With how wide the esports world is, it’s tough to pin down every marquee matchup and bit of esports news each week. Sometimes, those moments go beyond the competitive sphere and dip into streaming, general gaming and the business world, too. Esports is bigger than just the games we watch every day and the big thing you should take away from each week could pass you by if you’re not careful.
That’s where we come in. Every week, Upcomer’s staff comes together to select the five biggest W’s of the last week, whether they be a player’s performance, a new game release or something else. The goal: to get you caught up on esports news this week and get you ready for everything that comes next.
Here are our Five W’s for the week of July 5 to July 11.
FlyQuest Academy 3-0’s in LCS Debut
FlyQuest Academy just went 3-0 against Cloud9, CLG and Immortals in their League of Legends Championship Series debut, breaking the team’s 10-game loss streak.
Last week, in a move that surprised basically everybody, FlyQuest traded Eric “Licorice” Ritchie to Golden Guardians and promoted their Academy roster to play in the LCS. Changes like this in the middle of the split rarely pan out well for teams, but this squad of top laner Colin “Kumo” Zhao, jungler Xin “nxi” Dinh, mid laner Stephen “Triple” Li, bot laner Frank “Tomo” Lam and support David “Diamond” Bérubé played like it was another day at the office.
In the remaining weeks ahead, the former FlyQuest Academy roster might be able to keep the org’s playoff hopes alive. Their biggest test will come in Week 7, where they face off against a second place TSM, a surging Evil Geniuses and the best team in the league, 100 Thieves.
— Nick Ray
John helps LA Thieves go 2-0 at NYSL Home Series
Expectations were all over the place for the LA Thieves entering Stage 5 and the New York Subliners Home Series. The 100 Thieves-owned squad made its eighth roster change of the season following Stage 4, adding veteran Jonathan “John” Perez to the lineup. While many thought John deserved a chance after two years away from professional play, no one knew what to expect from him.
Whatever the expectations were for LA, the team blew them away. The Thieves faced the New York Subliners and London Royal Ravens over the weekend, defeating them both to start Stage 5 2-0. New York is considered a top four team in the CDL, but that didn’t faze LA in the slightest. They won 3-2 and then followed the upset win with a 3-1 victory against the dreadful Ravens.
The win against New York marked John’s first professional win since 2019 and could be the spark the team has needed since the season began. If the Thieves can continue to gel this well as a unit, the Stage 5 Major could become even more intriguing.
— Joey Carr
Overwatch League homestands return
This past week saw the return of Overwatch League live events, in both divisions. The Shanghai Dragons finally hosted their first homestand, which was also only the second ever to take place in Asia. The home crowd was electric and generous with their cheers all weekend, showing all the Chinese teams some love — though, of course, they cheered the hardest for their home team. The Dragons punched their ticket to the Summer Showdown playoffs, their third consecutive tournament appearance.
We hope everyone enjoyed our Homestand event this weekend. It's something we've been looking forward to for a long time and nothing beats winning in front of all your fans! (1/3)#ShanghaiDragons #Breakthrough pic.twitter.com/dNJIOmQVOR
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) July 12, 2021
Meanwhile, in North America, the Dallas Fuel held a homestand, of sorts, as well. Though the Fuel were the only team in attendance, there was a raucous crowd behind them to watch the much-hyped Battle for Texas. While the Houston Outlaws put up a good fight, the Fuel ultimately emerged victorious. There’s still a long way to go until the esports community returns to normalcy, but these homestands are a huge step in the right direction.
— Bonnie Qu
Acend on top of European VALORANT
After Liquid and Fnatic took the VCT Masters 2: Reykjavík spots, the rest of Europe was waiting to show they belong among the top teams in the world, too. Acend proved exactly that by defeating G2 in the final 3-1 and winning Stage 3 Challengers 1 in overwhelming fashion. In the first two matches, G2 looked completely outmatched. The match seemed to be heading toward a quick 3-0, but G2 managed to claw their way back into the match by winning the third game. Despite G2 bringing a good challenge to them in the fourth, Acend cut the reverse sweep short. Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek in particular was a thorn in G2’s side with an 80/48 Kill/Death average and an average combat score of 288.
Acend now head into the playoffs as Europe’s first seed and look like the team to beat. They are joined by G2 Esports, Guild Esports and FunPlus Phoenix. The other two will be decided in Challengers 2 in a couple of weeks.
— Michael Kloos
OG make it back to The International 10
OG’s chances of making it to The International were slim. They were nearly relegated in the regular season of the Dota Pro Circuit after going 3-4. However, the defending International champions came back in a big way by winning the Western Europe Regional Qualifiers. While many fans did not see OG making it out of a very competitive qualifier, their unconventional picks of Hoodwink, Pangolier and Naga Siren won them the day. Not to be discounted was the addition of Syed “Sumail” Hassan to the team earlier this year. The veteran carry player has given them a solid presence in the safe lane that helped them win several games in the qualifier.
Even with such a well-rounded group of players, OG still had to fight through Team Nigma and Team Liquid, both teams higher than them in the standings during the regular season. Tundra esports also came out of nowhere as a dark horse to challenge the rest of the field. Despite it all, the OG magic continues to sustain the team as they make a foray into their third world championship.
— Kenneth Utama