Esports Tournament Reviews and Previews – Jan. 31, 2019

CHONGQING major recap

Let’s begin this week’s recap and look-ahead with a quick summary of how things turned out at two big events: the ELEAGUE Invitational 2019 and the Chongqing Major 2019.

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Team Secret wins Chongqing Major

With a million dollars prize pool up for grabs, the first Major of the Dota Pro Circuit in 2019 is now in the history books. For European aces Team Secret, it will be a fond memory.

Against 15 other teams, they came through the Group Stage and then the Main Event to clinch the top prize — 4,950 Dota Pro Circuit points and £350,000.

Oddly enough, as we reported last week, Team Secret only came through the Group Stage as the second seed in Group B. They finished behind China’s PSG.LGD in that group. However, in the Main Event, they found their form in style.

The Secret run

They began with a superb performance against the top Group C team, Team Liquid, dismissing them in clinical fashion 2-0. Then, in the Upper Bracket Round 2, they defeated EHOME by the same scoreline to claim a spot in the Upper Bracket Final.

There, they faced Virtus.pro, who had defeated PSG.LGD in the other Round 2 game in the Upper Bracket. This time, things did not go well for Team Secret. They succumbed 2-1, dropping into the Lower Bracket Final. Meanwhile, Virtus.pro moved into the Grand Final.

In that Lower Bracket Final, they faced Evil Geniuses, who had surprisingly defeated Vici Gaming, EHOME, and PSG.LGD to get this deep in the tournament. Nevertheless, their luck ran out against Team Secret. The European team recorded an impressive 2-0 victory.

The final matches

Having beaten Team Secret in the Upper Bracket Final, Virtus.pro started the best-of-five Grand Final as the favorites. Yet they were stunned here, losing the first two maps to Team Secret in double quick time.

Virtus.pro grabbed one game back in the third in a 40-minute battle. But Team Secret simply had the upper hand and pushed home that advantage in the fourth game to claim the win in just over half an hour.

The win was the reverse of the final result in the Kuala Lumpur Major last year. That means both Team Secret and Virtus.pro lead the way in the latest Dota Pro Circuit table, both having amassed 7,950 points from those two events. Evil Geniuses sit in third on the back of two third-place finishes (4,200 points). Then, PSG.LGD are fourth having finished fourth and fifth in the tournaments (2,250 points).

The next event on the Dota Pro Circuit calendar is the StarLadder Imba TV Invitational Season 6, which is a minor event with just 500 points up for grabs. It starts early in March. Then, a week later, the top teams will be battling it out for 15,000 Pro Circuit Points and a prize pool of $1,000,000 at the Corsair Dream League Season 11 tournament, which takes place in Stockholm starting March 14.

FaZe Clan return to form at ELEAGUE Invitational 2019

It has not been the greatest 12 months for CS:GO super-team FaZe Clan. This expensively assembled team of top CS:GO talent was a distinct second-best to Astralis throughout last year. They registered only three wins in 2018: the IEM Sydney in May, the ESL One Belo Horizonte in June, and EPICENTER 2018 in October.

Now, though, we’re seeing signs that NiKo, GuardiaN, and olofmeister could well be on the upswing after a solid performance and first-place finish at this weekend’s ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

This four-team, invitation-only event featured compLexity Gaming, BIG, and Cloud9. The tournament was a double-bracket knockout competition, which proved crucial in the end.

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That’s because in their opening game of the tournament, FaZe Clan were dusted 2-0 by Cloud9. Both games were close, requiring overtime to decide the winner, but Cloud9 triumphed 19-15 and then 19-16 to claim the Upper Bracket Final place and send FaZe Clan tumbling into the Lower Bracket.

Usually, that’s a death knell for winning a tournament, and FaZe Clan were joined in that bracket by complexity Gaming, who went down 2-0 (16-13, 16-6) to BIG.

In the Upper Brackey Final, Cloud9 moved into the Grand Final with a 2-0 win over BIG (16-14, 16-14). Then, in the Lower Bracket Round 1, FaZe Clan got back to winning ways with a 16-12 and 16-2 victories over compLexity Gaming.

Next up for FaZe was BIG. This was a cracking match with FaZe Clan running out 2-1 winners (16-14, 14-16, 16-10) to give them a chance of revenge.

The Grand Final

Things seemed to be going the way of the form book in the opening map of the best of three final when Cloud9 won comprehensively 16-3, but FaZe Clan regrouped and claimed the second map 16-12. Buoyed by that victory, they rounded off the event by claiming a 16-9 win in the third and final map to pocket the $80,000 top prize.

That win sets up FaZe Clan nicely ahead of the next big event on the CS:GO calendar: IEM Katowice 2019. It begins in Poland starting Feb. 13 and features 24 teams and a prize pool of $1,000,000.

Photo credit: VCG / Contributor / Getty Images

Ian John

About

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.