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 June 14-20.
CLG complete first perfect weekend of 2021 in the LCS
The struggling CLG roster finally showed signs of life in Week 3 of the League of Legends Championship Series 2021 Summer Split. An impressive 3-0 against 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses and Dignitas QNTMPAY launched the team into playoff contention in the standings and may have even put them on the map as a dark horse within the league.
It’s definitely safe for CLG fans to come out of hiding after the team’s performance this weekend. CLG taking games off of three top five teams in a row, including a nearly-perfect game against 100T, probably wasn’t on many Summer Split bingo cards, but it’s a promising sign for the development of this team compared to their Spring Split collapse.
CLG found success in Week 3 by committing to heavy crowd control comps in draft and digging deep within their individual champion pools. Mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park pulled out the first Lissandra pick of the Summer Split. Jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen finally got his time in the sun this weekend with strong showings on his pocket Vi pick and signature Lee Sin that earned him a Mastercard Player of the Week shout out.
CLG’s recent surge bodes well for their potential growth throughout the split, but they still have a long way to go before reaching the middle of the pack. They’re currently three wins behind Immortals, who are above them in the standings.
— Nick Ray
Atlanta FaZe win second straight Major in return to LAN
The return to LAN for the Call of Duty League matched the expected hype and then some. The Stage 4 Major set the scene for some epic battles and highlight reel moments throughout the entire weekend. However, in the end, a familiar squad left was the only one left standing.
Atlanta FaZe won their second straight (and third overall) Major championship by defeating the Dallas Empire in a grueling nine-game series. The squad, led by Stage 4 MVP McArthur “Cellium” Jovel, were down late. However, they turned on the gas and proved they’re the best Call of Duty team in the world. They won the final Hardpoint by 164 points and locked down the last Search and Destroy to close out the series. Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris was the player of the match, posting a 1.24 kill/death ratio and looking unstoppable at times. This was especially evident in the final Hardpoint where he finished with an astounding 32 kills and 12 deaths.
FaZe walks away with $200,000 in their pockets and an even greater lead in the CDL standings. They remain the clear-cut favorite heading into Stage 5 and, eventually, the CDL Championships.
— Joey Carr
The four RLCS Champions, but especially Team Vitality
The four regions of the Rocket League Championships Series (RLCS) couldn’t duke it out on the world stage this year as the world championships were cancelled. Instead, they played regional championships online. The four winners of these regional championships are Team Vitality (EU), NRG (NA), Ground Zero Gaming (Oceania) and True Neutral (South America). But the most notable of these is Team Vitality, who have remained a top team in Europe since 2019 despite recent struggles to keep up with Team BDS this season.
Team BDS looked nigh-unbeatable in Europe, winning eight out of 12 main events, including the three majors. They had already taken down Team Vitality 11 times this season when they met once more in the grand final of the EU RLCS Season X. But, this time, Vitality showed up in their traditional Championship Sunday form. The Frenchmen performed phenomenally, as they often do on the final day of the RLCS Championships. They took down the team that has been a thorn in their side with relative ease: 2-0. Vitality is back on top of Europe, but the other regional winners certainly must not be forgotten either.
KINGS OF EUROPE 👑
— Team Vitality (@TeamVitality) June 20, 2021
— Michael Kloos
Plup sweeps the opposition at his own offline Melee exhibition
As Super Smash Bros. Melee fans wait for in-person majors to resume, some top players have already begun facing each other in offline show matches. Earlier this month, Zain “Zain” Naghmi and Joseph “Mang0” Marquez duked it out in person for the Octagon 2 main event. This past weekend, Justin “Plup” McGrath partnered with Red Bull to put on the Plup Showdown; a series of exhibition matches featuring a handful of Florida’s best players.
During the exhibition, Plup dismantled a gauntlet of top players in a series of first-to-five sets. He beat Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl 5-0, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman 5-2 and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett 5-1. Plup then apologized that the exhibition was so short, as commentators Kris “Toph” Aldenderfer and Oscar “Lovage” Nilsson pointed out that he could have made it longer had he not steamrolled all of his opponents.
Plup’s dominant performance at the Plup Showdown bodes well for him going forward, albeit with some caveats. Gahtzu and Wizzrobe both play Captain Falcon; a match-up that Plup’s Sheik excels at. Meanwhile, Mew2King has not entered a serious tournament in a year and a half. Even so, Plup looks to be in good shape heading into Smash Summit 11 in July.
— Dylan Tate
LNG Esports defeat MSI 2021 champs RNG 2-0 to top the LPL
LNG Esports completed a gauntlet run through Week 2 of the LPL with perfect marks. They took down JD Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix and Royal Never Give Up to go 5-0; topping the LPL standings as they head into Week 3. While many expected them to falter against such daunting opposition, LNG did not crack under the pressure of facing both LPL 2021 spring finalists in the same week.
Coming into summer, optimism for LNG was scarce amongst LPL regulars, despite the team making playoffs last spring. Even their 2-0 start in Week 1 could be somewhat attributed to strength of schedule, since they faced Victory Five and Bilibili Gaming. However, their victory over RNG, who seem to be struggling to find their form after MSI, was tremendous. Both games were under 30 minutes with kill scores at 22-8 and 20-5, respectively.
The reason LNG have stampeded their way up is not down to one single player. Whether it’s top laner Hu “Ale” Jia-Le forcing Camille bans almost every game, jungler Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong and mid laner Xie “Icon” Tian-Yu’s much improved synergy, or LNG’s bot lane duo of Wang “Light” Guang-Yu and Liao “Iwandy” Ding-Yang lighting up the Rift, LNG has many options at their disposal. But LNG fans will probably be quick to put a lid on the excessive hype. LNG was formerly known as Snake Esports, a somewhat well-known team for starting strongly before fizzling out.
How many more kings will LNG slay? Only Week 3 will tell as they take on Invictus Gaming.
— E.G Kant