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NA VCT Game Changers Series III could be anyone’s game

Series III of North American VCT Game Changers is arguably the most important tournament of this year for its participants. While all three series awarded qualification points for the upcoming Game Changers Championships in Berlin, Germany this November, only this tournament will automatically secure a spot at Champs for the victors. With this in mind, any of the eight teams competing in the Main Event has a chance to directly qualify for the biggest tournament of the year – and first-ever LAN for Game Changers – regardless of their overall circuit point totals for the year.

Normally, expectations going into this tournament would more-or-less be set in stone. After all, Cloud9 White have reigned supreme over North American Game Changers since its inception. But the previous series has proven that the North American queens can bleed, even if they haven’t been dethroned just yet. During Series II, Misfits Black did the seemingly impossible as a team that only entered the scene this year: they took a map off of Cloud9 White. Though they still lost that match 2-1, Misfits dealt the first major blow to the North American dynasty. Shopify Rebellion, the team that has been chasing C9 the closest throughout their time in Game Changers, continued the streak of taking the champs down a notch when they took their first-ever victory against their rivals in the playoffs stage. This was a historic victory, but when the two teams met again in the Series II Grand Finals, Cloud9 managed to walk away with yet another crown.

Going into Series III, Cloud9 White still look like the ones to beat, with over-the-top performances from their new player Bob “Bob” Tran complementing the solid foundation created by the roster of Melanie “meL” Capone, Alexis “alexis” Guarrasi, Jasmine “Jazzyk1ns” Manankil, and Katja “katsumi” Pfahnl. That said, there are plenty of new competitors entering the arena this time around, so things will likely be closer than ever, and we may even be in store for some upsets.

Misfits Black are facing Shopify Rebellion in their first game of the Series III Main Event, meaning the two teams that have tasted victory against C9 White will have to go through each other to advance. Though Shopify have been the de-facto second place of North American Game Changers, Misfits Black are looking forward to taking them on and think they can use this match to show off just how strong their roster has become.

“I think for me personally, and for Vernina, we’ve been on the roster the longest, and we’ve played Shopify a couple times, and we’ve never really been able to take the series away from them,” Presley “Slandy” Anderson told Gayming during NA GC Series III media day. “So I think now that we are in our current form, I think we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. And I think we’re all really, really excited to finally not only take the series from them, but prove that we can be better than anyone.”

After finally managing to beat C9 White, Shopify are also feeling confident in their own skills and the fact that the gap between teams is rapidly closing.

“All respect to them [C9 White], but I think we showed everybody that the gap is closing and there’s going to be really good matches, and any team can win on a really good day,” said Benita “bENITA” Novshadian. “We do have a lot of new competitors as well. [There are] a lot of new rosters and it’s gonna be really interesting.”

Of the eight teams competing in the NA Game Changers Series III Main Event, only five are re-appearing from Series II. These teams are Cloud9 White, Immortals, Evil Geniuses (formerly Dignitas), Shopify Rebellion and TSM X. Replacing unsigned squads Arianna Grande Perfume, Dart Monkeys, and Sanri-os in this event are Misfits Black, Complexity GX3, and XSET Purple.

Dart Monkeys have become a staple in the Game Changers scene, and Arianna Grande Perfume have made surprising runs that are now well documented, so it will likely be a fairly large shift to not have these teams in the mix for Series III. On top of that, several rosters competing this time around have shifted dramatically.

Misfits Black’s kxatieoh, for example, actually hasn’t ever played against Shopify Rebellion before. That’s an advantage as far as she’s concerned, and one that she hopes to use to prove why Misfits Black are the real ones to watch this time around.

“I think that our roster right now is really strong,” said kxtieoh. “And Shopify has always kind of been on like a second place pedestal, or even beating C9 White, so I’m ready to take the series from them so that we can kind of make that as a statement of how much we’ve improved since the starting roster.”

Cloud9 White, meanwhile, are as confident as ever, claiming that they will be representing North America in Berlin. That said, they also acknowledged that it’s a good thing that the North American Game Changers scene is becoming more and more competitive, and that there will be a lot of competition for that second slot at Champs.

“I think a lot of teams are in their honeymoon period right now, but we’re very confident that we will be representing North America at Berlin,” meL told Gayming. “I think that it’s objectively a good thing that the skill level of teams have gone up so we have a better North American representative for Berlin so it’s not just our shoulders to win. But I do think that we will win Berlin regardless of who is sent next. But I think it’s a good it’s good for NA to have multiple teams that are competitive. I think the slot for a second here is pretty big. I think that multiple teams can qualify.”

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