IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational – *aAa* Gaming Pick Up Yet Another Trophy!

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational has officially finished. Just as we predicted, the French squad *aAa* took the first spot, riding on the waves of their recent first place at Curse Trials November. A couple of teams made a rather surprising appearance at the top of the standings. On the other hand, some of the top favourites ended up picking up the scraps.

Consistent Placements and Unrivalled Killing Potential

The first day of the tournament was the real meat-grinder in its true sense. Team SoloMid and Method Gaming ended up with over 800 points and a sizeable lead over the rest of the pack. *aAa* Gaming finished strong at the third spot with 760 points.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational Method Gaming

Credit: ESL

Only 110 points separated the 10th placed squad, Team Liquid (565), from the 4th placed Digital Chaos (675). It’s safe to say a bunch of teams were in contention for the top 8 spots and a share in the $200,000 prize pool.

Individually, the teams employed different strategies, to varying success. FaZe Clan, a team that everybody had high expectations of, couldn’t translate their successful online performances in the Auzom Premier League onto the live stage.

Meanwhile, Digital Chaos, a team that earned their spot at the tournament through the EU Qualifiers murder row, managed to snatch a decent amount of points ahead of the second day, largely due to their 15-kill victory in the first round.

Cloud9 had a decent run in the second game as well. They displayed masterful performance that led them to a 2nd place finish at Curse Trials November.

However, these individual flashes of brilliance got by trumped disciplined and advanced squad strategies employed by the teams at the top. TSM generally utilized the wait-and-bait approach. They moved around the edges of the safe zone, picking most of their fights from favourable positions. This resulted in relatively low kill-counts, but it was enough to secure a win and a 2nd place, netting them a bunch of points in the process.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational TSM

Credit: ESL

Tempo Storm went to the extreme, ending every game with just 2-3 kills. However, this extremely reclusive play-style led them to two consecutive 3rd places in the first and second round, and a 7th placement in the overall standing at the end of first day.

Meanwhile, *aAa* Gaming and Method Gaming went absolute bonkers, with Method’s insane 17-kills win in the third round, and *aAa* Gaming’s impressive 13 kills in the second. These two teams had the most kills after the first day as well.

Standings Affecting Playstyles Significantly

After the first day shenanigans, the teams had only 4 out of 8 rounds left to improve, maintain and advance their overall standings. The prize pool for the top 8 spots was enticing enough to warrant an all-out aggression from the teams in the middle of the bracket. However, it also meant the teams at the top had less of an incentive to push and chase kills. They could sit comfortably on their point leads from the day before, letting their competition exterminate each other.

This is exactly what happened. In the last few rounds, we saw a reversal of roles. After a 6th place in round 5 and a first place in round 6, *aAa* Gaming took the first spot with almost 200 points more than TSM. Due to this, they adopted a more passive approach in the last two rounds. They cautiously evaded anybody who might go willingly after them to try and knock them out early on.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational aAa Gaming Champions

Credit: ESL

On the other hand, Tempo Storm switched to a more aggressive approach. They accumulated 28 kills total and finished high in the first two rounds. This proved just enough to snag a 2nd place finish in the final standings. They landed right in front of Ghost Gaming at the 3rd and FaZe Clan at the 4th place.

Digital Chaos was the only team in the tournament to win two rounds. After winning round 1, it was round 7 that Digital Chaos deserved the Winner, winner, chicken dinner title yet again. They traversed the hay-bale stacks field masterfully, showcasing just how well they know that part of the map. Not even the insane triple nade kill made by Noble’s TheChosenZygote could save the Canadians from the wrath of the chaos overlords. But seriously, just look at this throw!

Yeah, they still lost after this…

After all was said and done, *aAa* Gaming finished 1st. They had 235 points more than the 2nd-placed Tempo Storm. Ghost Gaming pushed through to the 3rd spot. They were just 10 points behind. They have every reason to be happy after finishing their first day all the way back on the 14th spot.

Faze Clan managed to overtake Digital Chaos at the 4th place, despite the latter’s 2 chicken dinners. They were also tied with 9th placed Noble for the most amount of kills. Speaking of Noble, they really pushed through on the second day as well. Sadly, they were just 20 points (that’s only 2 kills!) away from the 8th spot and a $2,000 prize.

It was Cloud9 who took the 8th, tied with Method Gaming for points, but with 7 less kills overall. Method Gaming and TSM are probably the biggest let-downs of the tournament. After a 2nd and 1st place finish respectively on the first day, these two got pushed all the way back to the bottom of the prize pool table. The same could be said of Ninjas in Pyjamas. They finished 8th on day 1, but hardly got anything done on the second day and finished 16th.

To paint the picture, the difference between the 7th and 10th place was just 50 points. Take a look below at just how competitive it turned out to be in the middle of the pack.

Final Standings

Place Team Points Kills Prize
1 *aAa* Gaming 1620 38 $60,000
2 Tempo Storm 1385 28 $45,000
3 Ghost Gaming 1375 31 $30,000
4 FaZe Clan 1355 39 $20,000
5 Digital Chaos 1300 35 $15,000
6 TSM 1285 31 $12,000
7 Method 1195 38 $10,000
8 C9 1195 31 $8,000
9 Noble 1175 39 N/A
10 Team Liquid 1145 31 N/A
11 Ronin Esports 1055 24 N/A
12 Corn Shuckers 935 25 N/A
13 Luminosity Gaming 935 23 N/A
14 Crimson Esports 925 28 N/A
15 Wind and Rain 875 29 N/A
16 Ninjas in Pyjamas 845 17 N/A
17 PENTA Sports 815 29 N/A
18 Alliance 815 21 N/A
19 Miami Flamingos 785 27 N/A
20 Evil Geniuses 685 10 N/A
IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational aAa Gaming Ceremony

Credit: ESL