The regional qualifiers for The International 11 are slowly coming to end after another region announced its representative. Following the action in South America, China, and Eastern Europe, it was high time to see what would happen in NA. Unlike most other regions, this one had only two teams that received a direct invitation – Evil Geniuses and TSM.
North America hasn’t been doing well in the last couple of years. In fact, none of the big teams there won any big international tournament. TSM was the only name that reached the final of the ESL One Stockholm 2022, but the team could not defeat the powerful OG.
The qualifiers are slowly coming, and we only have to wait for Western Europe and Southeast Asia. Before we have the chance to see the best teams there in action, here is a quick overview of what happened in North America.
Since TSM and EG already secured slots for The International 11 people expected Soniqs and nouns to be the leading contenders for the last slot. Even though these two teams dominated, there were a couple of other exciting names in the Upper Bracket of the vent.
R1 wasn’t as interesting as we expected because the favorites had no problems against their opponents. Nouns quickly ripped through Wildcard Gaming, whereas Soniqs achieved two fast victories versus felt.
R2 of the UB was definitely the one that was worth watching, mainly because of the match between Wildcard Gaming and nouns. Although we expected the latter to win with no concerns, WD actually got the first map after an amazing Naga and Enigma setup.
Sadly, their success didn’t last long because nouns quickly bounced back in the second game of the series. Despite losing, Wildcard Gaming used almost the same setup as in the last games. Although they had some success, nouns was prepared for what was to come and ripped through their opponents. The victory allowed the team to take part in the UP Final.
Upper Bracket Final
Little did we know, the UB final was the first series between Soniqs and nouns. The second one was in the Grand Final after that.
Although people considered Soniqs among the favorites, the team could not defeat nouns after losing both matches. The first one was probably more interesting to watch because Soniqs had a stable lead from the start. Unfortunately, their opponents bounced back and eventually became too strong to overcome.
Nouns knew they were playing against the clock versus TB, so the team started pushing. After winning several fights, their lead was too big to overcome, and the team won the first map.
With their backs against the wall, Soniqs used Alchemist and QoP for the second game of the match. It seems like the team came up with this tactic for situations like these, but nouns had Visage and Void, which meant the team was ready for what is to come.
After the laning stage, Alchemist was slowly getting out of hand, which is why nouns did everything they could to stop him. Luckily, their plan worked because the team secured many important kills.
After stopping the monster from farming, nouns slowly took control of the game and started taking team fights around Chronosphere. In the end, nouns delivered their knock-out punch and sent Soniqs to the Lower Bracket. As expected, the two met again in the Grand Final.
R1 of the Lower Bracket in North America was slightly different from the one in other regions. The teams that were already there had to wait for the UB quarterfinals to end before they got the chance to play.
None of the results were that interesting, besides the one between The Cut and Arkosh Gaming. We expected the latter to win, but they received a default loss, allowing their team to advance to the next round.
R2 and Quarterfinals of the LB
R2 of the LB was fun because The Cut played vs KBU.US and the first game between the two was the longest in the event so far. Sadly, Nick “Lil_Nick” Hartzler and the rest couldn’t defeat their opponents and were eliminated from the event.
As for the quarterfinals, they were fun because two teams from the UB had to go up against those from the lower one. Wildcard Gaming dealt with Team DogChamp, but 5RATFORCESTAFF couldn’t overcome KBU.US. Two of the games in this series wasted a total of 110 minutes, but in the end, Yegor “.Ark” Zhabotinskii and the rest advanced to the next round.
LB Semifinal and Final
Despite KBU.US’s solid performance so far, the team wasn’t able to eliminate Wildcard Gaming. Cedric “Davai Lama” Deckmyn and the rest were better in both games and deserved to secure a slot for the next round. Sadly, they had to play against one of the favorites in these qualifiers.
Even though the second game of the series wasn’t that easy for Soniqs, the team defeated their opponents and got the chance to take revenge vs nouns. Game one was a walk in the park, but Wildcard Gaming got SF, Viper, and Visage in game 2. Hence, Soniqs had to play for almost one hour until they won.
The Grand Final
— Soniqs (@SoniqsEsports) September 12, 2022
Nouns definitely looked more comfortable in the Grand Final because the team had already defeated its opponent once. However, Soniqs were more motivated than ever, and the team secured a clean 3-0 victory.
Siniqus used their signature Enigma in the first game of the series, and the hero helped them a lot to win. Nouns relied heavily on their Omni and Gyro combo, but these two heroes couldn’t deal with the big ultimate and Luna’s insane damage output.
Nouns fixed their mistake of not banning Enigma in the second game and actually got a pretty good pick. The team got Storm Spirit and Phantom Lancer, two heroes that didn’t have counters in the game. Sadly, even the better pick wasn’t enough for nouns to win.
After losing a very painful game 2, Soniqs were even more motivated, especially after picking Enigma for the second time in the series. Nouns used a strange Spectre and Ember draft, but these heroes didn’t stand a chance against the Line and MK combo.
Soniqs slowly took control of the match and proved why they deserve to be at The International 11. Nouns will be heading over to the Last Chance Quals, where they have to go up against some teams from the other regions.