About a week after the direct invites for the upcoming ESL One Katowice 2019, three of the remaining four spots were filled by regional qualifiers.
In Europe, no one made it easy for Gambit Esports to come out on top. After falling 2-1 to Team Empire Faith in the First Round, Gambit had to run the gauntlet to even have a chance at the region’s slot.
They barely survived an encounter with Vega Squadron in the first match of the losers bracket after losing a nearly hour-long game. They came back with a pair of 30-minute victories to push into the next round to have a rematch with EF.
That rematch met the norm of the tournament and went the full three games. Game one made it look like a repeat performance was coming as EF ended things before the timer reached 30 minutes.
After getting thrashed in game one, Gambit bounced back and managed to outlast EF and even things up 1-1 after the second game. After that, it looked like Gambit figured things out and rushed to a game that flipped the scenario from the opening match.
After having bested their tournament demon, Gambit moved into the grand finals, ready to face Team Spirit for the European spot at Katowice.
The final series gave fans all they could handle as it all came down to a fifth game scenario. After over two hours of play, Gambit came out on top and punched their ticket to the next stage.
Meanwhile, in SouthEast Asia a similar run was happening to TNC Predator.
The SEA power was likewise knocked down into the losers bracket, which meant their rebuilt roster had to fight all the way back through to the top. That first loss came at the hands of DeToNator 2-1 in the opening round.
Starting with their matchup against Team Admiral, TNC began their comeback. They handled their business in game one but allowed Admiral to stick around during the second game up until the very end where they barely pulled out a win near the hour mark.
After that, they had their rematch with DeToNator and bested their opponent 2-1 after splitting the first two games and then surviving through another nearly hour-long contest. This put them just one series away from reaching Katowice.
Against Lotac in the grand finals, TNC built up their momentum slowly. Their opening game was close, but they managed to even things up 1-1 – negating the winners’ side advantage that their opponents started with.
Game two was less contested and by the deciding match, TNC was already poised to close things out. After one final 30-minute match, Lotac was sent packing as TNC finished their run of the gauntlet.
The third spot was earned by the only Upper Bracket run of the qualifiers thus far.
For North America, compLexity Gaming started their regional contest shaking off an early loss with a comeback 2-1 victory over Test123. That led into a matchup against the now familiar foe of J Storm.
Both old and new NA contenders battled hard through the first pair of matches, but compLexity came out in the third meeting and blew their opponents out of the water. Though that initial 2-1 outcome would not lead to the last meeting between the two in the tournament.
After they defeated Test123 in the losers bracket, J Storm came back for a rematch against the compLexity in the grand finals.
Holding a 1-0 advantage before things even started put the top team a little too at ease as J Storm jumped them early and evened things up. From there it was a close battle that compLexity had to work their way through.
Despite some close calls, compLexity bested J Storm for the second time, claiming the 3-1 victory and the NA spot for ESL One’s next event.
The final regional spot for ESL One Katowice 2019 will be filled Dec. 19 to 20 during the China Qualifier featuring EHOME, Royal Never Give Up, Team Root, and For The Dream.