Some of the best CDL teams this year have been following a very similar core structure. You take one veteran, throw him on the AR and let him be the IGL. Then you surround him with a couple of younger (and ideally aggressive) players, and a dirty worker.
Seattle Surge did exactly that this year. They had a selfless Mack working the point, Accuracy holding lanes and making the play calls, and Sib and Pred were left to get out there and slay. And slay they did. The young pair's talent was undeniable, and their pace seemed perfect for a game like Vanguard. But in Stages 1 and 2, Surge's roster were inconsistent; they could never all show up on the same day.
Now, we don't know what happened in the break between Major 3. Maybe Accuracy was able to offer some guidance? Maybe they rethought their coaching and practice? But whatever the reason, Seattle Surge were able to work through their issues and have massively improved their consistency. And now? Now they're looking like the second-best team in the game. So we can finally award this incredible young SMG slayer with our Player of the Month award.
Who Is Pred?
Amer "Pred" Zulbeari, or Pretty Boy Pred (as the commentators and fans have nicknamed him), is a 20-year-old CoD pro from Australia. He was a good enough gamer to think about competing from as young as 14, when he joined the Skyfire roster. But Pred wasn't a serious contender in the Challenger's scene until he joined the Renegades at 18, and then he began being noticed outside the APAC region. There was a small chance that Paris would pick him up from the Renegades during the BOCW season, but thank god that didn't happen, otherwise his chances of ever making this list would've been long-since forgotten.
Luckily (for them), Seattle picked up Pred alongside fellow rookie Sib for the Vanguard season. They had a fantastic showing in the Kick-Off Classic, placing 2nd, and everyone thought this was their season to win. Unfortunately, they had an underwhelming Stage 1 and 2, but by Stage 3 they were able to bring it all together and have since been a top 3 team in the game. And if we were being controversial we would say top 2, since OpTic fell off so hard without Illey, but that's one fanbase we don't want to upset...
Why Is Pred Our Player of the Month?
Pred is our Player of the Month because he won Major 3 and got MVP, making him the first player in history from the APAC region to win a major CDL event. Seeing non-NA and EU regions thrive is always worth celebrating.
Also, and to be completely honest, we just wanted to shine a light on the way he plays. Ask anyone who doesn't follow a specific team, but instead watches for the love of the game, and they'll all say Seattle or London are their favorite teams right now. That's because players like Pred and Gismo get out there and ego-chal, they make the bold plays that you need in a game like Vanguard. Yep, you'll never see Pred adopt the hesitant style of a team like LAT, with their double-donut SnD performances, and that's why we love him.
Here's a clip that highlights the kind of devastation Pred can cause when he hits those long routes:
Wow, if nothing else, you have to celebrate a player who can make Gavutu Control exhilarating to watch. Well done Pred, here's to your continued success!