PGS Europe Finals: NAVI, Team Liquid among six teams advancing to Berlin

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The first major of PUBG Esports’ 2020 season is quickly approaching. This past weekend, the Europe Finals determined which six teams would represent the region at PGS: Berlin, PUBG Esports inaugural event of the season.

Featuring twenty-four teams of the region’s best, the PGS Europe Finals presented an opportunity to become one of the region’s six representatives at PGS: Berlin – the first PUBG Esports Major of 2020. With a ticket to PGS: Berlin on the line, the star-studded lobby fought for top-six placement across the three-day tournament.

Comprised of three eight-team groups, featuring some of the most notable names throughout the esport, the Finals would produce the first six teams from regional qualifiers to punch their ticket to PGS: Berlin. Among the likes of Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, and ENCE, competition between the twenty-four teams was at an all-time high when the action began on Friday.

Ultimately, six teams were able to fend off an impressive effort from the other teams and advance from the EU Finals and claim their spot at PGS: Berlin. Those teams were:

  1.  Natus Vincere (130 PTS)
  2. Team Liquid (103 PTS)
  3.  WTSG (100 PTS)
  4.  Exalt (100 PTS)
  5. ENCE (88 PTS)
  6.  Northern Lights (87 PTS)

NAVI’s decision to bench their main fragger ‘ADOUZ1E’ surprised many, which led to speculation of issues amongst the team behind the scenes because, in terms of statistics, he had done everything he could for NAVI. Honestly, damage dealt and kill stats are the furthest things from an accurate representation of a player’s value to his team in-game, but it is an important piece to every roster and it appeared as though he was carrying his weight in that department.

Luckily, their decision to move on from their PEL-leading fragger has been eased with the quick success of the two fresh faces on this roster. And during the PGS Europe Finals, one of the new members of the team, ‘TheTab’, finished with a tournament-leading 27 Kills – just behind the team’s Co-IGL ‘Bestoloch’ who collected 22 of his own. It seems the team won’t be missing any firepower following the roster adjustment, and their play as a unit appeared stronger than ever.

The team’s play on Day Two and Three were great examples of how well this brand-new NAVI team can compete. Cruising past the leading point total set by Team Liquid, NAVI closed out the tournament with a twenty-seven point lead to secure first place and their spot at PGS: Berlin. It’s interesting that after the qualification of NAVI and Team Liquid at the EU Finals, we’ll now have the pleasure of watching the three largest orgs in European PUBG compete at PGS: Berlin – FaZe Clan received a direct invite for their 2019 PGC placement.

Entering this event it was easy to get excited about the revitalized rosters that were either making their debut during this tournament or had made their debut last weekend in the GLL Season 4 Finals. One of the rosters to recently undergo an adjustment was Team Liquid, who picked up two massive free-agents over the break with the signing of ‘Kaymind’ and ‘Mxey’. In their debut-outing at the GLL Season 4 Finals last weekend, the team placed in third behind FaZe Clan and Omaken Sports. A strong first outing for the highly anticipated return of a fan-favorite and widely beloved face of the PUBG Esports community.

Though only a week prior, the LAN experience playing as a newly formed roster certainly helped Liquid as they entered the PGS Europe Finals. After kicking things off with a strong start during Day One, Team Liquid closed out Day Two comfortably atop of the leaderboard. Prepared to sit back and enjoy their first-place finish, it was eventually an impressive final day performance from Natus Vincere that played spoiler for Liquid’s first-place standing. However, this Team Liquid roster looks impressive from all angles, and this could very well be the team that finally claims Team Liquid, and EU, their coveted PUBG major.

The same team that celebrated their GLL Season 4 Grand Finals victory only one week ago, also punched their ticket to the biggest event of the season thus far. WTSG didn’t miss a beat since taking home the hardware in Stockholm just last weekend. Competing against an even more talented field, the experienced and talented squad of WTSG proved that their GLL S4 title was no fluke. After posting a strong point total in Day One, WTSG followed up with another productive performance during Day Two. The team eventually settled into a 100-point draw with the fourth-place team Exalt but was awarded the higher standing for their greater number of kills.

As the weekend progressed, the focus had shifted from the teams fighting atop the leaderboard to the battle for the fifth and sixth place position, where several teams were still fighting for their life.

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The most compelling match of the tournament was also the last match of the tournament when ENCE pulled off the ridiculous feat of securing the fifth-place position in a chaotic final game. The final match was ridiculous from the start after the first zone centered over Sosnovka Island (Military Base), sending the lobby into a frenzy as teams immediately began heading for the bridges and shorelines. Of the several teams still fighting for a top-six placement, ENCE was practically overlooked considering the teams ahead were closer to qualifying for PGS.

Sitting amongst a handful of teams that were still mathematically within reach of stealing a top-six placement, ENCE pulled off an incredible final match to overtake TSM and others before ultimately placing fifth overall, but more importantly, earn their spot at PGS: Berlin. This was the same outcome for Northern Lights, who entered this tournament with plenty of experience from their PEL days but would have been considered an underdog to secure a top-six placement.

Unfortunately, some of the popular teams to miss out on the first PUBG Esports Major of 2020 include TSM, Raise Your Edge, and Diamond Dogs. As for TSM, it’s tough to see the fresh roster not qualify for the big event after making major adjustments to their roster during the break. Personally, I believe TSM has arranged a special lineup with the additions of ‘Jembty’, ‘Fexx’, and ‘Braexco’ alongside ‘mykLe’. I’m also a big fan of the player-to-coach transition made by ‘Rawryy’, who I believe has the ability to truly relate to his team competing against the familiar competition that he faced months ago. It’s a roster full of potential that could really make their mark during their next outing.

PUBG Esports continues as the Americas region will get their chance to earn a spot at PGS: Berlin – so be sure to keep an eye out for that tournament towards the end of March.