IEM Brazil Europe closed qualifier plagued by tech issues
Elimination series between ENCE, Bad News Eagles, BIG, and Sprout were delayed by close to two hours.
The IEM Brazil Europe closed qualifier has been struck by technical problems, delaying the tournament by a number of hours on the inaugural day of competition.
The qualifier, which offers two berths to the $250,000 tournament, bore witness to a number of games which brought about some interesting upsets, albeit with instances of lag in the servers. BIG, ENCE, and Sprout all suffered defeats at the hands of lesser-ranked teams to be sent down to the lower bracket and be within touching distance of an early exit from the IEM Brazil circuit.
It was at this point that major technical problems began surfacing, with the series between BIG and Sprout, which was scheduled to begin at 21:00 CET, being beset by a 90-minute delay with just six rounds being played in that timeframe.
ENCE also had to spend time idling in the server in their do-or-die game against Bad News Eagles, with the opening map of the series still yet to be completed almost two hours after it went live.
Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer took to Twitter to vent his frustration, initially replying to a tweet from Magnus "Nodios" Olsen, which showed the Dane lagging on an ESEA server back in May 2022, hours before the qualifier's start. The ENCE captain followed up on this during the downtime in his elimination series, stating that the team were being forced to play with "three players lagging out," and that the team were being kicked out "mid duels."
ESEA responded to the 32-year-old, stating that they were aware of the issues plaguing the client and that they were actively working on a fix.
Play eventually resumed in both series, with ENCE's game versus the Kosovar squad restarting at 22:30 CET, whilst Sprout's bout over BIG kicked off a short time later at 22:40 CET. Regardless, there is understandable frustration from both sides given the fact it's expected to be past midnight by the time the round draws to a close, and the tournament is the only IEM Brazil qualifier available for the Europe region.
IEM Brazil itself, which boasts a $250,000 prize pool, will run from April 17-23 and play host to 16 teams, eight of whom currently reside in the top 10. The tournament will also have an Intel Grand Slam notch up for grabs, highlighting not only the prestigiousness of the tournament but also the dire situation surrounding the closed qualifier's server woes.
HLTV.org contacted ESL for a comment but didn't hear back at the time of publication.