With the SC2Improve Team League in full swing we have already reached the end of the first week of competition. It has undeniably been an amazing start - a start I could not have imagined. We have seen multiple great matches on stream and have had viewership like we've never really known before for the SC2ITL Group Stages. With an extremely successful Week 1 out of the way we welcome you to our Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Preview!
Followers Of Extermination received a free-win against New ErA GaminG and the ALTERNATE vs Mouse Control match has been postponed until Week 2.
In the first week of competition we saw two all-kills in Group B from AT-Gaming (4-0 vs DarkStar) and from Cascade (4-0 vs Team Gravity). From AT-Gaming it was the Season 2 Final all-killer Optimus who took the stage and proved that AT-Gaming's Season 2 victory was no fluke and that they meant business again as they began Season 3. Cascade's Arotax was the player who showed Gravity the exit, taking down a roster full of players who were not around when they defeated Cascade 4-3 in S2. It was a strong start for two teams who have always performed well in the SC2ITL.
StarTale also made their SC2ITL debut this week and showed that they were not to be taken lightly. A 4-1 victory saw Legend and StuN take down Mistral in less than 90 minutes, cementing into our minds the fact that they were not here to mess around. APSC2-eStar took down Derava Kapsa in another fairly straight forward series with no game lasting past 20 minutes.
Switching over to Group A we had three teams with dominant victories in the first week - Vega Squadron, Karnage eSports and Nuit Blanche. They took down Skill Forge, Team Extreme Supremacy and ESC Gaming respectively and all the matches ended with a 4-1 scoreline. The largest upset here is probably ESC losing to nB. With the loss of ShowTimE and new recruits not eligible to play until Week 2, it was mostly about getting past GoOdy and once that was done Nuit Blanche had PtitDrogo wrap things up with 3 wins in a row to shut down the Season 2 semi-finalists. The other series worth mentioning here is KRN vs TES where Namshar showed some ridiculous games against his opponents, showing just how dominant he can be. It was great to see Karnage break through their mental block of not being to close out series (as last season they lost 4 out of 4 matches in which they went to a game 7.) If you have time check out this series, it will soon be up on our Youtube in the playlist linked below!
To wrap up our recap there were some matches which were a lot closer than was expected. Firstly mYinsanity were only able to close out a 4-3 victory against ECVisualize. After being down 3-1 and ECV even being able to take down Kane, things were looking bleak. At-least, as bleak as things can be when you still have a player such as Jjakji to come out as your ace. With three victories in a row Jjakji was able to bring mYi the victory we were all expecting to see.
against All authority took on PunchLine! in Week 1. For a team which went to the playoffs last season and barely missed advancing to the semi-finals against the eventual runners-up, aAa managed to look on the rocks in this match. 3-1 down it came to Chubz to clean things up and he was able to secure the series - but it was a much close affair than they were probably hoping for in this French show-down.
To give you guys a quick summary of the Week, we are introducing WHAT? Of the Week! A section in these articles which will award certain matches with certain titles to summarize how they went!
All-kill of the Week! : Optimus from AT Gaming vs DarkStar
Comeback of the Week! : Chubz from aAa vs PunchLine
Upset of the Week! : Nuit Blanche vs ESC Gaming
Hype of the Week! : StarTale vs Team Mistral
Ace of the Week! : ECVisualize vs mYinsanity
Week 2 will see even more great matches play out from the SC2ITL and hopefully we will start to see the standings really develop. New ErA GaminG will finally get to show their worth on Thursday 18th September when they take on Skill Forge. Both teams will be hungry for their first victory of the season after disappointing Week 1 performances.
Without a doubt however Vega Squadron vs mYinsanity is the match to watch out for. It will take place on Sunday but we will be broadcasting it from replays on the Monday. Season 1 champions against Season 2 runners-up - who will prevail? Vega Squadron are not as strong as they used to be after losing elfi and JonnyREcco, but mYinsanity barely scraped past ECVisualize in Week 1.
In Group B Redbloods take on Season 2 champions AT Gaming in what we hope will be a closer match than DarkStar were able to give in Week 1. After seeing the Week 1 performances the other matches in this group look like they may turn out to be very simple and one sides - but of course the beauty of team league is that upsets occur all of the time!
Unfortunately I am way Thursday-Sunday this week after casting 12 days in a row! We will be bring you the best matches of the Week early on in Week 3 from replays and we will try and cover as much as we can early in the week as well.
Tuesday 16th 2100 CEST : Karnage eSports vs Nuit Blanche
Wednesday 17th : TBD