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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 Sept. 27 through Oct. 3.

Cloud9 White in three straight Game Changers

Since Cloud9 added an additional VALORANT roster in Cloud9 White, they have been unstoppable. The all-female VALORANT team have dominated the Game Changers scene and their series three win was no different. The powerhouse roster has been known for running through tournaments without dropping a map, although this wasn’t the case in Series 3. They lost just one map to Shopify Rebellion in the grand final match. In the end, Cloud9 White came out on top with a 3-1 victory in the final to claim their third title.

Cloud9 White have quickly become the Sentinels of the Game Changers circuit and have shown no signs of slowing down. They flawlessly made it through the open qualifier, going 4-0, before finishing off strong with a 9-1 map count across the entire main event.

— Danny Appleford

Ninjas in Pyjamas qualify for PGL Stockholm Major in front of home fans

After a dominant 5-0 IEM Fall group stage, Ninjas in Pyjamas have locked in their spot at the PGL Stockholm Major. While they are still fighting in the playoffs for RMR points and the elusive Legend status, they can rest easy knowing that Oct. 26 will see them playing in the LAN event at the Avicii Arena, in Stockholm.

For the almost entirely Swedish roster — with the exception of Danish superstar AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz — it will be a chance to play Counter-Strike in front of home fans. With other Swedish representatives in Dignitas and Fnatic failing to qualify, NIP will carry the brunt of the country’s expectations.

The roster is a fresh-faced look for Sweden, who have a long history of dominance in CS. While the team have looked uneasy since acquiring dev1ce from Astralis and moving Linus “LNZ” Holtäng to their main roster as a stand-in, no signs of discomfort were apparent during their red-hot group stage performance. The Swedes may have found their footing just in time for the biggest CS event in the last two years.

— Coby Zucker

MkLeo wins Low Tide City 2021 Smash Ultimate Singles

Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez is no stranger to first place. Still, recent losses at Smash Ultimate Summit 3 and Glitch 8.5 have left him with a somewhat weaker hold to his claim as the best Ultimate player in the world. However, after earning yet another victory at Low Tide City 2021, MkLeo’s No. 1 standing has become much more secure.

Throughout Low Tide City, MkLeo swept the likes of Ronnie “Ronnichu” Knighten, Steven “Anathema” Acosta, Braden “Brr” Beeson and Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís. In fact, he did not lose a single game until winners finals, where he dropped a set to Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby for the first time.

But, this was only a minor setback. MkLeo defeated Tyler “Marss” Martins 3-1 in losers finals, then crushed Dabuz 6-0 between both sets of grand finals. With this victory, MkLeo continued his streak of reaching the grand finals of every offline tournament he’s entered since Get On My Level in May of 2019. After falling off a bit during Ultimate’s online era, MkLeo has reclaimed his position and seems poised to defend it with whatever sword character he pleases.

Dylan Tate

China takes home the gold at the TFT Reckoning World Championship

After a disastrous season for China during the Teamfight Tactics: Fates season, the region turned things around during the TFT: Reckoning season in the best way possible.

At the TFT Fates World Championship, China had six total invites, the most of any region. In the top eight finals, China failed to qualify even a single player. With the TFT world now considering China severely overrated, the region only sent four players to this season’s world championship.

Hoping to not embarrass themselves for the second straight season, China proved to everyone that they not only deserve that many seeds, but also the title of best region in the world at TFT.

China had three of their four players in the top eight finals and, after the dust settled, they held hands on the podium in first and second place. TFT Reckoning World Champion Huanmie was the only player at Worlds making his second appearance after his 11th place finish last season. With newfound experience, Huanmie outperformed everyone as China took home their first of what could be many TFT World Championships.

Warren Younger

Epic Games changes the challenge XP system in Fortnite after community outcry

At the beginning of Fortnite Season 8, many players had one fundamental complaint aimed at developer Epic Games: the new challenge system and earning far too little XP for completing weekly challenges.

After noting this feedback, Epic Games decided to act swiftly and release a fix in the first update for Season 8, v18.10. Now, players earn 30,000 XP per challenge they complete, which is a huge step up from the start of Season 8. Players still have some complaints about the XP system in Season 8, like how the weekly Punchcard quests still give out minimal XP, but this quick turn around from Epic Games is a win for the community. Perhaps even more changes will arrive from the developer with the v18.20 update, which is set to release either this week or next in Fortnite Season 8.

— Joey Carr

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