eUnited had a stellar debut to win the first big North American PUBG event of the year. Meanwhile, some unexpected teams impressed and the ex-TSM and -Spacestation rosters proved they shouldn’t have been dropped.
eUnited have been crowned champions of the first major North American PUBG event of the year, ESL Masters Phase 1. The tournament spawned several new storylines – some unexpected teams had stellar runs – but in the end, the reigning North American champions took home their first title under their new banner.
eUnited keep their 2021 momentum going for third straight NA title
Oath Gaming were one of the top rosters in North America in 2021. They won two big events in the latter half of the year, ESL Masters Phase 2 and the PUBG Continental Series 6, before their contract ran out with the org. eUnited jumped at the chance to pick up one of NA’s best teams, with one player switch: Aussie Lachlan “Fludd” Thompson replaced Brendan “Balefrost” Connors. They quickly proved that they were just as good with a roster change and a new organization, with a big win here.
eUnited’s playstyle hasn’t changed much since their time on Oath. They love playing from the middle of the circle and going for all the kill points they can. Matt “Kickstart” Smith and Jake “Snakers” Winant were second and third in the damage charts this event. Fludd has fit into the team very well, and shown strength playing the aggressive style that eUnited like. This team looks set to be a force in North America all year.
The old guard is still just as good
The top four finishing teams are all names very well known to North American PUBG fans. Ex-TSM, playing as Shoot To Kill, placed second and nearly surpassed eUnited on the final game. This roster came fourth at the PUBG Global Championship, and it’s no surprise to see them still at the top of the game.
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Ex-Spacestation, playing as Bing Bang Boom, was also right with the leaders all tournament, only falling off towards the end to place fourth. It was the perennial contenders Soniqs who placed third – they’ll look to reclaim their title as best in North America heading into the next events.
Ex-Dignitas, playing as YAHO, had a relatively poor showing, placing 8th. The new Built By Gamers lineup, featuring Balefrost and ex-Dignitas player Joe “HoneyBadger” Haylock as well as Jaden “Vegas” James and James “Hikerman” Dunsford, placed a disappointing 9th in their debut. However, Hikerman was a stand-in for Asher “gats” Tankel, who recently turned 18 and will be eligible to play in upcoming events.
Dodge, Gascans, Synergy impress
Latin American teams had a solid showing especially in the first week, where Synergy Esports were on top of the leaderboard at times. Synergy would eventually fall to 6th, but it was still a great result for the region. Two unsigned North American teams also had very impressive tournaments. Dodge had a great underdog run to place 6th. Ethan “Ethan” Comer in particular was stellar, finishing the event second in kills, behind only Soniqs star James “TGLTN” Giezen.
It’s the best performance he’s ever given, and it’s worth watching if he can replicate the performance going forward. The Gascans also had a strong tournament to place 7th, consistently putting together good games and rarely going out early.
ESL PUBG Masters gives each team PGC Points, contributing to qualifying teams for the year-end PUBG Global Championship. eUnited have accrued 200 with their win, although events that are later in the year will award more points. The next big North American event is PCS6, beginning in mid-April following open qualifiers.
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