Siege Raleigh Major Qualifier Recap Day 1
The Siege Raleigh Major Qualifier began last Thursday in three of the four regions, and boy what exciting matches they were.
Starting off in the good old EU, we saw a surprising start to the day as EWorld in Progress, an unknown team from that came through the Open Qualifiers, shocked the world by taking out PENTA 2-1 in the first round of the winner’s bracket.
What should have been an easy warm-up for the currently ranked 17th best team in the world quickly turned into a disaster as eWorld slapped them across the face with a 7-2 demolition on Clubhouse to open the series up. PENTA quickly came back together for the second map on Coastline, but still struggled to pull out a win, needing to take the game all the way to overtime (OT) to secure the win 8-7. Alas, while they did secure the second map, the forcing into OT clearly drained PENTA, and they’d eventually succumb in game three on Border 5-7, forcing them into the loser’s bracket.
The team clearly took the loss to heart, as they smashed X6tence in the first loser’s round 7-2 and 7-1 on Bank and Kafe respectively.
After such a stunning victory, many though eWorld might be a roster worth keeping an eye on as a possible dark horse contender to make a run at the Major spot. It wasn’t to be, however, as they quickly fell in the second round 0-2 against another unranked team in ForZe in a pretty brutal stomp, going 2-7 on both Villa and Clubhouse. Whether the team can actually hold their own in the tournament or were just a flash in the pan remains to be seen as they take on fellow open qualifier team Don’t Panic on the 16th at 10 am PDT.
Meanwhile, the rest of the bracket played out mostly as you’d expect, as the ranked teams took down their weaker opponents, though some of the matches were closer than you’d think they’d be.
Of particular note was ranked nine Chaos against unranked Mkers, a match that would see Chaos eventually triumph 2-1, but not before falling in map two 2-7 on Coastline. This wouldn’t be their only struggle in the Qualifier either as they were forced to take ranked 34 OrgLess to overtime in their round two opener on Clubhouse, eventually persevering 8-7 before dumpstering the lesser team 7-2 on Coastline.
Elsewhere we saw rank 41 GiFu eSports take out unranked GameWard Team out in a closer 2-0 that saw them win both maps in the series 7-5, before falling in the next round 0-2 against BDS Esport. BDS takes on Chaos in the winner’s bracket semifinals on the 16th at 10 am PDT.
Team Vitality and Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) both also had little bumps in their openers, with each team needing to take an 8-7 OT to win a map on their ways to 2-0 victories over their opponents. The real match, though, would be the second round for these teams, as they took each other on in a thrilling three-game series that would see the world number 13 Vitality eventually taking the win over their rank 20 opponents.
The match got off to a great start with a 7-5 win for Na’Vi on Consulate before Vitality stormed back with two 7-5 wins on Villa and Kafe to reverse-sweep the series. Na’Vi falls to the loser’s bracket to take on Kkona Kkoptteri in the second loser’s round, while Vitality moves on to face ForZe in the winner’s semis.
Across the pond in North America, the first round saw rather predictable outcomes for the ranked teams with all but one of them taking down their unranked opponents to make the second round of the winner’s bracket.
The role of surprise upset, unfortunately, fell to world number 28 Rise Nation, who lost a rather back and forth 1-2 loss to unranked Pittsburgh Embers, going 1-7 on Clubhouse, 7-4 on Bank, and 4-7 on Villa. The team got a nice bye in the first round of the loser’s bracket as well, but again fell to an unranked team in Leftovers, the team full of former pros looking for a second chance. This match was much harsher on Rise, with the team falling 3-7 and 4-7 on Coastline and Bank respectively, dropping out of the Qualifier and their chance at a Major spot.
Meanwhile, back in the winner’s bracket, round two got underway with world rank eight Team Reciprocity, who got won a forfeited match in round one, took down Leftovers 7-4 and 7-2 on Border and Kafe respectively, setting Leftovers up for their eventual win over Rise. The team waited in the winner’s semifinals for the winner of the Susquehanna Soniqs vs Team SoloMid (TSM).
