In a similar fashion as The Rumblers before them, the Soniqs made a ton of noise as they rose from NPL Contenders during the last phase. Their dominance of the lower-tier teams, almost disrespectfully at times, quickly formed expectations for the squad heading into Phase 3.
Personally, I’m extremely excited to see the team in action against the best teams North America has to offer. The NPL is naturally less forgiving than Contenders, meaning they won’t get away with as much without being punished by the other teams. But, if they’re able to effectively position themselves for smart team fights, I like the Soniqs in most engagements. The team comes across very disciplined with their preparation and has looked solid in NPL scrimmages. While a scrimmage is just that, and matches won’t count until September 7th, it’s encouraging to see the team dialed in.
I think many NPL teams have taken notice of the Soniqs, and I’m expecting a top-five finish from the new kids on the block during Phase 3.
It wasn’t long ago that this roster, operating under “Shoot to Kill” at the time, impressed everyone with their second-place finish at the FaceIt Global Summit: PUBG Classic. Following that event, Lazarus was unable to replicate a similar result and closed out Phase 2 in seventh place. That led to the acquisition of one of competitive PUBG’s most exciting young players. The team has been scrimmaging with Luke “luke12” Newey, who represented Australia at the PUBG Nations Cup and also put on a show at the GLL Grand Slam: PUBG Classic with Athletico from the Oceania region.
Adding another skilled and experienced player could do wonders for the team during Phase 3. Hoping to return to their STK ways, the former “King’s of Miramar” will have plenty of firepower within the roster if “luke12” becomes official. It’s going to be interesting to see how this roster works together and if securing a position at the PUBG Global Championship in November is within reach.
With their ability to take over an engagement at any point, Endemic utilizes their talent as a four-man squad to regularly carry the team into late-game action. However, the team has yet to place higher than ninth in either of the two previous phases.
So prior to the start of Phase 2, Endemic enlisted the help of Noah “RELO” Andrew Jenkins, who over the course of the previous phase led the team in every player-statistic: kills, damage and time survived. While his personal success didn’t directly translate to an improvement on the leaderboard after five weeks, the team is much stronger with him onboard. Growing comfortable with a new member of the team isn’t something that happens overnight.
Heading into Phase 3, the team will need to build upon their teamwork and familiarity to end the year on a high note. I’ve always believed that Endemic can be the surprise team that people weren’t expecting to take a top-five placement, and with their current roster, it’s still very possible.
Bursting onto the scene during Phase 2, The Rumblers put everyone on notice with their top-five placement in the NPL last phase. Propelled by a league-leading 66 Kills from Lari-Pekka “LosHD” Hopiavuori, they occupied the top of the leaderboard for a good portion of the Phase 2 campaign. In a tight race to the finish, the team slipped down into fourth-place to close out the phase.
The team did not make any roster adjustments over the break, meaning their Finnish-fragger will soon again be leading the charge in kills. They’ll need to find similar results, if not better, as the competition has only gotten tighter for Phase 3.