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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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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This month, we picked up a PUBG team, a speedrunner, and took a few victories home with us!
Here is the February Radiance Rewind!
On Saturday, Jesse dominated his pool finishing as the top seed in the tournament.
On Sunday, his first opponent was Abigail main, Vicente “Blarrlad” Prieto. Due to his familiarity with Prieto’s Abigail, as the two attend local events frequently, Jesse picked Dhalsim and grabbed a quick 3-0 win. Advancing into the Winners Final, Jesse faced Daniel “HamBam” Liang. During this match, Jesse swapped over to Kolin, believing she would be the answer. And he was right. Jesse defeated HamBam in the Winners Final 3-1 and would await his final opponent. In the end, HamBam defeated Eric “Flaquito” Malagon in the Losers Final and set up a rematch against Jesse.
During the Grand Final, Jesse jumped to a 2-0 lead. HamBam, however, would not go down without a fight and tied the sets at 2 apiece, even threatening a potential bracket reset. In the end, Commander Jesse held his ground and became the DreamHack Anaheim Street Fighter V champion.
Jesse’s win at Anaheim is just the start of many more to come this year. He’s been grinding and working extremely hard this past year and it shows in his play. I’m super excited to see how much higher he can climb this year!– Hai on Commander Jesse’s victory
DreamHack Anaheim was an awesome experience. I’ve been a fan of DreamHack since DH Austin back in 2017. Being able to walk around the event and see all the different competitive games being played is so exciting. Now to be able to call myself a DreamHack Champion is an honor. I hope this will be a good start of things to come this year! Looking forward to the 2020 CPT!– Commander Jesse on his win at DH Anaheim
Over 200 Hearthstone players attended this event. During the Masters Tour, the first 9 rounds are swiss rounds. On the first day, there were 5 rounds and any players that lose their 3rd match would be eliminated. On the second day, the last 4 Swiss rounds are held. Even if players don’t necessarily qualify for the top 8, they would be able to continue to compete for prizes.
Going into this tournament, both Muzzy and JustSaiyan had similar decks: Quest Druid, Highlander Dragon Hunter, Highlander Mage, and Galakrond Rogue. Per the rules of the Masters Tour, one of these four decks are banned based on the opponent’s choosing and each match would be a best of five.
While JustSaiyan lost in the first round to fearsyndrome, Muzzy was able to reverse sweep his way to a 3-2 victory against Lojom. The second round was rough for both players as JustSaiyan lost 1-3 against brimful and Muzzy lost against Dabs 2-3.
At the end of round 3, JustSaiyan was eliminated after losing to Fenom 2-3. Muzzy also dropped his 3rd round 2-3 to NaySyl and was on the brink of elimination. Fortunately, Muzzy held his ground and defeated his next two opponents – jambre and Tredsred – 3-2.
Moving onto day 2, Muzzy started off with a 3-2 win against Th3RaT. Even though Muzzy lost the following round to Jay 2-3, he continued playing for prizes. Overall, Muzzy’s final record was 5-4 and JustSaiyan’s record was 0-3.
After returning from Arlington, the two continued practicing and preparing for future tournaments.
Last week, DreamHack Anaheim hosted a Hearthstone tournament through HouseRivalries and invited JustSaiyan and Muzzy to the event. Similar to the Masters Tour rules, this tournament consisted of 8 rounds of swiss before moving onto the top 8.
Both players came out of the first round with a 1-0 lead each. Going into the second round, Muzzy defeated Hugheberto 3-2 but JustSaiyan dropped his match 2-3 to Flamekilla. Moving into the third round, Muzzy got revenge for JustSaiyan, defeating Flamekilla 3-0. JustSaiyan himself won 3-1 against EISA. By the end of the 4th round, Muzzy was undefeated and JustSaiyan was 3-1 overall.
Going into Day 2 at DreamHack Anaheim, the brackets pitted both players against each other for the very first round of the day. Muzzy eventually emerged as the victor with a 3-2 score against his teammate. Muzzy continued this momentum to an undefeated finish (8-0) and moved into the top 8 as the top seed. JustSaiyan, unfortunately, finished with a 4-4 record and did not advance into the top 8.
Muzzy faced against Itachi in his first top 8 match and lost 1-3. Despite these losses, both players are optimistic about future matches, believing that they were able to get a lot of practice in both events. Moving forward, they’ll be preparing for the next Masters Tour in Los Angeles!
