NA Inkling Open Qualifier Preview!
Nicholas "hermes" Devantier
Apr 21, 2018
This coming weekend, we have the second iteration of the Inkling Open, Nintendo’s event for North American teams to win the chance to attend E3 for their spectacle tournament. However, some things have changed since the last time. For one, it is now the North American Inkling Open instead of the US Inkling Open, signifying that other teams that are outside of the States can enter. The age restriction was also lowered to 13, so now we have a much larger number of folks who can enter. Last year there was 140 teams, and, at time of publishing, there is already three times as many teams in 450+ for the Open this year! This event marks one of the largest Splatoon events ever held!
The format will be turf war single elimination until Top 8, where all of the top 8 teams go into a double elimination bracket. The first match of the bracket will be played this weekend as well, so the losers of that match will only have one match before elimination next weekend. Once we hit weekend two, it will only be ranked modes through Grand Finals. The winners of Grand Finals win a trip to Los Angeles for E3 for the second Splatoon 2 World Championship. They will play against an Australian team, a European team, and a Japanese team to see who is crowned the winner!
Image from: http://e3src.nintendo.com/tournaments/
Now that you know about the tournament, here are some names to look out for in the bracket. First off, we have defending champions SetToDestroyX, who still has the core of Peguitt and HXN, but have added in Burstie, tictac, and fuzzy to round out their roster. This group is looking to defend their title as World Champions and prove that they have continued dominance over the scene. Saikai, TOMO, and Prophecy are all teams that are also entered in the TransAtlantic Splatoon League, a premier Splatoon League, that will also be playing this weekend. Saikai will be down one of their mainstays in Burstie as he is helping out STDx, but still look to be strong contenders. With the likes of Gamer, Shak, Chip, and the rest of the group, they should easily be one of the teams on the hunt for the championship. TOMO has always been a staple team in the community since they started back in 2016. Their rise to the top has been a slow grind of skill and camradery, and now they are looking to make it on to next weekend. Prophecy may be a new team, but has already been putting in work. With a core group of players who have been playing together for a while, as well as adding some key talent from other teams, Prophecy should be on your radar to make it into the top of the bracket.
However, some teams who will be on the hunt to take down these tough competitors include folks like Komodo, Surge, Envizion, and Deep Blues. Komodo should be a name many are familiar with. They came in second to STDx at Squidstorm 2017 and have been a consistent tournament threat and LAN loyalists. They look to push themselves into the top bracket to get a runback as some of these top teams. Surge is a team that, very similar to TOMO, has been on the grind for a while. They may not have the same experience as TOMO does now, but they have been putting up solid showings lately and are hoping to continue that this weekend and make the top 8 cut! Envizion has been around for all of Splatoon 2 as the same core group of four. These guys know how to play with one another and have an offense that flows like very few others. It will be exciting to see them make their run to try and make the second weekend. And finally I am going to mention Deep Blues, a team that has been around almost as long as TOMO, but has had a few more roster changes than them. However, these roster changes have helped solidify them as one of the most exciting and fun teams to watch, and we hope to see them continue to prove themselves and make this top bracket!
Tune in to InkTVSplat tomorrow for our pregame show as well as all the action of these opening rounds! Hope to see you all at our stream so you can join the action!
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