Image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.
While EU only got underway this week, APAC is now moving to week two. This is everything you need to know about what to expect and the most important storylines to track.
Following their wins in the first week of the second stage, both SANDBOX and CAG head into what’s a potential top two decider match.
Jiheon “GoodBoy” Lee was a nightmare for REJECT in the team’s first game of the season, which was his only second game in APAC North and fourth-ever game at the top APAC level. Hwang “Arukaze” Hyeon-Jin was also impressive, as the South Korean made his debut with SBXG after parting ways with T1.
Meanwhile, CYCLOPS athlete gaming defeated Spear Gaming 7-5 in the team’s first top-flight game since Riccardo “Hybrid” Massimino’s departure.
With only two teams making it to the Berlin Major, every game between SANDBOX, CAG, and DWG KIA could be crucial – not only to define the August Major but also the Six Invitational 2023.
It was not a great start for the Japanese squads, as Fnatic lost to DWG KIA while REJECT lost to SANDBOX Gaming. Now, both teams will have the chance to get their first points of the season.
On paper, Fnatic should be the favorites to win. Both rosters have faced off on two occasions, with Fnatic winning both times – a 7-5 victory in APAC North in Stage 1 and a 7-3 victory on the Japan League 2022. Nevertheless, if we focus on how things went last week, REJECT are in with a chance for an upset.
Jose “Jo” Iman and Invictus Gaming parted ways four months ago. Since then, the Indonesian player missed the first split of the season as he spent those months competing in regional competitions.
Just two weeks ago, Gaimin Gladiators acquired the Roosters squad, including the former Invictus Gaming player. Jo’s APAC South debut for his new home was impressive to say the least, as he lead his team to victory against Charlotte Major participants Chiefs.
Now, the Indonesian player faces another challenge, as he will play against his former team. Invictus are coming off a 6-8 loss to the Knights, who featured iG's former captain Glen "Lunarmetal" Suryasaputra as coach, and will be desperate not to lose to another former player.
They will also be keen to avoid their mistakes from last week, where they won nine opening duels but lost what seemed like an easy win over Knights.
Just before Jo’s reencounter with Invictus Gaming, Elevate and the Knights will face off in a crucial game, especially considering both rosters dropped points on the first week of competition.
Although historically the Knights have a better record against the Elevate, things have changed since the team acquired the Thai roster. In fact, Elevate are yet to lose against the Knights this season, as they defeated them in both the regular phase and the APAC Playoffs.
Catch the APAC North play day on Jun. 22 from 6:30 PM JST (UTC+9) and APAC South on Jun. 23 from 3:30 PM SGT (UTC+8).