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 that 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 May 3 – 9.
Against all odds, Pentanet.GG make history at MSI 2021
After Riot Games disbanded their region last October, the Oceanic Pro League rebuilt itself as the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) with backing from ESL and Guinevere Capital. Then, Riot made all Oceanic players eligible to play in the LCS without taking up an import slot, prompting a mass exodus from the region.
Despite all the hardship, Pentanet.GG made history at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational with their qualification for the Rumble Stage. They became the first Oceanic team in history to advance from the qualification stage of any international tournament.
So despite the end of the OPL and most of the region’s top players leaving for other opportunities, Pentanet.GG raised their koalas proudly in Iceland, made Oceanic history and did it all with a green-haired jungler, too.
– Parkes Ousley
Na’Vi dominate at DreamHack Masters Spring 2021
The buck stops with Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev.
Arguably the greatest CS:GO player of all time, s1mple gave a stellar performance at DreamHack Masters Spring 2021, which concluded on May 9. Alongside the rest of his Na’Vi teammates, s1mple dismantled Gambit in the grand final. The CIS duel ended with a 3-0 sweep to rekindle the once perfect spark of Na’Vi.
Na’Vi defeated Gambit, Virtus.Pro, Mousesports, FURIA and Heroic to earn their 18th trophy in CS:GO. While Na’Vi has looked inconsistent at previous tournaments — including ESL Pro League where they suffered an uncharacteristic loss to Complexity — the team made their return to form at DreamHack Masters Spring.
S1mple earned the MVP of the tournament, while 18-year-old newcomer Valeriy “B1T” Vakhovskiy stepped up to the plate when s1mple and Denis “electronic” Sharipov allowed their opponents to catch a breath.
Safe to say Na’Vi is back.
– George Geddes
The Dallas Fuel ignite at the May Melee
The Overwatch League’s first international tournament cycle, the May Melee, is officially over, with the Dallas Fuel coming out on top as the overall victors. Two North American teams (the Fuel and the Florida Mayhem) travelled to Hawaii to compete with teams in Asia via a direct connection to Japanese servers.
The Fuel were one of the original franchises but have struggled to perform since the inaugural season in 2018. They were projected to be one of the best teams in the inaugural season but underperformed severely. They remained lackluster for the next few years despite numerous roster changes. This past offseason, however, the team finally struck gold when it signed numerous past members of South Korean team Element Mystic; most of whom had previously parted ways to join different teams in the Overwatch League.
Their victory in the May Melee signified redemption for Element Mystic — a squad that always came up short in their brief time together — and for the Fuel franchise, a team with a history of underperforming. The tournament also bodes well for future international competitions, four of which are scheduled in total.
– Bonnie Qu
DFM draw focus at MSI 2021
Fans of international League of Legends play are probably familiar with DetonatioN FocusMe. Historically the most dominant team in the League of Legends’ Japanese League, DFM have developed an unfortunate reputation for bowing out early on the global stage.
Those low expectations followed them to the Group Stage of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. We even ranked them last in our pre-MSI power rankings. Their play in the tournament so far, however, has entirely defied those projections.
After an upset win over Cloud9 in their first meeting, DFM did the unthinkable on Day 3 of groups: they nearly beat reigning world champions and tournament favorites DWG KIA. This wasn’t just some fluke either. From the start of the match, DFM dictated the pace of what turned into a chaotic back and forth 39-minute game. Top laner Shunsuke “Evi” Murase and mid laner Lee “Aria” Ga-eul performed at a world class level. The game was all but won for DFM until a devastating team fight loss in DWG KIA’s base.
Although they lost, this performance rid DFM of the narrative that’s been haunting them for years and solidified them as a legitimate contender to escape Group C behind DWG KIA.
– Nick Ray
Toronto Ultra go undefeated leading into the Stage 3 Major
The Toronto Ultra are trying to win back-to-back Call of Duty League championships. After going on a wild losers bracket run during the Stage 2 Major, Jamie “Insight” Craven and company have gone undefeated in the leadup to the Stage 3 Major. They are the best team in the CDL right now. No one has come close to taking that title over the last two legs of the 2021 season.
The all European roster located in Canada has proven that America doesn’t have the best Call of Duty team in the world.
Something has gelled within the Ultra. Insight joining the team has helped them shine like never before, both in team collaboration and individual performance. Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan has proven he’s one of the best flex players in the game and Ben “Bance” Bance has been playing like a man on fire since telling his fiancé he wanted to retire.
Things may change when LANs return during Stage 4 and we switch from online to in-person play, but Toronto is still the team to beat.
– Aron Garst