KCP Chronicles: Quiktrip Pioneers Place Top 2

KCP Chronicles: Quiktrip Pioneers Place Top 2

Jun 3, 2024

KCP Chronicles: Pioneers finish Top Two in Open Qualifier 6

Written by Trey Donovan

It has been a eventful weekend of Esports as the Esports World Cup, HCS London, and COD Major IV qualifiers have been in action. The RLCS was also in action as the Pioneers looked to regain and get a top two spot in the OCE to go to the London Major. With a grand final appearance needed and Chiefs Esports club needing to fall there was a lot of pressure to win.

With that pressure alongside the switch to bring Mock into the starting lineup, the Pioneers went through the double elimination stage unscathed. In the Swiss stage of the qualifier, the Pioneers faced Reapers Scythe who gave them a fight. Game one saw a back-and-forth matchup which went to overtime after both teams scored twice. Reapers Scythe would win it in OT to get the advantage.

In game two the Pioneers got back in the series 4-to-3 behind a balanced attack led by two goals from Superlachie. The Pioneers in game three came out firing on offense as they piled up the shots with 15 in the game; however, Reapers Scythe’s defense only allowed one goal and they won game three in OT. That shot volume from game three helped the Pioneers win game four as they got more of those shots in the net with four goals to take it to game five. Both teams played conservatively in game five, but the Pioneers got a goal from Superlachie to win it.

There next match in Swiss stage was against Composure, who were coming off a big series win against Gremlins. Composure rode that momentum in game one against the Pioneers winning 2-1 with both teams playing it slowly. After that game, however, it became the Amphis and Superlachie show as each had multi goal games. Superlachie had hat tricks in games three and four with Mock focusing on the defense.

As the Swiss Stage went on, the Pioneers got stronger and stronger. From a contested game five match against Reapers Scythe to only losing one to Composure. The Pioneers last match in Swiss Stage was a 3-0 sweep of Gaming Gamers. With the end of the Swiss Stage the Pioneers drew Reapers Scythe as their first playoff match.

The Pioneers started the series off with a balanced attack seeing all three players scoring a goal and getting an assist while stifling Reapers Scythe. Games two and three were more of the same as the Pioneers shut down any offense from Reapers Scythe. Then game four saw a complete takeover from the Pioneers as they got four goals from Mock and Ampis, as well as three from Superlachie. They scored 20 goals while only allowing four in that series before having to face Chiefs Esports Club.

In a must win series for the Pioneers they needed to start strong. While the offense slowed down immensely, the Pioneers defense did not as they won game one off a Superlachie goal. Game two was the return of the balanced attack as all three players got goals and had control of the ball for most of the game. In game three, Chiefs looked to wake up a bit as they scored twice, but Amphis had two goals and Superlachie stuffed the stat sheet with a goal, two assists, and three saves to take game three. With a 3-0 series lead the Pioneers had a shot to put Chiefs away and that is what happened as an overtime goal helped the Pioneers get into grand finals.

Their opponent for the grand finals was PWR, and while they would fall short of making the London Major there was still a lot to play for. The Pioneers came out firing as Mock had a hat trick to win game one in overtime 4-to-3. After that though, PWR stifled the Pioneers as the squad only got two more goals in the series.

Coming into the last qualifier for the London Major the Pioneers needed a couple of things to go right. They needed to make it to the grand finals, and they needed the Chiefs to falter as they had an eight-point lead. If the Chiefs placed outside of the top four the Pioneers had a good shot, but that isn’t how it played out.

The Pioneers squad showed a lot of perseverance throughout the qualifiers and have something to build off of with a new looking roster. Pioneers now hope for Chiefs to win one or none series in London. If that happens, Quiktrip Pioneers will qualify for the 2024 World Championship.