Playmakers Esports bounces back from its Major qualifier disqualification to earn the lone SA slot at The Bucharest Minor
The second round of Pro Circuit qualifiers in this 2018-2019 campaign are now officially at and end, and the field of teams for the second Minor of the season is complete. The South American region officially becomes the final region to complete its Minor qualifier, and we now know which squad will be heading to the Romanian capital to compete in The Bucharest Minor. 4 squads made up the field for this qualifier, with 3 of them (Playmakers Esports, Infamous, and Infamous Young) returning from the Major qualifier while the other (WP Gaming) came through the open qualifiers and was making its second Pro Circuit qualifier appearance of the season. 1 of the teams (Infamous) in the field had previously attended the last Pro Circuit Minor, while the rest of the teams in this qualifier were chasing the opportunity to make their debut on the Pro Circuit stage. In the end though, only 1 of them proved to be successful, as Playmakers Esports was the squad to come out on top against its regional rivals and lock down the sole South American slot in Bucharest. Though only Playmakers Esports will be moving on to The Bucharest Minor, we should take a look at how each of the teams fared in this qualifier and where they may fall in the overall regional hierarchy. As with the previous recap posts for the last Pro Circuit qualifiers, we will be dividing the participants up based upon their final standings in this event.
1st (Qualified for The Bucharest Minor)
Record: 6-1 (3-0 series record)
After all of the drama that ensued from its high profile disqualification from The Chongqing Major South American Qualifier, Playmakers Esports came into this Minor qualifier with a new roster and new hopes of making its debut on the Pro Circuit stage. As it turned out, the newest iteration of the squad’s lineup proved highly capable in the face of its regional rivals, as Playmakers Esports put together an impressive 6-1 record in this qualifier en route to earning the lone South American spot at The Bucharest Minor. The team earned a series victory over WP Gaming, and won 2 series against Infamous on its path to qualification, showing its strength against some of its most prominent regional rivals while dropping just a single match. With the team now qualified for the Minor, 2 questions remain for the new roster of Playmakers Esports: how well does this squad stack up against the top squads of the South American region (i.e. paiN Gaming and Thunder Predator), and how well will it perform on the international level? The former question will likely have to wait for the next round of Pro Circuit qualifiers to be answered, but the answer to the latter will become very much apparent when Playmakers Esports takes to the Pro Circuit stage in Bucharest in January.
Record: 5-4 (2-2 series record)
Infamous came into this Minor qualifier with a new lineup than the one that we saw in the Major Qualifier, as the team had added North American veterans EternaLEnVy and Sneyking to its roster. Those additions very nearly fueled a victorious run against the team’s regional rivals, but in the end the team ended up falling just short of reaching its second straight Minor with a 2nd place finish in the qualifier. Despite failing to qualify for the Minor, Infamous looked fairly impressive with its new-look roster, with the team finishing its qualifier run with a positive overall record a 5-4. Of course, the team and its fans almost certainly would have preferred for the squad to reach the Pro Circuit stage again immediately, but this 2nd place performance is still an impressive showing for it considering its new roster was only announced a couple of days before the start of the qualifier. If this performance is what we got from the team with a just a handful of days together as a roster, then one imagines that the squad’s play will only improve as it accrues more experience together and its newest additions further acclimate to the regional scene.
Record: 2-4 (1-2 series record)
Roster changes and instability have dominated the season so far for WP Gaming, but this current iteration of the lineup was determined to prove itself as a capable force against its regional rivals. While the team’s performance in this Minor qualifier was not quite as strong as it may have hoped, WP Gaming was still able to put together a 2-4 record that saw it finish in the 3rd place position in the standings. It certainly isn’t an outstanding showing for the team, but hopefully the fact that the team was at least able to be somewhat competitive against its regional rivals will help keep the WP Gaming roster intact for the immediate future. This iteration of the team appears to have a fair bit of talent and experience on its roster, but we shall have to see if that roster can keep itself together long enough to emerge as a potential power within the South American region.
Record: 0-4 (0-2 series record)
A surprisingly strong performance in the Major qualifier had Infamous Young in an unexpected position of strength as it entered this Minor qualifier. However, the recent changes to both this team and the main Infamous lineup introduced a small degree of instability, and that instability has apparently contributed to a significantly less impressive showing in The Bucharest Minor South America Qualifier. The team put together a 0-4 record against its regional rivals in this qualifier, failing to win a game despite putting up a commendable fight across some of its matches. While the team’s performance in this qualifier was not what fans of the team may have been hoping to see, not all hope is lost for Infamous Young. The squad was dealing with a sudden change to its roster, and while the team’s new players are almost certainly an upgrade to the lineup, the shift was essentially guaranteed to have a negative impact on the rest of the team. In time, the relatively inexperienced members of the Infamous Young roster will likely acclimate to the new lineup, at which point the squad seems poised for a potential role as a rising contender within the South American region. For now though, the name of the game will be “patience”, as Infamous Young looks to recover from a disappointing showing in this Minor qualifier.