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Radiance Rewind: July

In Case You Missed It…

Hearthstone

After the conclusion of Grandmasters Season 1 and Masters Tour Jönköping, our Hearthstone duo took a well-deserved month break. They returned mid-July for the next stop in Masters Tour: the Asia-Pacific (APAC) tournament. Due to time zones, our players played on July 16-18th starting at 5 PM PT.

Just days before this stop, Hearthstone released a new patch. Slight changes were made to cards, increasing mana costs, adjusting minion health/attack, and more. This imposed a challenge to all the players as they would not have had the opportunity to playtest these changes. Nonetheless, over 300 players registered.

Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam’s 4 decks consisted of Tempo Warrior and Demon Hunter, Galakrond Stealth Rogue, and Highlander Hunter. David “JustSaiyan” Shan’s deck also had Highlander Hunter and Tempo Warrior. However, he brought Highlander Mage and Quest Warlock for his other two decks.

Day 1

On the first day, both players finished with the same score: 4-1. Saiyan faced Swidz, SCACC, and matff in the first 3 rounds, winning 3-2, 3-2, and 3-0 respectively. Similarly, Muzzy faced yuhou, Wrynx, and Spikini, winning 3-1, 3-1, and 3-2 respectively. Their win streak ended in round 4 when they both lost 1-3 to their opponents. However, they bounced back in their last round. Saiyan defeated GamerRvg 3-1 and Muzzy swept ViperPro 3-0.

Day 2

On the second day, Muzzy continued his streak as he took down clownJP and iGXc with 3-2 scores. He then faced iNS4NE on-stream. At the start of the broadcast, Muzzy was down 0-1 and iNS4NE took the second game in a Rogue matchup.

With his back against the wall, Muzzy began his comeback in a mirror Highlander Hunter matchup. The two poked at one another, trying to gain board control over the other. Even though iNS4NE seemingly shifted the board in his favor with the Dinotamer Brann/King Krush combination, Muzzy brought him down to 5 HP. After playing Stormhammer on his turn, iNS4NE immediately conceded, knowing that Muzzy had won.   

In the fourth game, Muzzy played Tempo Demon Hunter. Right out of the gate, Muzzy had the upper hand as iNS4NE had a 30-mana cost hand altogether while Muzzy needed half that much mana for his hand. By turn two, Muzzy’s Bonechewer Brawler had a Divine Shield. iNS4NE stalled the game for another round to see if he could find a counter. He didn’t and conceded.

Muzzy’s advantage in Game 4

In game 5, Muzzy played Shadowstep to reapply the Stealth on his Spymistress to try and set her up for a lethal play in his next turn. iNS4NE played the Dinotamer/Krush combination, calling Muzzy’s bluff. Ironically, Muzzy top-decked and pulled his second Eviscerate. With the Eviscerate combination, Muzzy successfully reverse-swept iNS4NE 3-2. 

Muzzy went into the 9th and final round of the Swiss rounds with a 7-1 record, poised to move onto the top 8. Unfortunately, RNGLeaoh swept Muzzy 3-0 and ended his chances of moving onward due to his overall record. He placed 20th overall and would be rewarded a smaller portion of the prize pool but his run was dominant nonetheless!

Saiyan vs Eddie

As for his teammate, Saiyan continued his streak as he took down G9Malygos 3-0, Tincho 3-1, and WEYuyi 3-2 off-stream. For his 9th round opponent, Saiyan faced a familiar opponent: fellow NA Grandmasters player, Eddie. After winning the first game with his Highlander Hunter deck, Saiyan brought Highlander Mage against Eddie’s Warrior deck. At the end of the second game, Saiyan had taken over the board.

Saiyan’s Board Control in game 2 against Eddie

In game 4, both players took gambles and were down to their final cards. Eddie took the win as he successfully maintained board control over Saiyan.

In game 5, Saiyan fulfilled the quest by the 13th overall turn even though Eddie and TDH brought him down to half HP. It soon came down to the last remaining cards in their hand, just like game 4. Rather than take the gamble and potentially discard an important card, Saiyan played Aranasi Broodmother to hopefully hold Eddie off. Undeterred, Eddie cleared the board and played Zephyrs, taking Kul Tiran Chaplain in what the casters believe was an accident. However, Saiyan was set for a “lethal” combination in the following turn. He played Malygos and his two Soulfires, bringing Eddie down to 1 HP. But since Eddie was out of cards, fatigue took out that last HP.

