Despite a spectacular lower bracket comeback, Team Unknown falls to SG e-sports in a convincing fashion.
The South American and Eastern European Qualifiers have recently wrapped up, and for the most part the results were close to what many expected. While the Lower Division teams put up an admirable fight against the heavily-favored Upper Division teams, an upset at the Grand Final for both regions were nowhere to be seen; Team Spirit, though with great difficulty, managed to take the final CIS slot in their match against Team Empire, the Lower Division underdogs who climbed up the ladder, eliminating five Upper Division teams in the process.
For South America, it was SG e-sports who managed to take that third and final spot for SA teams at TI, beating out Team Unknown, three games to one. Even though it was one-sided, the efforts of Team Unknown could not be discounted, especially after a comeback for the ages as the team cleaned up the lower brackets to claw their way into the Grand Final.
Infinity pulling an upset early and a choke later
The first series of the TI10 Qualifiers for South America saw the region’s top team – NoPing e-sports – battling against the middling team Infinity. This series also set the tone that would be prevalent for the qualifiers – unforgiving and relentless. Infinity proved that DPC standings did not matter in this no man’s land as the 8th place Upper Division team sent NoPing to a very early stint in the lower brackets, taking the series decisively two games to one.
It speaks to the strength of Infinity that the team managed to pull off one more upset before ending their upper bracket run. Team Unknown, who would go on to the Grand Final later in the qualifiers, also gets sent to the lower bracket via a 2-1 series against Infinity. Infinity would then lose their next match against SG e-sports, getting sent to the lower bracket themselves.
Their next and last match would prove to be disappointing for a team that showed much promise early. In the rematch against Team Unknown, Infinity lost two games straight. The first was a close affair and a hard-earned win for Team Unknown, with the game lasting almost an hour. The second, however, was a very noteworthy stomp as Infinity wavered and gave up the game at the 17-minute mark, signalling the end of their run in the qualifiers.
NoPing e-sports’ lower bracket run falling short at the end
After being sent to the lower bracket by Infinity, heavy favorites NoPing e-sports had to claw their way back in several series to keep themselves in the running for that final SA spot at TI. Their first three matches against Interitus, Hokori, and EgoBoys all went off without a hitch as the top team of the Upper Division took all three series with a clean 2-0 record.
The game before the lower bracket final, however, proved to be their last. Despite putting up a valiant fight in three hard games, NoPing finally falls to Team Unknown two games to one, ending their comeback run in the lower bracket and ending their TI10 dreams. Team Unknown would then pull off a vengeful two-game series against Infinity to meet SG e-sports at the Grand Final.
SG e-sports proving their salt, winning a TI slot in the process
The Grand Final for the South America TI10 Qualifiers was great in so many ways, even if it ended after only four games. Team Unknown took the first game after a valiant comeback effort from Sg e-sports; of particular note was Sebastian Cerralta “Robo-Z” Velarde’s mid lane Kunkka, who managed to have such incredible impact on the many team fights despite being doomed by Otávio “Tavo” Gabriel’s off lane Doom in almost every single skirmish.
This victory, however, proved to be their last, as SG e-sports took three straight games to wrestle away the last TI10 slot for South America. The second game in particular was a masterclass performance for the team and a great teaching tool of what to do against a heavily farmed Medusa. Team Unknown’s carry player Crhistian “Angel” Savina and his fat Medusa with an Aegis was taken down in an integral fight filled with some incredible isolation plays from EG e-sports’ mid-laner Adriano de Paula “4dr” Machado and his Magnus. His positioning and disruption made sure that Angel could not connect to his team in the prolonged team fight, while the rest of SG e-sports kited Team Unknown to death before moving on to the raid boss Medusa herself. It’s a testament to how long the team fight went when it was all over, SG e-sports carry Guilherme Silva “Costabile” Costábile’s Slark held 65 Essence Shift stacks that obliterated Team Unknown for the rest of the game.
The third and fourth games, although going the distance, still ended up in the favor of SG e-sports. It speaks volumes to the talents of this team that they managed to sneak a victory against a team with the late-game queen Spectre, given that the game almost went for an hour. Despite their best efforts in the fourth game, and with a very greedy draft including a safe lane Templar Assassin and Invoker mid, Team Unknown falls to SG e-sports three games to one, guaranteeing the latter a spot at TI10.