The North American side of Contenders has been full of just as many thrills and spills as the European doppelganger. At one end we have EnVyUs, EnVision and FaZe leading the table, demonstrating random capitalisation is the quickest path to success. The fourth playoff spot seems to be a coin toss between Kungarna and Rogue with FNRGFE having an outside shot. While lingering at the bottom are Renegades, who have only won a single sultry map, and more surprisingly Season Zero champs, Immortals. That means that the Season Zero winners from both regions are yet to win a match in Season 1 as we move into Week 4.
For the prediction team it looks to be a relatively straight forward Saturday in North America followed by a more interesting Sunday as everyone looks to dethrone Aussie savant, Mert. You can see the prediction standings here and what we thought of this week’s fixtures below.
Saturday 9th September 23:15 CEST / 17:15 EDT / 06:15 KST
The best face the worst as we see an EnVyUs side that look unstoppable against a Renegades team that have been plagued with errors.
As Bren would say, if EnVy lose I’ll eat my sock.
I feel for the Renegades players, it's been a rough season. Unfortunately, there will be no miracle turnaround against Envy.
What I saw last week made me lose the confidence I had about the strength of the Renegades. I am uncertain if they will take another map this season, let alone against EnVyUs.
Renegades has been the worst performer in NA, while EnVyUs has been the best. There is no other prediction to make.
Bren said he'd eat his suit jacket, by the way. I expect you to do the same, CommanderX.
Saturday 9th September 01:15 CEST / 19:15 EDT / 08:15 KST
FaZe have gone from strength to strength, only losing to EnVyUs while Rogue have scraped to a 2-2 record. This is the first of three tough games for Rogue that will decide their fate with Kungarna and EnVyUs still to play for the Frenchmen. Meanwhile FaZe will be looking to secure their playoff spot as soon as possible with another win here putting them in good stead.
Rogue’s win last week gives them a chance to qualify still but FaZe have looked too strong this season and I don’t expect them to falter here. A short while ago you would have looked at ShaDowBurn/Carpe vs aKm/SoOn/NiCO as an almighty clash of DPS talent. Though this season the FaZe duo have been lighting up the scoreboard while their French counterparts have been limited to flashes of brilliance, or stuck on D.Va. I think this is telling of what we will see come Saturday and it should be a comfortable 4-0 for FaZe.
The fall of Rogue is exaggerated, despite poor working conditions the team has continued to remain competitive. On the other hand, FaZe are one of the best teams in the North American side of Contenders and are backed by momentum and confidence. The game will be close but FaZe will end up taking this one.
Despite last week's results, Rogue is still looking shaky and FaZe seems to undoubtedly be the second best team in North America at the moment. Rogue might take a map, maybe even two, but I doubt they will take the series.
FaZe look like a solid contender for the second best team in NA, while Rogue seem stuck in the middle of the pack given their current struggles. With their living situation still seemingly poor, they shouldn't take the victory off FaZe. That said, I'm unconvinced that Rogue isn't still one of the most skilled teams in NA, and I think they should be able to take a victory if they are able to pick Volskaya and a solid payload map (Gibraltar). This is a series whose score should be determined by the map draft.
Sunday 10th September 23:15 CEST / 17:15 EDT / 06:15 KST
An unbeaten EnVision side look to continue their streak against a Kungarna team that are fresh off a spanking from EnVyUs and most likely without their main tank iReMiix. It will be a crucial game for both sides as we get into the business end of qualification.
Kungarna are an effective unit that enable babybay well but I fear they will hit trouble against EnVision with Jaru on Doomfist. With Jaru being so effective and causing a lot of disruption, this could throw Kungarna off. When you factor in Tseini on Pharah on certain maps too, EnVision just seem to have more tools available to beat their opponent. It will be close but I expect EnVision to remain unbeaten for another week.
Fahzix's possible absence in this match makes things a little tricky to predict, sometimes the subtraction of one player can completely change an otherwise competent squad’s chemistry. Kungarna have had a fairly positive season as long as you don't recall their match against Envy. Similarly Kungarna will likely be without their main tank, iReMiix, with Super set to sub in. With both teams missing pieces, Envision should be able to grab a win here.
This is a matchup between the two teams benefitting most from the struggles of Immortals and Rogue. I expect both these teams to play well and play each other close, but I think EnVision has been looking a tad better. Yes, I've learned my lesson. I am finally picking EnVision to win a series.
This is a really hard match to call. Kungarna looked legit against the bottom of the pack, while they looked downright miserable against EnVyUs. EnVision has mostly played struggling teams, but it's hard to deny that they did well against preseason favorites. I think that Kungarna might struggle in the coming weeks for some personal reasons, while EnVision should be able to maintain their level. Kungarna seems stuck in the mindset of playing around mykL's Reaper rather than using his Tracer to complement babybay's top level hitscan. That said, Fahzix's status remains to be seen, so his potential absence might flop this result.
Sunday 3rd September 01:15 CEST / 19:15 EDT / 08:15 KST
Immortals will look to try and repair their disaster of a season here but with only three games remaining it looks nigh impossible. FNRGFE on the other hand are coming off the back of a moral boosting fifth map victory over Rogue and still have an outside shot of making playoffs. FNRGFE need to win most of their games from here on out but have a relatively easier end to the season than some of their competitors.
My relentless faith in FNRGFE paid off last week with a good win over Rogue and the corndogs hang on to their playoff chances in the process. They will have to beat another fallen titan if they are to keep the dream alive but with Immortals in the biggest slump of the team’s history, now is the perfect time to capitalise.
In previous weeks I have respected Immortals name perhaps a little too much, despite the Season Zero champions looking like mere mortals instead of playoffs contenders. They did keep things close with Rogue and FaZe however. This looks to pan out as another close match but the corndogs have the most to prove here and the talent to earn a victory.
If Immortals can finally find their form from a month ago, they should win this. That is an uncertain thing to bet on based on how this season has gone, but it is a bet I'm willing to make. If this set goes to five, however, FNRGFE will win. Ilios is a map that works well into their favor, as they proved against Rogue.
I still have faith in this Immortals roster, and perhaps the removal of the pressure to perform will be a boon given their imminent elimination from playoffs contention, but I have faith that FNRGFE are hungry for a playoffs spot after their victory against Rogue. Immortals are really proficient on payload maps, but I think FNRGFE will be solid enough on both KOTH and 2CP to take the victory and make their late-season push. This matchup can certainly be turned on its head if Immortals can nab a key victory on one of their weaker formats, though.