The Penultimate European Qualifier
There were surprises afoot in the 3rd qualifier; Granit Gaming (formerly known as Lauber’s Fanclub or aLbeus'r fnaculb) a team lower down in the standings with only 130 points qualified in style, Nothing Left didn’t play in this qualifier and the finals showed up the issues with Team Russia’s aggressive play. Also, two other teams (What does the photographer say and Team Russia) gained enough points to qualify for Division S.
The 3 teams that qualified during the 3rd qualifier
Granit Gaming- a breakout performance
For a team with only one ex-pro (Lauber) that hadn’t got past the quarter-finals, this was a break out performance. The team didn’t just win the qualifier, they absolutely dominated it without losing a single game, becoming the first team in Division S Qualifier to not drop a map. Whilst they perhaps benefitted from Nothing Left not playing this qualifier, they certainly didn’t have an easy route to qualification. They beat both top performing teams What does the photographer say and Team Russia convincingly 2-0. Based on this performance they are now a team to look out for in Division S' league play and can challenge for the top spots.
Team Russia – Aggressiveness punished
Team Russia were my favourites to win this qualifier. In my last week’s article, I said if they could play to their aggressive strength and not giveaway games then they were a contender to win it. With Nothing Left not playing, I thought they’d win the qualifier. They got to the finals not dropping a game, playing impressively and I thought they’d be too much for Granit Gaming.
Yet they lost the finals 2-0 and whilst they were competitive in the first game, they were crushed in the second. The first game they probably should have won and over-aggressiveness, ill-chosen team-fighting and their ranged flex MrBanabeer getting picked off all combined for a loss. The second game off-laner Toxic and MrBanabeer died repeatedly and they just didn’t look good. Whilst a disappointing result they will take solace in having enough points to qualify for Division S, where we will look forward to their aggressive, exciting play.
What does the photographer say
After doing well in the first week, getting to the finals there has been somewhat of a drop off for this team. In the second qualifier, they were beaten in the semi-finals, and this was to be repeated in the 3rd qualifier. Although perhaps somewhat worryingly they dropped a game in every round that they played in except when they played Granit Gaming and were beaten decisively 2-0.
Whilst it is a good result for to have qualified with a week still to go they really need more consistency if they don’t want to be at the bottom half of the Division S' league table!
Looking ahead to the last qualifier- who to look out for
On Tetcher’s stream last week, he mentioned that if Nothing Left were to compete in the last qualifier they are favoured to win it. They are the former ex-pro team Leftovers and they were successful at the pro stage qualifying for international tournaments. They have some incredibly skilled players with proven skill and knowledge of the highest level of Heroes competitive play.
Despite only playing in 1 qualifier they are 9th in the table (bear in mind the top 3 won their qualifiers) and most of the serious contenders have already qualified. They do have to be careful though there are still good teams out there and Nothing Left cannot afford an early exit. Even a semi-final spot might not be good enough for them so it really is final or bust for them.
LFT for division S
LFT for Division S has the highest points of all non-qualified teams and are the only (apart from Nothing Left) team to have made it to a semi-final. With the core of the second placing Nexus Contest team Team France (Mascarade, Nesdip and BananaH) and some Open Division practice they should do well in the fourth qualifier. Whether by automatic qualification as the winner or by points (they are more than 100 points ahead of the 9th place team) the last qualifier should see them qualify.
And the last spot goes to….
This gives one last spot to qualify and to be frank, it could be anyone of Go Next, No Rofl. and Ryzing Gaming all of whom got to the quarter-finals in the last qualifier. Go Next have the highest points but can not afford to be complacent only being 15 points above No Rofl. Ryzing Gaming have to make the semi-finals realistically and hope the other 2 teams falter, make it to the finals.
An exciting last week of action follows, be sure to tune in and catch the qualifier live!