The real story of the day, however, may have been the stunning run from the Greeks in Ad Finem in the European qualifier. Fresh off a bootcamp in Kiev, the Greeks in Ad Finem exceeded expectations, entering the grand finals through the winners bracket. On the way, they beat eventual winners Empire and fan favorites No Diggity, whose own cinderella story came to a close in the lower bracket.
After a brutal run through the qualifier’s lower bracket, Empire and Ad Finem fought a gruelling five-game final which eventually saw the Russians exit triumphantly. While that may seem a bitter end for Ad Finem, it was still the their strongest-ever performance, and may be a sign of bigger things to come.
The final day of the North American qualifier, meanwhile, started off with controversy. Team Dragneel, composed of seasoned veterans such as Mason “Mason” Venne and JingJun “Sneyking” Wu, saw their run end amid serious Internet problems that kept Mason from participating in either of the games. Mason wasn’t able to reconnect in the allotted 15 minutes, spelling an end to Dragneel’s run after being the sole remaining team left from the open qualifier.
Dragneel’s forfeit set up Digital Chaos and Shazam just hours after their first confrontation of the day in the upper bracket. Shazam eked out a 2-1 victory against their heavily favored opponents in the winners finals. The grand final, however, was a completely different story, as Digital Chaos disposed of the North American squad in three lightning-fast games that lasted under 90 minutes total.
The playoffs for the Manila Major will take place between June 7-12, the dates for the group stage has not yet been released.