ESL One Summer kicked off with a rude awakening to a select group of teams from the European region. After just one day of play, Team Secret
and Team Liquid
have all been sent down to the lower bracket. Not only will two of these teams be eliminated by day two of the event, but the round one defeats have some juicy implications for the European TI Qualifiers.
After the AniMajor, we knew that Nigma, OG, and Liquid would all be competing for just one spot to make it to The International 10. That alone would make for one intense qualifier. After a rough season of borderline relegation to the lower division of the DPC, roster shuffles and Twitter showdowns, defending champs OG have a lot to prove — and that starts with securing a TI spot.
Similarly, Nigma have failed to live up to their potential this season, but with their refreshed roster and Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi back to his true home in the mid lane, they’re a safer bet than OG. At the same time, Team Liquid is the most promising challenger of the EU region; a young roster with few titles to their name, but they’re more than capable of taking a game from either OG or Nigma. And that one game might be all it takes to seal the deal on TI10.
But now, the competition is growing even spicier than we thought, and those big three might have more to worry about than each other. At ESL One Summer, Nigma fell 0-2 to Vikin.gg — who just battled their way out of the EU’s Lower Division DPC League. At the same time, Liquid were handed the same 2-0 beating by Tundra, a team who have quietly resided in the bottom half of the EU upper division for both seasons.
The EU’s supposedly weaker teams might just bring us a colossal upset to the TI qualifiers. We get to see more of them today as they take on some international competition; Vikin.gg face Animajor third placers, T1 and Tundra face NA’s top seed, Quincy Crew. This is the first taste of international competition for both teams in quite some time; if they can carry on their momentum today, ESL One Summer
will shape up to be one wild ride, and the EU big boys will truly have something to worry about.