The North American Closed Qualifiers was full of sweeps, as only one of the four series played on the day went to the full three games. The two expected teams—J.Storm and Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao's test 123—were victorious in the first round, ultimately meeting each other in the Upper Bracket Finals.
Game One was largely a dominant game by J.Storm as they had a net worth advantage the entire game and were always in control of the map. That did not stop Eternal Envy from making it interesting, though. Late in the game he purchased a Divine Rapier on his Phantom Assassin, and although he was able to use his massive crit damage on a few enemy heroes, J.Storm smartly responded by killing the Flying Penguins' heroes with no buyback. With Envy's teammates dead, and not being able to come back to help him, he was unable to continuing fighting and the game was soon over.
Game Two saw Flying Penguins play a bit better, bouncing back from their loss and taking a 5k net worth lead by 20 minutes. However, it would not last. Envy and Eric 'Ryoya' Dong were unable to keep pace with David 'Moo' Hull's 11-1-11 Lifestealer or Jonathan Bryle 'Bryle' Santos De Guia's 14-3-3 Ursa. Both cores made it very difficult for Flying Penguins to finish the game with the advantage they had, and after a lost team fight resulted in a team wipe, Envy's stack quickly tanked and had to concede at 35 minutes.
J.Storm did not drop a single match all day.
Flying Penguins will fight beastcoast in the Lower Bracket Finals for a chance at a rematch with VGJ Storm.
The Chinese Closed Qualifiers were hotly contested, as every single series went the full three games. Keen Gaming and Royal Never Give Up were able to win their first round series in the Upper Bracket and moved on to face each other in the Upper Bracket Finals.
Game One was a good old slugfest, featuring a combined 63 kills in 39 minutes. The lead shifted between the two teams a few different times during the match, although RNG held it longest because of a particularly good performance on Gao 'Setsu' Zhenxiong's Puck. But after a poorly taken teamfight late in the game, RNG relinquished the lead and Keen was able to win by going straight for the enemy ancient.
Game Two was rather even through 15 minutes of the game, but afterward, RNG took a commanding lead. A standout 13-1-6 performance on Du 'Monet' Peng's Ursa helped RNG dominate from that point on, winning the game at the 30 minute mark.
Game Three, however, was all Keen. They took an early lead, using it to systematically take objectives and slowly squelch RNG all over the map. Wang 'Old chicken' Zhiyong's Ursa went 11-0-5, ensuring that RNG could never come back into the game. After a loss at the Roshan pit, RNG conceded at 25 minutes.
RNG will play Mr Game Boy for the right to play Keen Gaming in the Grand Finals of the qualifiers.
The Upper Bracket Finals for the Europe/CIS Closed Qualifiers ended up being a a showcase for NoPangolier's skill, as they took down Elements Pro Gaming 2-0 in their series.
Game One was exciting and replete with kills—64 in 40 minutes. By the midgame Elements had built a near 9k net worth advantage, able to take The Pango's bottom lane of barracks as well as the top lane melee barracks thanks in large part to strong play by Damir 'Mitch' Skaricic on Weaver. However, The Pango refused to be beaten. Showing great resilience they were able to defend against Elements, team wipe them, and swap the momentum completely. A strong 14-1-12 perforamnce by Aibek 'Naive-' Tokayev on Phantom Assassin helped seal the come back.
Game Two showed a different characteristic in The Pango: mercilessness. From the ninth minute they assumed the lead and never let it go, running over Elements 34-15. Zaur 'Cooman' Shakhmurzaev put out a dominant performance with his 11-1-12 Ember Spirit, helping The Pango take the win in only 27 minutes.
Второй победный матч для нашей команды на сегодня! GG WP, @GamingElements! 💪🏻— The Pango (@the_pango) February 27, 2019
Мы проходим в гранд-финал закрытой квалификации на ESL One Mumbai 2019 с преимуществом в одну карту. Следующий матч - 1 марта, не пропустите 😄#ForThePango #Dota2 #ESLMumbai pic.twitter.com/1FdpShjmJM
Elements drops into the Lower Bracket and will play Team Jekich for the right to stand against The Pango in the Grand Finals.
Which region do you think will produce the strongest qualifying team?
Photo Credit - StarLadder iLeague Invitational S3