By: Zachary Lange
For eUnited’s PUBG team, the first phase of the National PUBG League earlier this year came with a plethora of struggles.
The squad was initially caught off guard with how aggressive other teams were playing. With a new points structure installed to reward kills over placement, top teams ran roughshod across the map, catching eUnited in the crossfire.
Before the team could settle into Phase 1, the standings deficit grew to be too much to overcome, ensuring that eUnited would have to compete in the relegation tournament at the end of the season. But, with a fourth place finish out of six re-entry slots back into the league the team were qualified for Phase 2 of the NPL and poised to not make the same mistakes as before.
And after the first weekend of play, eUnited is at the top of the leaderboards in the NPL.
“What’s working best for us right now is keeping four alive until the end and prioritizing circle for the first four zones,” said Taylor “TaylorJay” Johnson, who leads the NPL in kills with 17 thus far in Phase 2. “The kills come later.”
In Phase 1, eUnited finished with 182 points. Using the same points system, but improved results, the squad is nearly halfway there with 71 points. The squad ranks second in overall team kills with 43 thus far.
Regular season play will take place over the next month, with a midseason break for the non-points paying “NPL Royale” event taking place after Week 3.
“The expectations are obviously very high, but it also comes with the pressure of showing up strongly in the next coming weeks,” said in-game leader Tom “PistolaTime” Banel. “Everyone here wants to finish number one and our minimum goal for this season would be to reach top-5 for the finals.”
New to helping the established trio of PistolaTime, TaylorJay and Andrew “GICE” Geisinger make the NPL finals, a global event held in Sweden in July, is Viktor “Stab” Blaesbjerg. Stab previously played on Cloud9, and has been instrumental in voicing his opinion and pointing out mistakes in practice to better improve the team according to TaylorJay.
The team currently scrimmages in two time blocks for a total of six to seven hours per day, making sure that all four members are consistently on the same page. They also have been dedicating some free time to the gym as a team, welcoming in summer the best they can in sunny Manhattan Beach, California where play at the OGN Super Arena takes place.
“Our focus is primarily on communication and making sure we understand how the NPL teams rotate and play around us,” PistolaTime. “The goal is to become a unit that works great together.”
So far, the goal has been met. But with 80 percent of the season’s contests left to be played, the team knows that consistently winning is what will keep them in the driver’s seat.
“Feels great to be in first, really boosts our team chemistry and attitude,” TaylorJay said. “We’re only eight games in out of 40 and we want to go even harder and win two out of four games each day. It’s gonna be hard but we know we can achieve it if we work hard enough.”
Play in the NPL continues Saturday and can be viewed on PUBG’s official Twitch channel.