The first week of Gfinity Elite Series Delivered By Domino's Season 4 is in the rear view mirror, and its on to Week 2 – arguably an even more important week than the first. Teams with a win in the bank will be looking to kick on, and those who suffered a loss in the opening round will be desperate to bounce back. And let's not forget, we have two defending champions in Vitality and Nordavind who will be making their bows this weekend having watched on as intrigued spectators last weekend. Let's take a look at what they'll be getting themselves into – this is your official Week 2 Preview for Gfinity Elite Series Delivered By Domino's Season 4.
First up on Friday are Team Envy and Method, in a tale of two similar Week 1 matchups. Envy snatched a draw with Dream Team Gaming in the Xbox leg last week, before powering to a 3-0 victory in the PS4 leg to take 4 points from their opening matchup. By contrast, Method were on the receiving end of a first-leg draw and a second-leg defeat at the hands of exceL. With both of Method's goals coming very late in either leg, they will feel massively aggrieved to not get more out of the contest. Envy come into this as favourites thanks to impressive performances from Jas and two Challenger Series standouts in BeastTekkerz and LostInTheWavez – two from two will put them in commanding position to qualify for Playoffs.
Speaking of DTG, they are up next against Vitality. The frustration on Fully and Bullock's faces after conceding a last-second equaliser in the first leg against Envy said it all; the match ended up slipping away from them in agonising fashion. They'll hope not only to bounce back, but catch Vitality cold in their first match of the season.
The last team to get their Season 4 campaign underway will be Nordavind, as they are up against Hashtag United in the third fixture. A 4-1 win for Hashtag in their opening game against ASUS ROG Army doesn't tell the entire story, as both legs were super close and end-to-end. Expect more of the same against a Nordavind team looking to hit the ground running as fast as possible.
The biggest scalp of Week 1 went to Man City Epsilon, toppling reigning champions Roma FNATIC 6-0 across both legs with two epic 3-2 victories. With momentum and confidence on their side, they tackle ASUS ROG Army this Friday. As hinted at previously, ASUS' opening loss to Hashtag United was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, so Epsilon will have to stay focused; if they can take another maximum six points, the playoffs will already be well in sight.
Season 3 finalists Envy had a nightmare start to Season 4 last week, suffering a 3-0 whitewash from returning heroes Reason Gaming. The loss of key player EyeIgnite might have affected the team more than we thought, and things aren't going to get any easier as they take on Method first up on Saturday. Yes, the very same Method who blew away exceL 3-0 last week. The addition of Kassio alongside former champs Rix Ronday and Borito B has only made the Season 3 semi-finalists even stronger, so Envy will have it all to do to stop the Method juggernaut.
As for Reason, their reward for an excellent opening week performance is a clash against reigning champions Renault Team Vitality. Despite coming together on short notice, the talented trio of Shakahron, Pugsay and Calix gelled together very quickly to despatch Envy last week; can they make it two consecutive shock victories in a row? Catching Vitality cold in their first game of Season 4 would send shockwaves throughout the Elite Series.
Next up are two teams who struggled in Rocket League last season in Nordavind and Hashtag United. The latter will be brimming with confidence after an assured 3-0 win over ASUS ROG Army last week, with Doomsee's troops notching consecutive Rocket League wins after their upset of Vitality at the end of the Season 3 group stage. Nordavind will hope to derail the hype train in their first game of Season 4.
Epsilon vs ASUS ROG Army closes Saturday morning's action, in a tale of contrasting fortunes. Like their FIFA counterparts, Epsilon had the best match of Week 1 in Rocket League, clinching a thrilling series 3-2 against FNATIC. Conversely, ASUS ROG Army couldn't get out of first gear in a 3-0 reverse to Hashtag. Epsilon's highly talented lineup featuring Sebadam and Cheerio will start as heavy favourites – ASUS need to get going fast after last week's false start.
Street Fighter V
A clash for the ages kicks off Saturday night's SFV action with former champions Envy going up against Method. History very nearly repeated itself last week as Envy nearly fell to another shock loss to Reason, but the French squad avoided the Season 2 flashbacks to prevail 4-3 in a thrilling encounter. Things don't get any easier against a Method team stinging from a 4-2 loss to exceL last week and packed with experienced, energetic characters like ImStillDaDaddy, Broski and Packz. Expect a white-hot encounter.
Speaking of Reason, the #FKEEArmy enjoyed a rousing return to the Gfinity Arena, and nearly made a dream start to Season 4. But despite falling short against Envy, there was a huge amount for Reason to smile about – not least the form of draft pick Poizesto, winning 2 out of 3 sets on debut. They'll look to carry that momentum – and noise level – into their clash with Vitality, led by the charismatic TKR and featuring a strong lineup across the board including Challenger Series draft pick Verdoyance.
Next up is the return of the champions, as all-conquering Nordavind kick off their title defence against Hashtag United. Facing the likes of Momi, Phenom, SaltyKid and co is a terrifying prospect for any Elite Series team, but Hashtag United come in with plenty of confidence after their 4-2 win over ASUS ROG Army last week. Repeating that result against Nordavind would undoubtedly be the biggest shock of Season 4 so far.
Last up on Saturday is an interesting matchup featuring two teams who lost in Week 1, as Epsilon take on ASUS ROG Army. Both have very experienced players on their roster, and both will be hungry to avenge their losses last week – particularly Epsilon who came agonisingly close to toppling Season 3 finalists FNATIC. Only one team can break their duck for Season 4; who it will be is anyone's guess.
The Gfinity Elite Series Delivered by Domino’s continues this Friday when FIFA 19 returns – and with defending champs Renault Team Vitality and Nordavind starting their campaigns on Saturday, there's no excuse to miss all this action.
Get your FREE tickets to come and watch all the action in the Gfinity Arena here on Eventbrite, and you'll also be able to watch live exclusively on Facebook every single week: