Thunder Rosters Make Statement in EU Open
All four of Team Norse Thunder’s Pokemon Unite rosters were in action on Tuesday night as they competed in the Battle Hub EU Open, with each looking to make a statement before this weekend’s World Championship qualifying event.
21 different teams from across the European region came together to compete in the tournament, including some of the most well-known: Team Galaxy, Warlords EU, and Kimako Esports. Four of the 21 were representing Team Norse Thunder with Team Red, Black, Yellow, and White all playing.
The opening round saw Thunder’s Team Red and Team Yellow given byes, while Team White and Team Black were drawn against Penguin Shiny and TK respectively. Making their debuts representing Thunder in the Battle Hub event, both Team White and Black slipped to an unfortunate 2-0 defeat, and elimination from the tournament through the single elimination system.
Meanwhile, in round two, Team Red were drawn against Goal Ducks - a team they had beaten 3-0 in a scrim last week. Knowing that a repeat performance would put them into the quarter-finals, pre-game confidence was running high. However, Goal Ducks got off to a dream start and claimed the first game in the best-of-three series, but Team Red battled back to complete an impressive reverse sweep. Team Red then played Phantom Slayers, the tournament’s third seed, in the top eight stage, but slipped to a 2-0 defeat, but will take heart from progressing so far into a tournament at the first time of asking.
Thunder’s final representatives in the EU Open were Team Yellow, who performed brilliantly to reach the semi-final stage, earning themselves a top-four finish in the process. A round one bye put them through to face Penguin Esports in the second round, who they dispatched 2-0 with comfortable back-to-back wins.
The third round paired Team Yellow against the tournament's top seeds, and one of Europe’s best, Warlords EU. After the teams won a game each and with the scoreline sitting at 1-1 going into the third and deciding game, Thunder looked the stronger team and wanted to press home that advantage. A solid team performance followed, giving the team a well-deserved win. However, Los Pipistrelos lay in wait in the semi-final, and they took a 2-0 win before going on to finish as the runners-up of the whole tournament.
Speaking about the night, Team Norse Thunder’s Dave Scotford said: “The night was a huge one for us, and massive credit goes to all of our rosters for how they approached the tournament and how they played. There were some seriously good teams playing and we more than held our own - we made a real statement.
“It’s been coming for a while to be fair though - the rosters are coming on leaps and bounds and now it’s about understanding how we can take the next step and go one or two steps further in the tournaments that are coming up. I believe we’ll get there and we’ve shown a glimpse of that to the rest of Europe too.
“We’ve been through quite a bit over the last year as a group and to see us moving in the right direction over the last six months or so has been something I’m really proud of. Again, huge credit to all the players and staff who’ve been brilliant and the captains who’ve been leading things.”