AUTHOR: CHRIS "BEARLIGHT" LEE / @BEARLIGHTCASTS
The first half of the SPIN Spring Series 2023 is in the books. For the past three weeks, Stay Plugged In Valorant and Rocket League recruits from all over the globe have been competing in their respective games to climb the leaderboards. Their goal? To position themselves towards the top, driving to making the "Final 8" Bracket at the end of the season. The Spring Championship, which features a $1000 prize pool per title to help winning students with college funding, will take place after the regular season. The final stage will be streamed on Twitch for college recruiters, and for family and friends to watch and cheer on their favorite student athletes (more details below the article).
While providing highly competitive matches and brackets for future college students is certainly one of the goals of the SPIN Series, the event also aims to encourage stronger team culture and player companionship. In an esports environment that currently seems afflicted by players constantly replacing and recycling through teammates every few weeks, Stay Plugged In announced it's "carry over" point system in an attempt to improve these conditions. Beginning next season, the system will award teams that are willing to stick together and work on improving as a unit with half of the points they have earned in the previous season.
With this system in mind, points are valued even higher by teams, players, and coaches in this initial kick-off season. Let's reflect on the first three weeks of the season, and highlight some teams and players who have stood at to us thus far.
TEAM POWER RANKINGS (TOP 5)
1. SHOOTAS (7-0) +16 Diff
Currently 1st Place with 21 Points
The team known as "shootas" is a prime example as to why the SPIN Series encourages player companionship. The Tide and Resonal combination is on record dating as far back as February 2021, when they won a $30 online tournament called "Meta Arena". THAT'S OVER 2 YEARS AGO. Chemistry and work ethic have combined to push this team to new heights. Look at this team as favorites to win it all come Championship time.
2. SKULL CRACKER (5-1) +11 Game Diff
Currently 2nd Place with 16 Points
Skull Cracker, a team from South America, has fought through North American servers week after week to land an impressive 5-1 record on the season so far, with their only match loss coming to Shootas (1-3). The all-Columbian team lead by Zurdo has quite the experience together as well, with their last roster adjustment taking place in August of last year. Despite their ping woes, this team has one of the best odds of taking down shootas down the stretch.
3. FUNKY MONKEYS (3-3) +1 Game Diff
Currently tied for 3rd Place with 12 Points
With their only series losses coming at the hand of the top 2 teams, Funky Monkeys continue to put themselves to the test. Although surely not the start they were after this season, they have earned the points needed to be in the conversation for a Championship appearance. Based on their results, they are the closest team to breaking through to the top 2 right now.
4. BEAN BOYS (3-1) +3 Game Diff
Currently 5th Place with 10 Points
Talk about a small world. Stemming from the CMS Esports League, a local county-wide high school series in North Carolina, these three local players met at the Championships at the Carolina Esports HUB just late last year. Since then, they have quickly become are our featured team on the rise. Though unable to make Week 2 due to some prior obligations, their 3-1 record and +3 game differential is good enough to be in consideration for the top 5. That being said, they will surely face their toughest tests this week thanks to the skill-based match creating system used by the SPIN Series.
5. KA0T1C (3-3) -5 Game Diff
Currently tied for 3rd Place with 12 Points
A tough week for Ka0t1c. However, this team's strong start still have them in the top 5 for now. The heart is definitely in this team, and as the skills continue to rise within this roster, we may start chatting about this team at the SPIN Series Championships this April. One step at a time though, week 4 will be a big one for Ka0t1c.
TEAM POWER RANKINGS (TOP 5)
1. CYBER GIANTS (4-0) +23 Round Diff
Currently 1st Place with 12 Points
Truly the team to beat in the SPIN Series currently. At a perfect 4-0 in maps played on the season, this squad draws comparison to the Jitterbugs of past weekly formats. Top level fragging, heavy recon intel gathering, and situational space control through timely util usage has formed an identity for this team. The high sight-line of the Cyber Giants have clearly allowed these students to keep the SPIN Series Championship within their view.
2. THE GEEKY GAMERS (3-1) +24 Round Diff
Currently 3rd Place with 10 Points
Although currently 3rd in points, The Geeky Gamers have propelled to the top 2 in power rankings with the perfect combination of results and potential. Their ceiling was set pretty high thanks to the challenge they gave Cyber Giants in Week 1, and by obtaining the current highest round differential through the first three weeks. The reason they remain above Dynasty is simply due to current record. Should Dynasty and The Geeky Gamers face off in future weeks, it is a toss up on who would take it.
3. DYNASTY (2-2) +/- Even Round Diff
Currently in 4th Place with 8 Points
Dynasty is the only team so far to have played Cyber Giants twice, and they were some pretty close maps. Week 1 they were bested by just 2 rounds, and their 6-13 loss in Week 2 to the Giants is nothing to glance over either. Compared to The Geeky Gamers, they seemed to be a more explosive team with higher upside, but remain at number three due to their current record (2-2).
4. RIZZLY BEARS (3-3) +7 Round Diff
Currently in 2nd Place with 11 Points
At 2nd place in points, it's tough having to place this team outside of the top 3 in power rankings. A bit of hot-and-cold results from the team, having gone 1-1, 0-2, and 2-0 in the first three weeks respectively, with round differentials all across the board too. One of the many things I love about this team is their dedication to work on their weaknesses and play to their strengths. Truly rooting for this team to remain hot should they heat back up.
5. 300LB GANG (2-0) +17 Round Diff
Currently in 5th Place with 6 Points
Weighed down by their inability to make it the past couple of weeks, the 300lb gang has fallen quite a bit since their Week 1 dominance. Their performance still resonates with us here, but the question mark over the amount of practice time and dedication to the Series has definitely hurt their power rankings thus far. We hope to see this team return and make a push toward the SPIN Series Championship in April.
SPIN SPING SERIES 2023 CHAMPIONSHIP
This year's SPIN Spring Series Championship is set to kick-off Monday, April 10th (Rocket League) and Tuesday, April 11th (Valorant), as the top 8 teams in each title battle through the Quarterfinals and Semifinals of the single-elimination bracket. The teams that secure their spot in the Championship Title match that night will square off on Monday, April 17th (Rocket League) and April 18th (Valorant) for the top prize.
All Championship Bracket rounds will be streamed on the main Stay Plugged In Twitch channel. The show starts at 6:45 pm EST on all dates listed above. To stay up-to-date on all events in the Stay Plugged In network, check out our arenas page here, and follow us on Twitter. It's not too late to enter your team this season! Registration for Week 4 next Monday and Tuesday can be found here.