The dust has settled in Bucharest and the 16 teams playing for the next major title are locked in for Krakow. The Krakow Major qualifier recap will cover the six qualifying teams who didn’t go 3-0. Find a recap of those who qualified perfectly here.
Krakow Major Qualifier – Teams Finishing 3-1:
PENTA (Penta)’s qualification shouldn’t surprise anyone due to their consistent form as of late and much of the field for the Krakow Major qualifier being considered of a lower caliber than the European team. However, Penta’s run wasn’t an easy one with teams like Mouz and Liquid standing in their way.
Despite the relative strength of their opponents, the Penta squad managed to dismiss two of their three victories with relative ease, only losing to Mouz. The next challenge for the squad will be the major itself, as Penta aren’t headed to Cologne like many of their counterparts.
The success found in this qualifier isn’t considered a surprise for Cloud9, after being picked as tournament favourites. However, the Americans have reason to celebrate as Krakow will be their first major since early last year due to two failed qualification runs previously. The boys in blue beat BIG, GODSENT and FlipSid3 to qualify, while losing to G2.
Cloud9, unlike Penta will be fighting for a hefty prize-pool in Cologne, with the American’s first challenge being against NiP later today. Despite being ranked significantly higher than the Swedes of NiP, Cloud9 have historically faltered against the squad.
BIG’s journey to the major was an interesting one, as the Germans faced adversity on day one. Going down to Cloud9 on the opening day and scraping past Tengri looked to put BIG squad on the ropes, but the Germans fought courageously, not losing since day 1.
With a leader like Fatih “gob b” Dayik, a major berth will never be far away. Gob b’s squads have always been tactically renowned and BIG seems to be no different. BIG will not play again until the major, giving gob b’s squad plenty of time to pore over replays of potential opponents.
Krakow Major Qualifier – Teams Finishing 3-2:
The Russian team faced their fair share of trials in the qualifiers, despite their eventual triumph. Going down in both the first and third days of play to teams arguably much better than them, the Russians were up against it. Some of the teams which Vega did beat were among the weakest at the Krakow Major qualifier; OpTic and TyLoo.
Qualifying for the major is a huge achievement for Vega. Most pundits would’ve dismissed the Russian team due to being ranked #56 in the world only a month ago. Despite the trials which Vega went through at the Krakow Major qualifier, a much harder task in the form of the major itself awaits.
Qualifying for Krakow was never really a long shot for the Brazilians, but an all too close qualifier made many of their fans uncomfortable. Starting the final day of play on a 1-2 record, Immortals would need to go perfect to qualify. The final day of play proved to be all too close to comfort, winning their matches against GODSENT and HellRaisers by only two and three rounds, respectively.
Like Cloud9, the Brazilians flew straight to Cologne where Virtus.Pro waits in the wings. The quick event turnover will be enough of a challenge for the young Immortals team. Against Virtus.Pro the match may end up being rather one sided. However, the weakness of the Poles of VP of late will play into Immortal’s hands, trying to show that the once invincible team has fallen.
Going off of historical results, the CIS based team wasn’t expected to amount to much in the Krakow Major qualifier. However, they showed up as they seem to do each major qualifier. A gutsy final day saw them first get flattened by Cloud9, only to beat Liquid in the match of the day 25-23.
The next challenge for the unlikely qualifiers will not be Cologne like many of their counterparts, but the second division online league of ESEA premier. They look to fight back into the top division for a spot at the ESEA LAN finals.
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