With this eventful victory, Saiyan ended the Swiss rounds with an 8-1 record and moved onto top 8.

Top 8

Going into the top 8, Saiyan’s first opponent was Samsung Morning Stars’ Simone “Leta” Liguori. Leta was the only non-GM player among the 8 and Saiyan was the only North American Grandmaster representative.

Leta’s aggressive playstyle took a commanding 2-0 lead over Saiyan, but he fought back in Game 3 with his Highlander Hunter deck. He wrested board control from Leta, maintaining the momentum and forced him to concede. However, Leta pulled away the 3-1 victory in the fourth game after Zephyrs failed to produce the necessary cards that Saiyan needed.

The Hearthstone duo will be back in August for season 2 of Hearthstone Grandmasters!

League of Legends

Upsurge Premier League (UPL)

After 100 Thieves Next defeated the League of Legends team 2-0 in the Upsurge Premier League (UPL) upper brackets, the team began their lower brackets run against Simplicity Esports.

VS Simplicity Esports

Even though Simplicity Esports took the first game, the team won the following two with nearly the exact same lineup. The only difference was that Alvin “Engo” Ngo played Jayce in game 3 while he had played Gnar in game 2. With the commanding 10k gold lead in games 2 and 3, Radiance took the 2-1 victory and moved onto the Loser’s Semifinals against Maryville Unviersity.

In an interesting turn of events, this particular week of matches pitted Radiance against Maryville University 3 times. The UPL match was the first one.

VS Maryville University (Pt. 1)

Kills remained close, but Radiance gradually took over the gold lead off key picks from Johnson “Cao” Cao’s Blitzcrank. After securing Baron around the 30-minute mark, the team pushed down the mid lane. Rather than defend, Maryville made the call to grab the Mountain Drake. Next thing they knew, Radiance had already pushed to the Nexus turrets and finished the game.

Going into the second game, kills remained even but both teams traded objectives with Maryville eking out a gold lead by the mid-game. Maryville soon broke open the game off a Baron steal around 30 minutes. Radiance stalled the game for another 2 minutes until Maryville postured around the Infernal Dragon. Avi “Im Avi” Behar swooped in and stole away the Infernal Dragon, but MU nearly wiped the Radiance team and pushed to the end.

During champ select for game 3, Radiance brought out an interesting composition. From top to bot, the team locked in Wukong, Nocturne, Yasuo, Karthus, and Pantheon. Maryville took kill after kill in the early game and were up 17 kills to Radiance’s 4 by the 16-minute mark. And yet, the gold lead was only a 2k difference. This was because Radiance had taken down all of the outer turrets and secured the first two dragons of the game. Even though MU maintained their kill lead, the gold lead had shifted into Radiance’s favor. In the final teamfight by the bottom lane inhibitor, Radiance won a 2-for-3 and pushed to the end.

Radiance’s Game 3 win against MU in UPL
VS 100 Thieves Next

The stage was set for a rematch against 100 Thieves Next in the Loser’s Finals. Going into the match, the team was confident as 100T X had just made roster changes. However, the Thieves effortlessly adjusted to their new lineup and swept the team, knocking Radiance out as the 3rd place team in UPL. The UPL rewarded Radiance with 15% of the prize pool and 225 SG points.

Focus Championship Series (FCS)

VS LBGN

For Loser’s Round 1 in the Focus Championship Series (FCS), our opponent was Long Beach Gurb Nation. Due to prior obligations, the match was rescheduled to a 3 PM PT start time instead. Nonetheless, the team took a bloody but relatively quick 3-0 victory against LBGN alongside emergency sub, Douglas “Pocket Rhino” Reynolds, and moved onto the next round against Wildcard Gaming.

