Perfect Start for Thunder in ZGUL Opener
Team Norse Thunder’s Pokémon Unite roster made a perfect start to life in the Zapdos Graph Unite League on Sunday evening as they beat Evil Family 2-0 in their season opener.
The ZGUL brings together teams from across both Europe and North America to compete in a weekly tournament with the top performing teams qualifying for the playoffs and ultimately, battling it out for the league title. Thunder were granted a late entry place in the competition earlier this month, and the league will be the team's maiden competitive split together.
Each match is played in a best-of-three format, and in game one, Thunder drafted Snorlax, Delphox, Decidueye, Machamp, and Slowbro as their team. Meanwhile, Evil Family opted to select Glaceon, Blissy, Trevenant, Slyveon, and Tsareena. Six Pokemon were banned from being picked in the opening game, and they were Mew, Hoopa, Wigglytuff, Greninja, Mr Mime, and Talonflame.
The game was a close-run thing until the final fight - a fight that saw Thunder wipe out the opposition team and take control before dunking goal after goal to secure a 357-200 victory. Thunder's Tano dunked over 130 of the team's points and also secured 10 KOs with 20 assists, while Karys dominated in the jungle and bagged 15 KOs and added 18 assists.
Thunder were heading into game two knowing that a win would secure the match, while Evil Family were looking for victory to force a third and final deciding game.
Game two saw Thunder draft Delphox, Decidueye, Slowbro, Absol, and Mamoswine, while Evil Family picked Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Slyveon, Buzzwole, and Azumarill. The six banned Pokemon for the second game were Mew, Glaceon, Machamp, Greninja, Mr Mime, and Talonflame.
Thunder dominated in game two, securing almost every objective across the map and controlling the flow of the game. The final score sat at 448-185 in Thunder's favour, with Tunak and Karys both dunking almost 140 points each. The victory in game two secured the match for Thunder.
Though an impressive team performance, the players voted for their MVP, and Apollyon took the honour in his first competitive outing since officially joining the roster. Representing Thunder in the match was Apollyon, Tano, Tunak, Tiny, and Karys, with Lans supporting from the sidelines.
Speaking about the roster’s performance in their opening game, Team Norse Thunder’s Dave Scotford said: “We really couldn’t have asked any more from everyone - it was another brilliant team performance and everyone should be buzzing after the game. When everything clicks like it did in that match, it's great to sit back and watch.
"Our ZGUL matches are a great way to get more competitive experience and it's all geared towards getting us better set up for the next batch of World Championship qualifiers - when those get announced. We're going to be learning things every time we play together.
“We talked a lot in the build-up to the match about how we wanted to approach team compositions, how we wanted to focus in and play, and everyone did their bit to make sure we got the job done. Sometimes it's just your day and today it was ours."