The First Strike NA closed qualifier is off to a bang with half of the 16 teams at the event already through their first match. The top eight teams will move on further in the tournament when the groups are over, just needing to win at least two best of three’s to move on to the playoffs. The top four teams of the playoffs will move on to the First Strike NA main event from December 3-6, while the next four teams will advance to the UMG Tournament closed qualifier on from November 18-22.
This means there is a lot to play for today and moving forward, with Groups A and B having played their first matches, this is how it went:
Cloud9 Blue 2-0 XSET
100 Thieves 2-0 Luminosity
Luminosity 2-1 XSET
XSET was eliminated from the tournament after losing twice off the bat. Cloud9 will play 100 Thieves at 18:00 BST on Friday, Nov. 6, with the winner advancing out of the group stages and the loser going down to play Luminosity in the Lower Bracket Final. The winner of that will advance as well.
Gen.G 2-1 Equinox Esports
Complexity 2-0 T1
T1 2-0 Equinox Esports
So Equinox, after placing top-16 at the first open qualifier, is now eliminated and can try again in the UMG Open Qualifier. Complexity squeaked out a 17-15 win on Bind against T1, before winning 13-9 on Ascent to close things out. Complexity will face Gen.G with a trip to the playoffs on the line as T1 awaits the loser.
Now, groups C and D will begin their event today, with Envy vs Spot Up and Sentinels vs Dignitas at 20:00 BST kicking off group C live on Twitch.tv/NerdStGamers and Twitch.tv/NerdStGamers2. TSM will face Built By Gamers to face the winner of The Slimy Boogermen and Renegades in group D.
The Slimy Boogermen were the heartwarming story of the open qualifier (esports are great right?). Seeing them face Renegades and potentially TSM will be a lot of fun. TSM also is going to be hungry after losing the finals of the open qualifier. The first matches for group D will begin at 23:00 BST.
Dignitas vs Sentinels will be a fun match to kick things off. This is Dig’s chance to see if their new lineup can fair better against a top team than their last lineup. In August, Dig lost 13-0 on Split and then 13-3 on Haven against Sentinels. They’ve changed since, dropping Kevin “Poised” Ngo and Ryan “Shanks” Ngo for Chad “Oderus” Miller and Bryan “MAKKA” Drouillard.
Envy nabbed the top seed for Group C by beating Complexity, T1 and Gen.G in the open qualifier en route to the finals where they pushed C9 to a third map. Being in a group with Dig and Sentinels is going to be a prove-it moment for them.
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