ACE Masters begin today; BLAST Premier Showdown slot up for grabs
The ACE Masters, which acts as the North American qualifier for the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, kicks off tonight with eight teams split into two GSL-style groups. The top two teams from each group will then proceed to the single-elimination BO3 playoffs bracket.
In Group A, third and fourth place teams from ECL, paiN and Strife, will be fighting fellow ECL team Gaimin Gladiators as well as Advanced side Counter Nature. This will be Gaimin's first tournament with newly-acquired fifth Otto "garfield" Netteberg after they opted to play with Riley "Reality" Fusch in the recent ESEA Cash Cup in preparation for the ECL playoffs.
On the other side, Group B will play host to ATK, Orgless, and Team oNe alongside their another Advanced side. The team, formerly under Stealth which recently finished just outside of playoffs contention in Advanced with an 8-7 record, are now representing Valkyrie but have not yet found a new fifth. The team are currently set to play with Dylan "Irish" Frericks, although, it is only on a stand-in basis for this tournament.
Based on the recently concluded ECL, Group A appears to be the significantly more "stacked". When compared to Group B, all the ECL sides placed equal or higher than their Group B counterparts, with all teams in Group A placing in the top six altogether. When factoring in other recent tournaments, such as Cash Cups and the RMR open qualifiers, the scales find a more balanced position although ultimately still remain heavier on the A side.
The matches will begin this afternoon at 02:30PM with the matches all being played sequentially on the Liga Ace Esports Twitch channel. The approximate schedule for day 1 schedule can be found below:
01:30PM — paiN vs Counter Nature
02:45PM — Strife vs Gaimin Gladiators
04:00PM — Group A Winners' Match
05:15PM — Group A Losers' Match
06:30PM — ATK vs Valkyrie
07:45PM — Orgless vs Team oNe
09:00PM — Group B Winners' Match
10:15PM — Group B Losers' Match
Day 2 will kick off with the decider matches for both groups, which will also be played as BO1 series, followed by the semifinals which will moved to BO3 matches. The grand final will be the only match played on the final day. Both days will also begin at 01:30PM.