Season 11 of the Pro League is now already underway, but APAC’s unique structure warrants a better, in-depth look at what is to come in the next week. With the four subregions of Australia-New Zealand (ANZ), Southeast Asia (SEA), Korea, and Japan all set to send to teams each to the APAC Finals, read on to find out what is in store for the region this week from the 7th of January.
ANZ, SEA, and Japan will have a set of double Best-of-One (Bo1) games played on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the form of a faux Best-of-Two, with points being awarded on a per-map basis and draws being possible. Korea, meanwhile, will only see one set of double Bo1 games each day by virtue of having just four teams in the league as compared to eight for the other three subregions.
Kicking things off in APAC will be the ANZ region, arguably the most competitive subregion in the region. The first match will see Season 10’s third place team, Onyxian (formerly Oddity Esports) take on the sixth-seeded Team SiNister in a clash of two new rosters. Next, the newly promoted Kanga roster will take on a Fnatic hot off qualification to the Six Invitational 2020 in the second and final set of Bo1 games for the day.
In what is looking to be this week’s most anticipated ANZ matchup, Wildcard Gaming will be taking on the exciting new Pro League team of HomeLess on Thursday. Wildcard, despite having finished second in Season 10 and having been one round off from beating Natus Vincere, are not going to have the easiest task against a confident HomeLess. Capping off the day will be Mindfreak and FURY, in what should be a close game as well.
Southeast Asia (SEA) will see the former Xavier Esports roster, now under Qconfirm, go against the newly promoted 200 Degrees, while each team’s closest rivals -- Aerowolf and Team1122 -- will be following up. While Aerowolf is expected to win against Team1122, having jrdn play in only his second match with the team in place of MentalistC could expose some early weaknesses.
The best viewing is to be expected on Thursday, however, with the domestic Six Invitational Qualifier winners taking on close rivals Scrypt E-Sports. The former, having nearly beaten Fnatic on a map, will be feeling confident, and Scrypt will need to pull out something special to win. Finally, midtable candidates Lese Esports and Team Valor will be closing things out in what should also be a close game.
Once the crown jewel of APAC, but perhaps now losing its luster, is the Japanese sub-region. Regardless, exciting games are to follow, with the up and coming DetonatioN Gaming team facing the newly promoted Takumi Festival LBX starting things out in Japan. FAV Gaming will then go up against Unsold Stuff Gaming right after in what could be a closer game than expected.
The former NORA-Rengo junior team, GUTS Gaming, will then take on Yoshimoto Gaming Lamy, but the pick of the action is certainly going to be the final Japanese game of the week -- NORA-Rengo versus Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG). These two teams were second and first in Season 10, respectively, but things seemed to have changed. NORA-Rengo has been in a tailspin for some time, while CAG just dropped Shokei for Ayagatorz and failed at the Six Invitational Qualifier LAN. Expect fireworks from the match as you watch on to see the future of Japan shape up.
Just across the Korean Strait, the Korean subregion will be getting its Pro League started as well, with Axiomatic featuring on both days. The team will be first going up against a SCARZ looking to stake a claim to the second APAC Finals spot, before facing a shaky TRIPPY with two stand-ins. With the lack of teams in the region, it is hard to compare them within themselves, but the games are sure to be closer than ever before.
For more coverage on APAC’s competitions including and beyond the Pro League, check back here at SiegeGG regularly as we bring you what’s in store for the week ahead.