Earlier this month, we officially picked up a PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds team. The team consists of Kevin “Miccoy” Linn, Andrew “Baddylul” Kitts, Benjamin “Nerf” Wheeler, Joshua “Aghila” Parganel, and team manager, Ryan “Logic” Hayes.
After joining Radiance, the team participated in the PGS (PUBG Global Series): Berlin Americas Qualifier. Through this, they would compete online against over 20 other teams and only the top 8 would advance to the live qualifiers in Los Angeles. In these qualifiers, points were dependent on both kills and placements at the end of each round.
During the round of 64, teams placed in the top 5 at the end of 12 games would move on to the next round. Radiance started off strong, winning 4 out of the 12 games. At the end of this first round, Radiance had 69 kills total and placed 2nd in their group overall.
The round of 32 began just days after the conclusion of the previous round. In this part of the tournament, teams needed to place in the top 4. Despite finishing 2nd in the first game, the team struggled to find their footing during the first day. However, they shifted gears and bounced back the following day. Placing 2nd in several games and winning the 10th game helped push the team to a 3rd place finish with 58 total kills.
With 16 teams remaining, only the top 8 would be moving on to the live qualifiers in Los Angeles. On the first day, the team racked up 42 total points. On the second day, the squad did not place higher than 6th in the standings and pulled in 24 points. Fortunately, those 24 points were enough as they finished 8th place in the standings with 66 total points.
The team will be back next month (March 28-29) as they and the 7 other North American teams that qualified will compete against the top 5 Latin America teams and the top 3 Oceanic teams in Los Angeles. Out of these 16 teams, 6 would be moving onto the first PUBG Global Series event of the year.
Earlier this week, we announced our official signing of Andy Laso, a speedrunner and content creator. He is well known within the speedrunning community for his gameplay on A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. You can find more details about Andy here!
On February 18-20, Emily “Emiru” Schunk participated in Twitch Rivals Streamer Showdown as the ADC for team JUNGLE DIFFERENTIAL. After the first two days of the event, she and her team advanced to the playoffs with a 5-2 record. In the first match, Emiru and her team lost 0-2 to eventual victors, Team Silver Mid.
For the next week, Overwatch is hosting an in-game challenge called “Ashe’s Mardi Gras Challenge.” One way to earn some of its unique rewards is to watch Overwatch streams on Twitch. By watching up to 6 hours, viewers would earn in-game sprays to use. As our resident Overwatch streamer, John “Wanted” Lin will be streaming throughout the challenge so be sure to check him out!
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JustSaiyan returns with Hearthstone: Battlegrounds! Think you have what it takes to beat him? Join the stream!
Queue up with one half of our Hearthstone duo, Muzzy, in Hearthstone: Battlegrounds!
Radiance had a relatively quiet month as we entered the new decade. Nonetheless, the organization still had key moments and so here is our January Radiance Rewind!
Hoa “Anakin” Luu returned for EVO Japan 2020 last weekend, hoping to take the title. Even though Anakin made it out of the first pool and advanced to the second day, he was eliminated in round 2.
He’ll be looking to bounce back once the TEKKEN World Tour returns!
Even though Capcom Cup tournaments will not resume for a couple months, Commander Jesse has participated in multiple local tournaments such as “Wednesday Night Fights” and the “Worlds Collide SFV Tournament.”
Earlier this week, he placed 1st in the first “Wednesday Night Fights” tournament of 2020.
David Lei “JustSaiyan” Shan and Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam are currently in Arlington, Texas! For this weekend, they’re competing in the first Masters Tour tournament against over 200 competitors.
The tournament will be hosted on the Hearthstone YouTube channel.
We are still finalizing some details and are hoping to have a more concrete announcement in February! Keep an eye on our News page!
We returned with “Let’s Play with Radiance” earlier this month with Commander Jesse starting it off. That week, he and Anakin got back into the groove of things and played against viewers in their respective games.
In the following week, we had Emily “Emiru” Schunk, Wes “RTO” Guarnera, and their communities compete against each other. Unfortunately, there was only time to play two matches. This left both streamers and their community with one win apiece but we’ll be back in February with more matches between them! Whose side will you be on?
While Muzzy played with the community in Hearthstone: Battlegrounds, JustSaiyan started off the stream playing the new adventure: Galakrond’s Awakening.
To conclude January’s “Let’s Play with Radiance,” John “Wanted” Lin streamed for almost 6 hours, playing with his community in Overwatch Quick Play for the first two hours. He then shifted over to custom games, such as The Floor is Lava, before wrapping it up.
