Just before the start of the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 this past weekend, some surprising news popped up. One of the current “Legend” teams — 100 Thieves — suddenly bowed out due to “immigration issues”
That created a problem for tourney organizers. Rather than promote a team to Legend status, the organizers decided one of the three teams to finish the Challengers Stage with a 2-3 record would go through to the next round following a playoff.
That saw a total of nine places up for grabs in the New Legends Stage. Here’s how things transpired over the weekend.
Boston’s Challengers Stage
The Swiss Format means the competition is essentially a race for teams to win three matches and earn qualification. The quickest teams to win three games qualify and earn the higher seeds. Elimination awaits teams that lose three games.
With each match formatted as best-of-one, losing early meant a deep hole. On this note, Flipsid3 Tactics and Flash Gaming lost all three of their opening matches.
As for the favorites, Cloud9 and G2 Esports came through the opening phase as the top two seeds with 3-0 records. That said, Cloud9 had a significantly better Round Difference score (+27) than G2 (+19).
This left 12 teams still in the competition with varying records. In Round 4 of the format, the 2-1 teams faced off, as did the 1-2 teams. In this round, Vega Squadron, FaZe Clan, and Space Soldiers confirmed their place in the New Legends Stage, while Misfits, Sprout, and Team EnVyUs fell by the wayside.
The fifth round pitted the six teams remaining with 2-2 records against each other in a single-leg showdown. However, with the three 2-3 record teams facing a playoff to earn 100 Thieves’ vacancy, the sense of jeopardy wasn’t quite the same.
In the end, mousesports, Natus Vincere, and Quantum Bellator Fire confirmed places in the next round with 3-2 records. Renegades, Team Liquid, and AVANGAR finished 2-3 and headed into the playoff.
In the first playoff game, No. 2 seed Renegades and No. 3 seeds AVANGAR faced off. In a 16-10 victory, AVANGAR made it through.
For the Qualification Match, they faced Team Liquid. In a close 19-15 game, which went into additional legs, Team Liquid earned a reprieve and a place in the New Legends Stage.
The final standings
|Pos||Team Name||Score||Rounds||Round Diff|
|6||Quantum Bellator Fire||3-2||62-63||-1|
|9||Team Liquid (Qualified via Playoff)||2-3||65-72||-7|
New Legends Stage landscape
The nine teams qualified from the New Challengers Stage join the seven remaining Legends teams in the New Legends Stage. The current Legends are Gambit Esports, Astralis, Virtus.pro, Fnatic, SK Gaming, BIG, and North.
The tournament at this stage follows the same Swiss Format. The eight teams that win three games earn places in the Champions Stage. The eight losing teams pack their bags and head home.
The draw for the first round of the New Legends Stage is complete and produced the following matches:
- BIG vs. Team Liquid
- pro vs. Quantum Bellator Fire
- Gambit Esports vs. Natus Vincere
- Astralis vs. mousesports
- North vs. Vega Squadron
- SK Gaming vs. Space Soldiers
- Fnatic vs. FaZe Clan
- Cloud9 vs. G2 Esports
The action restarts in Boston on Jan. 19. All of the above matches take place that day.
Latest betting on New Legends matches
Betway offers odds on all of the matches scheduled for Jan. 19:
- BIG (11/10) vs. Team Liquid (13/20)
- pro (11/50) vs. Quantum Bellator Fire (14/5)
- Gambit Esports (17/20) vs. Natus Vincere (17/20)
- Astralis (11/20) vs. mousesports (13/10)
- North (1/2) vs. Vega Squadron (7/5)
- SK Gaming (8/25) vs. Space Soldiers (21/10)
- Fnatic (39/20) vs. FaZe Clan (7/20)
- Cloud9 (21/20) vs. G2 Esports (7/10)
Additionally, Bet365 offers an Outright Winner market. Back any of the 16 teams remaining in the competition at the following odds:
- FaZe Clan: 11/4
- SK Gaming: 3/1
- Astralis: 11/2
- G2 Esports: 9/1
- North: 10/1
- Cloud9: 14/1
- pro: 16/1
- Gambit Esports: 18/1
- Fnatic, Vega Squadron, Space Soldiers: 20/1
- Mousesports: 25/1
- Team Liquid: 40/1
- BIG: 66/1
- Quantum Bellator Fire: 80/1