Last week North America faced a similar fate to Europe with a smattering of upsets, but the most notable of the entire weekend was, of course, Rogue falling to EnVision. The faltering Frenchmen have cleared the path for Team EnVyUs — who also claimed a decisive victory over Immortals — to put some early distance between themselves and the other likely playoff candidates. But with an abundance of talent across all the NA teams the fight for the throne will be a relentless one, and Week 2 looks like it will be just as hotly contested.
26th August 23:15 CEST / 17:15 EDT / 06:15 KST
We will begin with a tale of redemption, but alas only one of these teams can emerge victorious. Coming into the tournament Rogue were one of the favourites. Most presumed EnVision would be fighting to avoid last place. What a difference a week can make. We will see a Rogue side attempting to put on a show of strength without their main Lucio, winz. Instead, they have brought in substitute tank Kolsti (formerly of Movistar Riders), enabling KnOxXx to return to his speed boosted roots. Last week Renegades made some glaring errors that led to a thorough pounding from Kungarna, so this match has the potential to be very scrappy with errors on both sides.
It might be fair to expect Rogue to continue their slump here. While KnOxXx is at least a side grade on Lucio, Kolsti is a much less accomplished Winston than KnOxXX. Without a proper D.Va player Rogue rely heavily on their usual Winston to maintain their tank line and a downgrade here could spell disaster for the once undefeated kings of America.
However, any perceived weakness for Rogue is only part of the story. Renegades plethora of mistakes, if repeated this week, will allow a team of Rogue’s quality will run rampant, substitutes or not. The caveat here is that Renegades are one of the most inconsistent teams in North America right now, so we could see a completely different performance to last week. While that is a possibility, it is hard to fancy their chances; Renegades roster has looked unbalanced for a long time now in terms of meshing hero pools and I feel like it is finally catching up with them. You should never say never in this day and age of Overwatch and the newly blossoming meta, but it would be foolish to predict anything but a Rogue win.
Predictions: CommanderX 0:4 Mert 0:4 Scrubasaurus 2:3 Harsha 2:3
26th August 01:15 CEST / 19:15 EDT / 08:15 KST
It’s hard to look objectively at FNRGFE. As storied professional players, seeking refuge under a corndog banner, they have made great progress since forming and earned the adulation of a tempestuous scene along the way. While Kungarna may not be as popular with the fans, in part due to mykL’s polarizing behaviour, their results are undeniable. They have only lost to LG Evil and Immortals since the start of June and took a commanding 4-0 victory over a crumbling Renegades last week.
FNRGFE lost their opening game 3-1, but it could have been very different had they not blown an opportunity to tie it up on Numbani against FaZe. What is most striking about Kungarna is their variable performances based on game mode; super strong on Escort and Control, but weak on Hybrid and Assault. This should open the door for FNRGFE to potentially take two maps, but with Control being the decider one might see this tipping in the favour of the self-proclaimed kings, especially considering just how hot Kungarna are right now.
Predictions: CommanderX 3:2 Mert 3:1 Scrubasaurus 2:3 Harsha 3:2
27th August 23:15 CEST / 17:15 EDT / 06:15 KST
EnVyUs are already starting to cement themselves as favourites for the Season One crown. Their Week 2 game will see them come up against the new-and-improved FaZe powerhouse. Carpe was dynamite in their opening game alongside ShaDowBurn, announcing the arrival of one of the most dangerous DPS duos in the world. The rest of the FaZe roster is not lacking in talent either, but their play is still very rough around the edges. Last week they ended up overly relying on their star players to carry them through.
In Week 1 we saw EnVyUs identify Fate as one of the cornerstones of Immortals success before sending in the demolition crew. We should expect ShaDowBurn and Carpe to be given the same VIP treatment this week. If anything shines through about EnVyUs’ unrivalled experience in Korea, it is their ability to shut down players and dismantle teams. For sure FaZe’s DPS duo will have their frag clip moments, but across the series they will likely be stifled and resigned to watching their team mates’ demise from the spawn queue. Perhaps FaZe can sneak a map but it is difficult to see them achieving more than that.
Predictions: CommanderX 4:0 Mert 4:0 Scrubasaurus 4:0 Harsha 4:0
27th August 01:15 CEST / 19:15 EDT / 08:15 KST
The mighty frog slayers from Canada(-ish) get no break from the toughest of tests as they face off against another top three NA team in their second fixture. They will meet an Immortals side fresh out of a lesson on game control from EnVyUs. EnVision will also have a new main tank lining up with them following the inclusion of numlocked on trial to their Week 2 roster. While the Brit abroad may not have the same hype surrounding him as ChrisTFer, whose recent performances with Team UK and EnVision compare very favourably to numlocked’s extended time on the eternally underwhelming NRG, he is certainly a more than capable tank.
Speaking of more than capable tanks, Fate should have a much better time in this fixture than his opening game. This should allow GrimReality and Agilities to resume dominating the opposition's backline. If Immortals are allowed to get into their groove they are hard to stop; ruthless with ultimate economy and execution, it would be another huge upset if EnVision take a win here as well. The games will be close, but again it’s hard to see EnVision taking any more than one map. Though we would have said that last week too…
Predictions: CommanderX 0:4 Mert 0:4 Scrubasaurus 0:4 Harsha 0:4