be_ixf;ym_202112 d_01; ct_100
Photos of Navi as they compete in the FACEIT CSGO Major in London, UK

Monster Gaming Recap: ESL NY & Dota 2 Qualifiers

Oct 032018

Counter-Strike: ESL ONE New York

We are now several days past the grand finals of ESL One New York and it still feels as if the ground violently shakes from the roaring crowd in the Barclays Center. This weekend's tournament provided us with some of the most unexpected yet eccentric Counter-Strike playoff action that we've seen all year, and even better -- it took place only one week after the London Major!

Heading into the 4-day challenge were eight different teams: FaZe, Fnatic, G2, Team Liquid, Mouz, Na`Vi, Gambit, and NRG. Although Cloud 9 was originally going to take part in the tournament they chose to drop out of the bracket back in May, allowing for Liquid to take their place, and based off of a pure entertainment stance, fans were thrilled with the change and end result. The tournament group stage was structured around two double-elimination pools (four teams each), with the remaining two teams from each pool advancing to the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, one loss means you’re out. No redemption, no forgiveness — you’re going home.  And that’s where all of the excitement began.

Starting from square one, Mouz and Liquid took 2-0 leads within their respective team pools during the group phase, carrying a ton of momentum into their upcoming playoff series. Na’Vi however, did not seem themselves during the early stages of the tournament. An energy-draining 1-2 series loss to Gambit clearly shook the Ukrainian-ish squad up from the beginning. And though Na’Vi did look promising in their saving-grace elimination series against Fnatic, the roster of seasoned veterans looked exhausted from the prior week’s Major in London where they had finished 2nd. 

With that said, the playoffs were set for action. From Group A, Mouz & Gambit, and from Group B, Liquid & NRG. Liquid was not as kind to Gambit in the first round as CIS fans would have liked them to be. The two score lines of 16-6 and 16-3 proved that the NA roster would soon be ready to challenge the battle-driven Mouz in the grand Sunday finals. Unfortunately for TL, Mouz showed up big time, coming out as the ESL ONE champions after a gritty five-game series where at one-point Liquid was up 2-1 and looking to close out the series in the fourth game which went to overtime. This amounts to Liquid’s second high-placing finish within a week and it is clear that they are ever so close to taking some trophies for themselves and for the NA region as a whole.

Dota 2 Major/Minor Qualifiers


Kuala Lumpur Major Qualifiers

The Dota 2 season kicked off only a few weeks after the conclusion of TI8 with a new format which makes the Majors even more important than last year due to the massive amount of DPC points on the line. With no invites being sent out for the Major every team had to forge their own way through the qualifiers if they wanted to succeed in reaching the tournament, and our teams rose to the challenge. In Europe after Alliance made the upper bracket they took down PPD’s new team, the Ninjas in Pyjamas, took a game off Team Secret, and secured their spot at the Major. The unchanged TI8 runner-up PSG.LGD would go on to win the Chinese qualifier and the new Fnatic squad with Iceiceice and MP demolished fellow SEA competitors, only dropping a single game during the entire qualifier on their way to winning in the finals. Lastly EG blew through the North American qualifiers and will be joining the other Monster teams in Kuala Lumpur as well.





DreamLeague Season 10 Minor Qualifiers

For those that didn’t make it to the Major in the first round of qualifiers, another path through the Minor was possible! Notably missing from that list of Major qualifier winners were Team Liquid. The TI7 champions and 4th place TI8 finishers were eliminated from the EU qualifier but all hope is not lost when it comes to seeing them compete at the Major. A win at the DreamLeague Minor will grant a team the final qualifier spot at the Kuala Lumpur Major. This means that if Team Liquid is able to win the first tournament of the year, just as they did during in inaugural DPC season, they will still be able to compete at the Major. Team Liquid is not alone however as Na`Vi also qualified for the Minor, only losing a single game to Espada during the first round of the qualifier. The return of Sonneiko marks a significant improvement to the leadership on Na`Vi and we can already see the results as they qualify to their first LAN of the new season. Team Liquid’s qualifier run was a little different from Na`Vi’s as Matumbaman was absent and German support player rmN- took his place for the qualifiers forcing TL to play a very different brand of Dota with some of their players in different positions. Despite the absence of Liquid’s carry and a slow start after the break we will be seeing them in Stockholm for DreamLeague and they will be the heavy favorites to make it through to the Major.