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Radiance Rewind: April

April was a busy month for us as we signed a new SMITE team and influencer, tournaments were held, and more.

Here is April’s Radiance Rewind!

SMITE

At the start of this month, we announced that we acquired Ghost Gaming’s SMITE roster just before the SMITE Pro League (SPL) was set to begin.

Our roster consists of solo laner Ben “Benji” McKinzey, jungler Kennet “Adapting” Ros, mid laner Jordan “BigManTingz” Theaker, hunter Jarod “Cyclonespin” Nguyen, and guardian Maxwell “Aror” Jackson, with coach Kurtis “Biggy” Davidson.  

In the SPL, there are two phases, with a playoff bracket at the end of each phase. For both phases, teams play each other twice in a round-robin structure with a best-of-three (Bo3) format for standings. After that, the top six teams would advance to the playoffs and battle for the $100,000 prize pool. Other teams in the league were eUnited, Obey Alliance, Pittsburgh Knights, Renegades, Sanguine Esports, Spacestation Gaming, and Team Rival.

 Weeks 1 & 2 Recap  

In our debut match in the SPL, we grab an exciting win in the very first game against Pittsburgh Knights through a base race. Despite the excitement from the first game, the team settled down and defeated the Knights to grab our first 2-0 victory of the season.

Base Race in game 1 against Pittsburgh Knights

In week 2, we had two sets scheduled against eUnited and Obey Alliance. eUnited refused to go down without a fight, matching our aggressive pace with their objective control in the first game. Eventually, we found a key teamfight that allowed us to push to the finish and moved onto the second game. The second game was much closer as eUnited’s objective control remained on point. We traded skirmishes until the very last fight where we were successful in taking down all of the carries, finishing our second 2-0 of the phase.

Two days after, we went up against Obey Alliance, In the first game, it was a slow-paced game with neither team holding a significant lead over the other. That is, until Radiance successfully secured the Fire Giant. Despite the initial base defense by Obey, we were able to push to the end. During god select in the second game, Aror and the team noticed a certain character that made it past Obey’s bans: one of Aror’s best guardians, Hercules. Aror’s understanding and mastery over Hercules helped Radiance claim another 2-0.

Weeks 3 & 4 Recap

In the third week, we played against Spacestation Gaming. Gold and experience remained relatively even for the first half of the game as SSG countered our aggression with objective control. Radiance, however, was able to take the lead with a Gold Fury secure and deicide around 19 minutes. Undeterred, SSG fought back and held the fort until 44 minutes when Radiance grabbed another deicide before killing the Titan. In game 2, Radiance continued this aggressive style and our third deicide of the set allowed us to secure another 2-0 victory.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Our win streak was snapped this past weekend when we battled Team Rival. In the early game, Rival had a slight lead due to key picks onto our players and pushed us onto the backfoot. Despite some brief moments of life, including a Fire Giant steal from Benji in game 2, Rival emerged the victor from our set, sweeping us 2-0.

Even though the team had a rough set against Team Rival, they will be bouncing back from this loss and preparing for future matches! They still have matches against Renegades and Sanguine Esports before the roundrobins reset so expect to see the Radiance banner every weekend on the battleground of the gods until June!

PUBG

Another esports organization, 303 Esports, put together their second season of the 303 Royale. In this, 16 teams from North America would compete against one another while Europe did the same. The top 8 from both groups would advance to the Grand Finals in a “North America vs Europe” battle.

Our PUBG team participated in this tournament every weekend for the opportunity to represent Radiance in the Grand Finals. While each player was able to grab a handful of kills, the team was unable to place among the top 8.

Radiance’s fight against Team Soniqs

A couple days after our exit from the 303 Royale, Joshua “Aghila” Parganel and Benjamin “Nerf” Wheeler announced that they would be stepping down from the team to pursue content creation and a possible career in competitive VALORANT.

Around the same time as their announcement, PUBG Esports themselves provided more details on what is now known as the PUBG Continental Series (PCS). This new online tournament structure will allow our team and other PUBG teams to continue to compete. There will be a PCS Charity Showdown in May, which will have $100,000 distributed among participating teams and an additional $100,000 donated to a charity of the winning team’s choice.

We hope to have more details on who will be stepping in for this first PCS event!

League of Legends

At this time, tryouts have concluded. However, we are still finalizing a couple things before we are ready to officially introduce our players.

In the meantime, our application to participate in Bloody Gaming’s 3rd season has been approved. FACEIT has also announced the structure for their Scouting Grounds Circuit earlier this week. We look forward to competing with the other amateur teams once again very soon!

Hearthstone

The Hearthstone Grandmasters returned mid-April for its first season. This season will run every weekend up to June 7th with a new class (Demon Hunter) available for competitive play.

