It may be getting closer to the holidays but there was plenty of esports competition to spice things up over the past week. We now have 15 of the 16 teams that will be competing at the Chongqing Major in January locked in while DreamHack winter provided some incredible entertainment for FPS fans.
Qualifying action for the second major tournament of the DOTA2 pro circuit is now almost complete. Teams from around the world battled it out in their respective regions for their chance to be one of the sixteen teams competing at the Chongqing Major from January 19th-27th in China. Fifteen teams qualified this past weekend while the final team will be the victor of the Bucharest Minor taking place January 7th-13th.
The qualifiers this weekend saw three teams from North America, Europe and China secure their positions alongside two teams from CIS, South America and Southeast Asia. In the North American qualifiers J.Storm, Forward Gaming and Evil Geniuses cinched the top three spots to represent the region in China. Although J.Storm took second in their group behind Forward Gaming they were able to best Evil Geniuses before getting revenge on Forward Gaming to come out with the top spot.
In Europe it was Team Secret, Team Liquid and Alliance that were able to cinch the top three spots in a very competitive qualifier. Both Teams Secret and Liquid were able to sweep their groups but ultimately Secret came out on top in the final match to determine seeding at the major.
The Chinese qualifier was also incredibly competitive as the teams fought to represent China on home soil. Ultimately it was Team Aster, Vici Gaming and PSG.LGD that took the top three places. Team Aster and Vici Gaming were in the same group and emerged as the top two teams foreshadowing what would happen again in the qualifier finals when Aster emerged victorious. PSG.LGD only dropped a single game to Keen Gaming in the group stage but was no match for Vici Gaming in the playoffs.
Representing the CIS region at the major will be NoPangolier and Virtus.Pro. Fnatic and TNC Predator will be representing Southeast Asia while paiN Gaming and Thunder Predator will be playing on behalf of South America. Make sure to tune into the Bucharest Minor January 7th-13th to see who the final team competing in Chongqing will be.
DreamHack brought some of the best Counter Strike teams from around the world to Jönköping, Sweden to battle it out for their share of a $100,000 prize pool.
Ultimately it was the all Finnish ENCE squad that was able to come out on top after getting off to a rocky start. They dropped their first match of the tournament to G2 Esports, and then lost their first game against OpTic Gaming immediately placing their backs against the wall. Here they proved what they were made of, responding with two decisive wins to cinch the series and keep themselves alive.
From this point on it was a different ENCE team and they would not lose another match. They got revenge on G2 with a sweep to end their tournament run before dispatching Heroic in the first round of the playoffs who had gone undefeated through the other group. The final match pitted them against Bravado Gaming, the top team from ENCE’s group. Bravado was no match for the on fire ENCE squad however, winning only nine rounds in the first game on Train and an even more meager five in the final match on Inferno.
It made for a rather anticlimactic end to the event but there was no dispute once it was all said and done that ENCE was the best team in attendance and a roster to keep an eye on moving forward.
Quake Champions presence meant CS:GO wouldn’t be the only FPS competition at DreamHack this weekend. Action in both Quake’s signature duel format as well as the 2v2 team variant meant there was plenty of high level Quake on display.
Rapha, the game’s undisputed king, again emerged as the champion after a jaw-dropping performance that saw him only drop a single match over the course of the entire event. K1llsen, the man who was able to take the sole game from Rapha, did so in the semi finals of the event and evened the series at 1 by doing so. This only seemed to bring out the best in Rapha however as he swept the third match before winning the final game 3-1. Rapha was able to carry this momentum into the tournament finals, dispatching Av3k in a perfect sweep, winning every round in every game.
Rapha was equally successful in the team competition, bringing home the victory for Team Liquid alongside his partner DaHanG. Liquid steamrolled the competition with no team securing a game from the infamous duo. The pair were so dominant that only AMD, the duo they encountered in the finals, were able to reach the 40 kill mark.
The tournament wins in both formats mean Rapha has now won his last five consecutive premier events and six of his last seven. For now he remains the undisputed king of Quake.