Ahead of PCS Asia 4, it is time for the team previews. Instead of doing all the teams in one lump sum, they are getting broken up by region. This not only allows for more in-depth conversation but a bigger focus on the interregional standing. The recent roster shakeup in Korea especially warrants this. Here is what to expect from every Korean team in PCS Asia 4.
The State of Korean PUBG
The first PCS Event of 2020 marks a fork in the road for the Korean scene. For the first time in a while, Gen.G’s title of the best team in Korea seems legitimately threatened. While they may not have had great PCS results last year, they proved their greatness at PGI.S again. They return to the PCS stage hoping to finally prove their greatness in the PCS system. Meanwhile, the rest of the region is in a state of flux.
There is no concrete hierarchy behind them and some of the best teams did not qualify because of the Most Dinner’s Rule. The region is at a point where great teams are not making it over worse teams because they did not win a game, but got second a bunch. PCS Asia 4 can signify many things: the first Korean PCS win, a potential changing of the guard at the top of Korea, a surprise win or a coronation. Anything can happen during PCS, especially in Most Dinners scoring.
Have A Nice Day, Do Not Pass Go
There are a few teams that have little shot of winning PCS 4. These teams are traditionally middle of the pack and their ceilings just are not that high. The first team in this class is T1. This team is the definition of bland and inconsistent. If this was the classic Super Settings T1 would likely be higher. In Most Dinners, they are firmly down towards the bottom. This team consistently will get around one win and will have ok placements. Outside of that, they are fairly bland. Take 2020 Element Mystic’s playstyle and make it a little more aggressive and that is T1. Things could change with the addition of Hwan2da, but there is no data to support that at this time. Unless he changes things drastically, T1 will be one of the worst Korean teams at PCS 4 Asia.
Their counterpart in this tier is emTek. This team is the king of out of nowhere results. They are consistently middle of the pack and then will suddenly have a top finish. A great finish at this event would likely be off the back of Gyuyeon and Heaven having the best tournaments of their lives. That being said, this team has put egg on my face twice prior. Maybe they can do it a third time.
It’s A MaD, MaD, MaD, MaD World
MaD Clan are an interesting case heading into PCS 4 Asia. This was a team put together prior to PWS: East Asia Phase 1 after being rebranded from FarmPC Esports. Its roster combined talented outcasts from assorted rosters into one team with the hopes of international success. Will it happen at this tournament, probably not. It is clear this team has talent. EEND and Daeva both finished top six in kills during the PWS: EA Grand Final. Those two are not the problem with this team. Lash is the most worrying part of this team. Not only did he play poorly statistically, but playing on passive teams formerly did not help. He could be an anchor that weighs down this team. MaD’s ceiling is not that high, but their floor isn’t too low. This tournament will be a stepping stone more than a launching pad for them.
The Three-Body Problem
Three teams enter this event with similar expectations and similar tendencies. Afreeca Freecs, GPS Ghibli and Damwon Kia all reside within the same spectrum of potential outcomes. They can either win the event or finish in the middle of the pack. They all have plenty of talent, but some rosters have been together longer than others.
Damwon Kia is by far the most interesting case of all three teams. By far the most consistent Korean roster last year, they made wholesale changes heading into PWS: East Asia. Indigo was released from the roster and kAyle is now on the bench. Their roster of Under, Wick2d, Loki and Seongjang performed to consistent results: fourth in groups and fourth in the finals. The spirit of OGN Entus Fourth lives on. This roster in theory can be the best team in a tournament. Under is one of the five best players in the region and he has a superbly talented and experienced cast around him. The issue is they have not shown the explosiveness necessary to fight the Chinese teams and the Korean teams simultaneously.
The team in the middle of the spectrum is GPS Ghibli. They recently added Adder, formerly of T1. Like many of the players that have left T1, they instantly seem to fit better into other rosters. Adder is no exception. He had the second-most kills on the team during the finals. He and Renba were a deadly duo throughout PWS: East Asia. The issue with GPS Ghibli is that they tend to not reach their peak potential, but still perform well. They play well, but not well enough. Add on top of that their history with 4AM and they may have some issues.
Afreeca Freecs meanwhile may seem out of place here. They won both the preseason and first phase PWS: East Asia. Plus, they even won a week at PGI.S. In theory, they should be paired with Danawa. There is just something about them that feels off. While they have performed well in region, their PGI.S weekly final performance was less than stellar save the first week. Hansia is one of the best players in Korea, there is no denying that. It is the supporting cast that is worrying. Akad and Hikari are both good players, but have a history of being streaky and getting into ruts. For half of last year, Akad was dreadful. This team will likely challenge for the top five, but their history may catch up to them.
From Pauper to Prince
The most promising team by far in Korea, outside of Gen.G, is Danawa e-sports. Danawa was not always a good team. In fact, for most of 2020, they were a middle-of-the-pack team that had good but not great players. Slowly, over the latter half of the year, they assembled this powerful roster. Seoul has always been one of the most talented players in South Korea, he just was stuck carrying teams with not enough talent. Rex was a great secondary option for a T1 roster that almost won PCS 2. JeffLocka is a classic support player with good gun skill. Then, there is Salute. This 18 year-old fragger is one of the best players under 20 years old in the world. It is between him and Sparkingg, given we don’t know many of the Chinese player’s ages. That is how good he is. Together this team has arguably the highest possible peak in all of PCS 4. They won 11 games during the PWS: East Asia Group Stage. That is similar to what 4AM pulled off in the PCL. Pair that with solid scrim results and even better play, they may become the new kings of Korea.
The King’s Of The Castle
The king is dead, long live the king. Many people doubted Gen.G heading into PGI.S, but their performance quelled all those doubts. Inonix finely meshed with the rest of the team and Pio was, well, Pio. After PGI.S though they made an important roster move. They replaced long time member Loki with former Griffin member Asura. That move was nothing short of massive. Asura now provides Gen.G the perfect player to play with Pio & Inonix. Sometimes he can be the third wheel or he can be riding shotgun. He has the ability to clutch fights that Loki may not have clutched. He fills what this team so desperately needed. After a relatively disappointing 2020 by Gen.G standards, this finally looks like the Gen.G everyone expected in 2020. They should be considered one of the favorites to win PCS 4 Asia, and with good reason
PCS 4 Korean Team Power Rankings:
- Danawa e-sports
- Damwon Kia
- Afreeca Freecs
- GPS Ghibli
- MaD Clan
Who do you think will be the best? Tell Christian on Twitter at @TheWiz_SPM.
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