Our Events page will be updated soon with February’s “Let’s Play with Radiance” schedule!
Radiance Rivalry returned last night with Hai and LemonNation changing things up, playing TEKKEN 7 for this month. The tournament structure had the pair compete in a best-of-3 first to 10 series.
While Lemon took a couple games throughout the match, Hai’s experience with the game gave him the edge to get his revenge. When the dust settled, Hai won in a clean 2-0.
As a conclusion, the duo queued up for a quick game of ARURF with some community members to end the night.
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Look forward to next month’s edition of “Radiance Rewind!” We have some amazing announcements coming up soon… 🐔🍳
The new adventure, Galakrond’s Awakening, is here! Join JustSaiyan on his quest to defeat Galakrond! He’ll also be giving away bundles throughout the stream, courtesy of Blizzard!
Compete with and against one half of our Hearthstone duo, Muzzy, in Hearthstone and Hearthstone: Battlegrounds!
It’s time to wrap up 2019! A lot has happened this month and so, without further ado, here’s our first Radiance Rewind!
The TEKKEN World Tour concluded earlier this month on December 8th with their Finals, held in Bangkok, Thailand. Hoa “Anakin” Luu and over two hundred TEKKEN 7 players flew out to Thailand all with the same goal: to claim the title of the TEKKEN 7 Champion. Nineteen competitors, including Anakin, had already qualified through points they amassed over the season.
The remaining 256 players would have to compete through the Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) in which only one person would be granted the twentieth spot in the TWT Finals. By the end, FATE Esports’s Bilal “Bilal” Ilyas emerged the victor and set his sights on the TWT Finals the next day.
And so, the stage was officially set with the twenty participants that were vying for the title. Anakin himself was coming off a hometown win where he took down Mu-jong “Kkokkoma” Kim at Dreamhack Atlanta and looked to carry this momentum into the TWT Finals.
At the start of the tournament, the twenty participants chose one of four groups to place themselves in. Due to his seeding, Anakin was one of the last participants to choose a group and decided on Group B. His opponents were Kkokkoma, Vincent “Super Akouma” Homan, Shoji “Double” Takakubo, and Abel “Abel Del Maestro” Segovia.
After roughly two hours of battling it out in Group B, Anakin and his trusty Jack-7 emerged from the group stages as the second seed. Per the structure of the TWT Finals, Anakin competed in the Losers Bracket.
In his first match, he went up against his good friend and rival, Hyunjin “JDCR” Kim, who plays Dragunov. Anakin won the first set in a close 3-2 bout but JDCR did not go down without a fight. He took the second set in 3 rounds, taking this first Losers Round to a third set. But Anakin held his ground and swept JDCR in the final set, winning 2-1 overall.
Advancing onto the Losers Quarter-Finals, he took on Daichi “Nobi” Nakayama, another Dragunov player. Nobi won 3-2 in the first set and did not let up the pressure. With Nobi up 2-0 in the second set and Anakin at roughly 25% HP left, things seemed dire for Anakin. But he successfully recovered and relentlessly pushed forward, winning the next six rounds that he needed to advance to the Losers Semi-Final.
In his next match, Anakin faced Soo-hoon “Ulsan” Lim who played Kazumi versus Anakin’s Jack-7. During the match, Ulsan put up a dominating performance and only dropped one round to Anakin.
Overall, Anakin placed 4th out of the twenty players, solidifying the fact that he is one of the strongest TEKKEN 7 players in the world.
I’ve been to the TWT finals a few times now and this was definitely the best one. It’s so much different being just a spectator vs being a competitor. On top of that, Anakin was our team player this year and it was so nerve-wracking watching him play. I’m so proud of his performance and am super excited moving into 2020 to see if we can claim the 1st place trophy!Hai Lam, CEO
Only a couple days after the conclusion of the TWT Finals, Anakin flew to Seoul, Korea to participate in the International Esports Federation (AKA IeSF) Tournament. This final competition began on December 12th and concluded on December 14th. For this event, Anakin competed as the sole representative of the United States.
Like the TWT Finals, Anakin’s group was Group B and he faced the representatives of Tunisia, Jamaica, and Namibia. During the group stage, Anakin showed why he’s one of the best TEKKEN 7 players in the world as he swept his group, not dropping a single set.
