PCL Week 3 Qualifiers Recap
Paladins Console community rise up, PCL Qualifiers Week 4 was this last weekend on March 2nd & 3rd, for EU & NA Group Play. Teams who survived 3 weeks of Open Bracket Play solidified their spots being one step closer to becoming an official league team. PCL hopefuls will now face each team in their group once, in a best of 5 set to determine who gets the 4 league spots in each division. Let’s clarify exactly how the PCL Group Stages will work.
These 8 qualifying teams have been separated into 2 groups of four, where a single round robin will occur (so all teams in each group will play each other once)
The top 2 teams from each group, totalling 4 per division and 16 League-wide, advance to the Paladins Console League!
Let’s change it up and begin first with the European Region. For PS4 it was only slightly eventful. Some key things to note are OG Comedy has finally found a team that will be using his talents, Itech that is. Sitting out the open bracket portion of qualifiers has seemed to be a benefit to Comedy as earlier reports stated he would be playing on PS4 NA with a squad of his own. Not doing so prevented him from being Region locked on whichever he first signed up on and therefore allowing him to join the now #1 Seed in the PS4 EU Division. Itech and Stush Gaming were your top 2 teams from Pool A as they were able to both make quick work of Dechillplay and Relentless. Stush were able to take a map off of Itech but ended up losing the set 3-1 in the end. Over in Pool B, you had a more uneventful day as Flashpoint and FTF the two heavy favourites were able to make the PCL. FTF did lose to Flashpoint and only took one point from Flashpoint, the only point they gave up the entire day. Flashpoint also ran four DPS with a support against Spotlight in Round 3. That was an 8-minute game. Most impressive thing for me in all of this was the fact that Dechillplay came to play. Despite being around for a while, they seem to lose, more than most, but they have stuck together, and have been improving slowly but surely. They were able to take points off of Stush Gaming and even took a game from Relentless in Round 2. Keep grinding homies.
Over in the Xbox Pools, it was hectic. One team was being blamed for booting the other teams offline during matches, French Agency had a player competing after breaking multiple fingers only a few days ago, Twitter Drama involving someone’s significant other fueled even more beef between rivals, Players reporting others for streaming without delay, and to top it all off, an Org deciding to pull their team from play in the middle of a set. Fate Esports was pulled after losing their first 2 rounds, French Agency was the team with the injury, and had to forfeit round 3 to Bustdown after not being to find a sub in time. Keep it Console was able to defeat Bustdown but not until a Game 4 was forced and right after Keep it Console had just won against French Agency which went a full 5 Game Set. The French came to play but unfortunate events caused them to ultimately miss out on making the League leaving the 2 spots to Keep it Console and Bustdown. Over in Pool A, Always Feeding was able to secure a spot in the PCL despite being blamed for booting Players the entire day. Team Viral ended up not winning a single set and Turkish Delight decided to forfeit in Round 3. Gagan Style didn’t give up a single point to anyone and secured their spot as the #1 seed in the PCL for their Division. Long and eventful day, but it comes with the territory.
Over in the Xbox North American Division, it was a simple day. Elevate of course went undefeated and never once dropped a single map let alone a point to anyone. Making the PCL along with them from Pool A will be Retaliation who only had to beat Cute in order to qualify. Cute beat Toronto Waryas in Round 1 and afterwards the Waryas forfeited their Round 2 and 3 sets. In Pool B Bushwahkhan Esports, the Top Seed wasn’t able to prevail as Cats on Mars were too much to handle winning the set 3-1 and then moving on to beat both Atronic and Strikes Again. Bushwahkhan ended up not playing Round 3 vs Atronic as well, therefore, getting swept entirely on the day. Strikes Again took the second PCL spot behind Cats after a tremendous day from them, beating Atronic 3-1 and surviving a full 5 game set vs Bushwahkhan winning 3-2. Strikes Again missed out on PCL in 2018, but now they are right where they would like to be.
Speaking of Teams that missed out on PCL in 2018, Stremex is another but has been playing on PS4 NA for as long as I can remember. Always falling short as well. However, the squad has stuck together through thick and thin and even started grinding outside of the game to watch vods, old PCL matches and speak with other players on improving. It is starting to show as they were able to beat Space Jam 3-2 and Snake’s Den 3-1 in their first 2 Rounds. Round 3 was a deciding factor for everyone but Snake’s Den who had already been eliminated by losing their first 2 matchups. If Stremex beats Blueberry Muffins they get in PCL, If they lose they would be tied with Muffins and Space Jam if Snake’s lost to Space. IF Space lost to Muffins then Stremex could lose and still make PCL based off of Head to Head and points. However, Snake’s Den decided to forfeit their matchup vs Space awarding a full set of points to Space and allowing to beat Stremex for the second league spot after Game Differential Points came into play. A tough day to swallow for the Latin Squad that has been grinding for this day and will have a long 13 weeks until their next chance. In Pool A it was much of what everyone expected, Invictus and Heating Up dominate their competition making the PCL. Surprised a little me that Heating Up wasn’t able to give Invictus a better fight and lost the set 3-0. Oculus also showed they are still a little ways behind top tier teams as they were unable to take a single point from Invictus or Heating Up.
What lies ahead
For the teams that made the League, well now they have a long and exciting season ahead of them where they will put each other to the test to find out who is the best in each division. As for the teams who didn’t make the League, time to get back on the grind as 13 weeks from now will be your next chance to make the League during Midseason Relegations! Keep Grinding!