Familiar powers lead the way for Southeast Asia, as TNC Predator, Fnatic lock down region’s 2 slots at the EPICENTER Major
The final Major qualifier of the 2018-2019 season has officially come to an end now, as the Southeast Asian region became the sixth and final region to lock in its representatives on the Pro Circuit stage in Moscow at the EPICENTER Major. 8 teams began this qualifier looking for the opportunity to earn a place on the Pro Circuit stage, but just 2 of those hopeful squads managed to find success against their regional rivals. When the qualifier had reached its end, the duo of TNC Predator and Fnatic stood victorious in Southeast Asia. The EPICENTER Major will mark TNC Predator’s third Major appearance of the season, while Fnatic will be making its fifth Pro Circuit appearance of the 2018-2019 campaign. While those 2 squads will be making plans for a trip to Moscow, the remaining 6 squads in the field for this event will turn their eyes towards the upcoming Minor qualifiers. Before we begin examining that future event though, we can focus on the results of this final Major qualifier and the teams that participated in it, with with the participants categorized based on their final place in the event standings.
Top 2 (Qualified for EPICENTER Major)
Record: 6-1 (6-1 Group Stage)
The 2019 section of the season had seen TNC Predator surrender much of the spotlight in the Southeast Asian region to its regional rivals, as squads like Fnatic, Mineski, and BOOM ID appeared to be garnering significantly more attention than the Filipino squad. The team put an end to that in this qualifier though, turning in an impressive 6-1 record against its regional rivals to claim the top spot in the event standings and earn itself a place on the Pro Circuit stage in Moscow. Behind the team’s Carry/Mid duo of Gabbi and Armel, who averaged a combined 15.86 kills and 27.29 assists on just 5.72 deaths per game, TNC Predator dominated this qualifier with a series of impressive performances against the strongest teams in its home region. Considering the fact that the team has been away from the Pro Circuit stage for a while now, TNC Predator won’t likely be a favorite coming into the Major, but the squad has more than enough skill and experience on the international level to prove a formidable foe and a potential contender as it now makes its way to Moscow.
Record: 12-4 (5-2 Group Stage, 7-2 Playoffs)
After spending the vast majority of the 2018-2019 season as the top squads within the Southeast Asian region, Fnatic came into this final Major qualifier with incredibly high expectations. With a 12-4 overall record and a 2nd place finish in this event, it would appear that the regional leader proved more than capable of meeting those expectations. With the duo of MP and Abed combining for averages of 15.56 kills and 16.75 assists on just 4.25 deaths per game, Fnatic found itself in control of nearly all of its match ups in this qualifier. The team’s stumble in its most recent Pro Circuit appearance may keep this squad from being considered a favorite among the field of teams in Moscow, but its strong performances on the international level prior to that event will still have Fnatic standing as a formidable opponent at the EPICENTER Major.
Power of MYSG+AU
Record: 11-10 (4-3 Group Stage, 7-7 Playoffs)
Power of MYSG+AU came into this event as one of the more intriguing teams in the field, as the recently formed squad had a roster with a potentially dangerous mix of experience and talent. Expectations for the squad may not have been particularly high coming into this qualifier, but the squad quickly showed itself to be a formidable opponent for its regional rivals. With an 11-10 overall record and a 3rd place finish, the squad came just 1 match away from reaching the Major after losing the Grand Finals 2-3 to Fnatic. The squad managed to make it all the way to the Grand Finals of the qualifier despite putting together just a 5-9 record against ranked opponents, with Power of MYSG+AU taking advantage of its match ups against weaker squads with a 6-1 mark against unranked opponents. While the team’s core experienced players served as a strong guiding force for the squad, the Carry/Mid duo of NothingToSay and vtFαded also managed to put up some respectable numbers in this event with combined averages of 11.81 kills and 16.90 assists on 5.10 deaths per game across 21 total matches. The squad’s efforts may not have been enough to earn it a spot at the Major, but its solid showing in this event will certainly put Power of MYSG+AU in a favorable position heading into the upcoming Minor qualifier.
Record: 8-7 (5-2 Group Stage, 3-5 Playoffs)
In the wake of 3 straight Minor appearances since the start of 2019, BOOM ID came into this qualifier looking to finally take that next step forward and earn itself a place at a Major with a strong showing against its regional rivals. While the team did manage to put together a commendable 8-7 record in the event, the Indonesian squad fell short of the mark to earn a spot on the Pro Circuit stage with a 4th place finish overall. The team’s run in this qualifier began in relatively strong fashion, as the squad went 5-2 in the Group Stage to advance to the Playoffs of the qualifier. Said Playoffs was where things took an unfortunate turn for the squad, as BOOM ID narrowly defeated Power of MYSG+AU 2-1 in Round 1 before going down 0-2 to Fnatic and losing a rematch with Power of MYSG+AU to end its run in the event. Despite failing to earn a place in Moscow, BOOM ID managed to put together a commendable performance, with the Carry/Mid duo of Dreamocel and Mikoto leading the charge for the Indonesian squad with a combined average of 15 kills and 13.60 assists on just 4.93 deaths per game across 15 total matches. Should that duo continue to produce at that level moving forward, then BOOM ID will likely be considered on of the favorites among its regional rivals as it looks to claim a fourth straight Minor appearance in the upcoming Minor qualifier.
