NAE – XXif and Ronaldo

As week eight of the World Cup Qualifiers draws to a close, the biggest story coming out of the matches is the qualification of controversial duo XXif and Ronaldo. Banned for 14 days after cheating earlier in the tournament, the duo have posted good results for three weeks since their return. This week their improvement continued, culminating in a 91 point finish for third place. 

With pros, including World Cup caster Dr Lupo, tweeting their discontent at the decision to allow the two players to play and qualify, it’s fair to say the LAN event in New York City might be a tense affair for XXif and Ronaldo. Allegations of cheating have been made again against the pair, with people suggesting yet another early game 50/50 at XXif’s infamous pirate camp landing spot might look like a fed elimination. 

First and second in the NAE region went to Bolt Eclipsea/Bolt Tetchra and E11 BlooTea/RoAtDW, both on 94 points. Bolt’s qualification comes soon after Tetchra’s move to Virginia, allowing him to play on around zero ping. With other low-ping players also exceeding expectations throughout qualifications, it will be interesting to see how people’s play styles differ during the LAN event. 

NAW – Ghost Pop Off

In NAW it was a good week for Ghost Gaming as Aydan and Sean join Issa, Bizzle and Saf in qualification. Aydan shot to fame during previous LAN events with his meta-changing approach to competitive Fortnite, becoming known for his ability to w-key his way to high-elimination games against the best of the best. Ghost Sean, the keyboard and mouse side of the duo, has proved himself the perfect foil to Aydan’s high-intensity play style. Sean provides an astonishing amount of end-game expertise and experience. Watching the two play together becomes a masterclass in communication as the two different approaches to the game reach a successful balance. 

Narrowly missing out on NAW qualification were Balmes1x/JasperFN and FLY Edgey/Liquid Cented – The latter of which were griefed in their final game at 103 points. In fourth place came SypherPK and WBG Ranger, a duo that only started to play together in the last couple of months. With Sypher’s approach to Fortnite being a mix of competitive and content creation, fourth place represents a remarkable and quick improvement that will make for fascinating viewing in Week 10’s final duo qualifiers. 

EU – Consistency 

In Europe it was familiar names topping the leaderboard yet again as all three top spots were occupied by previously qualified duos. Solary’s Hunter and Kinstaar, E11’s Stompy and Tschiiinken and Atlantis Mitr0 with Secret Mongraal all earned themselves some more prize money despite latter being unable to queue for a final game. This is the third time qualifying for Mongraal and Mitr0, whose Twitch viewership rose to 60,000 this weekend, and a mind-boggling sixth time qualifying for Stompy and Tschiiinken.

Of the qualifiers, E11 added yet another player to the list with Itemm, partnered with Derox. Joining them in New York are Oslo/Not BadSniper, BTL 4zr/Noward and Eon RedRush/Eon znappy. Missing out by just three points were LeStream’s Skite and Vato. The pair will be one to watch out for in Week Ten after Skite made a name for himself in previous online tournaments. 

Two Weeks Left

With just a week of solos and a week of duos left, we still have plenty of names left playing it out for the final qualification spots. Tweets from pros yet to qualify are growing increasingly desperate and the fine margins of eliminations, placement points and RNG are becoming more apparent. In my opinion, players to watch out for over the next couple of weeks include Cloak, Skite, Vato, Hogman, Fuzzy and Innocents. However if the previous eight weeks have taught us anything it’s that NAE and NAW should expect the unexpected. 

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