The Gfinity Challenger Series Delivered By Domino's is ON!
Matching the Elite Series Delivered By Dominos, the Challenger Series is into its fourth season of competition, and as in previous years the finest talents looking for a spot in the Elite Series will compete across FIFA 18, Rocket League and Street Fighter V. Anyone can enter at whatever skill level suits – so if you're just looking for game time and a chance to play against top-tier opposition in order to improve your own skillset, be our guest. But undoubtedly the main motivation for most of our Challenger Series contestants will be the lure of guaranteed draft spots on the line in the upcoming Elite Series. Remember the criteria; all our players will be accumulating points based on the number of Cups they enter and their finishing positions, and if they finish inside the top 30 in the table, they will be eligible for the Elite Series Pro Draft Delivered By Domino's.
So with the action underway, we decided to take a look at some of the brightest prospects and names to watch as the season progresses. Some of these names are ones you've already heard of looking for a way back into the big time, and others are ones you may never have heard of before but won't remain unknown for very long. Such is the nature of the Challenger Series Delivered By Domino's – let's do it to it.
Since the very beginning of the Elite Series, Street Fighter V has been a core part of the action in the Gfinity Arena every week. And with the fighting game community enthusiastically getting involved, the standard of players coming through Challenger Series Delivered By Domino's has only got stronger year-on-year. So to help us with our scouting report we enlisted the services of Team Vitality's WireMan.
If any of you follow him on Twitter you'll know just how good he is at promoting and scouting talent that deserves to be recognised in Challenger Series, so who better to speak to about the hottest prospects to come through SFV this season?
A key consideration to look out for in any new season of SFV is how certain characters will affect certain players. There's always balance changes inbetween each season which change up certain characters and their effectiveness, which always provides for intrigue as players adapt, evolve their game and/or switch characters altogether.
Another intriguing character to watch this time around – and ergo the players who use this character – is Zeku, as WireMan explains:
'Zeku is a tough character to learn. Whether you’re maining him or learning the matchup, you essentially have to learn two characters as he has twice the moveset (and twice the frame data) to study. Zeku is an uncommon sight, so has the power of unfamiliarity on his side, but sits comfortably in the mid-tiers due to his extensive moveset, not to mention a regular throw that’s comparable to some command throws in damage output. Tough to learn, but incredibly rewarding for the players that put the effort in.'
Of the key Zeku main players, WireMan has two to watch out for this Challenger Series – with one in particular who will be very familiar to Elite Series fans...
'There’s an interesting parallel here between GuN SLinGa and Suleymon - both pad players that have migrated from Boxer (Balrog) to Zeku and have really benefited from the move. GuN SLinGa was a well known Guy main in SF4, so has really picked up the pace by playing as Guy’s master, Zeku, while Suleymon has been on the scene at CPT and WSO events doing significant damage against some of the best with his. I’m confident we’ll be seeing a lot of Suleymon this season.'
Elsewhere, veterans like Hurricane, Boltstrike and AngryMojoSan will be competing to keep their eye in and get some preparation in ahead of upcoming major tournaments and the Elite Series itself, therefore offering a huge motivation for any new players coming up to get a big win over such established stars. Key players with previous Gfinity Elite Series Delivered By Domino's experience and currently operating as free agents include the aforementioned Gun Slinga, NastyNas and Verdoyance – no prospective contender for the Elite Series Season 4 title should sleep on any of these guys.
Entering its second season as part of the Gfinity fold, FIFA 18 enjoyed a fantastic debut season as part of the Elite Series Delivered By Domino's – two enthralling league stages, followed by one of the all-time great semi-final matchups in Elite Series history between Envy and FNATIC. The latter went on to lift the overall trophy, and with key man Rannerz going from Challenger Series graduate to Elite Series champion in the span of a single season, there can be no bigger endorsement to just how big an impact a successful Challenger Series run can be for your burgeoning career.
As per last season, the tables will be split into PS4 and Xbox One leaderboards. And with a lot of the top players preparing for the FIFA eWorld Cup coming up soon, the key theme of the entry list thus far for Challenger Series Delivered By Domino's is of players who either just missed out on draft in Season 3 or got drafted but weren't able to make the same kind of impression that the likes of Rannerz did. The likes of BeastTekkerz is definitely in the former category, and in the latter you've got players like LostInTheWavez and FerPerry who will be very keen to remind prospective teams of the skills got them drafted last season in the first place.
After the success of Epsilon making it to the semi-finals of Elite Series Season 3 with a lineup drafted entirely from the Challenger Series, the field will be as wide open as ever for Rocket League. And perhaps more than ever, it might not always be about the individual talents of each player but moreover finding the right combinations and players to team up with – and ego stand a chance of getting drafted as a complete unit as D7, Pugsay and FaykoW did last season.
Keep an eye out for team We Dem Babies, who seem hungry for the title and are reaching every final cup so far.
There will also be plenty of Elite Series veterans floating around looking for their way back into the Elite Series, so prepare to see some interesting new trios as players pick new prospective teammates. Big-name former Elite Series stars in this exact situation include former champions Shakahron and Cheerio, as well as the likes of al0t, Sebadam, Flarke, and Speed.
Has reading all this increased your own appetite to get involved? Come on, come all – it really couldn't be any simpler!