Talk about competitive. It seemed like every match we watched today came down to the wire, even if the final score didn’t always reflect it. There were constant pound for pound punches, which is exactly what you’d expect with several teams fighting for their seeds or a chance at Champs. Here’s all the storylines from yesterday in one convenient place!
Paris Legion vs Minnesota Rokkr
Actual: 3-2 Minnesota Rokkr
- And another one slips away. It’d be comical if it wasn’t such a sad story. This team is setting records… in the wrong direction. They officially dropped to 2-21 in their last online match of the year, and continued with their record of most consecutive losses with their 12th in a row.
- As good as Jimbo was yesterday, he reverted back today versus a stronger SMG line. He was 78/101, a .77 KD and -23 kills. For all those moments he was in position versus Florida, he was out of them versus Havok.
- The worst thing is how Paris should have been able to close this one out in the Hardpoint. Up 2-1 in the series, the Legion were playing everything seemingly perfect, having a lead for most of the match. But Minnesota managed to pin them back on the P5, not to mention collecting time you don’t see going anywhere, to take a slim lead into the third P1 rotation. Paris managed to break in and take another lead, and after several multi-kills on the Rokkr it seemed like their game… and Minnesota broke them again and Priestahh held at the small office desk heady to send it to the Game 5.
- Another day that a team on the bubble tries to throw away a needed win. Well, at least they didn’t let Paris outslay them. Minnesota were fighting for their lives though, letting the Search and Destroy and Control slip through their fingers in close final rounds. Then they let Paris nearly close them out on a Berlin they probably didn’t deserve to win. In any case, they got the win in the final Bocage S&D, growing a lead that Paris had to claw back at just to make things respectable.
- Standy was much better than he was yesterday, but considering he was -41 kills it seems like anything would be. That said, his -3 was much more impactful today given the huge performance in the Bocage S&D. His statline was 11/5, a +6 kills with 1338 in damage. He and Havok clamped it down, not allowing Paris to get anything going.
- With that win and LAT dropping a needed match (spoilers), Minnesota climbed quite high, jumping from that 9th/10th spot all the way to 7th. They need a good run at Champs, but at 3-2 they should be in winner’s bracket and they’ll have two chances to make up some extra ground and maybe even pass another team to climb further in Champ’s seeding. That and they have to hope New York takes out the Thieves in the final match of the online qualifiers.
Boston Breach vs Toronto Ultra
Actual: 3-2 Boston Breach
- This team could really make waves. Sure, we aren’t sure how they’ll fare at Champs, because at 170 CDL points they need a good run at Major IV to keep that 5th seed, considering there are 4 teams close behind at 150/140. The good news? This team finished up the stage 4-1, exactly what they needed to do to set them up in a nice seed for Major IV and at least two chances to get more points. One thing that could be worrying? Who they have to face in their first match, which could feature several teams that match up well versus them.
- The only bad thing is this team keeps getting cooked in some maps, and worse, Nero and Vivid looked awful. The good thing is this team still won despite those problems. Vivid was -14 kills and Nero -22, with the team -27 kills total. Even so, they really stepped up in the S&D after getting shredded on Desert Siege 0-6 with a 6-2 win on Tuscan, with Nero and TJHaLy looking incredible.
- Good on Boston to improve their Control. It’s taken a major swing upwards, with a 4-1 record. I’m curious how they’ll do if Berlin comes into rotation, because they haven’t played it this stage, but considering how bad the squad was earlier this year in the mode you’ll take the victories. And it’s not even Vivid’s presence, he’s a .88 KD, it’s Nero turning it up a notch with a 1.24 KD.
- This team is playing in arguably a must win versus Optic Texas in their final match of the online qualifiers. They’re sitting at 150 CDL points, which is good, but with 3 teams behind them at 140 (and LAT playing one more match), their hold on a Champs spot could even be in danger. If they don’t win today, they’ll be guaranteed to start in loser’s bracket at Major IV, which could spell the end given they could immediately get knocked out without a single added point, and with all those 3 opponents for a Champs seed possibly starting in winners.
- At least Bance and CleanX looked better, because they’ve been costing recently. Both finished with +8 kills and 1.09 KDs, keeping Boston’s vaunted SMG duo in check for the most part. Insight also showed up hot, with 11655 in damage and +27 kills (which is exactly what his team outslayed Boston by). If only he could have continued that into the Tuscan Search and Destroy…
- Unfortunately for Cammy, today was not a good one. He was 74/90, for a .82 KD and -16 kills. If there’s been one flex player that hasn’t been able to jump to new heights in this game, it feels like it’s Cammy. The worst thing for him is there have been rumors that Scrappy has been considered as a replacement, so you wonder what will happen to this squad if they have another sub-par placement at Major IV, or drop out of Champs.
