The Pacific Championship took a week long break to make way for Blizzard's card-based title but things are back in action once against today. Since it's been a hot minute you may need reminding of what exactly went down in Week 2, so read on for a rundown of the key story-lines from the second week of play.
Ardeont continue their flawless run
Ardeont only had a single match in Week 2; their game against Taiwan’s Machi Esports. Things got a little ugly as the Koreans cruised to another victory without dropping a map. Machi struggled to break through Ardeont's defensive holds, notably failing to capture Anubis’ second point despite having six minutes in the time bank.
Ardeont are now sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard with a flawless 12-0 map score. Week 3 will be their most challenging week yet, as the team faces off against the three squads directly below them on the standings: ahq, Blank, and Flash Wolves. The high expectations placed upon the Koreans in the pre-season have only managed to increase following their dominant start in the tournament. With Blank and Flash Wolves currently not at their full strength, Ardeont could very well take out all three of their opponents and end the first round robin without a loss.
Flash Wolves escape Week 2 without a loss
Flash Wolves' Week 2 didn't do much to inspire confidence in the team that has looked out of sorts since returning from a disappointing performance in the Santa Monica World Cup qualifiers. The Wolves nearly dropped their matches against Hong Kong Attitude and Machi Esports in close 3-2 battles and even lost a map to the lowly Libalent Supreme (the Japanese team's only map win in the tournament so far).
The problems experienced by the slumping giants are all too familiar to those who remember the start of last season. Flash Wolves struggled to adapt to dive compositions in the opening stages of Season 1 and looked clumsy when attempting their own dive, staggering often and allowing ahq and Machi to steal relatively easy wins. Mirroring this, the Wolves have failed to effectively work around enemy Doomfists and have struggled with their limited hero pool, particularly when moving Baconjack to the new hero. With the team's 21 game regular season win streak last season still fresh in players’ minds, a quick rebound is not out of the question. However, this will not come easily as matches against Blank and Ardeont may show just how dull the alpha dog’s bite has become.
Blank Esports unveil new roster in the fires of battle
Expectations were tempered for Blank's opening week in the competition, especially in light of the team having just two days of practice with their new line-up before their first match. All things considered a 3-1 record is a fairly pleasing result, despite the team falling flat on their face against Hong Kong Attitude.
The chemistry is obviously not quite there yet and it may take a while to rebuild but Blank's new roster has shown glimpses of its true potential. With the ever flexible Hus running Doomfist more than nearly any other player in the tournament and HooWoo proving his worth on D.Va, Blank could be a force to be reckoned with once again come the end of the regular season. This week will likely be a learning experience though, as the team faces Flash Wolves, Ardeont and ahq.
Can MEGA turn their tournament around?
MEGA had a surprise in store for spectators in Week 2, unveiling a new player to the fill the void left by keRLos, who has now taken up a talent scout role for the organisation. The Thunder have brought in White (previously known as trona) from DeToNator.KOREA to play in the off-tank position.
Thai fans will hope that this new addition to the roster will finally get the ball rolling as the team currently sits at seventh place on the standings with only a single victory. The shortened regular season has done MEGA no favors as the competition reaches its halfway point at the conclusion of this week's play. They should clean up Libalent with ease this week, but the real interest lays in their match against Flash Wolves. Taking it to the Season 1 champs and coming out with a victory would be an impressive feat, and perhaps a necessary one if the Thunder still have their sights set on a playoffs spot.
Week 2 Standings
The standings at the conclusion of Week 2 can be found below: