Could Soniqs’ reign in NA PUBG be over? That might be an overreaction after the PCS5 Americas Grand Final Week 2 action, but with the crown now in Oath’s control, the race to the PUBG Global Championship has been blown open.
Week 2 of the PCS5 Americas Grand Final delivered an upset for Oath as they showed up like they did at ESL Masters Phase 2 to net their first weekly win.
It’s left the race to not only the PCS5 title — but key PGC spots — wide open for the rest of the competition. Is the Soniqs’ reign over? Unlikely, given the circumstances, but let’s break down how exactly the Gods fell in Week 2.
Soniqs’ Hambino sub opens up angle for Oath upset
Soniqs were hampered in Week 2 by Hwinn being unavailable for Day 2, bringing Sam ‘hambinooo’ Brown in the IGLs place.
“It was rather instantaneous. Whenever you get an opportunity like this, you cannot turn down something like that. To get an opportunity to play with arguably the best team in the world, it’s a yes from me,” Hambino said mid-broadcast.
“For somebody like me, I play a lot of PUBG so mechanically I always stay ready and can snap back into these lobbies without too much of a problem.”
However, it was clear losing such a key piece of the squad hurt Soniqs. They failed to maintain their Week 1 title as Oath dominated Week 2, storming away with four Chicken Dinners to finally get their moment in the spotlight.
Soniqs have already booked their ticket to PGC to defend their title, so the only loss NA’s champions are taking is a prize money hit. However, Oath’s dominance in Week 2 does open the door in Week 3 for an even bigger upset as the title race tightens up.
TSM once again leave it to the last minute
If there’s been a big loser in the WWCD format in PCS4 and PCS5, it’s been TSM. In both Grand Finals, the kill-heavy powerhouse (they were second in Week 2 with 78 kills) has failed to convert strong early games into wins.
This was best epitomized in Match 10 of Week 2. They had a great shot at finally claiming a Chicken Dinner, but blew man and positional advantage against FIUMBA, Dignitas, and Soniqs to fall short of yet another win.
They did manage to make things right in Match 11, closing it out with a mammoth 17-kill win in a chaotic Primorsk circle. However, this trend of TSM finding late wins in PCS does leave you nervous right until the final game.
While their spot at PGC is basically confirmed thanks to their ESL Masters Phase 1 win, these jitters in securing wins could be exposed come the world championship. At least Points Rule will be back in place there.
Dignitas, Gascans, Spacestation fight tooth and nail for PGC slots
If we accept that Soniqs, Oath, and TSM are locks for PGC already, it makes the race for the final spots in NA so much more interesting. Only five NA teams will make their way to the world championship, and it’s become somewhat of a four-horse race.
Dignitas and Spacestation have come out all guns blazing in Week 2 with podium finishes to secure enough prize money to stay in touching distance.
However, there’s two wildcards in the equation: The Guadalajara Gascans, and Dodge. The Gascans have 45 points on Spacestation Gaming heading into PCS5, and all it takes is a big Week 3 to stop Spacestation’s parade to the top.
Dodge might have missed out on PCS5 too, but if Spacestation finishes lower than sixth overall in PCS5, they’ll have their ticket punched to Incheon. The LATAM race between FIUMBA and Young Kings is intense too, but all eyes will be on NA in Week 3 for these two spots.
The PCS5 Americas Grand Final returns for its third and final week on September 30.