When people say the Minor Qualifiers are a volatile beast, they’re not joking around. The teams you think could and should make it or compete to a far greater degree on LAN don’t always make it. We’ve seen it in the past with many teams considered a sure shot before being knocked out by a high performing squad in the qualification stage.
This year it was Complexity in Europe that seemed to be the team to deserve it following their takedown of both Astralis and Vitality on LAN in BLAST Premier Spring Series Group B. The team looked great at the LAN, putting up impressive team cohesion alongside individual performances. In their third EU open qualifier and first and only since their BLAST showing, Complexity was dominating the competition heading into the final map.
Taking on SMASH, Complexity came out of the gate cold on Overpass, SMASH’s pick, and fell 16-8. Mirage was a much tighter contest as a 9-6 lead for SMASH required the international squad to push it to the limits to secure a 16-14 win and force a map three.
Inferno would be the final proving ground and it would prove to be an even tighter affair. An 8-7 half would be met with a close start to the second half before Complexity pushed ahead to a 14-11 lead. Things looked great, but SMASH was far from done. The team went on to win five straight and eliminate Complexity from the running of attending the ESL One Rio Major.
With SMASH’s victory on one side of the bracket and Copenhagen Flames’ on the other, the teams were set for the Closed Qualifier. Held from March 7th to 8th, the Closed Qualifier will feature a double-elimination, best-of-three bracket. The eight teams who finish atop the event will move into the Minor.
ESL One Rio Closed Qualifier team list:
- Movistar Riders
- Copenhagen Flames
- MAD Lions