With all the online qualifiers now over, it's time to prepare for the big event this September. Let’s take a look back at each qualifier, and update you on the teams that won’t be able to make it to the event.
Qualifier 1 Final – HoggyHogs vs Blossy2 Electric Boogaloo
The first qualifier for the EGX tournament was held at EGX Rezzed back in March/April, and was an open qualifier. We saw HoggyHogs and Blossy2 Electric Boogaloo battle it out in London for their place at EGX in September. HoggyHogs took their first map of Kings Row with a great deal of ease, having kept Blossy2 away from the first capture point. They then powered through their attacking round with force, with little Blossy2 could do to fight back.
HoggyHogs then went on to an attacking round on Volskaya Industries, which followed by a D.Va ultimate, was taken very quickly. HoggyHogs charged through to capture the second pointBlossy2 couldn’t break through HoggyHogs defence, and were unable to get a capture in, resulting in another map win for HoggyHogs. Being 2-0 down, Blossy2 had a lot of work to do if they hoped to make a comeback.
The third and final map was Hollywood, with Blossy2 attacking first. In similar fashion to both matches previous, Blossy2 were unable to break down HoggyHogs defence, and ultimately failed their attacking round. HoggyHogs walked leisurely through Blossy2’s defence, and won their final map in the best of five, securing the first spot at EGX.
Qualifier 2 Final – Elysium Gaming vs Fireborn Gaming
Opening the online qualifiers were Elysium Gaming and Fireborn Gming, both teams having shown potential in their previous matches. The game opened up on Eichenwalde, with Elysium Gaming taking full advantage of the powerful dive meta. WarSpiritUK and Cyrus managed to break down Fireborn’s defence, and take the first round with a minute to spare. In their defending round, Elysium gaming proved too tough to beat, halting all of Fireborn’s to capture the point.
Map two was Kings Row, a recurring map throughout all the qualifiers. Fireborn were attacking first, and showed a lot more focus when approaching the capture point. Fireborn poked at the holes in Elysium Gaming’s defence, and managed to push the payload just short of the second capture point. Elysium Gaming weren’t to take this lightly, taking the first point by force in the opening fight, and then taking it far enough to win the second round.
Lijiang Tower was the third map, and was a clear demonstration of the difference in skill between the two teams. In the first round, Fireborn managed to capture the point briefly, but were quickly removed by Elysium Gaming’s unstoppable force. The second round saw Elysium manage their ultimate abilities efficiently, only using them when entirely necessary, keeping Fireborn away completely. In the final round, we saw Fireborn down and out, unable to get a single push past Elysium’s defence. This last round was a clear statement of Elysium Gaming’s skill, and earnt them their place at EGX.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances with the team, Elysium Gaming later disbanded. We were notified that they would not be able to get the team back together, and would sadly not be attending EGX in September.
Qualifier 3 – IDM vs I Don’t Know
The rules were updated for this qualifier and the qualifiers to follow, with the game format being changed from best of five, to best of seven. I Don’t Know and IDM had a back and forth for the payload in the first map, Route 66. I Don’t Know opened up strong, but were met with a surprisingly strong defence from IDM, who managed to halt the payload clear of the second capture point. I Don’t Know opted to defend on the garage, allowing IDM to start a push. Whilst IDM made a push up to garage, I Don’t Know held it there effectively, and won the first map in overtime.
Dorado was the second map, and IDM were first to attack. IDM showed a lot more comfort with this being a map of their choice, and were able to quickly push I Don’t Know back. I Don’t Know responded to this with brute force, and held the payload in the market area until the end of the round. The Pharmercy combo proved vital to I Don’t Know’s push in their attacking round, whish allowed a lot of pressure to be put on IDM from all angles. I Don’t Know were able to win a team fight against IDM, which resulted in them riding the payload to victory.
