Trials has concluded. We have our four teams that will move on from the tournament to Contenders. Two teams have been there before, two teams have been promoted from Open Division. It was an exciting finish filled with passion, disappointment, and drama. From teams who scrimmed a minimum of four hours a day to a team who did not scrim one bit, this season of Trials was definitely interesting.
Shu’s Money Crew vs Euphoria eSports
This match was important for both teams, but even more so because whoever lost this would be completely eliminated from a chance at Contenders. It started off on Nepal. First round was taken decisively by SMC in a 100%-0% finish. The second round was a bit closer but still in favor of Shu’s Money Crew. Euphoria were able to cap for some time, but it was SMC who won Nepal after finishing 100%-48%.
The German map of Eichenwalde approached, and Euphoria attacked first. They managed to push to third but were held at 65.14 meters. SMC were determined to meet this distance but failed to do so. Just as SMC had done to Euphoria, a hold was made on third. It was a five meter difference that gave the map to Euphoria.
Hanamura had been a strong pick for SMC throughout Trials, but it did not show its full power this match. Euphoria attacked first and capped both with 2:28 remaining. While SMC got 85% of second point, they could not fully cap and lost the map.
SMC must have patched up their Rialto as they capped all three points. Euphoria had to meet the full distance, but the task was too great. Shu’s Money Crew cashed in on Rialto, sending the match to game five on Oasis.
The first round went in the way of Euphoria. They proved to be stronger with a 100%-32% finish. Round two was down to the wire. SMC put up 99%, but it was the final digit that made the difference. Euphoria took the map 100%-99% and won the match 3-2.
Second Wind vs Phase 2
It was a match-up to clutch a spot in Contenders. Second Wind were still on their first breath. They had been absolutely destroying with multiple 4-0 victories. While it was no 4-0, the match was still in great favor to Second Wind. The Contenders team showed who was dominant on Nepal, finishing round 100%-74% and the second 100%-63%.
Phase 2 put up a show on Eichenwalde, however. They defended and held their opponents on second point. With the checkpoint so close, Phase 2 were able to roll the payload straight through and draw maps even.
Hanamura was close. It went into extra rounds, and time was incredibly close. It was Second Wind’s map though as they closed it out with a strong hold and qualified for Contenders.
Rialto was rough for Phase 2. While they did manage to hold on second point, Second Wind put up an unstoppable defense to full hold Phase 2 and win the map and clutch their spot in Contenders.
Bye Week vs Skyfoxes
Skyfoxes had already qualified, making this match simply a killer of dreams for Bye Week who needed to win the remainder of their matches. The foxes took flight as they soared straight passed Bye Week. It was a strong 4-0 for Skyfoxes as they ripped through their Contenders counterpart. This made their confirmations of their spot even stronger than certain. Bye Week’s chances for qualification looked incredibly grim.
GOATs took their free win against GGEA and qualified for Contenders.
Day 7 (Final Day)
Shu’s Money Crew vs GOATs
SMC were already out, and GOATs were already in, but that did not drain the intense competition that ensued. It took five games to discover who was the better team in this face-off. Ilios went to GOATs in the first map of the game. Then Shu’s Money Crew took Hollywood, their signature map of the tournament. GOATs picked into SMC’s strength and lost Hanamura right after. However, they bounced back and took Dorado. It concluded with Oasis which went in favor of SMC.
Euphoria vs Phase 2
For either side, it was a must-win to qualify for Contenders. It was a close match-up for the teams vying for the final spot. It started on Ilios, and every round could have gone either way. After the full three, Phase 2 took it 2-1.
Hollywood was a battle of defense. Euphoria held Phase 2 on second point, but it was the same for their counterparts. Phase 2 stopped Euphoria from meeting their distance to win the map.
Hanamura leaned far more toward Phase 2. Euphoria failed to cap both points, and Phase 2 reached their percentage of 85.6. This gave Phase 2 the match win and a spot in the next season of Contenders.
Dorado followed, and it seemed Phase 2 let off the gas a bit. Euphoria took the map as a small prize for their efforts. At least they did not go out in a 0-4. The final match scoreline was 3-1.
Bye Week vs Second Wind
Of course, Second Wind had become nearly unstoppable throughout the course of this tournament, and Bye Week was completely out. With full force forward, Second Wind trampled the former Contenders team with a clean 4-0.
Skyfoxes took the free win against GGEA.
Here is how the standings concluded:
Two Contenders teams and two Open Division teams move on to play in Contenders Season Three. Second Wind took the tournament by storm. With new players such as the mechanically gifted K1ng and the highly intelligent Felty, Skyfoxes were able to persevere to take the second spot. Phase 2 has become Tier 2 with the third spot. And GOATs, despite facing cheating allegations, internal complications, and a rough start, finally qualified in the final spot. The Open Division Champions could not continue their strength at the next level of play. Preparation proved stronger than raw talent in this competition. Bye Week has been relegated along with GGEA. We will see what comes of this in time. Euphoria remains to fight again in Open Division.
It was a great conclusion to a heated tournament. Hopefully, North American Trials (and the other regions’ Trials) will be broadcasted in the next season just as EU was.
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