The controllers have been put down and the Twitch streams have fallen silent – the Challenger Series is over for 2018. It’s been another fantastic exhibition of the best talents in the esports world competing alongside and against promising rising stars. All ten of our Elite Series teams will be spoiled for choice when it comes to draft picks in the Elite Series Draft ahead of Series 3, with some already signing some hot free agents. It's time to run down the players who potentially will be starring in future Elite Series highlight reels.
FIFA 18Coming into the final week, FABIO DENUZZO was approximately a continent clear of his nearest opponents. One more Cup win on Wednesday cemented his place at the top of the FIFA 18 Xbox leaderboard on 3710 points, a whopping 1210 points ahead of former leader Klutch_Ti in 2nd. The battle for 3rd came down to the wire, with A HugeDragon x and MegaBit tied on 2320 points just ahead of Kurt0411 on 2290 points – it doesn't get closer than that, folks. HUGE G0RILLA finished in 6th place on 2180 points, and will now turn his attentions to preparing for UNILAD Esports' debut season in Elite Series. A great haul of 600+ points in the final week boosted Empoli Gabry up to 7th on 2042 points, ahead of Craftyyy95, Empoli RiberaRibell and Zac11Moore rounding out the top 10.Over on the PS4 leaderboard, CrazyCortez took first place and finished on 2430 points, ahead of adoniiPM with 2090 points in 2nd and ferperry on 2060 points in 3rd. Bryanhessing takes 4th with 1880, closely followed by realE7 in 5th on 1810. Xexuatm96 finished 6th ahead of RRRiv9 in 7th, with xLevVinken 63, isopowerr and Riptorek rounding out the top 10. Remember, both leaderboards will see 30 players go through to the Elite Series draft, and with so many new and existing Elite Series teams needing to recruit FIFA rosters, there's plenty of talent in the Challenger Series rankings to choose from. Who would be your draft picks?
STREET FIGHTER VMuch as we would've been happy to let Hurricane, ImStillDaDaddy and Shakz fight forever, the Challenger Series concluding finally put their battles to an end – for now. Hurricane topped the table with a monstrous 5725 points ahead of ImStillDaDaddy on 4760 and Shakz on 3643. It was a happy Valentine's Day for Shakz, as he landed himself a contract with FNATIC – all that hard work in the Challenger Series more than paid off for the former Infused star and Elite Series semi-finalist.VegaPatch finishes 4th on 3264 points, after an eventful Challenger Series. With high-profile advocates like ImStillDaDaddy giving him shoutouts on social media, he has no shortage of supporters. He and YogaPatate were easily the most impressive players in this Challenger Series not to have played in the Elite Series before – both deserve roster spots for the coming season. YogaPatate finished in 5th place on 3245 points, just 19 behind VegaPatch.Elsewhere in the top 10, JonesArcade left it late to charge into the top 10 – literally. In danger of not even making the top 30, a huge win on Thursday night (the last night of Challenger Series!) against AngryMojoSan sent him surging right up the rankings into 7th place on 2350 points – 1000 of those points coming from that win. Meanwhile, Ixion_L was rewarded for consistent performances throughout the entire series by finally clinching a cup victory on Wednesday, beating new FNATIC signing Brick in the process – an impressive scalp to take. In the end he finished 9th on 1941 points, with former Method man Nasty Nas rounding out the top 10 on 1846 points.
ROCKET LEAGUEA thumping Cup victory on Thursday night secured the top 3 spots for the trio of D7., FaykoW. and Pugsay, finishing on 4350, 4230 and 3750 points respectively. Fairy Peak! and KayDop round out the top 5 on 3680 and 3590 points, followed by Yukeo on 3560 points, Arju on 2960 points, MoneyTalk on 2880 points, Zeddo on 2730 points and Gerry Goorlap rounding out the top 10 on 2560 points.Looking across the top ten and beyond, it's interesting to note the amount of free agent combinations. A definite theme going into Season 3 of the Elite Series is of players sticking together and looking to be signed as 'package deals' – it worked for the formidable trio of Rix Ronday, Borito B and Shakahron, who all signed with Method earlier this week. The all-star team of former champions will start as the squad to beat, but there's plenty of talent in the top 10 chomping at the bit to have a crack at them in the upcoming season.A big GGWP is due to everyone who competed in Challenger Series for 2018, and for the top 30 in each league it's now on to the Elite Series Draft. Good luck!