Windigo, MIKSTURA through to Europe Minor closed qualifier
AGO's elimination at the hands of Fierce in the second round of the bracket set the tone for what would be a tournament full of upsets as a number of high-profile sides could not reach the latter stages.
DreamHack Winter qualifier winners x6tence Galaxy were eliminated in the third round by Defusekids, while Vitality and LeftOut both fell in the Round of 32 after losing to Tempo Storm and cats, respectively.
Windigo were the first side to book a spot in the closed qualifier. The Bulgarian team, who had made headlines after signing Valentin "poizon" Vasilev - a move described by Bpro as poaching - disposed of cats and Valiance before taking down Tricked in a two-map series with a jaw-dropping performance from their newest member, who averaged a 1.83 rating and a 102 ADR.
But the surprise package of the qualifier was MIKSTURA. The Polish mix, headlined by Virtus.pro backup member Paweł "byali" Bieliński, reached the semi-final stage following a sensational run that included wins over LDLC and Imperial.
MIKSTURA pinned Red Reserve against the ropes with a close 16-13 victory on Inferno in the first map of their semi-final series. The Swedish side responded with a 16-4 battering on Overpass, but then they wasted a 12-3 lead on Nuke, with the Polish mix eventually coming out on top after three keenly-contested overtimes.
Prior to the match, byali had revealed on Twitter that Virtus.pro would allow him to compete in the closed qualifier - in which Filip "NEO" Kubski's side will also be taking part - should MIKSTURA qualify. However, it is unknown whether that will be sanctioned by Valve itself as the game developer has taken a firm stance against potential conflicts of interest.
The team list for the closed qualifier currently looks as follows:
The qualifying process for the Europe Minor will continue on November 10 with the third open qualifier, with registration available on the tournament's website.