Image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira
We’re now halfway through Stage 3 of the APAC North Division. Here’s a rundown on what to expect this week:
- 6PM CEST -- Outsiders vs Heroic
- 7:15PM CEST -- MNM Gaming vs NAVI
- 8:30PM CEST -- Team BDS vs Rogue
- 9:45PM CEST -- G2 Esports vs TT9 Esports
- 11PM CEST -- Wolves Esports vs Team Secret
This week, the EUL will start with the clash between Outsiders and Heroic. Outsiders have had a strong Stage 3 so far having signed the former Team Empire trio and are only one point behind Heroic, who have also looked good with their new signings. Their two rookies will face a stern test against a veteran core on Outsiders, but have good form to back themselves up with.
MNM Gaming then take on Natus Vincere, who last week struggled to get three points against TT9 Esports. But they are themselves coming off a brutal 2-7 loss to Wolves Esports and will need to perform far better to fight off a NAVI looking at breaking into and staying in the top four.
TT9 Esports, for their part, will be keen to finally get a win after back-to-back 5-7 losses in the past two weeks. That marked their third 5-7 loss this stage, but G2 Esports will look like a tantalising target having struggled so far under Fabian "Fabian" Hällsten as a coach.
Wolves Esports will close out the day against a rapidly-improving Team Secret, who have begun to display signs of a winning play style under their new coach, Marlon "Twister" Mello. But it's unlikely the Frenchmen will be too worried, especially coming off their win against MNM last week, their table-topping Stage 2 performance, and Bastien "BiBooAF" Dulac's form this stage.
The match of the day, however, will be the third one -- a top of the table clash between regining Major champions Rogue and one of the favourites for the upcoming Jönköping Major, Team BDS.
Their matches this year have been very close
As with every EUL team, both Rogue and BDS have only met twice so far in 2022, following three meetings in 2021:
- Stage 1 2021 - 7-3 to BDS on Consulate
- Stage 2 2021 - 7-2 to BDS on Kafe
- Stage 3 2021 - 7-4 to BDS on Chalet
- Stage 1 2022 - 8-6 to Rogue on Skyscraper
- Stage 2 2022 - 8-6 to Rogue on Bank
Both of the matches in 2022 have been played with different Rogue rosters, but both have ended in 8-6 wins for Rogue. Juhani "Kantoraketti" Toivonen has seemed particularly up for a fight against BDS this year, having finished with 1.33 and 1.30 SiegeGG Ratings in Stage 1 and 2, respectively.
In tonight's match, too, there will be a change amongst the 10 players present -- but due to Team BDS's signing of Théo "LikEfac" Mariano in place of Adrien "RaFaLe" Rutik.
Curiously, despite their five matches in the past two seasons, both teams have never played on the same map twice.
Rogue have looked shaky against good teams
Rogue are actually in the top-two right now in the EUL, with a 2-0-2-0 record so far. Eight points means that they are only two points behind Team BDS in first place, but Rogue will be concerned at the level of their performances so far.
Their wins, while both in regulation time, have come against a TT9 Esports that has looked poor all season -- though not for the lack of trying -- and against a G2 Esports that has started the stage slowly again.
Meanwhile, their losses have come in overtime to MNM Gaming and NAVI -- two good teams, but ones that Rogue were expeted to beat comfortably given their recent Berlin Major win. Team BDS are going to be the best the EUL has to offer currently and Rogue will need a throwback to August to take a third win against BDS this year.
Team BDS, though, have not lost a match so far in Stage 3 and are looking imperious. It is unlikely they lose to Rogue a third time, especially with LikEfac now in their team.
The battle of the potential rookies of the season
While LikEfac will only play in one EUL stage this season and two tier-one international events at most, he is certainly looking like he is going to rival Spoit's claim to the title of "rookie of the year".
It's early days, and LikEfac's team has never even made it to a grand final, while Spoit won a Major on his first attempt. Nevertheless, the Frenchman has been a revelation and has racked up the kills every match he has played in and finds himself top of the leaderboards in terms of SiegeGG Rating, K-D, and Entry Kills, as well as third in KOST percentage.
Comparatively, owing to Rogue's overall slow start, Spoit has been less impressive. Nevertheless, he has been the best player on his team and the 12th-best in terms of SiegeGG Rating in the entire EUL.
Furthermore, Spoit was the best player at the Berlin Major two months ago. There, he had a SiegeGG Rating of 1.09, a +25 K-D, and an Entry split of +11 -- the highest on his team and the third-highest at the entire event. His skills will not have gone anywhere, but they have seemed rather dormant so far in the EUL.
Both Spoit and LikEfac will be vital to their team's efforts this match and Rogue, in particular, will have to work hard to keep the LikEfac show under wraps to come away with a result. Outsiders managed it two weeks ago and though were just short of a win eventually, they proved that it can be done.
SiegeGG is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more about how readers support SiegeGG.