How the Pros Win! IEM Oakland Play Analysis

Two In-Depth Play Breakdowns from Day 2!

The PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Invitational at IEM Oakland finished its second day with – once again – four different teams winning each of the four rounds. Competition was intense: Digital Chaos ended the tournament as the only team to win two Chicken Dinners. And one of the qualifying teams, French squad aAa, started the day at third in placements but managed with impressive play to rack up enough points to become the champions! Taking a close second was Tempo Storm, and Ghost Gaming secured the third place finish.

IEM Oakland will go into history as the last major competitive PUBG event before the game’s full release. With this in mind, we feel obliged to take another look at two of today’s plays that really stood out in terms of teamwork, strategy, and individual key moments. After analyzing the nail-biting last day of the tournament, we concluded that games five and seven deserve an in-depth breakdown. Get comfy as we look at how Team Liquid and Digital Chaos played their surroundings with extreme prowess. This is how the pros scored some of the juiciest Chicken Dinners at IEM Oakland!

Image credit: ESL

Liquid.Scoom + Pressure = Clutch Chicken Dinners!

On Friday, we covered our teams to watch at IEM Oakland. Third on our list was Team Liquid… If there’s any doubt as to why they were featured, their performance with the game five Chicken Dinner should dispel all doubt. Let’s shed a bit of light on how this play came to be, and what makes it one of the most memorable moments in the entirety of IEM Oakland.

Team Liquid did their standard drop where they split in two duos, one pair heading towards Shelter and the other north-east of School. After some very quick looting, both duos started making their way towards the very centre of the circle – still in their two separate duos, the Liquid squad was reunited near the first circle centre.

Some poor circle luck forced the team to reposition, giving up their tactical advantage with the advancing blue zone. However they continued to aggressively rotate towards whichever building was closest to the centre of the safe zone. Being quick movers, Team Liquid secured the good compounds first and thus obtained a valuable edge in the later circles. The third circle really demonstrated Liquid’s tactical prowess and willingness to play risky. They split up the squad, sending Hayz and Ollywood to occupy a hill closer to the center of the map. In this way, Liquid obtained an amazing overview of the battleground and prepared for the next circle movement.

pubg iem highlights pro play best

Hayz and Ollywood captured the hill, but on seeing the fourth circle they decided to return to teammates Molnman and Scoom. Unfortunately for Liquid’s scouts, they are picked off by Tempo Storm in their exposed run back to safety. This leaves Molnman and Scoom to face down the coming storm, with 48 players still alive!


Despite losing two squadmates, Scoom and Molnman hold their compound as originally planned and play it out with the confidence of a full squad. They pin down anyone passing their stronghold’s field of view, and hold until the very last moments of the game… At this point, Scoom clutches out of his mind with perhaps the single biggest play of the tournament, avenging Hayz and Ollywood as he takes down Tempo Storm to pick up the Chicken Dinner!


Digital Chaos Takes A Second Dinner

Digital Chaos surprised us with their stellar performance on day one… The fact that they kept their speed and momentum going into day 2 really demonstrates they’re one of the strongest teams in the West! Their journey is impressive: from the qualifiers to two Chicken Dinners at IEM Oakland, Digital Chaos absolutely proved themselves to be a dark horse in the tournament. Everybody loves an underdog story and they’ve earned a breakdown, so let’s dive in!

Digital Chaos landed in Lipovka on the far east side of the map and started their early-game looting there. As the first circle spawned on the very west side of Erangel, the squad decided on quick feet and moving early. They picked up a vehicle for each player and drove to near the safe zone center in a compound northeast of Gatka. In their migration, DC did an amazing job of avoiding pre-fortified teams, and they arrive in time to catch other squads in transit.

Shortly thereafter, a compound nearby becomes the absolute center of the safe zone; they quickly move out and occupy it. This remains a strategically sound position for the next two circles. The closing of the fourth circle forces Digital Chaos to their feet once more, but their great control of the surrounding area means they’re able to reposition uncontested to the field east of Gatka. Upon arrival, they secure a well-defiladed position on the edge of the circle. It’s here that the end game plays out!

At this point, with just 11 total players alive, Digital Chaos still had all four members… That’s a massive advantage at this stage, as the other seven players were split between three squads!

In the final moments of the game, Noble and Digital Chaos engage in a 3v3, while the solo remaining Ghost Gaming player snatches one more kill before falling. Now it’s a 2v2: Noble’s Boom and Interogate vs DC’s Awien and Jokkizz. Digital Chaos had circle advantage, so Noble was forced to move. At the critical moment, Boom is caught out during his push… and Jokkizz picks up the game-winning kill, securing DC their second Chicken Dinner of the tournament!

That’s all for our breakdown of the PUBG Invitational at IEM Oakland… We had a blast, and hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did! Check back tomorrow for one more article looking at what we learned about the competing teams. The future of PUBG looks bright, and we can now look ahead to the full release in December. Get your pans ready! 

Want more content like this? Check out our review of Saturday’s best pro plays! Or looking for a highlight vid? We’ve got you covered!

All the VODs here on ESL’s YouTube channel!

Written by Nicholas “NicoThePico” Korsgård and Leon “Reeth” Gleißner

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