Well then - Day 2 didn't go as planned! That's sport though. Today is Day 3 of the Closed Qualifiers for Six Invitational 2020. Day 2 had some very interesting results, a protest, lots of hackusations on Twitter and a lot of very good siege action.
6 teams exited the qualifiers yesterday, those being Yunkitis, Orgless, ForZe (in a big upset), Salamander, Ex-Gameward and Vitality (in another huge upset)
Looking forward to tonight, there are a total of 5 fixtures today, concerning 6 remaining teams. All maps today are a BO3, with the following two playdays being BO5's. Fixtures are as follows;
Upper bracket grand final - Team Secret vs BDS
Lower bracket round 4 - 2 fixtures
Lower bracket Semi final - winner of LB round 4 fixtures
UPPER BRACKET GRAND FINAL
The teams for the upper bracket grand final are BDS ESPORT vs TEAM SECRET
The winner of this fixture gets a place secured in the grand final, the significance of this is twofold;
They get a days rest on Thurs 19th to prepare for their opponents
They get a 1 map advantage in the best of 5 grand final
Both teams have gone undefeated thus far:
BDS having a relatively straightforward run but for a mega series with Team Vitality. They comfortably dispatched of Chaos 7-3, 7-3 in a series that was hard to find any real talking points, it was more of boys against men type series.
BDS were wobbled at OGA PIT, losing out in the first round to the eventual winners in Team Liquid, they're not invincible and realistically this could have been Vitality after their game came down to one round of overtime in map 3. Fortune favours the brave though, and here BDS are, ready to win this thing and propel themselves to SI2020.
Secret however, have done this the hard way - all 3 series they have played have gone all 3 maps with none of them realistically being blowouts (7-4,4-7,7-4,5-7,8-6,7-4,5-7,7-3,8-7). They've looked wobbly, but also have been ridiculously resilient.
Their series against G2 last night emphasised this. Secret picked into Border - a well known shooty shooty bang bang map (what I mean by that is the strategy is tried and tested and there is little variation - so it comes down to gunfights) - Secret were beaten relatively comfortably on Border by G2.
Going into G2's map pick of Coastline - a weird one as I expected this would be Secrets pick yesterday (Secret are very good on Coastline, its often their pick and they've taken down some giants on it at LANs over the course of the year). Secret won this map with absolute ease, although its probably worth pointing out that they most likely wouldn't have done without LeonGids - the man must have snorted 6 lines of GFuel before that map.
The final map of Villa promised to be a fantastic map - which it was - Secret got into an expected 4-2 split from their Defence half. G2 then took the reigns on defence winning 4 rounds in a row to get to 4-6 Map and Match point. Secret then seemed to enter Cyborg mode, becoming aggressive and not giving G2 an ounce of space to roam or do absolutely anything before bringing it back to 6-6.
The overtime was a standard AVG defence from G2. 6-7. Then on G2's attack onto Secrets AVG defence, they were 5-3 up on man count and Fabian/Pengu rotated to Study to breach Study and create a pinch to force a plant, the worst outcome happened - Pengu tried to grenade the Ela playing top main stairs, instead grenading their only hard breacher in Fabian. This caused a funnel of G2 going through 1 doorway and an easy lockout for Secret.
The final round was taken by secret in one that was very well executed with the right versatility and some madness plays by G2. Fabian for example holding Shift - W to try a ridiculously long rotate as lesion rather than playing in Memorial where he was relatively safe and could stall time.
BDS very consistently don't like Villa, again banning it last night. They seem to dislike Bank after that so I think that might be their second ban. BDS like picking into Clubhouse.
Secret on the other hand have banned Clubhouse, Consulate x2, Border x2 and Kafe. Picking into Coastline/Kafe/Border
Realistically then, we would expect to see something like
BDS ban Villa
Secret ban Clubhouse
BDS pick Consulate
Secret pick Coastline
BDS ban Bank
Secret ban Kafe
Decider map = Border
I predict that BDS actually take this, I don't want to take anything at all away from Secret I just think that finally a team will punish Secret more than the previous 3 have. I think Secret may steal a map though in what I think will be a very close affair.
BDS 2:1 Secret
LOWER BRACKET 4TH ROUND
G2 Esports vs MnM
I'm just going to say this outright, what a story developing here.
