The biggest Major of the year, aptly named the Supermajor, featured a prize pool of $1,500,000 and offered 2250 DPC points. For Team Liquid, this tournament was their last chance to win a Major this season, the one honor they had yet to earn. After numerous 2nd and 3rd place finishes at different Majors throughout the years it appeared that they may have needed to wait until after TI8 to reach another milestone together as a team. However, despite this they had already safely secured their direct invite to TI8 regardless of how well they would perform, something that could not be said of VGJ.Thunder who sat in 8th place overall and needed to either outperform OpTic Gaming in the top 4, or have OpTic drop out before earning points to secure their direct invite.
The group stage didn’t go according to plan for VGJ.Thunder and they found themselves in the lower bracket up against Newbee early on, and after losing two 60 minute games, their fate was out of their hands. They had to rely on other teams knocking out OpTic before the finals, and it was a nailbiter. OpTic defeated EG and TNC to reach round 4 of the lower bracket. Luckily Virtus Pro put a stop to OpTic’s run just shy of the top 4 and VGJ.Thunder’s invite was safe. Vici Gaming was also in the lower bracket after having an unfortunately tough group stage, facing VP, TNC, and EG. Their lower bracket run however saw them blaze past Na`Vi, Mineski, and Newbee with the help of some interesting support Zeus picks for LaNm. They ended up finishing 5th/6th and given the consistency of the team their chances at TI8 look promising.
Liquid on the other hand took the top spot in their group by beating Team Spirit 2-1 and Newbee 2-0. After dropping the first game against Team Spirit they went on to win their next 10 games in a row, 2-0ing TNC, Team Secret, and PSG.LGD in order to reach the grand finals. In a back and forth final series against Virtus Pro, Team Liquid finally managed to secure their first Major title, and with it Miracle- became the first player to win TI and have 3 Major championships under his belt. After coming out of the final stretch it is safe to say Liquid will be heading to TI8 as a strong favorite to defend the Aegis come August.
The Swedish Smash scene descended on DreamHack Summer with one goal in mind: Dethrone Armada as the Smash King of Europe. As expected, the Alliance Smasher demolished the competition to retain his firm grip on the scene. Armada swept aside every competitor all the way to the finals, where he dropped a single stage to his brother and fellow Alliance player Android.
Android too had a nearly flawless tournament, only losing maps to his god-like partner. The rest of the scene continues to lag far behind the Lindgren brothers, and in the end there was very little suspense at Elmia Convention Center. Similarly, the duo’s run through the double’s bracket was a cakewalk. In many of their matches, both players still had multiple stocks remaining, and the games looked even more dominant than the scores suggest. It seems like the event served as a warm up for Alliance’s trip to CEO, a premier tournament which Armada will surely be a favorite to win.
Heroes of the Storm
The Mid-Season Brawl brings together the best Heroes of the Storm team in the world in order to determine the hottest squad in the game over the first half of the HGC season. This year, the event was held in Sweden, first at the Monster Energy DreamHack Studio in Stockholm before moving to the Elmia Convention Center in Jönköping for the playoffs.
Fnatic once again represented the EU region as runners up in their region, but they had a greater reputation at the Mid-Season Brawl as the defending champions. In 2017, Fnatic won the tournament in dramatic fashion against Dignitas with two incredibly close sets. Unfortunately, this year it would be their fierce European rivals that would have the opportunity to contest for the title.
After squeaking into the playoffs as the group’s 4th seed, Fnatic would have to climb all the way from losers’ round 1. They faced Method and once again pulled off a comeback after falling into a 0-2 hole. They advanced for a date against Dignitas, but this time, the roles were reverse. Despite claiming the first lead of the series on Infernal Shrines, Dignitas would shut out Fnatic in the rest of the series with 3 straight wins. The defending champions fell earlier than expected, but should be confident in earning their spot for the next international event — BlizzCon.