Start of the Belgian League

This is an opinion piece by Omar ‘Woong’ Van Vynckt.

We are halfway through the first split of the Belgian League and every team has managed to pick up a victory. We have seen upsets, stomps and fiestas. Even the better teams have shown weaknesses that are exploitable. And lastly, we saw how pride comes before a surprising defeat.

The Belgian League is home to Belgian powerhouse organisation Sector One. From the start they have been the clear favourites to win the first split. With the return of Saviour and Phoenix but also new blood in the line-up, Night looks more motivated than ever. Mister Consistent has always been at the top of the Benelux, but now he has a team and the results to once again show for it. The only question that is left… Can they go undefeated throughout the whole split? Their manager, Tafikay, has no doubt in his mind they will!

All eyes were on Timeout Esports to be Sector One’s biggest competitor in the League. Picking up Slyv3r after his victory at ESL Proximus, together with Dragflick, they formed a fearsome line-up. They looked very shaky starting the first few weeks of the split. Their slow early game got abused by Sector One and Sector One played a masterful game against them, showing they are still one tier higher than Timeout. However, both these teams form the top 2 in the Belgian League.

After coming from a fresh victory of ESL Proximus 2019, Aethra Esports took a completely new line-up. There were some question marks regarding this decision, but it seems like they are making it work. After a rough first loss to Sector One, they SEEMed to struggle to find consistency. This culminated when they lost to the current last place team, where they were simply just outplayed during that match. It is still not clear where Aethra will end, but from now on the fight for a play-off spot begins.

The biggest surprise was RSCA Esports. Having played years with the same line-up, Taz, Saitam, Ionï and Keabambi are clearly struggling with finding a jungler. We saw some great things from Findus, but the team looks very chaotic. In week 4 they completely roleswapped some players and it did not work out. They did give us a preview of sub Maikokoro, who might be a promising rookie in the league. Expectations are that RSCA Esports will show up for the second part of the split, already having shown that they aren’t shy of trying new things.

Going down the rankings, we can’t say we are surprised to see Brussels Guardians. General opinion was that they would use the first half of the split to find their identity and how to play the game. Although some of their players have shown promising things, their game style is generally poor. They will have to fight for their play-off spot, but nothing seems to be impossible. The organisation has quite the history of being the underdog, so we don’t need to panic yet.

Lastly we have KVM Esports, the new kid on the block. They faced some criticism when they announced their line-up and they had not much to show for after the first few weeks of the split. After finding their footing, they showed much improvement. Having beat Aethra Esports, they look to contest for a play-off spot. Can they continue this trend and secure that spot?

The last few weeks are so important for so many teams. Standings will decide play-off spots, so every win counts. Our eyes are on the extremes of the current ranking. Will Sector One stay undefeated and will KV Mechelen make the miracle run for play-offs?

Omar ‘Woong’ Van Vynckt

Omar “Woong” Van Vynckt is a regular analyst-guest on the talkshow RECALL. A very critical and outspoken personality with an eye on the Benelux scene.