Preview: North American Pro League Season 1
The Guild Wars 2 Pro League is here and with it a preview of the North American scene, what to expect from it, and my predictions from the seven weeks of play. For those of you who are new to Guild Wars 2 or need a refresher, I’ve compiled the information you need to know in the paragraph below.
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. Two teams from each region qualified via prior participation in the World Tournament Series. The next two teams were decided from the final Go4 Guild Wars 2 standings for the month of October. The final four teams were decided via an open online qualifier held this past weekend where teams battled it out in a double-elimination bracket. With these eight teams per region, they will all play in a round-robin format over the next seven event weeks (the seven weeks are not consecutive). When the results are tallied in mid-January, 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.
Members: Chaithh, Nos, Phantaram, Wakkey, Magic Toker
Why be a king when you can be a God? The Abjured have reigned supreme for North America since the World Tournament Series: Beijing qualifier which was held over a year ago. The only team to have ever beaten the Abjured in a best-of-3 in 2015 is Orange Logo, a European team who won the World Tournament Series in Boston earlier this year. While only a few North American teams have ever been able to take single matches off of The Abjured in a tournament setting, this team is yet to drop a single set to one in 2015. The Abjured look to continue their dominance over the course of Season 1, but with Heart of Thorns being released not too long ago, a few teams are yet to test their might against this behemoth with the new changes.
Members: Morfeus, Quilja, Tarcis, Ostrich Eggs, Trackful
A fan favorite, Apex Prime has returned once and for all! With a few new additions to the roster including Ostrich Eggs, who previously played for The Abjured at the World Tournament Series in Beijing, Quilja, and Trackful, Apex Prime has come back in full force. It has been a while since a stable Apex Prime roster has been established with many mishaps along the way. Keeping two of the original members, Morfeus and Tarcis, Quilja is not foreign as he did play with them in a previous iteration of their roster. Although we are yet to see Ostrich Eggs play in a tournament with these guys, it should be exciting to have him and the rest of this crew back in the scene.
Members: Supcutie, Zeromis, Eurantien, Bob, Ozie
Previously known as ‘The Dankening’, Final Form has returned to give us quite the exciting league matches. With two of the top Mesmers in the scene, Supcutie and Zeromis, these two will be making plays all over the map along with Eurantien. Expect an unorthodox composition with these guys as they have several players who liked to go outside of the box. Eurantien who brought a power ranger to the World Tournament Series in Boston and Zeromis who is the master of portal plays, will be two big players to keep an eye on week after week. Final Form is a top contender in the Pro Leagues and should be giving us exciting matches every Monday.
Members: Sunfish, Mime, Happy Kid, Shnicky, Caed
Spoookie have been one of the more entertaining teams over the past several months. With the recent addition of Caed to their roster (all respawn timers aside) Spoookie has been proving to continue their dominance in the scene. These guys have participated in the previous three monthly cups and improving with each and every one. If Caed, Mime, and Happy Kid are able to keep up their ‘wombo combo’ damage, which tends to delete players, this team will be thrilling. Their high-damage composition is one of the better ones to watch, no matter their opponent.
Members: Olrun, Bear, Physicks, Koto, Stalagta
Previously known as ‘Team Faded’, Never Lucky is a roster that may be a little rocky with their newest roster change. Amonatory, a key component to their roster, unfortunately had to leave the roster and has been replaced by Physicks. Of course one member doesn’t necessarily determine the overall success of this team, so they will be relying on the other to pick up any slack and look to carry themselves forward in the Pro League. Never Lucky has been one of the more dominant teams over the past several months competing extremely well with teams such as Spoookie, Radioactive, and The Abjured. If Olrun and Bear are able to lead the way and make great calls, I can only expect success on their side.
Members: Aerodynamique, Aeroxe, Moobs, Qwho, Stormedbypizza
Zero Counterplay is one of the biggest surprises in the Pro League. What seemed like a last minute roster actually includes some of the best talent in the scene at this point in time. Stormedbypizza and Aerodynamique, arguably two of the biggest underdogs right now, are looking to make a bigger name for themselves. With a few players returning to the game such as Moobs and Qwho, a bit of rust may need to be shaken off but over the next few weeks they should be able to take on some of the bigger names.
Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy
Members: Caden Thompson, Chudat, Edison, Ementon, Zorh
Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy is a bit of surprise to many people. Having taken out Radioactive 2-1 in their qualifying match, they have shaped up to be quite the talented newly formed roster. With a few names that may not be recognizable at this time, you will be sure to remember them by week seven. Caden Thompson and Zorh have done an excellent job together essentially making play after play for this team. Watch for them to give this team a reputation in the coming weeks and be a team that may pull out some upsets. If they’re able to get in the practice, who knows what they could accomplish.
Members: Java, Kaypud, Muffinz, Marvin, Zoose
Team PZ is quite arguable the biggest wildcard of the Season 1 Pro League. With little to no success at the inception of their return, this team looked to be a flop. However, with an abundance of practice they came into the Pro League qualifier and reigned supreme, showing total dominance over the number one seeded Radioactive. While several of these players have been on some of the best Guild Wars 2 PvP teams of all time, bringing them together has proven to have its ups and downs. If they can continue to play as they have lately and run all over their opponents, look for them to have an edge in many of their matchups.
8. Ez Pz Lemon Squeezy
7. Zero Counterplay
6. Team PZ
5. Never Lucky
3. Apex Prime
2. Final Form
1. The Abjured
While above are my personal predictions, several of these teams are wildcards. Apex Prime and Final Form have not been seen in competitive play for several weeks which only allows me to rely upon scrimmages to determine their current strengths and weaknesses. While scrimmages are good practice, they do not bring the same atmosphere as a tournament setting, thus my hesitancy with them being placed so high. Team PZ and Never Lucky are two other teams that can vary. With recent roster changes to Never Lucky, it gives me doubts but if the rest are able to keep up their high-level play, they could definitely be higher.
I look forward to the season beginning and hope to see you on the stream!
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