Welcome back to another edition of the Authority Report. This week we take a look at all the stories from IEM Katowice, season two of the Overwatch league, CWL 2019 standings, and the action from the World Electronic Sports Games. There is a bunch to discuss so let’s get to it!
Katowice held the most recent IEM event hosting both an official CS:GO Major and the Fortnite International competition.
When we last checked in with the CS:GO event we were awaiting the conclusion of the New Legend stage of the tournament. Ultimately, Astralis was able to emerge victorious continuing their dominant run. They have now won 14 major tournaments in the last 12 months have never finished outside of the top 4 in that time. This makes them the clear team to beat on the CS:GO circuit for the time being. Only Renegades was able to take a game off them over the course of the tournament as they dominated the rest of their competition with relative ease.
The story of the tournament was the runner up ENCE squad that qualified to this major by emerging victorious at the minor qualification event in the middle of January. They got off to a good start in the New Challenger stage before barely squeaking through the New Legend’s stage by defeating AVANGAR 2-0 in the final round. They were then able to sweep Team Liquid before defeating Natus Vincere 2-1 in the semifinals. While they were no match for Astralis their rapid ascent to the very top of the professional circuit makes them a team to watch the rest of this year.
In the Fortnite competition, NRG’s Zayt and Ghost Gaming’s Saf walked away as the top duo. They performed so well over the course of the weekend that they finished with 25% more points than any other duo at the event, to win by a total of 221 points. To put that into perspective 211 points behind 2nd place would have landed a team in 16th overall. The pair may have been representing different organizations but were completely on the same page all event long. They knew it too, deciding to do a little celebration in the middle of a match with more than a game left to play.
In the Solo play portion of the event, Vinnie1x emerged as the champion. It was another feel-good story for the Fortnite and esports communities as Vinnie was signed to TSM just the day before the tournament. He proved that there are still many talented players the community and sponsors may not be aware of yet, giving hope to aspiring gamers everywhere. Full results from both the solo and duo portions of the tournament have been posted online.
The first four weeks of Season 2 of the Overwatch League are now in the books so let’s get caught up.
Both the Atlantic and Pacific division still have an undefeated squad at the top of the standings, the New York Excelsior and Vancouver Titans respectively. Both teams have only dropped a total of two maps over the course of the entire season so far and look incredibly strong heading into the final week of Stage 1.
For New York, this isn’t a surprise as they were one of the best teams throughout the entirety of Season 1, however, Vancouver’s success as an expansion team was certainly not easily predicted.
Vancouver isn’t the only expansion team doing well though. The Toronto Defiant currently sit in 3rd place overall with a 5-2 record. Their only losses so far have come against New York and Vancouver demonstrating they are a top contender in this first Stage of action. The Atlanta Reign and Guangzhou Spark are another two expansion teams currently sitting in the playoffs. This means half of the current playoff teams are expansion rosters, proving the draft to be a remarkable success. The final three teams currently in a position to be competing at the Stage 1 playoffs are the Philadelphia Fusion, Dallas Fuel and San Francisco Shock.
Four teams sit just on the cusp of the playoffs with identical records to the Charge but boasting fewer maps won. These teams are the Boston Uprising, Seoul Dynasty, Houston Outlaws and London Spitfire. If you are surprised to see London this far down in the standings you aren’t alone. The Season 1 champions entered Season 2 with high expectations but have so far failed to live up to what is expected of them.
The Los Angeles Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark, and Shanghai Dragons are also just one game out of the playoff picture but with an extra loss, they need everything to go perfectly for one of them to enter the top eight teams during Stage 1. Shanghai has to be happy with this spot at the moment however considering they were unable to even win a single series throughout all of the Season 1, making this year a drastic improvement already.
The Washington Justice and Los Angeles Valiant have yet to win a series on the year. With four weeks now in the books, this is a worrying trend they will have to address quickly. If they hope to get on track for Stage 2 and have a real chance at making the playoffs at the end of the Season they need to begin winning.
Action resumes this Saturday beginning at 3 PM EST with Washington facing off against the Paris Eternal. The full schedule for this weekend and the rest of the year is available on the official Overwatch League Website.
Four weeks of competition are now complete for the 2019 season of the Call of Duty World League. When we last checked in the Division B round robin was just getting started but it is now complete. Heretics and eUnited were at the top of the standings after the first week of play and have maintained their position there. They are tied with 100 Thieves all boasting a 5-2 record through the first round robin. Splyce rounds out the current playoff picture in Division B with a 4-3 record.
At the bottom of the standings is Excelerate Gaming who have only gotten a single win over the course of the round robin.
Now that the Divison round robins have come to a close, teams will begin to square off against teams of the other Division. This cross-division play will begin two weeks from today while all the pro teams will be in Fort Worth, Texas to compete at the first official open event of the 2019 season.
The World Electronic Sports Games is underway bringing some of the top competitors from around the globe to represent their countries and battle it out. The results and schedules of every portion of the event are hosted on the official WESG website.
There are multiple Female events at the WESG. The female CS:GO event begins on Wednesday but the Hearthstone female-only event has almost concluded with only the finals left to play. The Canadian “Teebs” was eliminated in the group stage however the American player known as “Justine” advanced through the group stage. She was then defeated in the in the semifinals by German player “BabyBear”. Justine ultimately was able to defeat China in the third-place consolation match however winning the Bronze medal for the USA and $5000 for herself. The finals will be a match between Germany and South Korea.
The main Hearthstone tournament is also waiting for its final match to take place. The Canadian Purple is in that match and will be squaring off against China. Astrogation, who is American and the Canadians, The Jordude and Impact, were all eliminated in the groups. Justsaiyan and Gallon are two Americans who advanced out of their groups but faced off in the first match of the knockout stage. Justsaiyan was able to emerge victorious and finished the tournament in fourth, losing the bronze medal match to Alex from Japan.
Vain Glory competition is awaiting its final match. Canadians RingoFanClub were unable to get out of the group stage but the American squad Tribe Gaming is in the gold medal match. They will face off against Team Ace of South Korea.
The DOTA 2 portion of the event has come to a close already. Two American squads and one Canadian squad were invited, BlackJack, Team Team and PotM Bottom respectively. Unfortunately, none of them were able to advance out of the group stage. The Russian TNC Predator squad was able to emerge victorious defeating Chinese Keen Gaming in the finals. Team Russia was able to get the bronze as well, giving them two of the top three placings at the event.
The first half of the open CS:GO event is complete and of the eight teams who have qualified for the knockout stage so far, only one is North American: Singularity. The only other North American team to compete so far is Frost Fire and they were not able to make it out of their group. Wardell and Friends, representing Canada, is the only North American team left to compete. Their group stage begins tomorrow.
Half of the group stage of the Starcraft II competition has concluded and three North Americans were in those groups but only one advanced. The American “Neeb” was able to advance from his group while Puck and the Canadian MaSa were knocked out in this preliminary portion of the tournament. Canadian Starcraft legend Scarlett has yet to play her group stage and is the only North American left to try to advance. Her group will play out tomorrow.
Only one American and Canadian are competing in the PES 2019 event. The American, MeanMachine was unable to emerge from his group. The Canadian, Wanna917, is playing his group today but also looks like he will be eliminated during the group as he has two losses and two draws after four matches.