With the beginning of ESEA Advanced Season 38 rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at how the top teams stack up against each other heading into the season.
No. 1 GODSENT
Coming in at No. 1 is GODSENT. With a name like “GODSENT”, the play is sure to live up to the namesake. The Brazilian outfit is the undisputed favorite heading into the season. Comprised of talent that has competed at the highest of highs, it’s clear that GODSENT has nearly every advantage possible heading into the season. Like squads such as Yeah Gaming and current ESEA Premier division heavyweights, Pain, another 16-0 season could be in the books.
No. 2 ATK
ATK is the ultimate dark horse heading into North America’s Season 38. The sky's the limit for the former South African lineup as they’ve recently touched down in Mexico for the season. The squad made no changes during the offseason and, will have the added advantage of living under the same roof as they look to challenge for the ESEA Advanced crown. While we have yet to see how the unit performs in North America, ATK’s decorated lineup is sure to be a threat to the throne.
No. 3 Kinship
Kinship is back and is looking to make a statement in Season 38. Last season, Kinship dominated all comers for a meaningful period of time despite a plethora of internal issues on their way to a third-place finish in the regular season. The departure of standout JDubs was remedied with the addition of WryEISS from Counter Nature and Freshie. With the aforementioned issues seemingly behind them, Kinship will look to compete with GODSENT and ATK for the top spot. However, consistency will be the name of the game for Kinship as the competition is even tougher this season.
No. 4 Northern Forces (Ex-Pryde)
The new lineup of Northern Forces has the potential to be the most dangerous team in Advanced. Last season, the most-watched team in Advanced consistently punched above their billed weight to take down many top-ranked opponents. However, their respectable playoff run came to an end after they fell to the eventual ESEA Advanced Champions, Team Verum. This season, Northern Forces looks to be even stronger on paper with the addition of d4rtymontana from the regular season No. 1 X13 and stamina from Premier team ChocoCheck Gaming. Their chances to gain promotion to the Premier division are just as good as any of the other top contenders on this list.
No. 5 X13 (Ex-HSK)
X13's post-season performance is absolutely no indication of how good this roster truly is and can be. Last season, HSK had one of the toughest post-season draws of any team in the division. A first-round matchup against No. 1 ex-X13 and a lower bracket round one showdown with eventual Premier debutants, Coldest Riders sent the former-HSK packing early. However, X13 is one of the few teams maintaining its core of players. Only time will tell if that move is a benefit or hindrance however, the addition of Aris and ex-Valkyrie coach, Noot is sure to add something fresh to the X13 camp this season.
No. 6 Levitate (ex-X13)
The perennial No. 1 of last season has their work cut out for them if they want to return to their previous spot atop the division. During the offseason, Levitate was dealt heavy blows as three of their top players (JT, Freshie, and d4rtymontana) departed for other endeavors. Though the remaining Atomik and Feral picked up some impressive individual performance players in HAXX_A, WOOHOO, and hyun, as well as an all-rounder in Drewtheshrew, it’s tough to say whether or not this roster can dominate like the season prior. However, a playoff spot is still there for the taking for this extremely strong roster.
No. 7 DETONATE
The demoted Premier team will look to climb the mountain to retake their spot in the top flight during Season 38. During their fall from grace, DETONATE lost their top fragger Hate to Premier team, Secret Club. However, along the way, they managed to snag the sensational duo of Silas and Sutter from Eros Black (ex-Valkyrie). On paper, this team chockful of Premier talent is one to look out for.
No. 8 Touch Point Gaming (ex-UYU)
TPG has made it to the playoffs since Season 35 with a 10-6 record each time. Season 38 could make or break for one of the most consistent teams in Advanced or the end of a brilliant run for the North American outfit.
No. 9 ValorsGG (ex-QcClan)
ValorsGG is looking to make their way back to Premier following their demotion after five seasons in the top flight. The former Premier stalwarts retained their core while only losing Yuz who was their middle-of-the-pack performer. With the addition of former-Counter Nature IGL Jayy as well as some of their older, equally experienced players, this roster has the ability to make a legitimate run. However, the question remains: Where will they finish? In a division as tight as Advanced anything can happen but when the smoke clears, ValorsGG is sure to be a part of the playoff bracket.
No. 10 Brazen
Coming in at No. 10 is Brazen. Simply put, this roster has the potential to be world-beaters. The current squad has had amazing showings since forming. A Mythic Summer Cup qualifying run saw them take down Advanced and Premier teams while also managing to take a map of Premier heavyweight, Triumph during the tournament itself. It’s all going to come down to how this squad starts but Brazen has the proven ability to hang with the best Advanced (and Premier) has to offer.
No. 11 Synthetic (ex-Thuggy Bunnies)
Despite the name, Thuggy Bunnies is no joke. The roster has made the playoffs for the past three seasons and narrowly missed out on promotion in Season 36 where they went 14-2 during the regular season. With the core retained, the addition of Garret, Legacy, and former-Counter Nature player Tender is sure to bolster the ranks for the upcoming campaign. While this lineup may not be strong as the one that nearly gained promotion to Premier, it’s definitely one that can turn some heads and potentially shock some big names.
The Counter Nature Awards Rookie and Headhunter of the Season winners Brashi and TR0JN return to the starting lineup under the YeniCherry banner for Season 38. YeniCherry will need to turn on the mid-season form a bit early if they want to compete for top honors again this season. With the same core playing together since Season 33 and the same five playing together since last season, the hard-working quintet will look to build upon the groundwork they laid out for themselves since their first showing.
After swapping our Swifty for v1bes, Slaughter House will look to finally improve from the 10-6 regular-season record that has followed them for three straight seasons. Yes, you read that right. Slaughter House has been 10-6 three times in a row. Their consistency is only rivaled by ex-UYU but hopefully, we’ll see their seemingly predestined course corrected. However, if you were to bet on anything, it would be Slaughter House going 10-6 and making the playoffs.
After narrowly missing out in Season 37, Nemesis will look to make their third appearance in four seasons in the postseason. If they can only marginally improve, we should see Nemesis back in the playoff bracket come September.
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