IDM opened up Nepal with new found momentum, actually giving I Don’t Know a run for their money in the first round. I Don’t Know were only able to capture the point briefly in the first round, and were bested by IDM. I Don’t Know became wary of IDM’s comfort on the map, and were able to win a team fight in the opening of the round. I Don’t Know found a firm grip on the point, and held it to the end of the second round. IDM came back swinging in the third round, taking the capture point to 92% before I Don’t Know were able to respond. In a surprise comeback, I Don’t Know overthrew IDM’s hold on the point, and took the third round into overtime before winning. Ranknomoja showed off his skill as Orisa in the fourth round, dominating I Don’t Know. Similar to the previous round, I Don’t Know bided their time, taking the capture point at 95%. The round was taken to overtime, with I Don’t Know coming out on top to win their third map.
Eichenwalde was the fourth and final map, with IDM keeping cool, calm, and collected, even in the face of likely defeat. A Torbjörn turret placement slowed I Don’t Know’s push on the point, but a well fought team fight lead to their capture of the first point. Following a back and forth throughout the whole round, IDM crack and give I Don’t Know the room they needed in overtime to capture the final point. IDM were under immense pressure to take the point, and after a great deal of effort, were able to get the payload up and moving. After two overtimes, IDM were held away from the final point, with I Don’t Know taking the map, and the game, securing their place in the EGX tournament.
Despite a well fought victory, I Don’t Know’s roster split up, resulting in the team no longer being able to play in the EGX tournament. Following the disbanding of the team however, Ginger (a key player in the team’s victory) showed an interest in playing on another team, and will be making an appearance on another team at EGX this September following a victory in qualifier five.
Qualifier 4 – Temp Name vs Team Forbidden
Whilst Team Forbidden had cruised their way through their matches, Temp Name were relentless in their matches and had a desirable roster. Eichenwalde was the opening map, and was the first demonstration of Temp Names mechanical skill and co-ordination. With Temp Name first to attack, Team Forbidden had a lot of work on their hands. Temp Name opened aggressively, taking the first point by utilising the Pharmercy pairing. The team made sure to focus counters to their attack, and despite Team Forbidden winning a fight near the last capture point, were beaten by Temp Name. In Temp Name’s defence round, Team Forbidden were unable to gain a hold on the capture point, with every attempted push calmly denied by Temp Name, winning them the first round.
Heading into Nepal, Temp Name looked even stronger than before. Team Forbidden hopelessly lost the first round to Temp Name, unable to make a move on the point without sacrificing team members. The second round saw Team Forbidden temporarily capture the point, followed by a Temp Name retaking the point after swatting them away time and time again. Round three saw Team Forbidden’s hopes of the map win disappear, as Temp Name seemed to toy with a team losing motivation. The round ended with Temp Name winning, only allowing Team Forbidden a brief glimpse at what a capture point looks like.
Kings Row was the third map of the qualifier, and both teams had played their fair share of the hybrid map favourite. Team Forbidden were attacking first, and seemed more collected than in the previous maps. Temp Name were caught off guard on the first capture point, allowing Team Forbidden to get a soul-crushing 99.9% capture before being pushed off the capture point by Temp Name. Following on from this round, Temp Name began the second round with three tanks, in an almost mocking fashion. When the tank heavy push didn’t work, they changed to three supports and casually won the third map.
The fourth and final map to be played in the qualifier was Lijiang Tower. Team Forbidden succeeded in flanking Temp Name in the opening of the first round, and managed to hold the capture point for an impressive amount of time. This however was short lived, as Temp Name managed to remove them from the capture point, and hold them off for the rest of the round. Team Forbidden fought valiantly to hold the capture point in the second round, but again were defeated by the overwhelming pressure of Temp Name, who won the second round with minimal effort. The third and final round started with Team Forbidden winning a fight, and allowed them to hold the point for a respectable amount of time, before Temp Name decided they wanted them off the point. Despite Team Forbidden’s best efforts, Temp Name held the point for the rest of the round, which led to them not only winning the game, but rightfully earning themselves the fourth qualifying spot.
