Team Empire, who recently officially welcomed Airat ‘Silent‘ Gaziev back to their roster, go 7-2 at the Captains Draft 4 CIS Qualifiers to secure a berth for the unusual Minor set to take place early in 2018.
The Russia-based organisation are now set to join direct invites, Evil Geniuses and Team Secret, as well as qualifier teams, Midas Club Victory and Mineski, and 3 more qualifier teams at the upcoming Captains Draft 4.0 Minor in Washington, D.C on January 4-7 2018.
Captains Draft 4 CIS Qualifiers Quick Recap
The Captains Draft 4 CIS Qualifiers featured 6 directly invited teams: Tier 1 invites, Team Empire and Vega Squadron, as well as Tier 2 invites, Effect, M19, Team Spirit and Gambit Esports.
The notable absence of regional powerhouses, Virtus Pro and Natus Vincere, supposedly gave every participating team a fair chance in the double-elimination online qualifier. However, anyone following the scene closely knew this wasn’t true; this was a two-man race between perennial contenders, Team Empire, and winners of the Perfect World CIS Qualifiers, Vega Squadron.
Not a single team even came close to beating both squads. Well, except for themselves.
Team Empire struck first at the semi-finals, going 2-1 against Vega Squadron, to advance to the Grand Finals. This sent the sharks to the lower brackets, where they took down Team Spirit 2-0 in a hard-fought series to secure a rematch against Team Empire in the Grand Finals.
Unlike their earlier Grand Finals matchup at the Perfect World CIS Qualifiers, Team Empire were the better team overall this time around. It was evident from the start that Team Empire had the series in the bag.
Each one of their wins came in less than 29 minutes as they went 3-1 to secure their first ever Pro Circuit tournament berth. In fact, their only loss came when Ilya ‘ALOHADANCE’ Korobkin and his Anti-Mage went ham in Game 2.
Team Empire’s Current Lineup:
- Airat ‘Silent’ Gaziev
- Rostislav ‘fn’ Lozovoi
- Andrey ‘Ghostik’ Kadyk
- Yaroslav ‘Miposhka’ Naidenov
- Ivan ‘VANSKOR‘ Skorokhod
The unusual Minor tournament will feature 8 teams, with 2 direct invites and 6 making their way via online qualifiers. So far, including Team Empire, three teams have qualified, with Midas Club Victory and Mineski winning their respective regional qualifiers.
The eight teams are set to battle for the standard Minor prize pool of $300,000 and 300 Qualifying Points. Although the prize pool distribution will differ slightly from the other Minors. Instead of receiving none of the prize pool, teams in 5th-8th place will go on to receive a small chunk of the $300,000.
For more information, be sure to check out the official website of moonduckTV.