Gears Pro Circuit Las Vegas Open Pool Play Preview

 

The Gears Pro Circuit returns States-side for the dramatic conclusion of its inaugural season with the $300,000 Gears Pro Circuit Las Vegas Open.

Looking for more information about the event? Click here for tickets, schedule, and more.

 

 

POOL A
OPTIC GAMING

Gilbert ‘Xplosive’ Rojo (Captain)
Billy ‘MentaL’ Putnam, Jr.
Justin ‘Kenny’ Kenny
Alex ‘SuMuNs’ Ascencion
Nick ‘Icy’ Cope

Coach: Nicholas ‘Ashes’ Ridgeway

OpTic Gaming cruise into Las Vegas as champions of four of five Pro Circuit events, and have been virtually unstoppable since trading former captain Chris ‘Lava’ Anderson to eUnited for Nick ‘Icy’ Cope. Although progressively more teams appear to be capable of challenging the Green Wall as the Circuit goes on, OpTic Gaming is undoubtedly once more the team to beat heading into the final event of the season. 

 

GHOST GAMING

Yadiel ‘Sleepytime’ Hidalgo (Captain)
Christian ‘RushieZ’ Rivera
Hakeema ‘Keem’ Gordon
Demarco ‘Drix’ Gaines
Dylan ‘Speedy’ Winston

Coach: Jacob ‘MvPR’ Acre

After going undefeated in arguably the toughest group in Paris's pool play, Ghost Gaming - who finished third in both Mexico City and Atlantic City - would end up fifth overall following losses to eventual tournament champion OpTic Gaming and runners-up Splyce in Championship Bracket play. Despite only losing to the top two teams in the tournament, the result was seen as a significant disappointment to a team whose sights were set on their first Grand Finals appearance going into the tournament. Whether or not Ghost Gaming returns to the top three or breaks into the top two remains to be seen, however if their proven ability to go on Loser Bracket runs is any sign, they are undoubtedly a team to keep an eye on in Vegas.

 

ENIGMA 6

Dylan ‘Eternity’ Merrill (Captain)
Chris ‘Xcells’ Hill
Kevin ‘Soto’ Soto
Quirstin ‘Hesah’ Cabezas
Charles ‘Fragou7’ McLaughlin

Coach: Chris ‘Affinity’ Curren

Enigma 6’s roster changes going into the Gears Pro Circuit Paris Open appeared to pay off, with E6 breaking into the top four for the first time this season. Despite this success, E6 make their way into Vegas with yet another (albeit slightly) different roster, as Charles ‘Fragou7’ McLaughlin re-unites with former teammates Xcells and Soto to take the place of Matt ‘Hudsonz’ Hudson. In addition to making his way to a top 5 finish alongside Xcells in Atlantic City with Hazard eSports, Fragou7 boasts a third place finish from the Columbus Open at the start of the season, where he teamed with Xcells and Soto to upset a number of teams before losing to Team EnVyUs in the Loser Bracket Finals. Perhaps even more significant than the addition of Fragou7 to the lineup is that of Chris ‘Affinity’ Curren, who will make his coaching debut with the team following his retirement from active duty after Atlantic City. Although former coach Kristopher ‘Burger’ Burger was no slouch behind the clipboard, the addition of a veteran talent such as Affinity in the coaching capacity may prove to the difference maker down the road, especially if we consider Splyce’s recent success after moving former captain Choche to the position.

 

 

POOL B
TEAM ENVYUS

Jose ‘FraNChiS’ Mavo (Captain)
Jamie ‘ToySxldier’ Rivera
Arody ‘Praized’ Dipre
Jourdan ‘JRibs’ Ribeiro
Brian ‘Solurs’ Valenzuela

Coach: Ryan ‘RyanFoolz’ Summers

Europe doesn’t seem to bode well for The Boys in Blue, who failed to make it to the Grand Finals for only the second time this season after losing to Splyce in the Paris Open Championship Loser Bracket Finals (the other time being the London Open in December). This ‘step back’ is relative, of course, since they only fell from second to third, have made it to the Grand Finals of every other event, and are the only team outside of OpTic to take home a championship this season. While it goes without saying that Team EnVyUs are undeniably one of the favorites going into the final tournament of the season, it’s definitely worth mentioning that they’ll be coming into Vegas hot off of a bootcamp, especially since the last time they bootcamped following a last non-Grand Finals finish they came in and won the event. 

 

ALLEGIANCE 

Malik ‘KraZ’ Davis
Jeffrey ‘Jerppy’ Szewszak
Patrick ‘Guishh’ Diaz
Alec ‘ShocK’ Collins
Kevin ‘ReziK’ Ibarra

Coach: Victor ‘Purpsy’ Rivera

Allegiance enter the Gears Pro Circuit Las Vegas Open looking to break out of their ‘seventh place funk’ after finishing near the tail end of the top 10 for the third time in a row in Paris. They will attempt to do so by switching things up a bit, with Kevin ‘ReziK’ Ibarra making his debut in place of former season-long captain Cameron ‘Giraffe’ Tarlton. Time will tell whether this change is enough to push them past a number of other emerging teams and back up to the front of the pack, but the squad appears hungrier than ever to get back to the top.

