So here we are! All eyes are locked on Vegas for the finals this weekend, so what better time to take a quick walk through the frenzied season of the 2018 US Nationals!
The opening weeks of the competition gave us the Stage 1 rounds, bringing together a whole host of teams with an incredible standard of play. With both some familiar pro-league faces, and new players to the esport. All teams fought valiantly with some particularly electric play coming out during the close of the first eastern qualifier between pro-league titans Orgless (formerly Noble eSports) and Obey Alliance, giving us some amazing highlights, check them out in the video below:
Eventually, after a hard fought set of conference finals, Spacestation Gaming and Orgless emerged the victors, securing their places at Vegas, beating their opponents Disrupt Gaming and Rise Nation (formerly Mousesports) with 2-0 victories, giving us two equally matched teams, can they break away from their 5-5 draw in their July pro-league match? Only time will tell!
Stage 2 got off to an explosive start, with some of the eliminated teams from Stage 1 making a return as well as some new up-and-comers. Disrupt Gaming returned from Stage 1, only to get knocked out by Western Conference runners up The Nomads in the first round. Particular recognition must go to Nomad’s Xecration for an incredible Castle clutch on Oregon against the previous roster of Team SiNister in the qualifiers final, with a down to the second defuse. Catch that in the first clip below:
Pro-league veterans Rogue arrived in the second western qualifiers, quickly dispatching the competition to come up against The Nomads in the western conference final, and securing a roaring victory, only giving their opponents a single round across both games played.
The eastern conference was just as heated, with a number of teams making a return from earlier in the competition, including Stage 1 runners up Obey Alliance and Rise Nation. Esports giant Cloud 9 made their first appearance, storming through the second qualifiers to clash horns with Rise Nation, winning their best of three with two close games. Obey Alliance recovered quickly from their earlier loss to push past the contenders into the conference finals, only to be beaten by the force of Cloud9, who won with 2 games to Obey’s 1, and securing their place at Vegas, but putting them directly in the firing line of their western rivals Spacestation, who beat them 6-0 during the pro-league, only weeks ago!
Stage 3 proved to be just as action packed as the previous 2, bringing even more returners from earlier in the competition, as well as some very promising new teams. The Eastern Qualifiers saw the return of Obey Alliance, Strength, The Nomads, Apache Esports and others, all battling it out to secure a place in the conference.
Ultimately Obey would push through to make their second appearance at a conference, and after a tense match with other returning contenders Elephant Gang would finally secure their Vegas spot. However they would then step down, handing their place to runners up Elephant Gang.
The Western Qualifiers brought us more teams fresh from a conference loss in Disrupt Gaming and Rise Nation. Both fought valiantly, with Rise Nation making it to the conference final, but Disrupt Gaming would be knocked out by eventual conference winners Team SiNister GG (formerly Vicious Gaming) in the Western Conference final. Bringing us a totally non-pro pairing for Stage 3, who will emerge the victor of the East vs West non-pro match up?
We’ll find out in December! Special mention must be given to the qualifier final match between HypeR Esports and the aforementioned Team SiNister GG in the Western Second Qualifier final. A gloriously kinetic match with great play from both sides, including yet another great Castle play, this time from HypeR’s Habibi, who maintained incredible objective control on Club House’s cash room. Watch that below:
With that, the main three stages were complete, but the competition was far from over! Next up, we had the Wildcard round, a whole host of teams competing in two conferences of three rounds for the final two sports in Vegas. Rise Nation, undeterred, returned to battle again. Fighting off POWERHAUS Gaming, The Nomads and finally Strength to secure their place in Las Vegas after close losses during the stages. Over in the Eastern Conference, newcomers Evil Geniuses (once Cookie Cutters) proved to be a force to be reckoned with, beating out competition old timers Elephant Gang as well as fresh faces Digital Dynasty eSports, to secure the final position at the grand finals in Vegas.
Which brings us to now! Spacestation Gaming, Orgless, Rogue, Cloud 9, Team SiNister GG (, Elephant Gang, mousesports and Evil Geniuses will battle for US supremacy at Las Vegas in December, in what promises to be an incredible match-up.
Join these teams on December 15th & 16th at the Rio Hotel’s Penn & Teller Theatre in Las Vegas by grabbing your tickets at: rainbow6.com/USNTickets. For more information and updates in the meantime, stay tuned to our social media channels: