It began last season with a pair of back-to-back regional online events. Claiming victory in the PCS2 and PCS3 NA Grand Finals. Their next tournament would be the team’s toughest challenge yet, a three-month gauntlet against the world’s best teams at the PUBG Global Invitational.S in Korea. Putting aside the team’s showing in the ESL PUBG Masters without one of their starting players, their next event would be PCS4 Americas. Stepping into an unfamiliar format as the prevailing world champs, the Soniqs have now added another chapter to their continued reign. While simultaneously bolstering their argument to be recognized as the best team in the world.
The PCS4 Americas Grand Final provided our first look at the new ‘Most Chickens’ format on the regional scale. It presented every team with a unique challenge, one that teams acclimated to with varying levels of success. As for the Soniqs, their production and ability to close out games never waivered. From start to finish, this team dominated the lobby. Showcasing their championship pedigree within a lobby that tested the Soniqs but proved unable to match their consistency.
Week Three felt much like the two weeks before it. Soniqs were the clear frontrunner, and even when they were unable to capture the Chicken Dinner they accumulated plenty of kills. In this format, the kills wouldn’t separate them as much on the leaderboard, but it practically guarantees them the edge over any team that can match their number of wins.
If there was one clip that epitomized the Soniqs performance during the PCS4 Americas Grand Final, its this one. Toying with their food, pouring salt in the wound, and marching their way to another championship. We’re experiencing a dominant era in PUBG Esports, atleast in this region, and the Soniqs are winning in style.
Week Three was by far the best showing from Dodge throughout this Grand Final. The team collected four wins across the first nine matches, and nearly had their fifth win of the week if not for a great late-game from the Guadalajara Gascans. That second-place finish could have sent the team into first place, earning them an additional $6,000 USD and stripped the Soniqs of three weeks in first place.
Their performance down the stretch was incredibly impressive. You couldn’t miss the individual performance from Vegas who picked up 20 Kills and dealt an average damage of 364 each round. As a team, Dodge appeared to have settled into their playstyle and challenged the region’s strongest team all week. Looking ahead, this roster has pocketed some prize money and more importantly, picked up 270 PGC Points.
When the team needed it most, Oath Gaming couldn’t count on wins in Match 10 and 11 during Week Three. Seriously though, the team won four matches during this Grand Final and they came in the same two matches across the first two weeks. Heading into Week Three, Oath was the only team within range of exceeding the Soniqs in first-place. It may have required some help from the PUBG Gods, but at least there was a win-scenario for them.
PCS4 Americas Grand Final comes to a close and I’m not sure what to think about Oath’s performance in this event. At times, they appeared locked in, one finely tuned unit with the fragging ability between Kickstart, Snakers, Relo, and Balefrost. They demonstrated their strength against this lobby, however, the new format makes it tough to say anything definitive. Oath’s attempts to accommodate this new ‘win at any cost’ meta didn’t always work in their favor. That concern isn’t unique to Oath Gaming, but it forces a team that previously thrived off chaos and high-flying plays into a slow and ‘compound defense’ style. Ultimately, the team still managed to claim their wins and collect loads of kills. And while they didn’t have a Chicken Dinner in the final week, the team still produced six top-four matches.
Adding to the legacy following its latest victim, the Group Stage curse lives on. TSM FTX entered the Grand Final after dominating the previous round and aimed to continue their strong performances when it mattered the most. Left out of the win column during Week One, TSM FTX eventually found their first Chicken Dinner of the Grand Final in the last match of Day One during Week Two. From there, the team’s game started to turn around.
TSM FTX played considerably well throughout this event. On the surface, it’s easy to see a fourth-overall placement and chalk this event up as a loss – but there were plenty of positive signs from the team as we got towards the end of the Grand Final. With the next ESL PUBG Masters on the horizon, I’m expecting TSM FTX to have taken a lot from this event and apply it there.