Prior to the start of the HCS Valencia weekend, pool D was seen as the dominion of Online Warriors. Having just picked up ex-Acend player Shaady and finishing the final week of the HCS Pro Series’ second split with a grand finals appearance, they were clear favorites to take the top spot in pool play.
Despite this, JLINGZ esports shattered those predictions with a 3-2 victory over Online Warriors and a decisive 3-0 sweep over Aw0babobs. The victories put them 2-0 in pool D and in a prime position to go into the championship bracket as the first seed.
Although a win over Aw0babobs sealed the deal for their position in the pool, it was JLINGZ’s game-five victory against Online Warriors that upended the pecking order of Friday. It wasn’t without precedent after JLINGZ’s took a 7-6 scrim win against Online Warriors in the days leading up to Valencia, but scrims don’t always translate to tournament performances. JLINGZ had endured mixed results in the latest HCS Pro Series as well, most recently finishing top eight in its final week.
In a similar fashion to NAVI’s series against BLVKHVND earlier today, JLINGZ leaned heavily on a confident set of Slayer performances to take victory despite a weaker display against Online Warriors in the objective modes. In game two’s Slayer on Catalyst, Qristola led the team to a 50-35 win with a 2.0 K/D and 16 kills to his name. In the far closer Live Fire Slayer for game five, Morguhhh took the reins in a performance that neatly paralleled Qristola’s, also locking down a 2.0 K/D with 16 kills to give JLINGZ’s a 50-47 win and the series.
Online Warriors took both a Capture The Flag on Aquarius and King of the Hill on Live Fire, but their wins were hard-fought and extremely narrow. With their hopes on the line in game four, JLINGZ’s managed to turn the tables in the series’ third objective mode, Oddball on Recharge, with a similarly narrow margin but one that swung in their favor.
The second series against Aw0babobs on mainstage didn’t share the same competitiveness, but it was the dominant sweep that JLINGZ needed to assert their place as the top dog of pool play. All of the JLINGZ roster concluded the 3-0 set with healthy stat margins, but Morguhhh especially enjoyed an impressive overall K/D of 1.48, helped by 34 assists from Sxptiq and Quadios matching his 49 total kills.
Pool play for JLINGZ will resume once a team from the open bracket qualifies for the final spot in Pool D, but very little stands in the way of the underdog securing a flawless record and the number one seed of the pool. Online Warriors, on the other hand, will have to settle for second place and take things back to the drawing board if they want to make a run in tomorrow’s championship bracket.