The line-up of invitees for the IEM Oakland PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS Invitational is complete. Team Method, Tempo Storm, and Evil Geniuses complete the field of invited participants among Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Noble, Luminosity Gaming, Alliance, Cloud9, Gorilla Core Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and PENTA Sports.
Once again the ESL’s and Bluehole’s invite policy has been inconsistent and caused an ongoing controversy within the competitive scene. During gamescom, players were assured that the upcoming ESL event would feature “the best of the best”. As it turns out, this is only partly true. While Gorilla Core Esports, PENTA Sports or Team SoloMid perform on a weekly basis, other teams like Noble, Cloud9, and Ninjas in Pyjamas were undergoing roster changes right before the invites were announced. These and teams that haven’t performed at a top level since the last invitational, like Luminosity Gaming and Evil Geniuses, should be proving themselves in the open qualifier process. Meanwhile, some of the teams named below have been performing at the top, week for week, month for month, and they still have been overlooked. When The Shotcaller talked to some of the teams, disappointment has been omnipresent. Disappointment about the disrespect and dishonesty towards parts of the competitive community, some of the most dedicated players out there.*
Top four European teams that didn’t receive an invite:
Theatre of Mayhem
After Martin “Avnqr” Gøth and Ali “PONYRIDEREn” Bdair secured a second place in the duo competition of the Gamescom PUBG Invitational after coming from the public qualifier, they formed a full squad with the addition of Martin “Cudtastic” Kalamees and Kristo “xKriss” Kiisler. Since then they performed on a constant level, being the only team with 100% Top 10 placements after 15 matches in the Auzom Premier League.
Team Kinguin is one of the oldest line-ups in competitive PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS. The David “fuzzface” Tillberg Persson, Harry “LaytoN” Layton, Mathias “Larsen” Winther Larsen, and Jord “ibiza” van Geldere. While Team Kinguin is capable of delivering incredible performances they struggle to play their game constantly.
no loot gaming
The independent team consisting of Jan “j4Nsen” Rüttgerodt, Martin “outc1der” Janowiak, Artur “art1er” Bischof and Rasmus “Dracceus” Waern. These guys are not known for being the most lethal team, instead, they like to play the circles to their advantage. Just like most of the independent teams, “no loot gaming” is currently looking for an esports organization to represent.
Saunabois (now HAVU Gaming)
The Finnish pride, the Saunabois, are Antti “Ensolenso” Siurua, Teemu “idontrlymind” Kokko, Pasi “bikini_model” Kujanapää, and Joonas “Jorzki” Permanto. They are currently ranked #3 in the Auzom Premier League, just seven points behind the above-mentioned Theatre of Mayhem.
Top four North American teams that didn’t receive an invite:
The line-up formerly known as “Highground” is built around Zachary “Venerated” Roach and holds the #1 spot in the PUBGOnline Showdown Series NA for several weeks now. The ESL’s legal team has suggested restricting players under 18 from competing in PUBG. Due to that rule, the 17 years-old Venerated is not allowed to participate in the IEM Oakland Qualifier. However, Team EnVyUs has signalized they will compete with a stand-in and try their best to make their fans proud.
Despite being one of the Top 5 PLAYERUNKNWON’s BATTLEGROUNDS teams in North America, Corn Shuckers suffer the same fate as Team EnVyUs as they didn’t receive a direct invite to the IEM Oakland. Currently undergoing a line-up change, the Corn Shuckers currently consist of Garrett “PaaaRADOX” Smith, Mohamed “EnnV” Ali, Logan “Zanpah” Heckman.
Why Tempt Fate
With every round of PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUND each player tempts his fate. Unpredictable circles make players go crazy. “Why Tempt Fate”‘s line-up featuring Tanner “7teen” Curtis, Ian “Bahawaka” Crowe, Matt “KSnKickstart” Smith, and Cody “Ashek” Castellaw doesn’t even bother to tempt their fate. Circles come and go as they please, there is nothing to do about it.
Last but not least the FlyQuest’ line-up consisting of Jonathan “Hetror” Bent, Chris “Blue” Cofeld, Dylan “Comet” Boden, and Joseph “SomeThang” White is a hot contender for one of the last spots in the IEM Oakland. The team formerly known as “Off Constantly” showed a good performance over the last months in the Auzom Premier League as well as in the PUBGOnline Showdowns.
* This is only a small excerpt of the controversy towards the invite policy. We will deliver a follow-up piece on this as soon as the official statements of the ESL and Bluehole reach us. Don’t want to miss it? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for the latest news about competitive PUBG or discuss this article with us on Discord.