SAW, Unique, BIG, Sprout, and forZe earn spot at PGL Major Antwerp Europe RMR
Only five spots are left to be claimed from the last RMR open qualifier.
Five more teams have locked their spot at the two Europe Regional Major Ranking tournaments set to take place in Bucharest, Romania between April 17-24. SAW, Unique, BIG, and Sprout joined the eight teams already qualified for the European RMR after their victories in the best-of-three quarter-finals.
The top four continued to play out the rest of the bracket after qualification, including a third-place decider, for seeding purposes. Meanwhile, FORZE successfully recovered after dropping out in the round of eight by running the gauntlet in the fifth-place decider.
First to qualify were SAW. The Portuguese squad faced a 1shot team that had performed well in the round of 16 against 777, but came into the last eight in cold form. SAW quickly took the upper hand on their opponents' pick of Nuke with a dominant CT side, before closing the map 16-11. A very competitive first half of Vertigo quickly turned sour for the Russians as SAW strung together eight consecutive rounds to punch their tickets to Romania. Veteran player Christopher "MUTiRiS" Fernandes rolled back the years, ending with a 51-25 K-D and a 1.59 rating.
Illuminar came into the last eight with high hopes after defeating fnatic in the previous round of play, but Unique proved a tougher opponent than they were expecting. The Kazakhs swiftly took their map pick of Dust2, before dropping the ball on the defensive side of Mirage, giving away their series advantage. Moving to Overpass, an incredible 12-0 run on the CT side put enough distance between Unique and their opponents, allowing them to claim the series 2-1.
After two failed runs in the previous open qualifiers, this was BIG's best chance yet to reach the RMR. Following their victory over MAD Lions in the previous round, they came as heavy favorites against the Bulgarian mix of WinX, but it was not a straightforward match. The Germans initially failed to convert a 12-4 lead over their opponents, being forced into overtime before eventually taking Mirage 19-17. Florian "syrsoN" Rische and Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz then proceeded to spearhead a victory on their home map of Dust2 to close out the series.
The last quarter-final saw Sprout defeat FORZE after a very close decider. Each team comfortably took their respective map pick without any issues, bringing the series to Inferno. A strong defensive half from both squads led to extra time, with the Europeans eventually coming out on top 19-17 after a great performance from Max "Marix" Kugener and Fritz "slaxz-" Dietrich.
On the final match of the day, we had FORZE take on 1shot in the fifth-place decider. The Russian Derby saw Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov's men needing to pull a comeback on Mirage after going 6-13 down, made possible thanks to Aleksandr "zorte" Zagodyrenko taking over the server. After edging the first map 16-14, FORZE moved to Inferno and easily took the early advantage on their map pick, ending the first half 11-4 ahead and swiftly booking themselves a trip to Bucharest with only two rounds dropped on the T side.
The qualified teams for the European RMRs so far are:
Ninjas in Pyjamas