KOVA, Apeks through to EU Minor closed qualifier
After an opening day filled with upsets, the biggest of which saw No.2 seed SJ eliminated in the second round, the qualifier got down to its last eight teams, and the culling of big names continued early on Sunday.
AGO, the highest-ranked side still in contention, were eliminated in a double-overtime clash against fellow Polish side Pompa in the quarter-finals, the same stage in which the world No.42, SKADE, fell against KOVA.
The Finnish side, who are ranked fourth in the country and 77th in the world, went on to beat Endpoint after just two maps to claim a spot in the closed stage - an historical feat for the young team, with an average age of just 20.6 years.
Apeks, who had survived close games against SMASH and Lyngby Vikings earlier in the tournament, went on to play out a three-map thriller with Pompa for a spot in the closed qualifier. The Norwegian team came back from three match points down to tie up the series in overtime before completing the reverse sweep with a dominant performance on Mirage.
The updated team list for the Europe Minor closed qualifier, scheduled for March 7-8, looks as follows:
The open qualifying process for the Europe Minor will conclude this week with the fourth and final bracket, scheduled for February 12-13. It promises to be a thrilling tournament as teams such as Complexity, GamerLegion, Secret and AGO will be vying for the final two spots in the closed stage.