Bucharest Minor; Group A sees Gambit and Keen on top
Group A of the Bucharest Minor has come to an end with the four teams claiming their spots in the playoff brackets.
Day 1 of the Bucharest Minor is in the books. Group A was played out in its entirety with the four teams - Gambit, Keen Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Team vying for the top seeds for the playoff brackets. Keen Gaming and Gambit started off the day on the right foot that would later be a big step in laying the groundwork for the top seeds as both teams were able to overpower their opponents 2:1.
An onslaught of shock and awe by Keen Gaming in their opening match knocked NiP off their rocker in just 21 minutes. Never ones to go down without at least a fight, the European team struck back hard to even out the series in a dominant second match. With things evenly matched up Keen Gaming's Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei and Zhai "一" Jingkai had astonishing performances to snatch the game and series win.
The North American stack Team Team had come out of the Bucharest Minor gates swinging. In what many considered an upset, the NA squad had taken the first match off of Gambit after seizing control about 30 minutes in. Gambit, who had been on top of their game in the weeks leading up to the Minor, pulled out a reverse sweep with style. The second match was 22 minutes long, ending with a 2:22 score. The last match ended with a triple rampage to close things out.
As the two leaders were set to meet in the winners series, the last games for Gambit seemed to have bolstered their confidence and the CIS team rolled over Keen Gaming 2:0 for the first seed and a place in the upper brackets of the Bucharest Minor Playoffs.
NiP and Team Team then went head to head in the losers series. Stability and experience seemed to be key in the outcome of the matchup as NiP were able to outlast and outplay their opponents in a 2:0, hard-earned sweep. Team Team had become the first to take a spot in the lower brackets, finishing at the bottom of Group A.
Next up was the deciding series between NiP and Keen Gaming, each fighting for the coveted spot in the upper brackets. While the lower brackets would be a best-of-three competition, it would still spell out an early elimination - something both teams wanted to avoid at all costs.
Things started out fairly even for the two teams as they went toe to toe, but about 20 minutes in, Keen Gaming was able to grasp control of the game and held a firm grip on it until the end. The second game took nearly an hour to finish with heavy swings in favor of both teams. Eventually, it was Keen that was able to once again come out ahead and take control. With that 2:0 sweep, the Chinese representatives in the group sent NiP to the lower brackets.
The action will resume tomorrow, January 10th at 09:00 CET with Group B.
The Bucharest Minor will take place between January 9-13th 2019 at the PGL Studios studios in Bucharest, Romania.
Bucharest Minor Prize pool:
- 1st – $125,000 +120 DPC
- 2nd – $70,000 +100 DPC
- 3rd – $35,000 +90 DPC
- 4th – $25,000 + 70 DPC
- 5/6th – $15,000 +40 DPC
- 7/8th – $7,500 +20 DPC