Boston Major Qualifiers Recap Part One: Who's In?
The bloodbath to get to Boston is finally over. Eight more teams are locked in for the second Valve hosted event on American soil, a list that's radically different than what many had expected. Three out of the four regions witnessed incredible upsets, but we'll talk about the teams in "Part Two: a Eulogy for the Fallen."
Europe: Young Blood Breaks Through
From the beginning of the European Regional Qualifiers, one could easily tell it was a lineup destined for carnage. Headliners included a struggling Na'Vi, a reformed Alliance, a reinvigorated Team Secret, and Liquid with Miracle-. However, the teams who really showed up were the younger talents on the European continent. Virtus.pro, a young squad led by veteran Alexei "Solo" Berezin, had an incredible performance in the group stage, only losing one game to Ad Finem.
In the first best-of-three match in the upper bracket, however, they were knocked down by Team Liquid, who unsurprisingly headed on to the upper bracket final, where Ad Finem awaited them. In stunning fashion, they in turn were sent to the lower bracket by Ad Finem, who finally qualified to a Valve sponsored event for the first time since their inception in December 2015.
The lower bracket featured a Team Liquid fresh off the loss against Ad Finem, and a Virtus.pro squad coming in hot off of a victory against Team Secret. After a full three game series, it was VP who pulled through.
If you want some more information on the European teams on their way to Boston, check out VampAurora's aritcle here.
SEA: Fear Faceless's Fury
SEA historically has not been a region with much prestige attached to its name, with teams from the region typically not taking games off of international competition in group stages. In the past two years, however, the region has proved it can field teams that can bring the hurt to teams that don't take them seriously.
The SEA Regional Qualifiers were not as talent-laden as the European or Chinese Qualifiers, but they did prove to provide for some interesting Dota. The two highlights of the SEA Qualifiers were the two teams that will move on to Boston: Team Faceless and WarriorsGaming.Unity. Faceless had an incredible performance throughout the qualifiers, being the only team in the world not to drop a game, finishing with a perfect 16-0 reccord. The newly formed stack, spearheaded by Black^ and iceiceice, have handily proven that they are the new kings of the region.
WG.U comes from the other side of the spectrum. WG.U is a team with two recently acquired players, Chua "KaNG" Soon Khong and Jian Wei "xNova-" Yap. The team made it through the grueling process of the open qualifier, and earned a berth at the regional qualifiers. From there, they would upset both Fnatic and Minseki to clinch the second spot for SEA.
Americas: Expected Results in Unexpected Ways
If one just takes a look at the results of the Americas qualifiers, it paints a story many expected: NP take the top spot, compLexity take the second. The whole process was a lot more hectic than it may seem. Before the regional qualifiers even began, controversies arose concerning European teams jumping ship from their own open qualifiers to the Americas open qualifiers, whether it be for another shot, or an easier open qualifiers to Boston.
Both open slots did indeed go European teams, but their success against the region's hopefuls did not translate against the region's tier one and tier two teams. The group stage went as expected, but the playoffs were where the mayhem ensued. While FDL dropped out rather quickly, Infamous was one of two teams to take a game off of Team NP, an early sign of what was to come from the last Peruvian squad. Team NP was the first team out of the region confirmed for Boston, dominating compLexity in the upper bracket final. A tired and demoralized coL would immediately be forced to play the Peruvians, who were fresh after eliminating FDL earlier in the day.
Fatigue and frustration would only serve to force compLexity to drop game one, but they regained composure for game two to force a third game. Game three would be a back and forth affair, with compLexity dominating the early game, but Infamous quickly closed the gap in the mid-game. However, after a series of lopsided teamfights, poor positioning, and over-aggression, Infamous would tap out just before 50 minutes.
China: Secondary Squads Surpass Mainstays
Arguably the region whose qualifiers went over the smoothest was indeed China. No open qualifier controversy, no incredible upsets, only the consistently good Dota that China is known for. Perhaps the only significant news to come out of China is the fact that secondary teams are finally starting to take a foothold in China, as all four of the teams that made it to the playoffs in the qualifier were secondary teams, with Invictus Gaming losing out to EHOME.Keen in the fourth place tiebreaker.
This is part one of Carno's Post Qualifier Coverage. Part two will focus on the teams that didn't make the cut for a spot in the Boston Major.
How'd your favorite team do at the Regional Qualifiers? Let us know on Twitter at @GAMURScom, or in the comments below.
Questions, comments, or criticism for Carno? He'd love to hear them. Find him on Twitter at @Carno_.
Liquipedia for general team information
Image credit here.