Just a day after the qualifications in SEA and China finished, we now also know the CIS representatives in the upcoming Stockholm Major. Unlike the other regions, there will be only two teams from this one.
Both groups were exciting to watch as there was tons of back-and-forth action. Of course, CIS is famous for its countless 322 plays and this time was no exception.
Natus Vincere, Gambit Esports, The Pango and Pavaga Junior were the contestants in the first group. The opening game here was between Pango and PVG.J and as expected, Ceyler and Co. had no problems. They won both of the games relatively easy and were waiting for their next opponent.
The “mega fight” in this group was between Gambit and Na’Vi. The first game was relatively even for the most part. However, having those late-game cores on the side of Gambit did eventually pay off, and GG was called 44 minutes in. Game two was a lot more one-sided, mainly due to the Meepo pick, which ripped through Na’Vi’s line-up, causing havoc.
Following their victory, Gambit’s next enemy was The Pango. The thrilling three games are definitely worth watching, just in case you’ve missed them. To make a long story short – Gambit won the series and moved forward to the Upper Bracket.
Na’Vi was able to get a hard-earned victory over PVG.J and had to play in the Decider Match vs. The Pango. Unfortunately for Sonneiko and his team-mates, they lost that game and booked their ticket for the Lower Bracket, where they had to fight for their survival.
The second group was definitely the place where no team wanted to be. Virtus.Pro reigned supreme in both of their games, securing themselves the first place in the group.
The other team which was able to move in the Upper Bracket was Old But Gold. IllidanSTR’s squad had a rough started, losing 1-2 to Pavaga Gaming, which was somewhat unexpected. Despite that, OBG raised from the ashes and were able to win their remaining games.
Winstrike’s performance was one of the biggest upsets because many people were considering them as one of the strongest teams in the region. They finished last in their group and lost their first game in the Lower Bracket against Na’Vi.
Playoffs – Upper Bracket
Going in with their heads held high, Gambit Esports completely ran down Old But Gold in the first series. Game one was a massacre, and the score proved it — 22-2 in favor of fng and his team-mates.
Game two was a lot closer because OBG had a decent line-up that gave Gambit some headache, at least in the first few minutes of the game. Slowly but steady Gambit were taking the lead, and after 26 minutes of play, OBG had no other choice but to admit their defeat.
Following their victory in the Decider Match in Group A, The Pango had to face Virtus.Pro. As expected, both games seemed like a walk in the park for the Chongqing Major Finalist. Game one was a 21 minutes rundown, whereas the second game was a little bit more intriguing.
VP vs. Gambit
The final in the Upper Bracket was between Virtus.Pro and Gambit Esports, the two best teams in the qualifiers so far. Both games were a lot more interesting than anticipated. Despite losing, Gambit sent a clear signal that they shouldn’t be underestimated. VP finished the qualifiers without losing a single game and secured the first spot for the upcoming Major.
Playoffs – Lower Bracket
Na’Vi was able to take a fairly easy 2-0 victory against Winstrike and were looking forward to having a rematch against The Pango. In the first game of the series, we saw a lot of heroes that haven’t seen the light of day in a while now. At one point Pango had a huge lead but after several “322 fights”, Na’Vi completely turned the game around.
After the awful “throw,” The Pango played a lot more cautious in the second game. This time, after gaining the lead, they managed to keep it and eventually claimed the victory.
In the last game of the series, Na’Vi gave their enemies no glimmer of hope. They played perfectly throughout the entire game and got a well-deserved victory just 26 minutes in.
The penultimate game of the of the Lower Bracket was between Na’Vi and Old But Gold. IllidanSTR and his team were able to beat Pavaga Junior and Pavaga Gaming, so we were in for a very gruesome match. Despite OBG’s success, Na’Vi was clearly the team that wanted the victory more. They showed great team spirit and were able to snatch the series.
Gambit vs. Na’Vi
Despite being the favorite, Gambit Esports was unable to live up to the expectations. Na’Vi played phenomenally in the first game and managed to just outplay their enemies at every moment. Even though the scoreboard difference wasn’t that significant, Na’Vi’s core heroes were miles ahead in terms of farm.
Realizing the opportunity to participate in the Major, MagicaL and his friends were looking more motivated than ever going in the second game of the series. However, Gambit had other things in mind. They were able to win the laning stage, which gave them a massive lead in the mid-game. At one point, Luna was starting to become very scary for Na’Vi. Despite all that, a catastrophic fight near Roshan gave Na’Vi the opportunity to deliver their knock-out punch. Crystalize was able to get an ultra kill and quickly shifted the balance of power. After 40 minutes, the TI 1 Champions were able to claim the victory and the second CIS slot.
After Na’Vi went through hell and back, suffered the departure of Dendi and many other issues, we will finally have the chance to watch them playing in a big event. It will surely be worthwhile.