Familiar faces will represent Southeast Asia on the Pro Circuit stage with Fnatic, TNC Predator claiming the region’s 2 spots at the Major.
The first set of regional qualifiers for The Chongqing Major are coming to a close, and the field of teams for the second Major of the 2018-2019 Pro Circuit season is beginning to take shape. The Southeast Asian region was the first to complete its qualifier, and we know the 2 squads that will represent the region in Chongqing. This Southeast Asia qualifier began with 8 teams in the field, each hoping for an opportunity to find success against their regional rivals and secure a place on the Pro Circuit stage. However, only 2 of those teams were able to survive the rigors of the regional qualifiers, with Fnatic and TNC Predator claiming the 2 Southeast Asian slots at the Major in January. For those teams that didn’t make the cut this time around, a shot at the Minor qualifiers awaits, as the 6 unsuccessful squads from this qualifier still have another shot at reaching the Pro Circuit stage. For now though, the time has come to take a look at how each of the squads performed in this qualifier, with the participants divided based upon their final positions in the event standings.
Top 2 (Qualified for The Chongqing Major)
Record: 8-2 (4-1 Group Stage, 4-1 Playoffs)
For the second time this season, Fnatic has earned itself a place on the Pro Circuit stage, as the team put together yet another impressive performance against its regional rivals to earn 1 of the 2 Southeast Asian spots at The Chongqing Major. The squad’s performance in this Major qualifier was absolutely dominant, as it swept past BOOM ID in its opening series before taking a slightly more contentious 2-1 victory over Tigers to secure itself the top spot in Group B. Once in the Playoffs, the squad managed to keep momentum on its side, taking down Mineski 2-0 before defeating perhaps its greatest regional rival in TNC Predator in a 2-1 series victory that locked it into a place at the Major. Overall, Fnatic did not lose any of its 4 series in this qualifier, and posted a 8-2 record on its path to its second Major appearance of the season. The team appeared to have relatively few issues in either the Group Stage or the Playoffs, with the Carry/Mid duo of MP and Abed putting together some incredible individual performances that helped fuel the team to a slew of victories. With this dominant showing over its regional rivals, and the team’s 7th-8th place finish at The Kuala Lumpur Major, Fnatic is poised for even more potential success as it now prepares for its second appearance on the Pro Circuit stage this season.
Record: 9-4 (4-1 Group Stage, 5-3 Playoffs)
For the second time this season, TNC Predator has secured itself a place at a Pro Circuit Major, as the squad put together an impressive performance against a field of its regional rivals. The team began its run at the qualfier with a bit of a stumble, losing its first match of the Group Stage against 496 Gaming. However, the squad was able to respond to that loss fairly quickly, sweeping the rest of the series for a 2-1 victory over 496 before claiming a 2-0 win over Mineski to secure the top spot in Group A. A 2-0 series against BOOM ID in the Semi-finals of the Playoffs brought the squad 1 more series away from a spot at the Major, but it fell 1-2 against Fnatic and dropped down to the Losers’ Finals. Once there though, TNC Predator was sure not to waste their second chance, as the squad defeated Mineski 2-1 to lock in its spot at The Chongqing Major. Of course, with the ongoing drama regarding a possible ban for Kuku, the team’s fight to get its whole roster to the Major may not be over just yet. For now though, the squad’s continued strength in the face of its regional rivals has TNC Predator sitting near the top of the Southeast Asian hierarchy as it prepares for its second Major appearance of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Record: 7-7 (4-3 Group Stage, 3-4 Playoffs)
Mineski was not having the best of starts to the 2018-2019 season coming into this Major qualifier, but the addition of pieliedie to the roster appears to have galvanized the squad and fueled it to a 3rd place finish against its regional rivals. The team began its run through the qualifier with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Lotac in the Group Stage, although its momentum was somewhat stunted by a subsequent 0-2 loss to TNC Predator. The team managed to bounce back from that loss though, taking down Lotac for the second time in the qualifier with a 2-0 victory that advanced Mineski to the Playoffs. Though the team lost its initial Playoff series 0-2 to Fnatic, the squad once again got itself back on track with a 2-0 win over BOOM ID before finalyl falling 1-2 to TNC Predator in the Losers’ Finals. While the team was unable to secure itself a spot at the Major just yet, its performance in this qualifier was significantly better than what we saw from the squad in the last round of Pro Circuit qualifiers. Based on its strong showing here; coming just 1 game away from securing a spot at The Chongqing Major, Mineski appears to be one of the front runners to receive a direct invite to The Bucharest Minor Southeast Asia Qualifier, and should have a solid shot at making its first appearance on the Pro Circuit stage this season.
