Team Empire and Digital Chaos will be the final two teams to join in the fun at the Manila Major after both teams clawed their way out the qualifiers.
With rewards, prestige and automatic qualifications on the line, all teams were squeezed into a do-or-die situation with no air to breathe. Naturally, the games will be intense and not short of controversy.
This especially holds true with the qualifier of the North American region, as the final day kicked off with much controversy.
Despite having a team lineup featuring seasoned veterans such as Mason “Mason” Venne and JingJun “Sneyking” Wu, Team Dragneel saw their run end not due to superior opposition, but by serious Internet problems that kept Mason from participating in either of their games.
In the end, Mason was unable to reconnect and reenter the fight even after being allotted 16 minutes, thus ending Dragneel’s qualifying campaign, despite them being the single team who remained after the open qualifiers.
With Dragneel’s forfeit, Digital Chaos and Shazam would set up a second encounter in the same day, hours after their first confrontation in the upper bracket.
Shazam had managed to steal a 2-1 win against their heavily favoured opponents in the initial encounter. But it seemed that Digital Chaos had learned their lesson from that, blasting past Shazam with speed and ferocity, winning three blitz games that lasted just under 90 minutes in total.
But Greek team Ad Finem became the real highlight of the day as they stopped just short of making their way past Empire to Manila. The team had exceeded every expectation continuously since their boot-camp in Kiev, charging their way past fan favourites No Diggity and even Empire themselves from the winner’s bracket into the grand finals.
There, Empire finally triumphed over them after a brutal and grueling five game final. Still, there is surely no doubts for Ad Finem’s ability to perform, surprise and excel would be keenly watched in the future. If they keep this up, their defeat here would mean nothing more than a little speed ticket.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be turning to Manila as June looms. Thus far, the playoffs had been confirmed to take place between June 7-12, while dates and information on the group stages are yet to be released.