We had to withdraw from StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 due to scheduling problems. It was surely bad news but we might visit China for WCA 2017 or WESG 2017. On WESG 2017, everything is going well. We’ll take part in the regional finals. But on the other side, after making it to the quarter-finals, we lost to Na’Vi 2-1 and got eliminated from the qualifiers. Now, WESG 2017 stands as our last chance for a China trip this year.
Prior to the minor, we knew we had to beat EnVyUs and OpTic to secure a place at the offline qualifiers for ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018. And we did so by beating both teams, proving we’re not wasting spots on LAN events. We can say that we’re making them a bit more exciting, right?
“Train” was the battleground on our first two matches of the group. First, we beat “eXtatus” 16-8, then we faced OpTic. It was going according to the plans until the half-time when we were on the lead 11-4. But once the second half kicked-off OpTic Gaming – or according to some FaZe Jr. – made a huge comeback as the CT side and stole the victory 16-13.
On the group decider match, PRIDE grabbed the early lead by winning Mirage 16-11. The following two maps however, had a completely different story as Buğra “Calyx” Arkın had +100 ADR on both maps and lead the scoreboard on fragging to turn the series around for a 2-1 Space Soldiers victory.
Upper-bracket semi-finals witnessed an odd map veto process against EnVyUs. We din’t know what Engin “MAJ3R” Küpeli was thinking but we picked Overpass. Although we clearly try to play it more often recently, it has been one of our bans for most part of the year. A 16-10 defeat on Overpass followed by a 16-9 Inferno win to make things equal in the series. The third map, Cache, was even more comfortable as Space Soldiers grabbed the win 16-6 and closed out the series 2-1.
There we were, a series victory away from making it to the offline qualifiers. But OpTic’s 16-7 Overpass win made the things a bit complicated. No, it wasn’t our pick, Mr. Friberg and co. definitely watched our match against EnVyUs and picked it. What little they knew was how amazing we play on Cache so we tought them with a swift 16-3 map score. On the decider map, Mirage, we went on to lead 11-4 at the half-time but as they did in the groups, OpTic played excellent CS after the break and forced overtime. The overtime lasted 12 rounds and in the end, the victory was taken by Space Soldiers with a 22-20 scoreline to secure a place at the offline qualifiers.
The grand finals of the Minor which determined the seedings going into the offline qualifiers and of course prize money distribution was easier than we had expected. An exhausted EnVyUs team who had played two best-of-three series against AGO and OpTic prior to the Grand Final, looked like no match for Space Soldiers. 16-5 and 16-10 wins on Cobblestone and Inferno, respectively earned the European Minor champions title for our boys.
We will be competing at the Major Offline Qualifiers in order to become one of eight “challengers” at ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 on January 12-15.