After four days of exhausting matches in the ELEAGUE studio in Atlanta, the five rounds of Swiss are over and we have all eight Champions teams.
Hands down the most unexpected team to have made it to the Top 8 of the ELEAGUE Major Boston is Quantum Bellator Fire. While they had an easy opponent in Round 1 in Virtus.pro (and it saddens us to consider Virtus.pro bad), the rest of the teams the black horse of the tournament faced were by no means weak.
Quantum Bellator Fire faced and won and Gambit and mousesports, only losing to G2 Esports, which made it to the Playoffs as the overall first seed with a clean 3-0 record and the best round score, even overcoming FaZe Clan. While that is probably where their ELEAGUE Major Boston journey ends, they made it farther than anyone would have considered possible, so the team can be very proud of that.
The rest of the teams which made it to the Champions Stage are the usual suspects for an event of this magnitude.
The aforementioned G2 Esports won all three of their matches against Cloud9, Team Liquid and Quantum Bellator Fire. Next up, we have FaZe Clan, which won against Fnatic, Vega Squadron and SK Gaming. Natus Vincere is the third seed despite starting the Legends Stage on the wrong foot, losing to Gambit but then going on to have a relatively easy draw, facing and winning against BIG, Liquid and Fnatic.
SK Gaming with João “felps” Vasconcellos started off victorious, overcoming Space Soldiers and mousesports, only to be stopped in their tracks by FaZe Clan. After that, they did clinch their Top 8 spot after winning against Gambit.
After SK, we have Quantum Bellator Fire and the 3-2 teams which had the longest road to the Playoffs. Mousesports is the highest placed team out of the 3-2s, with a +24 won/lost round difference. They also faced strong teams in their early Swiss rounds with a win against Astralis in the 1st and loss to SK in the 2nd. After that, the level of competition they faced dropped somewhat, with Vega Squadron, Quantum and Space Soldiers.
Cloud9 and Fnatic are the last two teams to make it to the Champions Stage played in Boston. C9 lost against G2 and Space Soldiers, making a miraculous comeback of sorts in the tournament by winning against the teethless Virtus.pro, Astralis and Vega Squadron. Fnatic, on the other hand, lost to FaZe, won against Virtus.pro and Astralis, lost to Na’Vi and then defeated Gambit to make it.
The most disappointing results in the Legends Stage came from Astralis, North and Virtus.pro.
Astralis was a team that nobody knew how to look at because they may have had to play without Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, if the player was unsuccessful in getting his health back in order by the time the tournament started. In that case, the team would have had to use Danny “zonic” Sørensen, their coach, as a player. Even with dev1ce, however, Astralis lost to mousesports, Fnatic and Cloud9, only winning against the similarly struggling North. If the Danish ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 winners were in the tip top shape, they could have won against all of these opponents, but that wasn’t what happened in this event.
The next two disappointments, North and Virtus.pro had no such excuses afforded Astralis. They simply lost. North against Vega Squadron, Astralis and BIG, and Virtus.pro to Quantum Bellator Fire, Fnatic and Cloud9.
With the results of this event in mind, it’s clearer than ever that some drastic changes need to be made in Virtus.pro. They have been disastrously underperforming for a year now, ever since the players signed new lucrative long-term contracts with the organization following the 2nd place finish at ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017. This situation can’t keep going on.
With all of that said, here are the ELEAGUE Major Boston Champions Stage matchups. FaZe Clan should be able to make it to the Finals of the event because they will face mouz in the Quarterfinals, which is definitely not a team they can’t beat. In the matchup between Na’Vi and Quantum Bellator Fire, Na’Vi should win but even if QBF manages a huge upset, they will still be hard-pressed to defeat FaZe, just like Na’Vi would be if they won.
On the other side of the bracket, especially in the matchup between G2 Esports and Cloud9, the outcome will depend entirely on which version of the two teams we will see. When G2 Esports or Cloud9 play at their best, they are teams capable of beating anyone. The problem is that they rarely shine so brightly. The last matchup between Fnatic and SK Gaming should go in SK’s favor because Marcelo “coldzera” David. Despite making it into the Champions Stage, Fnatic no longer has the depth of talent to really stand up against SK Gaming. Remember, felps was removed from the team not because he’s not talented or a bad player. He’s simply too aggressive and doesn’t mesh perfectly with the rest of the team. If he can tone it down, there’s no reason why we can’t see SK in the Semifinals and even the Finals once again.
It would be a happy day when we had a best of 3 series between FaZe Clan and SK Gaming to determine which team got to raise the ELEAGUE Major Boston Cup after a job well done.