SPL Summer Split Week Two: Big NA Games
Week One of the Summer Split only gave us one result that wasn’t expected, and that was the split between Luminosity and Allegiance. Sure we knew ALG had improved, but Luminosity was supposed to be the top North American squad, so a 2-0 wouldn’t have been a shocker. Instead we got a 1-1 split, and a look at the promising new ALG roster. Looking ahead to week two, 20% of the split is over, and the opportunity to make a statement. Here’s a look at the big games taking place in North America this week.
Noble plays two games this week, one Thursday vs Monkey Madness, and one Sunday vs In Memory of Gabe. With the way Noble looked against Luminosity last week, these games aren’t big games for either MM or IMOG. In fact, they should just be going about their business, and picking up points where they have an easy win. For Noble, however, this week is make or break. If Noble drops all four games this week, that puts them at 0 points almost half way through the Split.
Now is the time for Noble to show they deserve to be in the pack of top NA teams. Luminosity still seems like the only team that is a lock for top three this split, and Noble already lost to them. The good news is Noble can control its own destiny by winning these two sets this weekend against two teams believed to be in the running for top three. Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill showed up last week, and everyone else seemed to just be there. If Noble wants to pull off these wins, Brett “MLCst3alth” Felley is going to need to show he’s still a top Mid lane player, and Jacob “Wowy” Carter will need to win his lane match up to carry his team.
In the end, I still have Noble dropping both sets. They haven’t given any reason to think otherwise dating all the way back to the Gauntlet.
eUnited vs Team Eager
Eager split with Monkey Madness last week. This isn’t really a big deal, as Eager made a roster change and MM is the same SoaR squad that made Masters. eUnited splitting with IMOG is essentially the same situation. Neither team made Masters last split, and both teams made a roster change.
The reason this game is big is that it can tell us exactly where these teams belong. If this game ends up a 2-0 in eUnited’s favor, then some questions begin to pop up with EGR. If this game ends up a 2-0 in Eager’s favor, then we still view EGR, and Monkey Madness, as top three teams.
However, if this set ends in a split, that’s where things get interesting. Is EGR falling down out of the top three and into the pack of squads climbing? Are eUnited so improved that they can be considered with EGR as a top three team?
With only one set played, Eager still hasn’t shown they can dominate the way we’ve seen in recent splits. eUnited had a pretty strong performance last week and could have walked away with the 2-0. I’m calling a split with this one.
Team Allegiance vs eUnited
Are they really a top three team? That’s what this set is all about. Is ALG really as good as they have looked so far during Summer Split? If they are, then they need to 2-0 eUnited. eUnited splitting 1-1 with IMOG show the company they keep in terms of team ability. Barring a 2-0 vs Eager, this should be a middle of the row team up against a top three team based on what we’ve already witnessed.
Aleksandr “Oceans” Brudniy has looked like a top ADC so far this split, especially when playing Cernunnos. He’ll be up against his former lane partner is Michael “PolarBearMike” Heiss. PBM will know the ins and outs of not only how Oceans wants to play, but ALG as a whole. It will be up to Kurt “Weak3n” Schray to lead his squad and keep up the performance we’ve seen out of him thus far.
I think this one will end in a split as well. One week of ALG dominating Flash Point, and splitting with Luminosity isn’t enough for me to call them a top three team yet.
Monkey Madness vs Luminosity Gaming
This one is simple and straightforward. Luminosity is in first place, tied with Monkey Madness and Team Allegiance. Luminosity split with ALG, while MM split with Eager. There are only three teams from North America that can make DreamHack at the end of Summer Split. Because of that, head to head matchups are incredibly important against the other top teams.
Both teams have already split against top teams. Getting a 2-0 win against another top team would be huge, especially for Luminosity, as they
haven’t played Flash Point yet. John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter and Andrew “Andinster” Woodward are the top two in North America so far in KDA. It will be up to them to try to carry their respective teams to a 2-0 against another top squad.
I just don’t see that happening. Just as EU is close at the top, NA is the same way. This one will end in a split, leaving Luminosity and Monkey Madness tied at the top of North America.
Feature Photo by Hi-Rez Studios