Europe was one of two regions to maintain three qualifier spots for the upcoming EPICENTER Major, and all three of those spots went to teams already gearing up for The International 2019.
Team Secret took the top seed following a dominant opening stage, but the remaining two slots in the final Major of the season were left wide open.
Team Liquid were the only squad to take a game off of Secret on day one, but they struggled against the rest of the field, managing only three wins. That forced them into a tiebreaker with Aachen City Esports, which they won in order to stay alive and make it to the playoffs.
In the first match of the main event, Liquid matched up with OG and managed to avenge their earlier loss to the TI8 winners. The series went to three games, with two matches lasting 50 minutes, but Liquid pulled things together in game three to knock OG out of the bracket.
Alliance were waiting for them in the next round with the winner set to take Europe’s second seed in the Major.
Alliance managed to knock Ninjas in Pyjamas out of the top bracket, but Liquid weren’t going to suffer the same fate. Every match in the series was heavily contested, but Liquid’s experience saw them through to victory.
That led them down into a battle for the third and final spot in the Major against OG. After eliminating NiP from the qualifier, OG dismantled Alliance in a game that took less than 20 minutes.
Alliance battled back to take game two and really made OG work in game three. But after nearly an hour of constant back-and-forth conflict, OG shattered Alliance’s Major hopes and claimed the final spot.
Both Secret and Liquid have already locked themselves into TI9, and despite losing, NiP already had enough points to qualify. OG winning almost guarantees them one of the final four spots if they can survive the first round.
Alliance, on the other hand, now have to try and qualify for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor if they want any chance at making it to TI9. Qualifiers for the Minor begin on May 23.