VS Wildcard Gaming & Polar Ace

Wildcard Gaming and Radiance split the first two games one apiece, but WCG was at match point after the third game. Undeterred, Radiance fought back and won the following game, tying up the series 2-2. In game 5, Avi took full control of the early game, having 4 out of the 8 kills for Radiance by 14 minutes. Even though WCG grabbed the first two dragons, Radiance punished this in both kills and turret takedowns. While WCG showed signs of life, skirmishes remained in Radiance’s favor. At 32 minutes, WCG made a Baron call but Radiance collapsed and wiped the team in a 5-for-2. The team moved on to the Loser’s Semifinals against Polar Ace.

Opposite from the 1-3 defeat just 2 weeks prior, Radiance got their revenge against Polar Ace, sweeping PA in a 3-0 affair. This victory put Radiance in the Loser’s Finals against Maryville University.

VS Maryville University (Pt. 2)  

In this second match against Maryville University, the team brought out Karthus again in game 1. But this time, it went to jungler, Avi. It was another bloody game 1, but Radiance took the win. Learning from the previous game and the UPL match, MU banned Karthus in the following games. Radiance took game 2, moving to match point, despite losing two bans as a punishment. Unfortunately, the team was unsuccessful in closing out the series and MU reverse swept. Eliminated from the FCS, Radiance also bowed out as the 3rd place team, walking away with some of the prize pool and 75 SG points.

Risen Champions League (RCL)

Going into the first weekend of July, Radiance had one more regular-season match in the Risen Champions League (RCL) against Mirage. This would determine seeding between the two teams as they went into playoffs. Mirage took a 2-0 victory and would be the 1st seed in their division.

RCL Playoffs

Ironically, this set Radiance up for a potential rematch against WCG in the first round (Quarterfinals) for the RCL playoffs. However, having been eliminated from SGC contention, WCG forfeited the series and Radiance advanced onto the semifinals.

This was the aforementioned 3rd match against MU for this week. Going off the momentum from the reverse sweep earlier in the week, MU defeated Radiance in a 3-1 and pushed the team down to the 3rd place match against LBGN.

However, LBGN also forfeited the 3rd place match, giving Radiance the third 3rd place finish within the SGC tournaments. With this finish, the team received prize money and 75 SG points.

Legends Weekend League (LWL)

In the last half of the Legends Weekend League (LWL), the team faced 100 Thieves Next (0-2), LBGN (2-1), ANEW Esports (1-2), and Maryville University (0-2).

With a 4-4 record, Radiance finished 6th place in the LWL. The team received a portion of the prize pool and 350 SG points. 

To the Playoffs!

Now that all of the tournaments have concluded, what’s next? The team will now compete in the SGC playoffs in a double-elimination bracket, similar to all the previous tournaments they have already competed in. Radiance’s first opponent will be Mirage Esports on August 1st at 12 PM PT! It will be streamed on our Twitch channel!

PUBG

In the final weekend of the PCS1 NA Grand Finals, the team finished 9th place overall with 79 kills total and two chicken dinners.

2 weeks after the conclusion of the PCS1 NA Grand Finals, the PUBG squad made a roster change. Andrew “Baddylul” Kitts left the team and Laurynas “Gaxy” Rudys would be taking his place within the team. You can learn more about him here

PCS2 NA Group Stage Week 1

Based off the PCS1 Grand Finals results, Radiance was placed in Group C again alongside teams such as Susquehanna Soniqs and Oath Gaming. The squad didn’t participate on the opening day as it was Group A vs Group B. However, they faced off Group B on the second day.

While the team was eliminated, placing 8th in game 1, they took down the Soniqs with them along with 3 additional kills. The team then won the second game with a total of 8 kills, 6 of which going to Lari-Pekka “LosHD” Hopiavuori.

Radiance’s Chicken Dinner

In the following 3 games, the team didn’t place higher than 7th, but still grabbed points through kills.By the end of the day, the squad had 32 kills (the second most kills on that day) and placed 4th. Los alone had half of those 32 kills.

On day 3, the team quickly wiped out Group A’s Gang Gang Orangutan team but fell out at 15th place. In match 3, Gaxy took out 3 members of Illusion in the early stages of the game before Kevin “Miccoy” Linn eliminated the last member several minutes later. In the final match of the day, the team placed 3rd based on kills and placement points.

