What was memorable in the qualifiers to EPICENTER Major 2019 for us?Lord Matus
Forward Gaming 7-0
The Swedish player pieliedie joined the North American team on April 30 who held an in-game leader position. According to the roster’s results, the team has been working on themselves without having a rest since then. If it’s not true, how can the fact be explained that FWD has performed with the best result among all divisions? YawaR and his teammates didn’t have a loss and due to such a result, passed to the Major tournament, having missed the playoff stage in the closed qualification. It’s worth to notice that such strong opponents as J.Storm and Evil Geniuses were on their way. Forward had the longest battle with the last ones, it lasted 48 minutes. We think that FWD might show something interesting at the upcoming EPICENTER Major 2019 and it will be interesting to follow them.
The European slaughterhouse
There was enough hot battle for invitations to EPICENTER Major 2019 in Europe. The main reason is all teams’ great preparation. We had some surprises in the European qualification. For example, Aachen City Esports and Team Singularity, which played the worst and came to the qualifiers as obvious outsiders, defeated pretty strong opponents: Aachen beat Team Liquid and Team Singularity prevailed over Ninjas in Pyjamas.
With regard to stronger teams, Team Secret, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, and Team Liquid were in a good gaming shape and looked nicely prepared. Viewers have been able to watch a few spectacular matches for the first time in a long period due to all matches were equal and the number of uninteresting matches was less than we expected.
The unpredictability of the CIS region
You, probably, agree that there is usually no question of the participation of Virtus.pro in all large tournaments and their presence at the biggest championships is granted. Everything could be different this time. Gambit Esports placed first instead of the expected VP, they lost the battle only to VP during the Round Robin system. Due to the results 6-1, Gambit missed the playoff stage and received an invite to the Major tournament, while the players from VP had to make it to the final of the final stage of the qualifiers. The remarkable thing is that Natus Vincere played in CIS, not as everyone expected. NaVi had had a decline in results but they beat all, except for Gambit, at the initial stage of the CIS qualifiers to EPICENTER Major 2019. They defeated Team Empire and Virtus.pro in the upper bracket of the playoffs. In the final, they were fighting decently against their main opponent in the face of VP but lost with a score 2-3 as a result. Many casters, analysts, and professional players noticed the fact that the final of the qualifiers had been very interesting and intriguing. Despite the loss, Na’Vi still has a chance to get to EPICENTER Major 2019 but through the Minor this time.
Royal Never Give Up and the Chinese qualification
RNG has had pretty unsatisfying results for a long time. The team plays only qualifying matches but it meets a disappointment at LAN championships. That’s why no one thought what to expect from LaNm and his teammates in these qualifiers. As a result, Royal Never Give Up performed very well and placed higher than Vici Gaming in the standings, which, by the way, was defeated in the upper bracket of the playoffs by NRG. If Royal Never Give Up plays the same way at the Major tournament, they will be able to enter the top 8 teams and earn a good money prize. With regard to PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming, they also entered the top 3 Chinese teams, which received an invite to the Major. Such teams as EHOME, Keen Gaming, Team Aster, Newbee, and Team Sirius took part in matches but they were less lucky than PSG.LGD, RNG, and ViCi.
What is coming next?
We will see the LAN final next, for which the qualified participants have already started preparing. It’s worth to remind that EPICENTER Major 2019 will take place in Moscow on June 22-30. «CSKA Arena» will be a venue and the overall prize pool of the Major championship will amount $1,000,000 and 15,000 Dota Pro Circuit points. The winner will earn the main reward in the sum of $350,000 and 4,950 DPC points, which will be enough to guarantee itself a direct invitation to The International 2019.