Qualifier 5 – Nexus Gaming vs Team Bounty Hunters
The fifth and final online qualifier was a battle between Nexus Gaming and Team Bounty Hunters. Nexus Gaming boasted an Overwatch World Cup player, whilst Team Bounty Hunters had a team with a great deal of competitive experience, so the table was set for an exciting final.
A favourite of Team Bounty Hunters, Nepal was the first map to be played. Both teams started the first round with identical team compositions, a clear indicator of the compositions strength. Players Gare and Supersoker stood out as key players in stopping any advance Nexus Gaming made on the capture point, giving Team Bounty Hunters enough breathing room to take the first round.
Round two saw a complete shut out by Team Bounty Hunters, punishing the small mistakes that Nexus Gaming made, giving them an easy victory on the second round.
Nexus Gaming came back strong in the third round, coming out on top following a tug of war for capture point control. Nexus Gaming may have narrowly won the third round, but won it all the same, and were motivated to make their comeback.
Whilst Nexus Gaming had a strong hold on the capture point, and managed to take the round into overtime with Team Bounty Hunters fighting to recapture the point. Supersoker made a name for himself by landing a four-man takedown with Genji’s Dragonblade, resulting in a team wipe, and a hold on the capture point that lasted the remainder of the round.
Nexus Gaming were first to attack on Kings Row, and were seemingly putting more faith in individual plays to pave the way for pushes. Takvmi managed to break Team Bounty Hunters defence as Pharah, helping the team to secure the first capture point. The momentum continued for Nexus Gaming, with them capturing the second point, and pushing the payload right up to the final capture point. Team Bounty Hunters responded to the imminent threat, and kept Nexus Gaming away from the final capture point, just barely winning in overtime. Moving onto the attacking side, Team Bounty Hunters were faced with a near three-point capture needed to win, but this didn’t seem to faze them. A strong opening push got Team Bounty Hunters the first capture point, and the accuracy from DPS on the team lead to the second point being captured. The momentum continued, and Team Bounty Hunters took the final capture point with plenty of time to spare.
Temple of Anubis was the third map, and began with Team Bounty Hunters attacking. Clear coordination from Team Bounty Hunters allowed them to take the first capture point, utilising ultimate abilities. Nexus Gaming managed to defend well up until overtime, where Team Bounty Hunters won a team fight to come out on top. The second round opened with Nexus Gaming being repelled, but they were not discouraged. An impressive push from Nexus Gaming forced Team Bounty Hunters off the point, and allowed them over five minutes to capture the second point. However, Team Bounty Hunters stepped up their game, and defended the second point so well, that the round was won without Nexus Gaming taking any time on the capture point. Despite the odds, and the time not being in their favour, Team Bounty Hunters secured the third map victory.
The fourth and final map of the qualifier was Ilios, a map chosen by Nexus Gaming. Team Forbidden held until overtime in the first round, where Ginger disconnected. This resulted in Nexus Gaming capturing the point in overtime, but were quickly thrown off the point when Ginger returned, allowing Team Bounty Hunters to win. Nexus Gaming struggled to gain any ground on the second round, being held in their spawn for part of the round. They capitalised on a shutdown on Supersoker, but were again quickly removed from the point by Team Bounty Hunters, winning them the second round. Team Bounty Hunters were one round away from winning, but Nexus Gaming refused to let up. The round consisted of numerous fights for the point. Team Bounty Hunters managed to take the round to overtime, where they repelled Nexus Gaming’s last push to win the final online qualifying spot at EGX.
The admins also decided that due to the excellend display from Nexus Gaming, they would be granted a wildcard slot, created by Elysium Gaming dropping out.
That just leaves the space created by I Don't Know, the admins decided that this spot would be given out on the Saturday of EGX to a turn-up-and-play team on the day, meaning Saturday will have 2 opportunities to qualify for the grand final with 1 spot on the Thursday and Friday.
That brings you completely up to speed with who will be playing at EGX this September, but there are still three qualifiers to take place at EGX on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Be sure not to miss out on any of the action by booking your tickets to the event over on the EGX website. Make sure you follow @EGX_Esports on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest coverage.