Guild Wars 2 Pro League Season 2 Preview

The Guild Wars 2 Pro League features the top eight teams from both the North American and European regions fighting for a total prize pool of $200,000. These eight teams per region will play in a round-robin format over the next seven weeks of play. When the results are tallied in late May, all eight teams will receive a share of $100,000. The top two teams from each region will be flown to the ESL Studios to fight for the remaining $100,000. For more information including tournament dates and prize pool specifics, click here.

Five teams per region from the previous season have automatically qualified with their top five placement. The remaining three teams qualified during the Challenger Cup on March 6th, where they fought through a double elimination bracket to grab a spot. Pro League play will resume on this upcoming Monday, March 21st.

Check out this write up on the Guild Wars 2 website for date and time specifics.

North American Teams

The Abjured

Season 1 Finish: 1st (Season 1 Finals: 2nd)

Members: Chaith, Phantaram, Nos, Magic Toker, Wakkey

A strong performance in season 1 wasn’t enough for The Abjured, who fell short in the season finals to Rank Fifty Five Dragons, claiming 2nd place. Now they’re back and ready to put an end to any doubts about them being the best. An impressive 7-0 record last season may have been enough for the finals, but the competition is fierce and looking to grab their number one spot and put an end to their North American reign. The Abjured will look to bring their best to the table with the meta shifting considerably from the previous season. Always training to get better, The Abjured will be a top dog once again.

Team PZ

Season 1 Finish: 2nd (Season 1 Finals: 3rd/4th)

Members: Zoose, Kaypud, Muffins, Java, Marvin

Season 1 provided Team PZ with a favorable composition, giving them the boost into second place and qualifying them for the finals. Dropping 0-3 to Rank Fifty Five Dragons in the semi-finals wasn’t the result they were hoping for, but now they must look past their defeat and seek to earn a spot at the top in season 2. With The Abjured and Never Lucky seeming to be their biggest threats in doing so, it will come down to these key matchups to determine whether or not they’re worthy once again. As one of the very few rosters that stayed fully intact from last season, Team PZ is still a favorite and a team to look out for.

Spoookie

Season 1 Finish: 3rd

Members: Shnicky, Physicks, Brenslo, Duck, Cast

With the departure of Sunfish, Mime, and Happykid, Spoookie’s roster is looking very grim. The future is weary and it’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat of their third place finish. Regardless of these unfortunate roster adjustments, Shnicky moving forward will need to bring these five players together and hope to scrounge up some victories in an attempt to hold onto their spot. Although Physicks and Shnicky are the only starting members to return, Duck was a substitute who will be moving to the main squad in an attempt to salvage what they can of the Spoookie name.

Never Lucky

Season 1 Finish: 4th

Members: Olrun, Faov, Steel, Sunfish, Stalagta

Never Lucky had a terrific finish last season, battling back after a slow 1-3 start to snag some victories and place fourth. Bear has parted ways with this team and joined one of the Challenger Cup teams that qualified on March 6th, E Dream, which meant finding his replacement. Sunfish, the newest addition to the roster, has continued to help Never Lucky grow and improve while fighting for their own spot at the season finals. Never Lucky’s future looks bright with mainly E Dream, Team PZ, and The Abjured standing in their way for a top two finish. With Olrun leading the charge, they’re confident they will end up at the season finals and at the top of their game.

I had a moment to grab a statement from Olrun regarding what they’ve been doing to prepare for season 2 where he briefly stated, “We practice multiple hours everyday, generally scrimming 1-2 teams per day and doing 2v2s and 2v1s when we aren’t scrimming. On top of that, we play together a lot outside of practices, which really helps with team synergy.

Final Form

Season 1 Finish: 5th

Members: Supcutie, Zeromis, Eurantien, Bob, Ozie

Having automatically qualified for season 1, Final Form managed to finish with a 3-4 record at fifth place, barely scraping by and avoiding relegation. A fresh start in season 2 is just what they need with all five core members returning to the action. The new addition of the ‘no class stacking’ rule will force Zeromis to change from his main class, mesmer, and fulfill another role for this team with Supcutie sticking to it for the time being. Fortunately for them, their roster is rounded out by experienced players who can confidently play most of the needed roles. Final Form will be looking for a better performance this time around, having avoided relegation and fighting for a spot back at a LAN for the first time since we saw them at the World Tournament Series in Boston.

Supcutie was able to comment on what they’re doing in the off-season and where they expect to end up. “Final Form is looking to get at least second in the upcoming Season 2 of Pro League. We are currently ramping up our practice times and are looking to have a large improvement over last season. Eura and I both will be back on our mains so things should hopefully be better!

Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy

Season 1 Finish: 7th

Members: Ementon, Edison, Ostrich Eggs, Zorh, Wang

Ostrich Eggs is back in action with Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy, managing to slip past Best Team North Africa and qualify for season 2 in the Challenger Cup. With only a few of their core members from last season returning, Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy looks to perform at a higher level this time around. Luckily for them, we all know how passionate Ostrich Eggs is about being the best which will help lead the way and keep the momentum going in their hopes to improve and become a more recognized team.

