Challengers Uprising kicked off its season with a wild first week which saw all but one of the eight teams that received invites either tie or lose series. Only 100 Thieves NEXT avoided the madness on the backs of strong performances from Tenacity and Copy, escaping week one with a close 2-0 series win vs Radiance including a wild backdoor finish to game 1 to secure a perfect week.
Heavyweight programs ANEW, Supernova, Radiance, and Maryville all stumbled through week 1 without winning a series. For context, those programs collectively accounted for 3 of the top 4 teams from last years Scouting Grounds playoffs. If the playoffs started today, none of them would be high enough in the standings to qualify, leaving them with a lot of ground to make up before week 4 when playoff seeds are determined, and they still have to play each other.
Supernova Dark Matter performed better than expected on Wednesday, taking down Full Spectrum 2-0 and then reaching a 1-1 draw with Charlotte Phoenix, which was a good enough performance to land them at second place just behind the juggernaut 100 Thieves Next.
Full Spectrum and Dark Allegiance both ended with a 2-2 record overall, although Full Spectrum defeated Frostfire 2-0 immediately after Frostfire had knocked off Maryville 2-0, so they ended up higher on the standings due to the bonus points from winning a series. Charlotte Phoenix lost a series and took a draw to share last place with Maryville.
On the other side of the groups, both Life Support and XT Esports’ newly acquired team XTGN shocked Supernova sending them into a 1-3 record, paving the way for both of those teams to move into second and third place in their group respectively. Mirage had a respectable win and a draw to take up the mantle of first, while Polar Ace rounded up the top four tying for third with XTGN.
Team Fish Taco, who had been struggling recently in the Scouting Grounds Circuit, played like they had nothing to lose and turned in a respectable performance with two draws, taking a game off of ANEW and Wildcard each, now sitting above both in the standings. Wildcard joined Supernova in the basement with one total point.
Week 1 was a wild ride, with Challengers Uprising being the only league in the Scouting Grounds Circuit to use the two game series format, teams are punished much more harshly for dropping games, and it allows for a greater chance for the nontraditional powerhouse teams to shake things up in the rankings. Everyone is asking the question: Was week one a fluke? Or is it a sign of more chaos to come?
Week 1 Standings