Our Picks for the IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational!
Tomorrow, Saturday the 18th of November, the biggest PUBG tournament ever will begin! IEM Oakland, hosted in the legendary Oracle Arena, boasts a PUBG prize pool totaling US $200,000. Twenty of the best squads in the West will face off across eight matches, with the winner taking the lion’s share of the booty… And the prestige of beating the rest! But the PUBG scene might be tough to understand if you’re just tuning in. In this article, we’ll dive into the competing teams and highlight a few that deserve your attention throughout the tournament. Let’s start by reviewing who’s who in this event!
- Invited Teams:
Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Noble, Luminosity, Alliance, Cloud 9, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Penta Sports, Evil Geniuses, Tempo Storm, Method.
- Qualified teams:
Crimson Esports, Wind And Rain, AAA Gaming, Digital Chaos, Ghost Gaming, Ronin Esports, Miami Flamingos, Corn Shuckers.
Looking at this list, there are a few names that stand out… These teams have the raw player skill plus teamwork and strategic play that separate the great from the good. Without further ado, our top three teams to watch in IEM Oakland!
Image credit: oraclearena.com
#1: Team SoloMid
Roster: Viss, BreaK, SmaK, aimPR
The great American hope: Team SoloMid takes the first spot on our list! TSM has one of the most consistent rosters in the ever-changing PUBG scene, and they have tons of experience in both online and offline tournaments. They placed high in Gamescom back in August, and have continued to do well since. Definitely one of the standout squads participating in the tournament! With one of the longest bootcamps (starting nearly 3 weeks ago), TSM comes in as a clear favorite. These are strong players with very little chance of stage fright – absolutely worth keeping an eye on!
BreaK has on numerous occasions held #1 on the Solo FPP leaderboards on both the EU and the NA servers. In addition, he placed second in the Solo TPP tournament at Gamescom. Viss and Smak have consistent high rank in FPP Solo and Duos. And AimPR has a competitive background in Counter-Strike 1.6, DayZero, and Arma 3 before his PUBG entrance. He won the Battle Royal Season 1 Finals in Arma 3, as well as the Bohemia END GAME tournament alongside BreaK.
In a nutshell, TSM has a stacked and experienced roster where pretty much every single player deserves our attention during the matches. Therefore, they earn the first spot in our top three teams to watch!
#2 Cloud 9
Roster: Moody, Frolicer, Chappie, SolidFPS
C9 is a team that never fails to impress. They’ve also placed well in nearly every tournament we’ve seen! Recently rebuilding their team around the decorated veterans Chappie and SolidFPS, who found success at Gamescom with first place in FPP Duos. Since then, Cloud 9 has added Moody and Frolicer as fresh blood on the roster. What’s more, Moody and Frolicer actually won the October Curse Trials FPP Duo tournament and seem as hungry as ever to prove themselves… They’ll be fighting to impress the fans and bring the heat in Oakland!
In addition to their performance elsewhere, Chappie and SolidFPS earned themselves two shiny golden pans with a first place finish at Gamescom in FPP Duo back in August. The C9 boys are frequently spotted atop the leaderboards, and on multiple occasions have held #1 positions.
In short, we have very high expectations of Cloud 9 coming into IEM Oakland. They have impressed us time and again with their performance over the last few months. Even when our expectations were low, Cloud 9 somehow found their way into the top placements. They certainly have all the elements for success, and that’s why Cloud 9 takes second place in our top three countdown!
#3 Team Liquid
Roster: Hayz, Scoom, Molnman, Ollywood
The Team Liquid squad has been together since before Gamescom, which makes them one of the most experienced veteran rosters. Compared to much of the competition, they have massive online and offline experience… Plus they nearly always finish well in the events they’ve participated in! They don’t necessarily post eye-catching results, but their potential counts among the very best.
Hayz has proven himself individually in many different Battle Royale games, and was a top player in the Arma 3 Battle Royale mod before jumping into PUBG. He picked up a third-place finish at Gamescom in Solo TPP, losing the 1v1 against TSM BreaK in the final circle.
Scoom and Molnman started off as a strong duo in ARK: Survival of the Fittest, so they have a ton of experience together. And last but not least, Ollywood is an incredible beast with sniper rifles! Together with Molnman, the duo form one of the strongest sniping threats in competition.
Team Liquid is 100% a force to be reckoned with. They’re probably sick of finishing second and feeling ready to take the Chicken Dinner at IEM Oakland! This is another team with fantastic individual talent, proven strategic and tactical decision-making, and great teamplay. This combination earns Team Liquid the last spot in our top teams to watch!
Dark Horse: Luminosity
Roster: Ninja, JP2, DrasseL, Chipzy
Any tournament worth watching has a dark horse that might just “go big” and blow everyone away… For IEM Oakland, choosing the dark horse of the event was no easy feat! The choice came down to either FaZe, Ninjas in Pyjamas, or Luminosity. In the end and after much debate, we settled on Luminosity.
Image credit: ESL
This squad is one of the bigger puzzles in the tournament… The reason being that they have only ever participated in one other tournament, Gamescom. In that event they dominated, taking a well-earned first place in Squad TPP. They’re also headed into IEM Oakland as one of the only teams not doing a proper bootcamp beforehand.
Luminosity won the US$80,000 grand prize at Gamescom with immaculate team coordination and individual performance. Their roster remains the same but Luminosity suffers in one area: lack of PUBG tournament experience! At the same time, they previously competed together in H1Z1:King of the Kill. Their achievements there are noteworthy, including 2nd Place at the H1Z1 Elite Series and 3rd Place at H1Z1 Fight for the Crown.
We have high expectations for Luminosity at IEM Oakland, bootcamp or not. They are a team that shouldn’t be underestimated! Especially keep an eye out for Ninja: he’s one of the best performers on the team, if not in the game. He constantly holds high placements in nearly every FPP game mode, and is always pulling off impressive shots on stream.
To sum up, we are as stoked as possible for this huge event! There’s sure to be a lot to recap from IEM Oakland, so keep an eye on PUBG Source for video and article updates over this weekend. We’re looking forward to amazing games from the participating teams – especially from Team Solo Mid, Cloud 9, Team Liquid, and Luminosity! Catch all the action starting tomorrow, November 18th, at 1pm PST!
Written by Nicholas “NicoThePico” Korsgård and Leon “Reeth” Gleißner