CASTER CURSED: PCS5 AMERICAS GRAND FINAL

Coverage

by Ty Brody

One week down, two left to play! The PCS5 Americas Grand Final is well on its way and the competition is quickly heating up. Results from the opening week looked quite familiar with the Soniqs sat above the rest, but will they manage to follow up their performance during Week Two? It’s incredibly tough to bet against the region’s best team, but there are a couple of squads looking to earn their fair share of the prize pool this week.

Prior to the start of the Grand Final, we encouraged our phenomenal talent lineup to ‘Caster Curse’ as many players and teams as they desired. Now that the event has already begun, we accept zero responsibility for the untimely caster curses that may or may not follow the publishing of this Q&A!

WITHOUT [THIS PLAYER], [THIS TEAM] DOESN’T QUALIFY FOR THE PCS5 AMERICAS GRAND FINAL, AND WHY?

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Soniqs Hwinn. While others receive attention for kills and damage, Hwinn knows how to get his team into positions of success and use his insight. He has a trust in his teammates to lean into their calls as well as trust in their abilities during a firefight.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: PUBG is very much a team sport, but SSG_Roth stepped up in the biggest way possible in the final game of LCQ with 8 kills, helping his team secure the final win and their spot in the PCS5 Grand Finals.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: Adam from Gascans, without his experience and in-game leading style I believe this team would not be in the positions they need to be to close out games and keep their composure.

Steven “Toffees” Pierce: Maji from Wildcard Gaming. I think Maji looked incredibly “on form” during the group stages and helped make up some battle slack for the rest of the squad and helped orchestrate such a strong chicken dinner count.

OF THE NORTH AMERICAN TEAMS HEADED TO THE PCS5 AMERICAS GRAND FINAL, WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST ‘UNDERRATED’ AND LIKELY TO SURPRISE VIEWERS?

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Adapt, if you didn’t watch the quals you could be in for a real surprise if they can mimic their success.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: I believe Dignitas had an uncharacteristically difficult time in group stages securing victories. Their average placement was relatively high, and their kill counts were fantastic, but the wins just weren’t coming. I think if they can manage to get an early win, this team could make a run for 1st.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: Adapt is one of the more underrated teams even though they had a great group stage. They are still unproven, however, they showed the potential to be incredibly effective going into grand finals.

Steven “Toffees” Pierce: Adapt. I think RichyB and Retalitative are looking extremely on form. With very little public expectations weighing on them they are free to focus on their game and play their way.

WHICH PLAYER/TEAM DO YOU BELIEVE HAS THE MOST PRESSURE ON THEM COMING INTO THE PCS5 AMERICAS GRAND FINAL AND WHY THEM?

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Dignitas. After being hunted by the Gascans in the Group Stage, Dignitas found themselves in the Last Chance Qualifier. They have an opportunity to qualify for PGC, but it hinges on their success in PCS5. If they stumble, there’s a chance that the door opens for another squad to overtake them in PGC Points.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: I think SSG has the most pressure on them coming into PCS5 as they need a lot of things to go right to make it to PGC, and SSG_Roth, in particular, has put a lot of pressure on himself to return to the international stage after the success he saw with Zenith at PGI.S. I think this pressure contributed to their struggles in groups and LCQ, but the dramatic final win of LCQ to get to PCS5 might be the catalyst for SSG to find their groove again.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: SSG has the most pressure going into this simply due to the fact that they are on the cusp of grabbing enough points to be one of the five NA teams to qualify for PGC. Especially after a disappointing group stage. Although they don’t need to win the event in its entirety to qualify, one slip-up could leave them stagnant on the PGC point leaderboard and out of the big event at the end of the year.

Steven “Toffees” Pierce: TSM FTX. Big names on the roster AND on the jerseys need to be accompanied by big performances. Sure they survived the last chance qualifier… but they never should have been there. They know it. We know it.

WHO DO YOU PREDICT TO WIN THE PCS5 AM GRAND FINAL AND WHAT IS THEIR KEY(S) TO SUCCESS?

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Soniqs. Their rotations and understanding of win conditions are astounding. Add in their firepower and clutch capabilities and you have the domination they continue to bring.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: It really feels as though Soniqs have found their groove again, and it would be madness to pick anyone else to win PCS5 with the exception of maybe Oath, who is also on a hot streak. But you have to beat the best to become the best, and right now Soniqs are the best. As far as the Soniqs key to success? It’s the same for everyone: early wins. Teams always play better going downhill without the pressure of getting that first win, and Soniqs is no exception.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: It’s very difficult to root against the Soniqs at this point. Their key to success is the same dominance and confidence they have shown over the past year.

Steven “Toffees” Pierce: The Soniqs. They are just better. I still am not sure how you beat them… I’m not sure anyone is.

NAME ONE STANDOUT PLAYER THAT WE CAN EXPECT MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM DURING THIS GRAND FINAL.

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Kickstart.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: It’s past time we move SQ_Shrimzy from out of his teammates’ shadows and put him upfront as one of the top players in the Americas, if not the world. I would argue that his consistency has been slightly better than all of his teammates, and that were he on any other team, he would have long been considered THE North American superstar.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: Easy answer, TGLTN =)

Steven “Toffees” Pierce: TGLTN. It’s the easy answer for a reason. This man is a force. I am not ready to use the GOAT word yet… but the journey to that point is well underway.

SONIQS HAD ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE DURING THE NA GROUP STAGE. HAVE ANY CREATIVE OR UNIQUE NERFS THAT WE COULD APPLY DURING THE PCS5 GRAND FINAL?

Matt “Matyrm” Oates: Soniqs always seem to have a rotation plan. The most interesting nerf I could see would be ‘no vehicles allowed’ and force rotations only on foot.

Mike “Porosaurus” Navarro: Don’t allow the Soniqs to use the Mini-14. Any of them. At all.

Dustin “Godspeed” Kane: Break the team up!

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