Having already reviewed the big tournaments set to start this week, the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major 2019 for CS:GO teams (that has just got underway in Poland) and the start of the second Overwatch World League tournament, which kicks off later today, we are going to turn our attention this week to a couple of emerging esports, which are attracting plenty of interest from both players and spectators alike.
Starting with the Asia Pacific Predator League 2019 event which is taking place at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on the Battle Royale game Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG).
PUBG – Asia Pacific Predator League 2019 Preview
Player Unknown Battle Grounds, along with Fortnite, was one of the smash hit esports success stories of 2018. Despite being a Battle Royale game, with many sceptics wondering if the game would ever truly make a successful conversion into a highly competitive esport, PUBG has developed a strong following and many of the top teams will be in action this weekend in this $120,000 prize pool tournament.
Two teams, Made in Thailand and Afreeca Freecs Fatal, were handed direct invites to the tournament, with the remaining 14 teams competing each qualifying from one of the fourteen different qualifiers held around the Asian and Pacific region. The 14 qualifiers (and the region they represent) are outlined below:
- Pinto Gaming – Thailand (Wildcard)
- Team Immunity – Australia
- MP5 – Macau
- GSSM – Hong Kong
- Raptors – India
- Aerowolf Team Eight – Indonesia
- SunSister Suiciders – Japan
- Asbol – Malaysia
- Ark Angel – Philippines
- AYSON E-Sports – Singapore
- The Ace God – Taiwan
- Signature Gaming – Thailand (Qualifier)
- Purple Mood Esport – Thailand (Qualifier)
- GameHome Esports – Vietnam
The tournament is a straight round-robin tournament with the 16 teams facing each team in the competition once across a total of 15 Rounds, with 5 rounds of matches being played each day. The winner of the competition will receive a total prize of $75,000 and each player on the four-man team will also receive a Helois 300 Notebook as an additional prize.
The only other teams to earn cash prizes will be the second place ($30,000) and third placed ($15,000) teams.
Rather than individual player, the Asia Pacific Predator League is played on PUBG in squad mode, which is why the tournament is contested by teams rather than individuals.
The tournament starts on Feb.15 and runs through until Feb.17.
League of Legends Spring Split Updates
It’s a busy time around the world for League of Legends teams with the Spring Split now underway in almost every region (and the Russian LCL Spring 2019 getting underway this weekend on Feb.16). Let’s now check in on some of the top qualifying events in South Korea, China, North America and Europe to discover how the teams are progressing in each section.
- LPL Spring 2019 Round-up– China
Starting the earliest, the Chinese LPL got underway on Jan.14 and the 16 teams competing have all played between five and two games apiece, which does give the current qualifying table a somewhat unusual look at the moment.
There’s a somewhat surprising name at the top of the qualifying table with FunPlus Phoenix leading the way with a 4-0 record, ahead of one of the stronger teams in the qualifier, Invictus Gaming, who along with Suning have a 4-1 record.
Two other big names in the LPL, who have played at the League of Legends World Championships before lie in 8th and 9th place with 50% records, EDward Gaming with a 2-2 record and Royal Never Give Up (1-1) and both will be seeking to improve their position to earn one of the top eight seeded spots for the second phase of the tournament.
Surprisingly poor performances have come from the likes of Vici Gaming (1-2), Team WE (also 1-2), Oh My God (1-3) and especially LGD Gaming who are bottom of the table and have lost all four of the games they have played so far.
- LCK Spring 2019 Round-up – South Korea
For many years the Korean LCK was where the strongest LoL teams played but that seems to have changed with a shift in power away from Korea and more towards Europe, China and North America over 2018. Even so, the LCK remains a hugely competitive competition.
Starting on Jan.16, the 10 teams competing have played either six or seven games each and at the moment it is Griffin, a relatively new team that have started the campaign superbly with six wins from six. Behind them are the newly promoted team SANDBOX Gaming, whi have a 5-1 record before the more familiar names of SK Telecom T1 (5-2) and KING-ZONE Dragon X (4-3) and Hanwha Life Esports (also 4-3) complete the top five.
It’s been a tough start for last year’s top seeds KT Rolster who lie in 7th with a 2-4 record, also struggling at the moment ate Gen.G (2-5), Afreeca Freecs (2-5) and the luckless Jin Air Green Wings who have a 0-6 record.
- LCS Spring 2019 Round-up – North America
Team Liquid lead the way in the NA LCS with a perfect 6-0 record so far in the qualification tournament and they are two clear of Cloud9 in second place who have a 4-2 record.
In truth, this has been a hugely competitive qualifier so far with all the remaining eight teams winning either three or two matches so far, which means that any of the teams could make a run at the top positions over the remainder of the season. 100 Thieves, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox and Fly Quest all having 3-3 records, while Clutch Gaming, Golden Guardians, OpTic Gaming and
Team SoloMid all have 2-4 records as things stand.
- LEC Spring 2019 Round-up – Europe
The newly-named LEC EU has started brightly for G2 Esports who have cruised to an 8-0 record and comfortably lead the table from Schalke 04 and Team Vitality, who are 2nd and 3rd in the table with a 6-2 record apiece. Splyce lie fourth with 5-3 with Misfits and Origen finishing out the tip six.
Those teams that need to improve include SK Gaming (3-5), Fnatic and Excel Esports (2-6) and bottom team Rogue (0-8) who are yet to win a game in the Spring Split thus far and already look in real danger of ending up with the wooden spoon.
Betway Offering Esports Boosts on Selected Multiple Selection Markets
Although not strictly related to a specific tournament, there is some important news to note for esports punters and that is that Betway, one of the best sites for esports betting in the UK and one of our partner sites, has now started to offer boosts on specific esports bets.
A boost, for those who have not come across it, is when a company takes a specific betting market and instead of offering the standard odds, offers longer odds on that particular bet, often ensuring that for that bet the company offers punters the best value returns should the bet be a winner.
While many companies offer boosts for standard sporting contests, Betway have become one of the first companies to do similar offers for big esports competitions, with the company currently offering a section within its esports betting section on site devoted entirely to the different esports boost bets available for that day.
If you are fond of putting several esports selections together into an accumulator bet, such as by selecting a number of teams in a CS:GO or Dota 2 tournament to win, then this new offering at Betway will certainly be of great interest to you.
Photo credit: flickr / LoL Esports