Record: 5-8 (3-4 Group Stage, 1-0 Tiebreakers, 1-4 Playoffs)
Geek Fam came into this qualifier with an entirety new roster and a new set of expectations to go along with it. The skill and experience of the players on the team certainly appeared to be a positive factor for Geek Fam, but the relatively recent formation of the squad led to some doubts regarding how well the squad would perform in this event. While the team’s performance in this qualifier wasn’t exactly disastrous, its 5-8 overall record was still somewhat disappointing. The squad just barely managed to advance out of the Group Stage thanks to a tiebreaker win over Mineski, but fell apart in the Playoffs with series losses to both Fnatic and Power of MYSG+AU. Despite putting together a somewhat underwhelming performance overall, the team did display the potential of its new roster. With the Minor qualifiers set to begin in the near future, Geek Fam will have another opportunity to potentially reach the Pro Circuit stage and build up some momentum for itself prior to the start of the TI9 qualifiers.
Record: 3-5 (3-4 Group Stage, 0-1 Tiebreakers)
Mineski came into this qualifier as a team that looked to be finally righting the ship after struggling through most of the season. The team had earned a pair of appearances on the Pro Circuit stage in 2019, and the addition of Bimbo and ninjaboogie to the lineup hadn’t appeared to have affected the squad negatively. Unfortunately, the good times came to a screeching half in this qualifier, as Mineski put together a disappointing 3-5 overall record against its regional rivals to finish in the bottom section of the event standings. The team struggled significantly in this qualifier, dropping all of its matches against ranked opponents. Even with those struggles, the squad still found itself with an opportunity to advance to the Playoffs as it faced off against Geek Fam in the 5th Place Tiebreakers. Despite having beaten the squad earlier in the day, Mineski was completely out played in said tiebreaker match as it fell short of the mark in a match up that it appeared to be at least somewhat favored in. With this poor qualifier performance, Mineski’s bid for a Top 12 spot in the Pro Circuit Rankings is approaching a pivotal moment. The squad will need to fight its way through the upcoming Minor qualifier and hope that can earn a Top 2 finish to advance to the Major, otherwise the squad will need to prepare itself for a rigorous and harrowing campaign through the TI9 qualifiers.
Record: 1-6 (1-6 Group Stage)
EVOS Esports looked to be a squad on the rise coming into this Major qualifier, as the team had taken some rather impressive steps forward in recent times and appeared to be raising its profile within the Southeast Asian region. Of course, the squad was still not considered to be anywhere near the level of the leading squads in the region, and in this qualifier we got a chance to see just why that is. EVOS Esports suffered a rather significant setback or relapse in this event, putting together a dismal 1-6 overall record against its regional rivals to finish near the bottom of the standings. Though Carry inYourdreaM managed to put together some solid performances with averages of 9.29 kills and 6.29 assists on 3.14 deaths per game, it wasn’t nearly enough to lift up the rest of the squad as the team continuously struggled in this event. The squad certainly appears to have the talent that it needs to find success, but the consistency and experience hasn’t quite reached the same level just yet. The squad will still have another shot at reaching the Pro Circuit stage with the upcoming Minor qualifiers, but based upon this poor showing from the squad, EVOS Esports may find itself having to fight through the open qualifiers to earn a place at that event.
Record: 1-6 (1-6 Group Stage)
WarriorsGaming.Unity came into this qualifier in the same position that it has seemingly occupied all season long: that of a fringe team within the Southeast Asian hierarchy. The team has never quite fallen into complete obscurity, but its rosters have also never managed to make much of an impact among the leading squads of its region. That trend continued in this qualifier, as WarriorsGaming.Unity put together a 1-6 overall record that had it sitting at the bottom of the event standings. The performance from the squad was not all that impressive, but considering the incredibly low expectations for the team coming into this event, it can’t be said that it was all that surprising either. Perhaps this iteration of the team’s roster has more to show than what we saw in this qualifier, but time is already running out for the squad to put its strength on display. The upcoming Minor qualifiers will be the team’s last opportunity to earn itself a place on the Pro Circuit stage, but the squad’s poor showing in this event may have WarriorsGaming.Unity fighting through the open qualifiers just to reach that next stage at all.