E Dream

Season 1 Finish: N/A

Members: Bear, Trig, Kenya, Eternity, Hazard

In their second attempt to qualify for the Pro League, E Dream were able to secure a slot with a victory over Zero Counterplay in the Challenger Cup. Having several roster adjustments from their season 1 iteration, new additions such as Bear and Hazard helped secure the victories. Bear’s experience from having played with Never Lucky in season 1 will help him lead this team to a respectable finish in the coming weeks, but I have a feeling E Dream will be the “Never Lucky” of season 2. There is talent in this lineup, but the lack of experience as a group and discipline to come together has me worried about them not achieving the ultimate feat. Never Lucky and Team PZ will be two of their toughest opponents as they look to take them down for their hopes to end up in Burbank, CA. Expect E Dream to be one of the up-and-coming teams this split.

Gems N’ Tonic (Formally ‘Best Team North Africa’)

Season 1 Finish: N/A

Members: Dolten, Tao, Zercko, Zuko, Devil of the Mists, Almighty

Seemingly out of nowhere, this team managed to battle their way into the Challenger Cup and secure a spot in the Pro League. Having been a roster for over half a year, participating in amateur tournaments isn’t all they were looking to get out of competitive PvP. A darkhorse in the Challenger Cup, Gems N’ Tonic fought through the bracket taking down Zero Counterplay in a thrilling 2-1 set, defeating a former Pro League team and claiming a spot for their own. Although this may be their first taste of true competitive PvP, teams will need to proceed with caution as they will have a few tricks up their sleeve with players who are willing to risk it all.

The Rundown

Last season’s finish for North America wasn’t too much of a surprise to most as The Abjured and Team PZ crowned themselves victors. However, this time around they may meet their match with Never Lucky, E Dream, and Final Form coming into the fray and looking like possible contenders. With several revitalized rosters, teams are looking to fight for their shot at representing North American in Burbank this summer.

The Abjured’s invincible image may have been shattered once again to Europe but North America is yet to get a taste of victory against this powerhouse. Will that change this upcoming season? Both Never Lucky and Team PZ are the top two that seem to have a shot at doing this with Team PZ falling down a step after the meta shift and Never Lucky grabbing Sunfish from Spoookie during the off-season. With a major patch hitting PvP mid-season, this may once again shift things in or out of either team’s favor and shaking up what could be a close race for first and second place.

Both E Dream and Final Form have been in the talks about potential challengers but do they have what it takes? Final Form is looking stronger than they ever did during season 1 while E Dream made it through the Challenger Cup without a single misstep. So, what’s the hesitation? Inexperience on the side of E Dream may prove to be their weak spot as they are yet to come together as a team and prove that they are one of the best. Final Form, who is finally getting a groove in their step, are sidelining Zeromis on the mesmer due to the new class-stacking rule and Eurantien will more than likely find himself on ranger once again; which isn’t in a particularly great spot by any means as of now. While it’s likely these two teams will fall in the middle of the pack, there is hope for them yet.

Storm’s Predictions

8. Spoookie
7. Gems N’ Tonic
6. Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy
5. Final Form
4. E Dream
3. Never Lucky
2. Team PZ
1. The Abjured

[poll id=”3″]

 

 

European Teams

Rank Fifty Five Dragons

Season 1 Finish: 1st (Season 1 Finals: 1st)

Members: Levin, Zan, Texbi, Mancow, Oracle

The new World Champions and pulling a season title under their belt, Rank Fifty Five Dragons are back to the drawing board preparing to follow up on their success. While they are the favorites moving forward, they are being trailed by several teams who are looking to steal their crown and fight for a spot at the finals once again. With European competition being extremely brutal, things may not be as easy for them. Will they hold up on their end and come through with another perfect season without dropping a single set? As expected, Rank Fifty Five Dragons will be one of the teams to keep an eye on in the upcoming season.

Vermillion

Season 1 Finish: 2nd (Season 1 Finals: 3rd/4th)

Members: Argi, Snowball, Kervv, Triffin, Frostball, Alkore

Season 1 was a success for Vermillion, as overcoming both The Civilized Gentlemen and Orange Logo proved them to be worthy opponents at the finals. Falling just short to Rank Fifty Five Dragons during the regular season inevitably pitted them against The Abjured in the semi-finals where The Abjured, being major favorites, eliminated Vermillion in a 3-1 set, sending them back to season 2 with revenge on their minds. Alkore, an important member on this team, unfortunately won’t be breaking out the ranger action which helped set them apart from the other competition last season. With the recent acquisition of Frostball from Orange Logo, Vermillion looks extremely tough and will be a difficult team to defeat down the stretch.

The Civilized Gentlemen

Season 1 Finish: 3rd

Members: Helseth, Drazeh, Frae, Kaazers, Lord Asura

This past season may not have been what Helseth and his crew were expecting, but he’ll no doubt have his eyes set on returning The Civilized Gentlemen to the next LAN and claiming first place for the first time in a major international tournament. Losing to both Rank Fifty Five Dragons and Vermillion last season won’t be forgotten as this team will need to overcome both of them if they want to find success. This meta heavily favors a team like The Civilized Gentlemen which may help lead them to a top two finish.

