Over the weekend, 20 teams duked it out at IEM Oakland Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Invitational, fighting over cash and bragging rights. Most games were won by different teams, and places two to five were hotly contested, but by the end there was a clear winner with a sizeable lead. If you don’t want the tournament spoiled, I suggest not reading on.
When the dust settled in the final match, it was open qualifier team aAa Gaming who took home the $60,000 winner’s hoard. The team claimed their first victory in the sixth match, finishing in the circle with a not-too-shabby 10 kills. By that point, they were the sixth team to get a win under their belt. That was their only victory, but consistent performance gave them an edge over the competition, allowing them to finish ahead.
Game 8 saw Cloud 9 and Ronin desperately fighting over the final circle in a delightfully intense climax. Both teams of three were across the circle from each other, with Cloud 9 locking down the only building in the area. With plenty of jeeps and trees, however, everyone had plenty of cover, creating something of a stalemate.
Potshots were exchanged, but nobody was able to peek their head out from cover without almost getting it blown off. The stalemate was broken when Ronin’s newest member, notadeveloper, made an aggressive charge, getting a perfect angle on his foes. Before they even knew what was going on, Cloud 9 goes from three to one, leaving only Chappie to deal with Ronin.
This is where Chappie went full Rambo. Out of meds and almost out of ammo, he got revenge by taking out notadeveloper. Impressively, he then managed to flank the rest of the Ronin lot, getting around their jeeps to take out another, leaving Chappie facing Duckk. Unfortunately, with low health and only a single tree for cover, Chappie’s rampage came to an end, sealing victory for Ronin. Despite a great final battle, it wasn’t enough for either team to get in the top 5, unfortunately.
You can check out the final game, and the rest, on Twitch.
aAa finished with 38 kills and 1620 points, followed by Tempo Storm and Ghost Gaming, with 1385 and 1375 respectively. Between the sixth and second place teams there was only a difference of 100 points, so it was pretty damn close. Here’s the final standings.
I’ve been really getting into watching competitive PUBG recently, and it’s standoffs like this that make it worthwhile. Since dabbling in esports, PUBG’s been criticised for its unusual pace — lots of time spent watching players gearing up and hiding — along with the difficulty of tracking up to 100 people, but for me, that’s the beauty of competitive PUBG. It’s not like other esports; it’s a slow-burning affair where the groundwork for a glorious crescendo is laid over the course of an entire match. I love it.
IEM Oakland also saw players competing in CS:GO, and you can check out the results from that tournament here.