xRed continue to impress, but will it be enough? As Group Yellow continues, Red Reserve continue to prove themselves a worthy contender for a Playoff spot despite being stuck in one of the toughest pools of either Stage of the Global Pro League. The team opened day two with a win against an eUnited that had looked incredibly formidable on day one, keeping themselves in the race for a top-two finish. Unfortunately, despite playing them close across the series once more, a second loss to Splyce puts them in a tough position. Red’s fate is now out of their hands to a degree, relying on Splyce to take down eUnited on the final day to even keep their hopes alive. From there, they’d need a flawless finish themselves. While it’s not out reach for Red yet, there’s a distinct possibility that this team may miss out on a Playoffs spot in spite of a performance that implies they may belong. Ultimately, if they do miss out, it may well be that they are a victim of circumstance more than sub-par play. eUnited aren’t untouchable Sometimes, roster changes produce miracle squads – the addition of a single player can be all it takes to turn a strong team into world-beaters. The earlier iteration of eUnited are a prominent example of such a phenomenon, coming from nowhere to win their very first event following a swap. After day one, eUnited looked to have performed the feat a second time. With the addition of James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks, the squad ended their debut appearance by thrashing Stage One Champions Splyce. It appeared feasible that we might have a new championship contender on our hands. There’s a reason such judgements should be reserved until a sufficient body of work has been put together, however. The second day still gave us a strong eUnited, but a loss to Red Reserve exposed some areas in which the team may need to improve if they’re to add another trophy to their collection. eUnited still have the potential to be one of the very best teams in the world, but we’re starting to see a more complete picture of the new team. There are incredible strengths there, but also some weaknesses that may need addressing if they are to contend with the likes of Luminosity in a grand final.
xGroup Yellow delivered On paper, this should always have been one of the most exciting groups of Stage Two. Three of the contenders have a championship title to their name on Infinite Warfare, with the outlier coming in off of a top-eight finish at their first event together. This is the group of the Stage One champions, as well as featuring one of the most highly anticipated teams of Stage Two – eUnited, in their debut with Clayster. Rise looked to redeem their past shortcomings, while Red fight to earn a spot among the elite for the first time. This is what Group Yellow offered viewers, and it hasn’t disappointed. Not only have five-game series been commonplace and 3-0 sweeps rare, but the majority of the individual maps across all series have been among the more exciting we’ve seen of late, with close fights coming down to the wire and come-backs from massive deficits. No matter the result on the final day, Group Yellow will have lived up to its billing, undoubtedly one of the most thrilling groups of the season in any tournament.