Record: 4-7 (4-3 Group Stage, 0-4 Playoffs)
BOOM ID came into this Major qualifier as a team that appeared to be on the rise this season, but one that also appeared to still be a step or two behind the more established leaders within the Southeast Asian region. Despite the squad having made a change to its roster a little over a week before the start of the qualifier, BOOM ID was able to put together an impressive showing against its regional rivals. The squad unfortunately lost its opening series against Fnatic with a rather one sided 0-2 series, but managed to bounce back almost immediately. The squad made quick work of WarriorsGaming.Unity with a solid 2-0 victory, and proceeded to take down Tigers 2-1 in the Decider Match of Group B to advance to the Playoffs. At that point, the team’s momentum ran dry, as BOOM ID lost 0-2 against both TNC Predator and Mineski to finish 4th in the qualifier. By that point though, the team had already made a rather strong impression with its performance. Of particular note was the play of its Carry/Mid duo, as Dreamocel and Mikoto combined to average 15 Kills and 17.73 Assists with just 7.73 Deaths per game across the team’s 11 matches in the qualifier. With this finish in the top half of the event standings, BOOM ID is likely going to be considered for a direct invite to the upcoming Bucharest Minor Southeast Asia Qualifier. If the squad can maintain the level of play that we saw from it in this qualifier, then the team should be one of the more formidable candidates to earn the region’s spot at the Minor.
Record: 4-4 (4-4 Group Stage)
For the second time in a row, Tigers ends up falling short in a Pro Circuit Major qualifier, as the squad finishes in the bottom half of the standings again. The team came about as close as possible to earning itself a place in the Playoffs of the this qualifier, putting together a 4-4 overall record and coming just 1 game away from advancing out of the Group Stage. Despite taking an early exit from The Chongqing Major Southeast Asia Qualifier, Tigers put together a strong run against its regional rivals, and represents a significant threat in the upcoming Minor Qualifier, should the squad manage to either receive a direct invite or fight its way through the open qualifiers.
Record: 3-5 (3-5 Group Stage)
Lotac came into this round of Pro Circuit qualifiers looking like one of the stronger teams in the field, but the squad faced some struggles in this Major Qualifier. Specifically, the team had issues getting around regional rival Mineski, as the team suffered 4 of its 5 total losses to the squad. The good news for Lotac is that its Carry/Mid duo of Raven and ChYuan continue to perform fairly well, providing a solid base that the rest of the team can play around. While the squad was unable to advance out of the Group Stage for this event, there is still hope for Lotac to turn things around in the upcoming Minor qualifier, although it will likely have to fight through the open qualifiers to reach that point following this finish in the lower half of the Major qualifier standings.
Record: 2-4 (2-4 Group Stage)
Vietnamese squad 496 Gaming came into this qualifier with relatively low expectations overall, and the team did struggle to a certain extent in its first Pro Circuit qualifier appearance. The team ended up losing both of its Group Stage series and was the first team to be eliminated from the qualifier. Despite its finish at the bottom of the event standings, 496 Gaming put together a somewhat encouraging performance against some of the region’s strongest squads. The team’s 2-4 record included match victories against both TNC Predator and Lotac, and the team very nearly managed to win that series against the former if it could have maintained its comeback surge late in Game 2. As it stands, the team walks away from the qualifier empty handed, but 496 Gaming has at least succeeded in showing off a bit of its potential against its regional rivals, and hopefully has something to build upon within its home region moving forward.
Record: 0-4 (0-4 Group Stage)
Things did not go particularly well for WarriorsGaming.Unity in this Major qualifier, as the team struggled significantly against its regional rivals and came away from the event with a disappointing 0-4 record. The expectations weren’t all that high for the squad prior to the start of this event considering the limited experience of some of its players, but going down without earning a single win makes the team’s situation even more unfortunate. All 4 of the team’s matches in this qualifier ended up being significantly one sided, and there was little to see in the way of silver linings or positive takeaways for the squad in this performance. Just reaching this stage marks a significant step in the development of the team, but as of right now, WarriorsGaming.Unity does not look ready to compete with the leading squads in the Southeast Asian region.