eSports Preview: Up Hill, Down Dale

Argyle eSports go into Thursday night’s Virtual Pro Gaming (VPG) English Premier fixture against struggling Rochdale on the hunt for a fourth successive win.

The Pilgrims overcame Salford City 4-1 on Tuesday night to extend their winning run to three, thrusting the Greens into contention for European qualification in their first season at this level.

Speaking of the win over the Ammies, manager Ben Taylor said: “We dominated the game [against Salford]; we just played our style and it spoke for itself. We got the three points and scored some decent goals. We’re starting to play the football we know we can play and we're gaining confidence from that.”

Argyle have risen to seventh position in the VPG English Premier, and a win could send the Greens as high as fourth in the table heading into the mid-season break.

“Unfortunately, after tonight’s game there’s a two-week break in the league, which comes at a time when we were just finding our form,” said Taylor. “It’s a shame, but we’ll work on our style, keep training, and carry on with the same mentality.”

Rochdale are one of just two sides in the division yet to secure a victory this season, with only the Greens’ previous opponents, Salford, beneath them in the table. That said, Taylor and his colleagues are not expecting a walkover.

He said: “Obviously, it’ll still be a tough game – they all are in this division. Coming off the back of three wins, though, we believe there’s no reason we can’t make it four. A win tonight can bring us level with the top four – that’s all the motivation we need.”

Unlike the Pilgrims’ regular division – VPG League One South – there are no promotions or relegations from the English Premier division. There is plenty to play for, though, as the highest-ranked teams qualifying for European competition.

With the season reaching the half-way point, a top six finish is now a distinct possibility for Taylor and his team.

“We are in a good position – the aim has always been to give a good account of ourselves and finish as high as possible. Hopefully, we can continue to do that in the second round of fixtures,” he said.

“We’re right in the mix to qualify, and I think that would be a great achievement in our first season as a team.”

Argyle eSports take on Rochdale in the VPG English Premier at 8pm BST, and the game is available to stream live through our Facebook and Twitch channels.