PUBG Charity Showdown: North America preview and predictions

PUBG Corp.
PUBG Corp. /

Sixteen teams have qualified for North America’s first online regional tournament of the 2020 season. Starting on Thursday, May 21st, sixteen squads will compete for a $25,000 first-place prize, with another $100,000 going to charity.

Of the qualified teams, eight secured their position through qualifiers for the PUBG Global Series: Berlin event, originally scheduled to be PUBG Esports’ first LAN of the season prior to its cancellation in light of the ongoing global pandemic.

The additional eight teams have earned their spot in the Charity Showdown following a thorough qualifier for this event. The PUBG Charity Showdown will see these sixteen teams face off against one another in a best-of-twenty tournament, where the team that accumulates the most points will be crowned as champions.

PUBG Corp.
PUBG Corp. /

Winners of the event won’t only receive a $25,000 USD first-place prize, but they’ll also have the pleasure of choosing one charity to receive a $100,000 USD donation from PUBG Corp. There is a lot of great PUBG Esports action instore, all for an even better cause, giving us only another reason that I can’t wait for the PUBG Charity Showdown to kick-off.

Shoot To Kill

Amongst the teams competing in the PCS tournament, a few enter with more expectations based on previous success in the big tournaments, such as this one. The first team that comes to mind, Shoot To Kill. Now, it’s well-known that Shoot To Kill is not one of the eight teams invited to PCS because unfortunately, they were unable to qualify for the PGS: Berlin event. However, the team has dominated qualifiers for PCS and has now returned to the top of the region.

Thus far they performed to the level of which many North American fans anticipated, as one of the most successful teams from the NA region, STK secured their position in the PCS tournament with ease. This roster has been through a lot as a squad, with the addition of Luke ‘Luke12’ Newey truly defining this team last season – many foresaw an even better squad in 2020.

Each player on the team deserves recognition for the efforts during PCS qualifiers, though as a team they’ve become well-rounded and recovered from their February flounder. Heading into PCS, Shoot To Kill has put themselves into a position to remind us that they’re the best team in North America and the closest team to claiming an international title for the region.

Houston Hardshifts

Reasonably one of my favorites entering the Charity Showdown considering their impressive run through the PGS Closed Qualifier Group Stage, the Houston Hardshifts earned themselves a direct invite to this weekend’s event thanks to their play in late February. The team is a collection of notable North American PUBG Esport players, headlined by the former-Cloud 9 fragger Austin ‘Lobes’ McWethy, and the former-Tempo Storm three-peat National PUBG League (NPL) Champion, Luke ‘Meluke’ Laing.

Despite a lengthy downtime since qualifying for the event earlier this year, the Houston Hardshifts continued to compete in tournaments like the 303 Royale Professional League Season 2, where they placed 15th in the Grand Finals. This team has the potential to recreate that success mentioned beforehand, but it’s certainly going to be against a higher-level of competition in the PUBG Charity Showdown. If the team plays to this roster’s potential, they’ll be well within reach of taking home the $25,000 USD first-place prize.

Susquehanna Soniqs

Recently, the Susquehanna Soniqs signed the entire roster of Genesis, one of North America’s most consistent teams and ninth-place finishers at the PUBG Global Championship in 2019. This roster was only signed one month ago, but the chemistry between these players dates back much further.

Strengthened by an experienced and accomplished group of players, the Soniqs are another team to keep your eye on once the Charity Showdown begins. Prior to their singing, in their final tournament under the Genesis banner, the same roster won the PGS North America Closed Qualifiers – against many of the same teams that they’ll face this weekend. Having earned their spot in the Charity Showdown with that performance, they’ll look to recreate the success against some familiar faces during their return this week.

Zenith Esport

Zenith Esports is one of the eight teams that earned their place in the Charity Showdown through recent qualifiers. The team surpassed Shoot To Kill in the PCS Qualifiers to claim the top spot and advance into this weekend’s tournament with a similar performance in mind. The roster is formed of familiar names for studied PUBG Esport fans, including the previous prospect of Ghost Gaming, Matt ‘Kickstart’ Smith.

The PUBG Charity Showdown will present Zenith Esports with an even larger challenge this week, as they’ll hopefully carry some momentum into a new lobby against the region’s very best. With their recent success to build off of, I can see a path to victory for a team like Zenith Esports. They’re going to need a couple of circles to favor their landing locations, but that shouldn’t be a make or break factor anyways.