When the playoffs began, Anakin faced off against Chinese Taipei. He won 4-0 overall giving up only a couple rounds throughout the match.
Moving onto the Quarterfinals, Anakin ran into a familiar face, ROX Dragons’ Jae-Min “Knee” Bae representing the Republic of Korea. Early in the match, Anakin held a 2-1 lead but Knee bounced back and swept Anakin in the next 3 sets. The final score was 4-2.
With the conclusion of the IeSF Tournament, Anakin was officially done for the year and flew home to get some well-deserved rest! He’ll be back in 2020, ready to take on the TEKKEN world by storm once more!
Capcom Cup 2019 was a day away and thirty-one players were already decided, including last year’s champion, Tsunehiro “gachikun” Kanamori. But the conclusion of the Capcom Pro Tour needed to find their thirty-second player. This was done through the Capcom Cup Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) on December 13th.
243 players gathered at The Novo to try and qualify for a prize pool worth just over $375,000 USD. One of these players was our very own Jesse “Commander Jesse” Espinoza.
Placed in Group B2, Commander Jesse competed against twenty-seven other hopefuls for a chance to move on. In this group, Commander Jesse faced close friends such as Frankie “Stupendous” Lee Jr. and even one of the Five Gods of fighting games, Tatsuya “Haitani” Haitani to emerge from the group in the Top 24 Winners side. Throughout the group stages, Commander Jesse played Dhalsim, his signature character.
Once all the groups concluded, Commander Jesse went up against Kensuke “Trashbox” Ishikawa and his Birdie. Commander Jesse defeated him 2-1 overall, advancing to the top 8.
I felt fairly confident going into the LCQ because I placed Top 3 at the prior Wednesday Night Fight and got good practice in. As the matches went on, I started to feel more and more at ease. My win over Haitani had to be the turning point for me. It gave me the belief that I can go all the way. The following wins over Xiao Hai and Trashbox really set it off and I knew there was a good chance of qualifying. The atmosphere honestly reminded me of my days back at Family Fun Arcade where everyone was huddled around the main cabinet watching the best players go at it. I loved it.Commander Jesse looks back on his road to top 8 at the LCQ
Entering the top 8, Commander Jesse received his first defeat against Naoki “Moke” Nakayama. Commander Jesse started with Kolin for the first time that day. Moke quickly gained a 2-0 lead with his Rashid, prompting Commander Jesse to swap back to his Dhalsim. Despite the swap, Moke finished the final set and sent him down to Losers Quarter-Final.
By this point, the crowd in the building had significantly dwindled. Only six players remained. Commander Jesse was the only American remaining.
His first opponent in the Losers Quarter-Final was Yuji “Yujix” Ishida, a Chun-Li main. Commander Jesse went back to Dhalsim for this matchup. Despite dropping one set, he moved on to Losers Semi-Final versus FAV Gaming’s Ryusei. He continued to show his mastery with Dhalsim as he defeated Ryusei’s Urien with a quick 3-0.
Over on the Winners Final, Moke eked out a 3-2 win against Mizuha, another Kolin player. Commander Jesse would face Mizuha for a chance at a rematch against Moke. His familiarity with Kolin gave him a slight advantage as he selected Dhalsim once again. With a 3-1 victory, Commander Jesse had one more hurdle: a rematch with Moke in the Grand Final.
In the end, Moke swept Commander Jesse 3-0 again and qualified for the Capcom Cup.
The funny thing with Moke is that we actually played against each other at the last WNF. Some of the Japanese players said that he wanted to practice against me specifically and we got to play. We both obviously had no idea that we’d end up in Grand Finals of the LCQ to qualify for Capcom Cup later that week. He did a good job shutting down my Dhalsim and his experience against some of the best Kolin players in the world made things very difficult but I tried my absolute best. In the end, he was just too strong and playing too well.
Going into 2020, I’m looking forward to the new patch and the content that we can push out!Commander Jesse’s thoughts on his matches against Moke and the future
Even though Commander Jesse was unable to qualify, his run was nothing but amazing and impressive.
Jesse went ham at the LCQ! He made it to the grand finals and almost made it through but got taken down by Moke. Jesse has grown a lot this year as a player and person; it’s awesome to be a part of his journey as he continues to grow his brand and become an even better player. 2020 will be a great year for us and I hope you’ll support him on his path!Hai Lam
They’ll be back next month for the Masters Tour in Arlington, Texas!
As we enter the new year, we will be announcing more information on our amateur team soon so stay tuned!
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