Eliminations, continued hopes and TI9 spots sum up the day at EPICENTER Major
Title image courtesy of EPICENTER
The EPICENTER Major playoffs were chock-filled with an array of emotions for teams as TNC clinched their TI9 spot, Infamous and EG were eliminated.
The atmosphere of the last Major of the 2018-2019 DPC season can only be described as intense and gut-wrenching. For half of the teams, hopes for a TI9 invite have been pinned on their performance. Two teams, EHOME and KEEN Gaming, have had to sit and watch from the sidelines with bated breath, hoping they were not knocked out of contention. Tonight some of those dreams were crushed, and others realized.
Upper Bracket Series
Knocked down but not out
A win in the upper bracket series for Gambit would have made things easy for them. A 5-6th place finish and the 900 points would have secured them enough points to move up to TI9 invite status. However, their opponents were the formidable ViCi Gaming and the Chinese team stomped all over the CIS team, proving they were on a whole other level.
One down, one in
Its the same story for RNG who went against the revitalized TNC Predator. Under the tutelage of their new TI7 championship coach, Lee "Heen" Seung Gon, the SEA team has shown a tremendous amount of growth and improvement in just a few weeks already. Their 2:1 victory over RNG secured them their TI9 invite to represent the SEA region.
Lower Bracket Elimination Series
Survival of the Fittest
Alliance kept their dreams alive for another day, surviving the dreaded and unforgiving best-of-one elimination series. The Swedish based team took down Infamous with relative ease, sending the tournament underdogs back home to prepare for the TI9 qualifiers.
Despite yesterday's hiccup with a small scheduling delay, citing Johan 'Notail' Sundstein's health issues, OG faced off against Evil Geniuses with their coach still in the competition. Many had written off the TI8 champions, believing that the North American giants would crush them and their spirits - but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise for fans at the end. Despite EG taking the early lead and a sizeable advantage, OG managed to bait them at the shrine, causing them to lose a big team fight and then delaying the game long enough for EG to lose their timing window to end the match. OG had turned the tides and marched to victory, securing another day and more than likely their TI9 invite.
RNG, Gambit, and Alliance aren't out of it yet, but the lower brackets have just become a real doozy of a road with five teams trying to claw their way through the next few rounds. With Alliance and RNG facing off against each other next, there will be at least one more team ending their TI9 dreams early.
Round 4 - Best of 3
Round 5 - Best of 3
Round 6 - Best of 3
Best of 5
The last DPC event takes place in Moscow, Russia at the VTB Ice Palace June 22-30, with 16 teams competing for the lion's share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and more importantly, the highly coveted DPC points. The last four TI9 invites will be determined at the event, making this the most intense major of the season so far.