Gaxy’s 1v3

The team was 7th place out of the 24 teams competing and had 53 kills by the end of the first week. Week 2 continues for them later today (July 31st, 2020) at 4 PM PT when they and Group C go up against Group B!

SMITE

On the eve of SPL Phase 2, support Max “Aror” Jackson and coach Kurtis “Biggy” Davidson gave a quick little tour around the team house (read: apartments). You can join them on that house tour here!

Phase 2: Week 1 Day 1

A mid-season patch, a new God was added, and the Radiance SMITE team was coming into Phase 2 as the 2nd place team. Expectations were high, and yet, the majority of fans had voted in favor of eUnited to take the win.

eUnited came into this set with a slightly new roster: Guy “GuyJ” Scangarello was the new hunter and Evan “Snoopy” Jones became the new support. This match also marked Cthulhu’s first game in the SPL. But Radiance was undeterred, giving all 3 a brutal welcoming to the SPL.

VS eUnited

Snoopy was picked off in the jungle before minions even spawned. Small skirmishes broke out and the gold lead constantly swung back and forth between the teams. EUN began eking out a small gold and kill lead, attempting a Primal Fury at 22 minutes. 4 members of Radiance rushed over to stall EUN and though EUN secured it, Jarod “CycloneSpin” Nguyen snuck away a Fire Giant for the team.

Utilizing the Fire Giant to its maximum potential, Kennet “Adapting” Ros picked off Snoopy, allowing Radiance to push all the way to the middle Phoenix. Rotating over to the left lane, eUnited put up a defense by the Phoenix and forced Radiance off. After securing the second Fire Giant of the game, Radiance postured around the left lane. At the same time that Ben “Benji” McKinzey initiated a team fight around the Phoenix, EUN attempted a counter-initiation. But the sustain from the Radiance team was too much as they took down 4 of the 5 EUN members and the Titan.

In the early stages of the game 2, Radiance maintained the lead. However, EUN began punishing the team’s over-aggression. Teamfights continued swinging back and forth with no clear winner and things seemed dire for Radiance when EUN stole away the Fire Giant around 36 minutes. But as the Fire Giant respawned at 41 minutes, both teams gathered in preparation. Radiance forced away two members of EUN and picked off their jungler. With that pick, Radiance secured the Fire Giant and pushed through the right lane. Though Radiance pushed in, EUN began respawning and nearly pulled off a great defense. In the end, Benji was the only member left alive from Radiance as the Chaos Titan was taken down.

Game 2 victory against eUnited
Up Next

Radiance continues phase 2 later today against Pittsburgh Knights! You can expect them on around 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET!

You can also keep track of Radiance’s matches through the SMITE Pro League Schedule page!

Street Fighter V

While the Capcom Pro Tour was halted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Jesse “Commander Jesse” Espinoza participated in local tournaments. One of said local tournaments is known as Tank Top Fridays (TTF), a bi-weekly tournament hosted in San Diego. Jesse had won the first 3 TTFs, including the one earlier in July, when he took down Vicente “Blarrlad” Prieto.

Looking for his 4th first place finish in a row, he entered the TTF #4. This time, the tournament organizers put up a $50 bounty on Jesse for a fun incentive to take down the 3-peat winner. And someone did just that. Richard “Pnoy” Clink took down Jesse in the Grand Finals 3-0.

Just the day after, Jesse was invited to Connoisseur’s Clash, hosted by Michael “MrKagiwada” Kagiwada. 16 players competed in a single elimination format for the winner-take-all prize money. Each participant was allowed to play only one character and Jesse picked Kolin. In his first match, he was taken down and eliminated by Alexander “Mortsy” Morton in a tight 3-2 set.

TEKKEN 7

Hoa “Anakin” Luu has partnered with Red Bull Gaming to put together a 6-week training course on TEKKEN 7 known as “Class In Session”! This series’ focus is to help new players as they get into TEKKEN and help improve. The episodes are released every week on Thursdays at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET. The first two episodes have been released on Red Bull Gaming’s YouTube channel and also compiled into a playlist!

Anakin also has follow-up streams on Fridays to answer questions and talk about the series so you can check that out on his channel!


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