Car Crashed

Season 1 Finish: 4th

Members: Super, Blackjack, KanScout, NagNag, Posi

One of the more up-and-coming teams, Car Crashed has proven to be a worthy opponent finishing 4th this past season and continuing to improve. With their reincarnation after being one of the most dominant teams over two and a half years ago, they’ll look to be top two contender this upcoming season. The European scene sports at least four or five teams that could place in those two spots, leaving it up for grabs by anyone including Car Crashed.

More Guns Than Roses

Season 1 Finish: 5th

Members: Xeon, Atrastea, Dank, Demon, Thijsken

More Guns Than Roses managed to avoid relegation during the last split, finish with a 3-4 record and beating Orange Logo to maintain their spot in season 2 without having to head to the Challenger Cup. A few roster changes have come into play during the off-season as they look to reform for the upcoming weeks. Although their only victories came over the bottom three teams, they’ll be out for blood and looking to pick up some extra wins this time around.

Orange Logo

Season 1 Finish: 6th

Members: ROM, Sindrener, Tage, Denshee, Farror

One of the most recognized names in all of Guild Wars 2 PvP, Orange Logo is back at it for season 2. Although they briefly struggled during the Challenger Cup with Super Smash, they managed to beat them out in a 2-1 set and qualify, continuing to prove they’re not done just yet. We last saw Orange Logo at a LAN during the World Tournament Series in Cologne where they fell just short of another championship. With that in mind, I can’t imagine they’ll be looking for anything shy of returning to their former glory. However, in the recent days they have lost one of their most valued players in Frostball, who moved over to Vermillion. This is a massive lineup change for Orange Logo who may pick up another member or bring Sindrener off of the bench and into the action.

Purple Noise

Season 1 Finish: 8th

Members: Cava, Honey, Cole, Badarka, Demonlord, Viper

Unable to taste victory during season 1, Purple Noise managed to battle through thick and thin during the Challenger Cup and reclaim their spot. Dropping 14 games and coming up with 0 victories may not be a reminder they want to hear, but it should be what fuels them to continue to improve and finish with a better placement, in an attempt to avoid relegation this time around. None of their matchups will be easy but there is a noticeable difference in their effectiveness as a team from two months ago to now which can only help their cause.

Super Smash (Formally ‘Anti-Social Dragon Finishers’)

Season 1 Finish: N/A

Members: Slinger, Amka, Amstar, Sabell, Zuik

The latest Pro League contender, Super Smash is about to have their first run in the professional scene. An impressive performance during the Challenger Cup is nothing to forget about as they nearly handled Orange Logo, falling just short with a 1-2 loss. Moving forward, it’s tough to predict where they’ll end up this season, as things have died down with only one major tournament being played since the patch hit back in January. Expect Super Smash to bring the best they’ve got and make a run for a respectable finish in the upcoming season.

The Rundown

A dramatic finish to the Guild Wars 2 Pro League Season 1 Finals brought another championship to Europe with Rank Fifty Five Dragons taking down The Abjured. Another season is finally upon us as we watch the world’s top 16 teams take it to the mists, battling for a top two position once again in their quest for first place. The battle will all begin where it left off with Rank Fifty Five Dragons, Vermillion, and The Civilized Gentlemen atop it all.

With the recent acquisition of Frostball from Orange Logo, Vermillion is looking stronger than ever. Even though Alkore has been put on the sideline until they’re in need of his skills on the ranger, they’ll be keeping him around due to how much they value his play. Yet, on the other end they’ll still meet their match with Rank Fifty Five Dragons who are just as strong, meeting eye to eye with every class Vermillion brings to the table.

The Civilized Gentlemen will also be a top contender this upcoming season, given that their previous one was a bit of disappointment and they look ready as ever to take on anyone who looks to stand in their way. With Helseth leading the way and back on a mesmer build that seems to suit him well, they won’t be backing down as they look to place first this upcoming season.

Down the line, Car Crashed and Orange logo aren’t out of question just yet but it may be a long, tough road ahead of them as they would need to battle past each other first. While I’m unsure as to what the status of the final slot on Orange Logo holds in whether or not Sindrener is back in the main lineup or not, we can’t quite be for certain until we’ve seen them hit the stage without Frostball. Car Crashed has continued to improve during the off-season and looks to be one step ahead of many other European teams as they will try to fight their way into contention for a top two spot.

Storm’s Predictions

8. Purple Noise
7. More Guns Than Roses
6. Super Smash
5. Orange Logo
4. Car Crashed
3. The Civilized Gentlemen
2. Rank Fifty Five Dragons
1. Vermillion

[poll id=”4″]

 

Check out the action over on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel starting March 21st.

Previous Guild Wars 2 Class Tier List - March 10th, 2016
Next RECAP: North American Pro League Season 2 - Week 1

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Storm
Storm 68 posts

Storm is a commentator and writer in both the Overwatch and Guild Wars 2 professional scenes.

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