For those that don't know MnM they are a UK premiership team, they finished second at the UK LAN losing 2-0 to NaVi. In the regular season they went 7-0 beating NaVi in a BO1. For those people wondering what MnM stands for - its Molotovs and Marshmellows, hence their quirky logo.
They have pretty much come out of nowhere - but its not surprising at all. From what I have been told - they're very motivated and hard working - consistently looking to improve themselves from a strategy point of view, learning from Pro League teams. I have been told they scrim a lot of T1 teams and they are consistently learning, adapting and working hard with each other - its no fluke they've got to where they are.
MnM lost to Secret in a hell of a series - which they should have won. Their lower bracket run has seen them knock out Patokalipsa, Orgless (of Challenger League) and Vitality (of Pro League).
They are confident, willing to take on gunfights and not scared/bow down to "greater" opponents.
What do we say here? What is there to say? Everyone knows G2, their roster changes and so on. They were unlucky not to beat Secret which on another day, without LeonGids, may well have crumpled into nothing.
Lets not forget G2 were 1 round away from the Upper Bracket final, but they didn't get there so here they are looking at 2x BO3s and 2x BO5s if they want to go to the Six Invitational to defend their crown.
What seemed to be lacking against Secret was mental fortitude, which seems amazing given that this team came back from 0-2 down in a Six Invitational final to win the whole thing. But vs MIBR when they lost Clubhouse, they mentally lost Consulate before they played it. The same thing might have happened with Secret last night, only they will know. The reason I say this is that G2 last night, on the rounds they lost to Secret really struggled to complete basic tasks - breaching, breach denying, trading out kills, finding utility and so on.
MAPS As I commented on yesterday, G2 have a huge and varying map pool and a firing G2 wont care where they play their opponent because they will expect to beat them. Villa has seemingly been a strong map for them - they outsmarted and completely annihilated MIBR there, but then struggled with basic stuff on it vs Yunkitis and Secret.
I would think that G2 might look to ban one of their weaker maps (or so they perceive) instead of countering MnM
MnMs map pool is what you'd expect from a T3 team - no disrespect intended at all - I believe their quality is much greater than that. They play any map that starts with a 'C'. For those of you that don't follow a lot of T3 siege, you basically see Coastline, Consulate and Clubhouse until you literally want to sit in a corner and cry before playing casual on Favela.
On a serious note - MnM don't seem to like bank, they play Villa/Border/Kafe infrequently also. **Disclaimer - the data I'm using here is from qualifiers for the closed quals** Therefore one might expect that MnM would ban Bank + Border
This would mean we would see something like Coastline, Kafe, Border from the maps - of course I could be completely wrong - and usually am with these predictions!
The story here is huge, small little MnM gaming of T3 UK knocking out the titans of R6 esports in G2. I don't think it will happen, but G2 need to find something.
G2 2:0 MnM
CHAOS vs IZIDREAM
This section is going to be in less detail than the above. Simply because I haven't really followed IZIDREAM at all and I've seen little of Chaos. I've obviously followed the UK teams (Secret, Pats Asleep and MnM) alongside the bigger fixtures.
This roster, with the addition of Shatte, were many peoples favourites to take relegation in S11 Pro League - although that can't now happen, I believe a lot will stand by that they will be wooden spoon in a packed Pro League.
They had a very simple start to life in the upper bracket, beating Pats Asleep and Orgless 2-0 before BDS got their hands on them, losing 0-2.
Chaos have always been this consistently inconsistent team and their roster changes don't appear to have changed that, although its early days.
I don't know anything about these, apart from the fact that I saw a LOT of people on Twitter talking about Macro's in particular referencing Chaoxys. Now I live in a fantasy world where I don't believe anyone at this kind of level would cheat/use macros but ultimately who knows. He only uploaded MOSS for 2 out of the 4 games he played.
Anyway IZIDREAM completed a fantastic comeback on GW beating them 2-1 after going down 1 map. They also beat ForZe 2-1 which was a HUGE shock, given that ForZe are a compelling Pro League team likened to Empire.
MAPS Chaos don't like Bank - or didn't in S10 Pro League. Chaos banned Border and Consulate last night, likely lending themselves to the fact that BDS don't like Bank either.
Izidream seem to ban Bank/Club consistently.
I think Chaos wins this, just, given they're a Pro League team. Chaos 2:1 Izidream