With the Pro-AM Classic slatted to start tomorrow, its the perfect time to give some background information on the four amateur teams that will be competing against the 12 franchise teams.
The group stage will consist of 4 groups of 4 teams, with each group having 3 franchise teams and 1 amateur team. The top 2 from each group will go into the 8-team single elimination bracket to fight for the championship. It’ll be very difficult for any of the amateur teams to make it to the bracket, but you never know!
Battle for #1 in Europe
Ultra Academy EU was one of the best European Challengers teams in the circuit, but have been thrown a curveball going into the Pro AM Classic. The original roster featured star AR talent Harry “Harry” Payne, but he has been promoted to the starting roster of the London Royal Ravens. For the tournament, Ultra Academy EU will be using the roster of:
- Ben “Beans” McMellon
- Liam “Furiious” Osborne
- Stephen “Vortex” Allan
- Rafi “Rafi” Kazi
- Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Sheppard [Head Coach]
The core three players have teamed together since the end of February, competing in six tournaments as a team. Here are their results:
- EU CDC Cup #6 – 3rd
- Elite Stage 2 EU Qualifier – Qualified
- EU CDC Cup #7 – 1st
- Elite Stage 2 EU – 3rd
- NA CDC Cup #8 – Top 16
- Minnesota Open – 3rd
The squad has been a consistent top 3 team in the European circuit, but it remains to be seen if the recent addition of Rafi for Harry will significantly impact the team. Surely the lack of practice will hurt, but this team is phenomenal at SnD, which should help.
Elite Stage 2 EU
Competing in Stage 1, the core of Harry, Vortex, and Beans placed 5th. They would be forced to qualify for Stage 2 and did so successfully with the addition of Furiious. With strong competition throughout, it would provide a benchmark to see how good the team was in the recent acquisition.
The team would do just enough to make it to the Playoffs, finish the group stage with a 4-3 record. Unfortunately, they’d fall twice to Rokkr Academy to place 3rd for the stage. It was still a great performance for Ultra Academy EU if they could build off of it.
This is their series breakdown for the entire Stage:
- 2-3 loss vs Rokkr Academy
- 3-0 victory vs Sileo Synes
- 3-0 victory vs Doge Nation
- 3-1 victory vs Vengeance
- 2-3 loss vs Sukry’s Bakery
- 3-0 victory vs The Originals
- 2-3 loss vs Revenge Tour
- 1-3 loss vs Rokkr Academy [Playoffs]
- 3-0 victory vs Doge Nation [Playoffs]
- 2-3 loss vs Rokkr Academy [Playoffs]
Beans had a breakout stage during the Stage 2 of the Elite, finishing with a 1.20 overall KD and league best 1.32 KDA. He was terrific in respawns, having a 1.17 KD in Hardpoint and 1.30 KD in Control. Beans wasn’t just slaying, but dealing loads of damage. He finished with 312.2 damage per minute in Hardpoint and 262.14 damage per minute in Control.
It wasn’t just Beans performing well. Every player, including Rafi did very well in Stage 2. While Harry was the star in SnD, Furiious and Rafi are well known as SnD stars. Furiious had a 1.11 KD in the mode while winning 53.1% of his opening duels and getting 0.80 kills per round. Rafi finished the stage with a 1.08 KD in SnD, while tacking on 115.9 ADR and winning 58.3% of his opening duels. Without the strong leadership and selfless play of Vortex, this wouldn’t have been possible.
Pro AM Classic: Group B Preview
Ultra Academy EU were placed in Group B with the Florida Mutineers, Minnesota Rokkr, and OpTic Texas. This is a difficult group, but will definitely be interesting to watch. OpTic is going to the event with a substitute due to injury, while Minnesota Rokkr have just made a roster switch. During the coaches poll we asked each coach to pick the two teams they thought would make it out of each group and Ultra Academy EU received 1 vote to make it out. It gives them just a 8.3% chance to make it out, but they will still be in the running.
When to watch Ultra Academy EU play?
- Thursday, May 5th – 3:00 pm EST vs OpTic Texas
- Thursday, May 5th – 6:00 pm EST vs Minnesota Rokkr
- Friday, May 6th – 4:30 pm EST vs Florida Mutineers