In a very unlikely turn of events, HappyFeet sweep Clutch Gamers in the grand finals of the ESL Hamburg SEA Qualifiers and will represent Southeast Asia at the ESL One Hamburg Major on October 26.
ESL Hamburg SEA Qualifiers
With TNC Pro Team and Fnatic both caught in a slump, all bets were on Mineski to continue their dominant start of the season and secure their third straight qualifier tournament. However, none of the three aforementioned teams would even make it to the finals of the ESL Hamburg SEA Qualifiers.
TNC Pro Team were the first of the three to bow out, courtesy of the newly-revamped Clutch Gamers, who decided to shake things up by having Jio ‘Jeyo’ Madayag play as their hard carry.
Mineski then followed suit as Fnatic pulled off the upset and gave them just their second series loss since their inception. And, just as Fnatic looked like they had finally figured things out, Clutch Gamers took them down in a tightly contested BO3 series that came down to the wire.
Having already made their way through two of SEA’s triumvirate, the path was clear for Clutch Gamers to represent Southeast Asia at Hamburg.
Or so most people thought.
HappyFeet, Jeyo’s former team, had quietly secured themselves a berth in the grand finals against Clutch Gamers. Although the presumed underdogs in the matchup, HappyFeet played like anything but, completely dismantling Clutch Gamers and racing out to a 2-0 lead.
Game 3 played out differently, however, as both teams were neck and neck for much of the game. The two teams then went back-and-forth for over an hour before HappyFeet risked going for the throne at the ~75-minute mark with Benhur ‘Benhur’ Lawis’ buffed up Phantom Lancer leading the way.
The decision ultimately paid off as HappyFeet were able to outmaneuver Clutch Gamers to close out the series.
The Pro Circuit Effect
The uncertainty and abundance of upsets in the majority of the qualifiers right now is a direct effect of the Dota 2 pro circuit.
With direct invites to LAN tournaments now limited, teams can no longer afford to take qualifiers easy. Each team will need to play their best at all times. Lest they risk missing out on a tournament completely, something that we’ve already seen happen many times just this month alone.
HappyFeet winning the ESL Hamburg SEA Qualifiers is another good example and you can be sure that they’re not going to be the last unlikely team to pull off an upset this season.
How well do you think HappyFeet will do in their first LAN tournament since Galaxy Battles? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.