The match between the two was surprisingly close, with the rank 32 Soniqs taking game one in their series against rank 16 TSM, winning Coastline 7-5. Unfortunately for the Seafoam Swirls (that’s my nickname for the Soniqs and I’m sticking to it), a full series win wasn’t mean to be as they fell 2-7 on Villa before falling just short in game three on Consulate 5-7, sending them to a loser’s bracket date with Leftovers.
Leftovers would again surprise everyone with another convincing 2-0 over the Soniqs, taking Coastline in a resounding 7-1 win before shutting down any hope their foes had at making the major with a 7-4 win on Villa.
The other side of the winner’s bracket was also thrilling, with rank seven SpaceStation Gaming (SSG) taking on the rising rank 23 Luminosity Gaming (LG) in another back and forth series that went the distance. LG took the first game on Villa 7-4 before SSG came firing 7-5 on Clubhouse, showing they would not go quietly into the night. Their effort was in vain, however, as LG capped the series 7-3 on Consulate, taking the series 2-1.
The team would then move on to face the Pittsburgh Embers in the winner’s semifinals, absolutely destroying the unranked team 7-4 and 7-1 on Consulate and Bank respectively, taking the series 2-0. This set them up with a date with TSM in the winner’s final to end the weekend.
The match started out rather poorly for LG, losing the first map, Bank, 3-7 and forcing their backs against the wall. They dug deep for the second map, Clubhouse, taking the game all the way to OT before finally falling 7-8 and dropping to the loser’s final. TSM, meanwhile, moved on to the Grand Final, where they are one series away from qualifying to Raleigh.
The next day starts July 17 at 5 PM PDT, with the Embers taking on Leftovers and Reciprocity taking on SSG to determine our loser’s semifinal.
While there was a lot of upsets and surprises in Europe and North America, Latin America was a much duller affair.
Both rank 47 YeaH Gaming and rank 25 Team oNe eSports had a nice break to start the tournament out, with both their opponents forfeiting their matches and sending the ranked teams onto the second round of winner’s.
While the rest of the ranked teams actually had opponents to play, they mostly dealt with them rather effortlessly, with rank 10 Team Liquid taking down their unranked opponents CHICOS Gaming 2-0 in their series. Liquid took the first map, Clubhouse, 7-1 before shutting the series out 7-4 on Bank. The team would continue on to a bit closer but still strong 2-0 win over YeaH in round two, taking Villa and Consulate each at 7-4.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) took it to Ice Walk 7-3 on Clubhouse and 7-4 on Border. The team would ride the 2-0 win train all the way through the second round as well, as they stomped Guidance Gaming 7-1 on Border and 7-3 on Consulate. The team has proven their strength on Border, and if their future opponents are smart they’ll be sure to ban it away from the Brazilian side.
Elsewhere in the bracket, we saw rank 44 ReD DevilS take out unranked team MyP in a close 2-1 series before falling in round two 0-2 against ranked 33 INTZ eSports. The second series was rather close in the first game, with INTZ taking the map 7-5 on Consulate. ReD seemed to have tilted after the map, however, as INTZ quickly took the second map, Kafe, 7-3 to secure themselves the 2-0 and a date with Liquid in the winner’s semifinals.
The last match of the winner’s bracket would see rank 24 Black Dragon e-Sports (BD) take down Team oNe 2-0, setting themselves up to take on NiP in the winner’s semi. The first map was really close, with BD taking Border in OT 8-7 before charging back on Consulate with a 7-3 win.
The next day of matches for the region’s qualifiers begins July 15th at 3 PM PDT. APAC, meanwhile, begins their matches on July 19th at 7:30 PM PDT, with Aerowolf taking on CYCLOPS athlete gaming, and Cloud9 taking on 0RGL3SS.
Stick with us, we’ll keep you updated as the Siege Raleigh Major Qualifier progresses.