Europe's CN vs. EU Masters team is set, and you won't recognize many of the names
After nearly four weeks of open qualifiers, the European sqaud for the CN vs EU Masters 2 has been decided—and despite one big name making it in the team looks significantly weaker on paper than their Chinese opponents.
The team came together through eight open bracket qualifiers, each with as many as 1,000 players. In a best-of-three format, players had to win nine or 10 matches in a row to make it through while losing no more than one game per series.
Thijs "ThijsNL" Moledijk of Nihilum made it on to the team in the second to last qualifier, easily becoming by far the biggest name who'll be making the trip to China. Other big name players, such as Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh, Marcin "Gnimsh" Filipowicz and Jan "Faramir" Engelmann, have tried unsuccessfully on multiple occasions to qualify.
Molendijk will be joined by one other recognisable face on the trip as Max Simpson of Team Method also managed to fight his way through one of the brackets, with Magic: The Gathering pro Stanislav Cifka also having made the team.
Joining those three will be five players with no previous high-level competitive experience: "EntryFee" of Switzerland, "Screenager" of Spain, "Hawkeye" of Greece, "Chimmy2521" of Germany and Patrick "SkyLink" Abrunhosa of Portugal.
Comparing that team on paper to who will be representing China, the Europeans look to be at a significant experience disadvantage. The Chinese team is made up of the top eight players from the prestigious Gold Series Finals, including CN vs KR Masters winner Zeng "MagicWind" Guoyi, World Championships runner-up Wang "TiddlerCelestial" Xieyu, and the Gold Series champion "lovelychook".
A number of players have blamed the qualifier format as the reason for the fairly random European team composition:
@MlasicHS @GGNydrA @cleslie92 no thats not the point mlasic, the bo3 format makes the winners extremely random
— Jan Engelmann (@FaramirHS) February 17, 2015
@m1lkcast @FaramirHS @MlasicHS @GGNydrA @cleslie92 The difference between bo5 and bo3 is much bigger. It influences your strategy a lot.
— FaKe (@mYiFaKe) February 17, 2015
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Of course, the European players will have their opportunity to prove us all wrong next month. But there is no doubt that it will be a very uphill battle for the European players to stop the Chinese from getting their hands on a Ferrari.