Kiev Qualifiers: Deep runs define the playoff brackets
The final spots of the Kiev Major have been decided. While some results turned out as expected, several surprises and storylines developed along the way.
CIS: Expected Result, Unexpected Resurgence
While the end result of the CIS qualifier ended with Virtus.pro claiming the major slot for their own (to no one's surprise, ending with a near perfect run), a surprising storyline that came out of the CIS qualifiers was Na'Vi's remarkable playoff run, coming in second place. Na'Vi's run in the qualifier had a rough start, with Danil "Dendi" Ishutin's new stack ending the first leg of the group stages on Saturday with a dismal 1-4 start. However, the team rallied in the second leg with a 4-0 run to force a tiebreaker for the fourth spot, which they won. Although their next match was a loss at the hands of Virtus.pro, Na'Vi once again clawed their way back for a final runback after a losers bracket run. While they fell short once again, Na'Vi showed that they indeed have some potential when competing on the European continent.
EU: Secret Swagger into Another Major
At the end of the day, the two European brackets were blowouts. While VP cleaned up shop in the CIS bracket, Team Secret stormed their way through the EU bracket, leaving a trail of fire in their wake. Over the past three months, Team Secret has quietly developed into a regional powerhouse, showing clear dominance over the rest of the local talent. Alliance was the team who faced Secret in both the winners and grand finals. While [A]'s effort was notable against the rest of the European pool, they couldn't match the patient and controlling playstyle of Clement "Puppey" Ivanov's powerhouse.
SEA: Faceless Retain Iron Grip on Oceania, TNC Tag Along
Unlike our last two regions, South East Asia was allotted two slots at the Kiev Major. Consequently, the losers bracket also served as a last chance qualifier tournament alongside the fight for the first slot.
The group stage was less one-sided compared to the other regions, with three teams sharing the top spot with a 7-2 record. While Faceless showed a moment's weakness during the group stage, they pulled ahead over the two Philippine squads, TNC and Mineski. TNC took the final SEA slot through a game three thriller.
NA: Mason Rides Again
Going into Monday's games, the North American qualifiers were a scene we'd never quite seen before. We had a Team NP, who looked shaky against just about everyone they played in the playoff bracket, dropping a game to Team Freedom and losing to compLexity, and the major slot had become coL's to lose. We also were witnessing a surging Team Onyx, who actually beat Team NP to head to the final of the qualifiers. The pressure that the qualifier slot had become coL's to lose would only increase, as they played a team that was untested on LAN. It was a pressure that proved too great for compLexity, as coL fell to another team, in the final game of a regional qualifier for a major tournament, for what seemed to be the umpteenth time.
SA: SG E-sports Quietly Qualify
The South American Main Qualifier didn't have a lot of coverage, mostly because the region suffers from a lack of exposure and talent. For most of Dota's history, most South American teams have had to brave ping, South American internet, and better North American teams for a chance to make it to big offline events. Only once has a South American team qualified for a Valve event, with Unknown making it to the Frankfurt Major, but this major guaranteed at least one SA a place at Kiev.
With all that being said, one cannot deny the passion these players have. I could go on about how much these players want a chance at the dance in Kiev... but sometimes Twitter videos speak louder than words (Volume Warning).
SG Esports will join the other 15 teams at Kiev at the end of April for a chance at the Mystic Staff.
How did your favorite team do during the event? Let us know by tweeting us @GAMURScom.