We’re bringing our 2020 PCS North America Power Rankings to a close with Part Three, focusing on the top-eight teams after a season of impressive performances and unforgettable action. The eight teams rounding out the top of our list have accounted for each of the four PCS Championships and countless highlights over the past few months. We’ve seen each of these teams battle through the ups and downs that make PUBG Esports so compelling, especially for the fans and spectators like myself. It has been an exciting year to be a fan of this particular esport and so much of that is a credit to all of the teams we’ve included in our 2020 Power Rankings.
This is the third and final edition of our 2020 PCS Power Rankings. If you’d like to see Part One of our rankings covering the teams between 17-24, you can click here. To see Part Two and the teams we’ve ranked between 9-16, you can find it here.
Starting with the Charity Showdown, the Houston Hardshifts was one of just two teams to sustain their starting four players for the entirety of the PCS schedule. Only them and Shoot To Kill fielded the same four players in each of the four PCS tournaments this season. With their experienced and talented roster, the Hardshifts were a team I continually expected more out of. The potential has always been there for the Hardshifts and they’ve proven to be a top-eight team on more than one occasion this year.
7. The Rumblers
The Rumblers were one of the more consistent teams throughout the PUBG Continental Series. After placing just outside of the top-eight with a former teammate in the Charity Showdown and PCS1, the team added “Gaxy” to their roster before heading into the PCS2 NA Group Stage. Anytime a team picks up a talented player such as “Gaxy” with experience competing against the very best, we should expect an improvement in the team’s overall performance. The Rumblers rounded out the year with consecutive top-six placements and continued to play strong until the PCS3 NA Grand Final came to a close.
6. Team Veritas
Since watching the PCS1 Championship slip through their fingers in the final match, Team Veritas had an uneven finish to the 2020 Season. The team was on the unfortunate side of a tie-breaker that awarded the PCS1 Championship to STK, ending what was one of the most impressive final-day performances we’ve seen this season. Following their second-place finish in that event, the team posted a top-eight in the PCS2 NA Grand Final. Enter “mykLe” and “DTreats”. The two joined an already successful lineup and seemingly provided Team Vertias with the additional firepower required to close out a series on top. After a perfect start to the PCS3 NA Grand Final, Team Veritas slowly unraveled and ultimately ended the tournament, and their season, in tenth place.
Guadalajara Gascans made a name for themselves during the PCS3 NA Grand Final. Competing under another org in the previous PCS events, the team’s name may have been unfamiliar to fans and fellow competitors but those competing were not. “HoneyBadger” and “Voxsic” led this squad into the PCS3 NA Grand Final where the two newcomers, “oldless” and “Nicooos”, introduced themselves to anyone unaware of the team’s fast-paced and aggressive playstyle. Playing their style of PUBG regardless of what was at stake, the Gascans presented the biggest test for the Soniqs during their back-to-back PCS Championship runs.
A steady fifth-place team throughout the PCS season, Zenith Esports proved to be one of the region’s most consistent squads without a doubt. Even with the introduction of two new teammates in “Poonage” and “Shinboi”, the team was able to secure a third consecutive top-five placement in the PCS3 NA Grand Final. They earn their spot at number four in our PCS Power Rankings for their consistency throughout the season.
Let’s be honest, during the past two Grand Finals we’ve not witnessed the same Shoot To Kill that won PCS1 and dominated the following series’ Group Stages. The roster remains sound and their play has paved the way for success, though for whatever reason, the results haven’t materialized for STK. Still, ranking the team in third feels like selling them short. I view their seventh-place finish to PCS3 as an anomaly and believe that they’re still one of the most dangerous teams in North America. That said, there’s no scenario where they rank above the two teams who have outperformed them in the latest PCS tournaments. STK has the leadership, talent, and experience to bounce-back with a major win in their next appearance. Possibly the Dreamhack Winter Showdown?
2. Oath Gaming
At the end of the 2020 PCS Season, Oath Gaming deservingly lands at number two on our year-end Power Ranking. The team has maintained regional hierarchy since opening the season with a win in the PCS NA Charity Showdown back in May. The “low-point” for this roster, if you can even call it that, was their fourth-place finish in the PCS1 NA Grand Final. It would lead to the pick-up of “PATKAPS” before the PCS2 NA Group Stage, which proved to be an effective addition considering Oath placed second and third in the following Grand Finals. The team is loaded with talent has the potential to collect massive Kill totals, inflating the team’s inevitable Chicken Dinners. If this team finds a way to eliminate the zero-point matches between their productive ones, they’ll win their next major event in no time.
What’s left to be said about our back-to-back PCS Champions? What haven’t I said about the team who strolled through the PCS2 Grand Final and had teams playing catch-up after Week 1 on their way to the PCS3 Championship? This team has established themselves as North America’s most dominant squad and shows zero signs of slowing down anytime soon. Each of the four players brings something unique to the roster and can be relied on to make the “big play”. They’ve been led by “TGLTN” and “Shrimzy”, arguably the best two players in the region, and their discipline and in-game decision making is as good as it gets. It’s no surprise to see the Soniqs on top, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they stayed there based on what we’ve seen this season.