Los Angeles Thieves vs Florida Mutineers
Actual: 3-2 Florida Mutineers
- This one totally got away from the Thieves. Every time they should have been able to close their hands around Florida’s neck, they let them get back into the game. Sure, they lost the opening map, and you’d almost say they got a miracle in the Berlin Hardpoint, but they are clearly a better team than the Mutineers. At least, they should be.
- Weirder still is the random struggles of this roster. Kenny has an almost even day, but Drazah and Envoy both have bad ones. I don’t know if it’s just a mental thing, a teamwork thing, or what, but they seem like a middle of the pack team. They have the firepower to beat the best, but you don’t ever expect them to, or know what to expect from them.
- I’m not sure what else to point to with this team, it feels like we talk about everything when it comes to them. They just really blew a great chance to cement their standing at Champs versus a team below them… and give themselves a shot at the winner’s bracket at Major IV. Now they’re having to win versus New York in order to get into winners, along with pulling away from the three way tie they’re now in with Florida and Minnesota. This team is always putting themselves in bad spots, and it’s tough to understand how they constantly do it.
- Well, I certainly didn’t expect Florida to pull something like this off after watching them almost blow a game versus Paris. Somehow, this team has willed their way into the winner’s bracket of Major IV, and managed to knock LAT down at the same time. Sure, they’ve got work to do, but Florida has been pretty great on LAN so far this year, getting further than they generally should. They’re in one of the better spots for teams trying to make Champs, even if they are currently outside looking in.
- Majormaniak is quite literally the man. He dropped 3 players as they lined up perfectly on the Hardpoint, keeping them away and guaranteeing the Mutineers a ton of hill time on a very mixy map. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it wasn’t another 250-246 nailbiter that they had to clutch on… even if they let that happen on the Berlin when Mike cost them with a bad rotation play. He certainly made up for it with an incredible ace on the Berlin S&D, along with a bomb defuse to give them a needed round.
- 2Real made a phenomenal play right after, perfectly timing his bomb check in a 1v2 to catch the defuser with no time left for the other player to jump back on it. While his playstyle hasn’t really meshed well with this squad, and he’s been getting a bit shredded overall, that particular play took all of the wind out of LAT’s sails.
Seattle Surge vs Atlanta Faze
Actual: 3-0 Atlanta Faze
- I’m actually flabbergasted at this one. A team built to handle Faze, one that has handled them, one that Faze seemed cursed by… got swept. And in this fashion! The comeback seemed on in that Control, going up 2-0 with Faze barely managing a whimper. Then suddenly we found ourselves coming down to life counts with Faze managing some ridiculous heroics. I don’t know how Seattle allowed Simp to do what he did twice, but even when they killed him in the final round aBeZy did almost the same thing.
- We always talk about how the match can be chalked for Seattle depending on how the rookies do, but in this one you could really only point to how they didn’t fry. Outslaying the other team is this squad’s mantra and why they tend to trash their opponents. Even when they managed it in the Control, with +12 kills, they couldn’t close it out in the final moments. Even worse was letting themselves lose those two S&D rounds in devastating fashion to Cellium. Something like that messes with your mental.
- As many of us as had them towards the tops of our list after the Major III victory (I had them second), they have been anything but during this stage. Yeah, they’ve dropped some close ones, but ending this one versus Faze and getting 3-0ed? It’s not a good look, and worse still, they start in losers at 1-4 and dropped to the fourth seed at Champs with 185 points. There is every chance the rebound with a good showing at the Major, but they very well could also lose in the first round and watch Boston pass them.
- Well, I didn’t predict this one. I really wasn’t paying much attention to it because I didn’t want to be hurt again. Faze was down bad after the last two matches, and I was worried they might not be able to make anything happen at Major IV. Instead, they iced up versus the Ice Man, and put themselves in position to clinch the number one seed for Champs for the third year in a row at the Major. Good stuff for a team that’s seen plenty of struggles this year.
- Cellium for MVP. The guy is absolutely ridiculous. He rolled up in a 1v4 and played it literally perfect, especially since he had to keep an eye on a planted bomb that had way too much time left on the clock. Then, he found a spot to defuse the bomb where Sib posted up at long hall could see him there, yet couldn’t do anything to get to him. He does this seemingly every single match, and it’s time to respect him as the best in Vanguard.
- Simp has to get some praise as well for his play in Control as of recent. The guy is taking over maps, and he did so twice on Berlin to give his team the dub. The first one was insane, with him getting a four piece of all things down lives and leaving Sib unable to challenge from long hall. Then, he came through the back of A at the perfect time to get the two piece and send it to round 5. The stats will show an even 37/37, but they don’t show how he took over in the last half of the mode.
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