going undefeated for most of the event, but were swept in the opening series of the finals. This reset the bracket but also refocused Wizzy and Salem who were determined to prove why they had been so highly touted all weekend long. The final series was back and forth and took the full five games but ultimately Wizzy and Salem were able to emerge victorious.
The Melee tournament ended with the usual suspects, HungryBox and Axe, duking it out in the final match. This Jigglypuff vs pikachu finals has become a common occurrence for Melee fans and again HungryBox was able to get the victory. This tournament once again demonstrates Liquid’s HungryBox is the best Melee player in the world and shows no signs of slowing down.
Last weekend qualified 15 of the 16 teams we will see compete at the DreamLeague Major at the Annexet in Stockholm Sweden in March. As the third major of the 2018/2019 season many of the World’s best teams fought to qualify and have now secured their places. The final spot at the event will be awarded to the victor of the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor taking place in Kiev March 7th-10th.
Representing North America will be Evil Geniuses, J.Storm and Forward Gaming who finished in the top three places in their regional qualifier respectively. Meanwhile Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Secret – the Chongqing Major champions – and Team Liquid were able to claim the three European slots knocking off the likes of Alliance in the process.
China was the only other region guaranteed three spots at the major and claiming them were PSG.LGD, EHOME and Keen Gaming. PSG and EHOME will be teams to watch as they seek revenge for their early exits from the Chongqing major that took place on their home soil.
CIS, Southeast Asia and South America were given two places each to round out the invited 15 teams. Representing the CIS will be Virtus Pro, the Chongqing Major finals, as well as Natus.Vincere.
Fnatic and Mineski will be representing SouthEast Asia at DreamLeague while Chaos Esports Club and Infamous represent South America.
The upcoming major will certainly be one you won’t want to miss. Catch all the action live on twitch from March 14th-24th.
The first week of the 2019 CWL Pro League is officially in the books for Division A and there were plenty of surprises and story lines to talk about.
OpTic Gaming, the top ranked team, entered the week without Dashy due to visa issues. In his stead Zooma from FaZe Clan was recruited to play the first week of matches and although the Green Wall got off to a rough start they still had a dominant week.
After getting swept by Midnight Esports in their first series fans and analysts wondered just how much missing Dashy would impact the Green Wall’s results in the opening week. OpTic responded to this absence as well as anyone could have hoped however, defeating UYU in a close 5 game series before sweeping Evil Geniuses and defeating Reciprocity 3-1.
Their 3-1 performance was enough to place them in third place exiting the first week. Considering the tremendous skill and importance of Dashy to this roster it was a remarkable effort demonstrating the entirety of OpTic is more than the real deal. It is uncertain at this time if Dashy will be able to play in the second week but until then Zooma will be at the ready.
Midnight proved that their sweep of OpTic was no fluke and that they too are a force to be reckoned with. They followed their shocking opening performance with two more sweeps over Evil Geniuses and UYU before requiring the full five games to defeat the European Red Reserve roster.
With only two map losses and perfect 4-0 record to jump out of the gate, Midnight currently sits in first place. Despite the roster consisting of lesser known players they demonstrated that their perfect 6-0 run through the pool play of the Qualifying tournament was no fluke. This is certainly a team to keep an eye on the rest of the season.
Having a more difficult start to this season were Evil Geniuses and Luminosity Gaming. EG was swept in two of their three series and were only able to pick up a single map victory over the course of the week. Luminosity also dropped all three of their series but were able to get at least one map victory in each and even took Reciprocity to five games giving them slightly more confidence to start things off. Regardless, both of these teams will need to turn things around quickly if they want to avoid having to qualify for next season through the Play-in event.
For VoDs, the full schedule, results and more check out the official CWL page.
Gfinity hosted another official FIFA event and again PlayStation defeated Xbox in the cross console finals. Stefano “PSV Pinna97” was finally able to bring home the gold after reaching three finals over the past 12 months and failing to emerge victorious in any of them. Defeating Michael “Megabit” Bittner in his first finals appearance on FIFA 19, it was a well deserved victory for Pinna and Playstation players everywhere.
After the event we caught up with shoutcaster Mark “Onset” Hatcher who had this to say about the weekend’s events.
“Another crazy weekend of action saw a curse finally broken for the eventual cross console finalist Stefano Pinna of PSV. Having reached the eWorld cup final last year only to come up short against MsDossary, cross console finals have been the final boss for the Belgian. The man nearly made history and can finally call himself a cross console champion after beating Megabit in an insane final, which went all the way down to penalties. The PS4 player represented his console, with only the second win for PS4 players in the last 2 years.”
That does it for us this week! Tune in again next week for your recap of this weekend’s events.