EPICENTER Major: OG, Keen Gaming secure TI9 invites; Gambit, Alliance to battle for last slot
Title image courtesy of EPICENTER
EPICENTER Major has turned out to be an intense battle for TI9 as the last major has become qualifying grounds for the four teams.
At the beginning of the 2018-2019 DPC season, few -if any at all- imagined that the TI9 invites would come down to a highly contested, gut-wrenching affair with ten teams on the line at the last Major of the season. And yet here we are, at EPICENTER Major with some of the most intense series of the year being played out.
Yesterday, Forward Gaming's loss was KEEN Gaming's victory. Although the Chinese team wasn't competing at EPICENTER Major, their TI9 invite was on the line and in the hands of others. With the NA team being eliminated, Keen Gaming secured the 10th invite.
OG continues to be the team that fairytales are made of. After their unprecedented TI8 championship run, the European team continued their story of ups and downs, upsets and setbacks into the new season. A late start to the season, a few changes in rosters and setbacks followed by comebacks, their season has been punctuated with a big fat exclamation point. After a hiccup with a small scheduling delay, citing Johan 'Notail' Sundstein's health issues, OG was poised to face Evil Geniuses once again using their coach. Upsetting the NA giants and the masses, OG struck gold with their victory in the brutal best-of-one elimination series, advancing further. They were then pitted against the top DPC team in the world - Team Secret. Optimistic, OG went toe to toe and in two back to back overwhelming victories, stole the series, the hearts of fans around the world once again, and secured their place at TI9 to defend their title.
Alliance, who had been sitting in 14th place, kept their dreams alive defeating RNG 2:1 when it meant the most. That knocked RNG out of the event and TI9 contention and sent the Swedish based organization to the final series that could earn, or cost, them their TI9 invite.
It was exactly the same story for Gambit who overturned the odds by taking down Ninjas in Pyjamas 2:0 immediately after.
That means the last TI9 invite will be decided in the best-of-three series between Alliance and Gambit, the winner taking all. Merely 50 points separate the two teams so a win here puts the triumphant team over the top and into the 12th place position.
The two teams will go to battle on Friday, June 28 at 14:00 CEST.
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.