 

VITALITY

Nicolas ‘Xorkos’ Abadie (Captain)
Reda ‘Bagdad’ Mahmoudi
Enzo ‘Strikkers’ Recchia
Keny ‘Keny’ Bonnot
Anthony ‘Phy’ Masse

Vitality were unable to use homefield to their advantage during the Paris Open, with the best team in France only managing to claim one victory throughout the tournament. Although it’s worth mentioning that they had arguably one of the steepest hills to climb in the tournament, sharing a pool with Ghost Gaming, Echo Fox and later Fire-N-Ice, then having to take on a retooled Enigma 6 squad in the second round of the Championship Losers Bracket; France’s finest hope they now have the experience to endure similar hardships in Vegas, as they kick off the tournament sharing a pool with a revamped Team Allegiance squad and well-seasoned Team EnVyUs. 

 

 

POOL C
EUNITED

Christopher ‘Lava’ Anderson (Captain)
Edwin ‘DeMo’ Perez 
Tommy ‘Dispensa’ Dispensa
Kaid ‘GODPLAYS’ Saleh
Michael ‘Zerpting’ Rodriguez

Coach: Jovon White

After matching their season low fifth place finish for the second time in as many events in Paris, eUnited’s Edwin ‘DeMo’ Perez opted to relinquish his position as the team’s captain and take a back seat to former OpTic Gaming captain Christopher ‘Lava’ Anderson. Although we’ll have to wait and see how this change in leadership effects the team’s performance, the third overall seed still unquestionably boasts one of the most talented rosters in the game, and one more than capable of hoisting the trophy come Championship Sunday.

 

SPLYCE

Héctor ‘Dezonide’ Becerra (Captain)
Daniel ‘Identivez’ Santillana
Sahad ‘Involving’ Jiménez
Carlos ‘Advers’ Padilla
Reynaldo ‘ChaoZ’ Tosado

Coach: José ‘Choche’ Jácome 

After finishing as runners up in Paris, and doing so by knocking out top teams Echo Fox, Ghost Gaming, Team EnVyUs, and an Enigma 6 team coming in hot off the heels of a victory of eUnited; all eyes will be on the perennial champs of the Latin American region, who appear to have turned a corner since bringing back Sahad ‘Involving’ Jiménez and shuffling former captain, José ‘Choche’ Jácome, to a coaching position. Whether or not this recent success will just be a flash in the pan remains to be seen, but Splyce have proven that they have what it takes to take down anyone on the Pro Circuit, even giving OpTic a run for their money in the Paris Open Grand Finals.

 

Sovereignty

Brian ‘CaRiLLs’ Carrasquillo
Ryan ‘Wildebeast’ Gant
Ozby ‘Noxious’ Romero
Pedro ‘Zenun’ Nunez
Kevin ‘FireArm’ Teran

Coach: Christopher ‘ShineTacular’ Kenny

The latest iteration of Pedro Juan Jose could prove to be a darkhorse when this new squad make their debut in Las Vegas, with notable veteran players Ozby ‘Noxious’ Romero, Ryan ‘Wildebeast’ Gant, and Brian ‘CaRiLLs’ Carrasquillo joining forces with former FireNIce/Pedro Juan Jose teammates Pedro ‘Zenun’ Nunez’ and Kevin ‘FireArm’ Teran, who start in Pool Play for the first time after making it there through the Open Bracket in each of the last two major tournaments. The squad certainly has the tools to make a run in Atlantic City, but they face the unenviable task of having to take on eUnited and Splyce to kick off the tournament.

 

 

POOL D
ECHO FOX

Kyle ‘Kyle’ Mason (Captain)
Joshua ‘Krash’ Galan
Rodney ‘Clouts’ Vaughn
Frank ‘Bull’ Tibbs
Christopher ‘Crushmo’ Lauzon

Coach: Noah ‘Prison’ Burkholz

Echo Fox, like a number of teams, stumbled in Paris, slipping to seventh after finishing fourth in Atlantic City. Although their performance only included losses to Ghost Gaming, Team EnVyUs, and Splyce, the relatively disappointing result appears to have lit a fire under the team, who come into the final event of the season seemingly hungrier and more focused than ever. Facing perhaps one of the “easier” Pool Play groups to start off the tournament, Echo Fox will have a great opportunity to build the same pre-Championship Bracket momentum that they were able to build in Atlantic City.

 
EPSILON ESPORTS

Will ‘Phelpzy’ Phelps (Captain)
Ben ‘Hydrone’ Cornwell
Matthew ‘Krazed’ MacDonald
Sam ‘Sam’ King
Jay ‘jRaqe’ Mcmanus

Despite beating a revamped Enigma 6 squad in Pool Play, the Gears Pro Circuit Paris Open did not provide Europe’s top-seed with quite the sort of home-region advantage they were looking for, as Britain’s best once more failed to make it past the top 12. Coming into Vegas with the same roster as the last event, where we saw Jay ‘jRage’ McManus make his debut in place of departed longtime member Ashley ‘Ash’ Griffin; time will tell if Epsilon is able to return to or surpass a top 7 finish, or if their best days are behind them.

 

WORLD BEST

Cameron ‘Giraffe’ Tarlton
Zachary ‘Yogurt’ DeFrank
Matt ‘Hudsonz’ Hudson
Benjamin ‘Strangulate’ Laird
Carlos ‘Wichy’ Trinidad

Coach: Glenn ‘iiNK’ McCollum

The squad feeling perhaps feeling as though have the most to prove going into the tournament, World’s Best features a roster of players who were at one point or another abandoned by their former teams, and; while the individuals making up the team’s roster certainly have the capacity to play big on the international stage, we’ll have to wait and see if this new squad can come together in time to be a force come Vegas.

 

Looking for more information about the event? Click here for tickets, schedule, and more.