Jayne (head coach for Team Canada and assistant coach for Dallas Fuel) has announced a Tier 3 single-elimination Tier 3 tournament that will take place today at 6:00 P.M. Eastern. The teams are playing for a minimum of $1,000 USD, but that prize pool will be increased by bits and subscriptions that are donated during the stream. The stream will start in the quarterfinals and continue on through the tournament. It is not stated who will be casting the stream.
The invited teams include (view the bracket):
- Underwater Squad
- Against the Grain
- Clarity 2
- Team Kringe EspUrts
- On The Flank
- Who? (Illuminate)
ATG, Livid, Avium, and TQM all had to take part in a preliminary portion of the bracket in order to qualify for top eight. The rest of the teams received byes straight into this stage. Seeding was not disclosed, but it is assumed that it was done by Open Division performance.
In preliminaries, Livid was knocked out by ATG in a close best-of-five match which ended in a 3-2 scoreline. Beneath them, Avium swept TQM with a clean 3-0.
Even though preliminaries were in a best-of-five format, the quarterfinals and semifinals will be held in a best-of-three format then return to best-of-five in the finals. Reasoning behind this is most likely due to stream time constraints.
Underwater Squad definitely seem to be in strong contention to win. They yield a strong roster with loads of experience and expert coaching. It would be a major upset if they were to fall before finals. While they must be relieved U4 is not on their side of the bracket, directly below them is the Avium vs Clarity 2 match. Clarity 2 also fashions a strong roster which can definitely contest maps against them and make Underwater Squad’s journey through the bracket difficult.
On the bottom half of things, U4 is undoubtedly the favorite to win the tournament based off record. They possess top players who can perform consistently at high levels. They are also on the path to reach Contenders as they have made their way to Trials in this Open Division season. But if anyone is going to take maps off them before finals, it is going to be Who?. They are not the most mechanically gifted team on the bracket, but they will be highly motivated to prove themselves after being only one slot away from reaching Open Division playoffs.
The match to look out for will be Underwater Squad vs U4. They can only meet in the finals, but if they do (which they are expected to), it will be a fantastic match-up. In fact, these two previously faced off in the second round of Open Division playoffs. After a close 5-map series, it was U4 who sent Underwater Squad to the loser’s bracket with a 3-2 scoreline. Underwater Squad will have blood in their eyes to seek revenge and snag that prize money away from them and reclaim dominance.
This tournament was quite sudden and unexpected. Hopefully we will receive similar emotions during the event itself. What is portrayed here will also be a good indicator of what we can expect during the ZOTAC Cup as Who?, Avium, Clarity 2, and Against the Grain are all taking part in that tournament as well. It will be an excellent display of skill, and the time ticks down as we anxiously await the first match.
You can find Jayne on Twitch at twitch.tv/jayne where you can also follow the matches.