In a dramatic day of twists and turns, Natus Vincere (NAVI) secured top spot at the PGS Berlin: Europe Qualifier finals. The remaining places were taken by Team Liquid, WTSG, Exalt, ENCE and Northern Lights.
NAVI laid down a stunning gauntlet nice and early in Match 1 on Miramar. In what was a sign of things to come, they ruthlessly disposed of Omaken Esports – battering their way into the top six.
Although it wasn’t all smooth sailing. They entered the final three with a full roster on the battleground before suffering heavy casualties. Finding themselves in a 2 vs 1 in Omaken Esports’ favor, it looked like the W might just allude them. But cometh the hour, cometh the man. NAVI’s TheTab kept his cool, and calmly dispatched his opponents despite being at a numerical disadvantage. They gained an invaluable 27 points, pushing them into fourth place with five matches to play.
Match 2 saw a return to Miramar, with a fairly southern circle kicking the action off. NAVI failed to continue their first game form and was taken out early, leaving a power vacuum for their opponents to try and take advantage of.
A fascinating final two saw seventh place RYE Gaming take on eighth place TSM, with both sides only too aware of the impact the duel could have on the final table. In the end, RYE Gaming took the W, but it was perhaps TSM who had the last laugh. They decided to deny RYE Gaming those critical kills, and – despite finishing second – ended with more match points than their rivals.
Match 3 was of great significance to the teams floating around the 40-point mark. Almost halfway through the day, there was a lot of pressure on mid-table squads to step up to the plate. In a surprising twist, TSM was eliminated first after a brutal assault which saw Northern Lights take out their whole roster in one clean sweep. RYE Gaming was not far behind them, also being dispatched without picking up a single point. Was the intensity of the occasion starting to take its toll on the sides?
If the pressure was building elsewhere in the studio, NAVI had failed to take any notice. Led by top fraggers TheTab and Kemba7, they cruised to their second win of the day – picking off Diamond Dogs in the final two and knocking Team Liquid off the top spot.
Next up was Erangel, which offered up a circle placed firmly around Sosnovka Island. As is often the case in that region, the rush to the island saw a few casualties – with several players being buried at sea.
It was Unity in the end who took the chicken dinner, creeping in from the west they were unforgiving in their approach, taking out ENCE in the final two. It was the first win of the weekend for the side, who will no doubt be delighted with that performance.
Northern Lights staked their claim for a place in the top six with a stunning performance on Erangel in Match 5. A hard circle shift – which resulted in a mad dash of squads through Pochinki – was kind to them, and they defended their position effectively.
As is often the case in these tournaments, to be the best you have to beat the best – and this match was no different. They came up against an in-form NAVI, who had been fragging for fun all day, but kept their cool and their discipline to close off the match.
There was so much to play for in the final game. TSM held sixth place going into Erangel for Match 6, with Northern Lights, RYE Gaming and ENCE in the hunt. And what happened next will live long, long in the memory.
A dramatic showdown between TSM and Diamond Dogs saw both sides take casualties, with TSM’s Jembty and mykLe putting up an impressive defense.
It looked like TSM would hold on, with RYE Gaming and ENCE needing something really special to make it to the main event. But something special is exactly what we got.
Quite simply, ENCE played it brilliantly. Darting between heavy fire, they went on a devastating killing spree – finding themselves in a 4 v 3 with Etiget Esports in the final two.
They navigated the final circle with commanding confidence and took that tournament defining frag. Cheers erupted around the studio, they had scraped into the top six against the odds! Northern Lights managed to lock down the last qualification spot, which they took at TSM’s expense.
That concluded a superb weekend of PUBG action, stay tuned for updates on PGS Berlin – the main event.