In the first three weeks of this season, players compete in offline Swiss matches to determine placements for the weekend group stage. Performance during these three weeks will determine seeding into two divisions for weeks 4-7, similar to last year’s Grandmasters. More details can be find via Hearthstone Esports’ Viewer’s Guide.

For the first week, competitors would play based on familiar Swiss rules: Conquest with 1 ban. This means that, as always, players would create four decks and their opponents would ban one. The winning deck would not be allowed in subsequent rounds in the match.

During the first week (April 17-19), David “JustSaiyan” Shan and Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam emerged from the offline Swiss matches with 5 wins and 2 losses each. With that record, they advanced to the next round: Group Play. For this first week, both players submitted their four decks. Muzzy’s decks consisted of Highlander Mage, Combo Demon Hunter, Aggro Warrior, and Spell Druid. Saiyan’s decks had Resurrect Priest, Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Warlock, and a Warrior deck that casters called the “Egg Warrior” deck.

Group Play: Week 1

Muzzy was up first against a new Grandmaster, Guillermo “Empanizado” Tolosa. Empanizado banned Muzzy’s Demon Hunter deck and proved why he deserves to be among the Grandmasters, taking the first game. After a close series where the players traded games, Empanizado emerged the victor with a 3-2 score and Muzzy would play in the Elimination match.

Right after Muzzy’s match, Saiyan went up against Eddie “Eddie” Lui. Despite dropping the first game – a Demon Hunter mirror matchup – Saiyan was undeterred and won 3-1, moving onto the Winners match and would look to avenge Muzzy.

Saiyan got off to a good start against Empanizado but the new Grandmaster held his ground, winning 3-1 and would be moving onto the next stage. Saiyan would be going down to the Decider Match with a possibility of going against Muzzy.

During the Elimination match, Muzzy had his back against the wall as Eddie had a 2-0 lead against him. When the series was over, Muzzy found himself the victor after reverse-sweeping Eddie and his Combo Demon Hunter deck. The brackets had decided our players would be going against each other for the final match of the day.

As expected, both players refused to go down without a fight. Both banned their teammate’s Demon Hunter decks and tried to outwit the other at every round. It came down to game 5 with Muzzy’s Aggro Warrior deck against Saiyan’s Resurrect Priest deck. In the end, Saiyan had won and would move onto the Top 4 the next day.

Top 4: Week 1

His first opponent in the Top 4 was Brian “bloodyface” Eason. Saiyan came out swinging and got a quick 2-0 lead, but as always in Hearthstone, it can come down to luck. With only his Galakrond Warlock deck left, bloodyface was able to defeat the deck and moved on, ending Saiyan’s first week run.

In the coming weeks…

For the second week, the decided format was the “Last Hero Standing” format. In this, the winner must use the same deck he or she had won the previous round with while the loser must pick a new deck. Rather than the winning deck being disallowed for the rest of the match, this format made the losing deck ineligible.

During the offline Swiss matches, neither Saiyan nor Muzzy made the top 8 cut so they did not advance to the Group Play for this week.

They will be going back to their Grandmasters group to discuss possible decks in their future matches. We are excited to see what they’ll be bringing to the table!

Influencers

We expanded our Influencer team at the start of this month with the signing of woori AKA Angela! On stream, you can expect her to be playing a different game almost every time. She has streamed League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and more recently, VALORANT.

With the closed beta launching for Riot Games’ new FPS game, VALORANT, John “Wanted” Lin also announced that he would pursuing a professional career in competitive VALORANT. While he may stream Overwatch from time to time, he will be “moving to VALORANT as [his] main game” as well as rebranding his channel.


Andy

Andy continued participating in the ALTTPR League. In this league, he teams up with two speedrunners each week to compete in various challenges to see who finishes the game first. By the end of the regular season, Andy and his team (PugTrio) clinched the first seed with 11 wins and 3 losses. With this placement, the PugTrio was automatically placed in the Division Finals and would be going against team Clown Parade before advancing to the Conference Semi-Finals.

Along with the ALTTPR League, Andy also participated in other speedrun events throughout the month of April. First, he helped showcase SMZ3 in a Crowd-Control setting, racing against SRL_Ivan. Second, he participated in CRDQ (Corona Relief Done Quick) the following weekend. He and many other runners helped raise over $400,000 to support Direct Relief. Third, Andy continued help raise money for another organization, St. Jude. In this, viewers donated directly to St. Jude and also had the opportunity to affect Andy’s run (including immediately killing his character multiple times at the start of the run). Andy raised $10,000 out of the $50,000 goal by the end of his run.

Crowd Control antics at the beginning of Andy’s run

As everything is being finalized, we are excited to share our news in the coming months. Until then, we hope you continue showing your support for us!


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