Road To IEM Katowice!
If you’ve been following the competitive action with Noble’s players for the past few weeks, you may already be aware of what this topic will cover. We are extremely pleased to inform you all that our PUBG team is counted among those who have survived a series of qualifiers to proceed to a PUBG invitational event at IEM Katowice in Poland!
Up to 512 teams in Europe and North America apiece participated in a series of open qualifiers hosted by ESL. Eventually only eight teams remained, and these teams would proceed to a closed qualifier where they would compete with eight other teams directly invited from both regions, thus setting the stage for a 32-team bracket that would foresee quite a heated course of events. The qualifier spots for IEM Katowice would be awarded to the top three teams from both regions.
From Europe’s side, Team Kinguin, AirStation Mike and Avangar successfully qualified for Katowice. As for North America, the spots were awarded to OpTic Gaming, Cloud9, and of course our very own Team Noble! In addition, Kaos Latin Gamers from South America would receive their spot in Katowice.
These seven teams will join six others that have already been confirmed for Katowice: Method, TSM, Ghost Gaming, FaZe Clan, Team Vitality, and Tempo Storm. Three more spots remain to be awarded to the Asian qualifiers. Once that comes to pass, we will be looking at a stacked 16-team bracket competing for up to $50,000 in IEM Katowice, which takes place on February 24-25th.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. $50,000. Sixteen of the world’s best PUBG teams all in one location. Thousands of fans spectating at Katowice’s Spodek Arena and via the Internet. Did we also mention that Katowice will play host to a vast selection of games other than PUBG, with similarly stacked prize pools spread out across each of them?
Now, as we eagerly prepare for the end of February, we decided to provide some insight from our players on the events leading up to this achievement. But first, a little backstory is in order.
Since the introduction of our PUBG roster back in May 2017, the team has undergone a number of adjustments. Out of the initial roster, Boom and Edakulous are still representing us. They would be joined later on by Natural, who remained a consistent Top 10 placer in both Arma 3 Battle Royale and PUBG as a fragger; and Godspeed, a known commentator who initially started as a Counter-Strike 1.6 player before making the move to fighting games, a decision that would eventually culminate in his ascension to the Top 8 finals for Injustice 1 at EVO 2013.
— Noble esports (@NobleGG) January 13, 2018
Together, these four gentlemen banded their efforts to plow through countless teams in the open and closed qualifiers for IEM Katowice throughout the latter half of January. Needless to say, it has been an exhausting ordeal, but the victory leaves them all feeling elated.
Having previously worked at IEM Oakland production for the event, Godspeed was enamored by the work ethics displayed by all who competed there, but it was Noble’s team in particular that sparked in him the desire to succeed as a player, as he previously did during his days in the FGC. After a brief conversation with Maze and Recon, steps were taken to draft Godspeed into our PUBG crew.
“This has been kind of a labor of love for us ever since we formed this team,” said Godspeed, “and to be able to qualify with this team, and to do it in a dominating fashion, just validates everything we thought about ourselves as players and as a team.”
As for Natural, he regularly sparred with our team in PubG and Arma 3 Battle Royale, hence his ascension to the summit in the leaderboards for PUBG, and he eventually began substituting for Edakulous during online brackets. It wasn’t long before another roster shake-up took place, opening up a spot that would be occupied by Natural full time.
Since the creation of our PubG division, the crew has seen one achievement after another, such as two 3rd place finishes at the Gamescom PUBG Invitational and TwitchCon 2017’s Omen Challenge, and a 9th place result at IEM Oakland. So when the teams invited to the closed qualifier for IEM Katowice were first announced, it came as a slight surprise to our players that Noble was not among them. Nevertheless, they were more than willing to walk through Hell and back to prove themselves worthy of the honor.
— ESL PUBG (@ESLPUBG) August 26, 2017
“Noble honestly was a team that should have been invited to the closed qualifiers directly,” Godspeed stated. “We shouldn’t have to have gone through the open qualifiers, but looking back now, I’m gonna be completely honest: I’m really glad we did.”
The statement was instantly met with a chorus of agreement from his teammates. “It was great practice,” Natural added.
By the end of the open qualifier, in which 198 North American teams participated, Noble stood within the Top 3 at second place. This achievement earned them their shot at the closed qualifier, where they ultimately emerged as the victor, thus cementing their place at the IEM Katowice PUBG Invitational.
“It was honestly pretty amazing to do that,” said Boom, current team captain for Noble PUBG, “and really show everyone that doubted us what we could do.”
It is no secret that success in team-based games is out of reach for teammates who cannot maintain any sort of synergy with one another. The team took a moment to touch upon their approach towards keeping their teamwork ability up to par.
“We’re pretty toxic to each other,” Godspeed joked, laughing. “The biggest thing I think that really helps us, aside from being naturally able to synergize with one another, is the fact that we’re all older and more mature. We’re all able to objectively look at ourselves and fix the mistakes that we personally make and call each other out on it.”
“This team gives constructive criticism and is truly positive,” Boom added. “There’s no negativity on this team at all.”
As far as how often they actually practice?
“We go until we can’t,” Edakulous stated bluntly.
Despite that a portion of the team have jobs to maintain, they seize every opportunity they can to refine their strategies until there is not a loose screw to be tightened. They participate in every tournament they possibly can, be it online or on LAN. Other than IEM Katowice, the PUBG crew plans to participate in large-scale online events such as Global Loot League, Auzom and PUBGOnline.
But for now, IEM Katowice is all that is on the front of their minds. In fact, up to a week before it actually occurs, Noble PUBG will be undergoing a “boot camp” of sorts at California’s Esports Arena as part of their efforts to prepare for the big showdown. Given that Natural’s LAN experience is actually minimal at best, this will prove highly convenient to him and to his teammates, as it will give them an opportunity to get Natural accustomed to such an environment before they depart for Poland.
We also asked them about their thoughts on representing Team Noble in the recent events.
“Noble’s been amazing,” Boom said without hesitation.
“Noble feels like a family, a big family,” Edakulous agreed. “I mean, it’s not like, ‘Hey, there’s boss-man, gotta talk right, act right.’ We feel like family, it’s an awesome feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
“Everyone always had good things to say about Noble as an organization,” Godspeed added. “And I believed it, because I did know Recon and Maze on a personal level, and to now be a part of it as a professional player instead of like an outsider looking in…the guys agree, anytime I needed anything or needed to talk, Recon has always been there. Instead of like an org owner, he’s always been a friend. Noble has so far been a fantastic organization to be a part of.”
Airmid also had the following to say in regards to the progression of the PUBG team:
“When they first formed the PUBG team, there was not a lot of knowledge at the time, like the game was very early on in an early phase. Nobody really knew what was gonna happen with PUBG, it could have gone any number of ways…and it just kept continuously building and building, and then Gamescom was like the big announcement, and the guys getting to go there was pretty huge. With everything that’s come after that, Noble has had to adapt every step of the way, to what the scene would become…the direction it was going, and they’ve done that for these guys.”
With their greatest challenge ahead of them, Noble PUBG will be hard at work staying in competitive shape. We are deeply excited for IEM Katowice and we hope you all will be there to support the crew! As a side-note, if you will actually be in Poland on the weekend of February 24-25, you can purchase your ticket for the event here.
We’d like to give a big thanks to Esports Arena for giving the team a place to work together and boot camp before the big event. Please give them a follow on Twitter and check them out if you are in the area! You will be really glad you did.