As the year comes to a close, there was one tournament left for a couple of the teams that were struggling towards the end. The bottom two teams of both NA and EU had to settle things in the VG8 Promotions Tournament to give some of the newer talent a chance at playing with the big boys next year while others had to attempt to hold on to their slot for another shot of glory in 2018. But which of the forces were the more powerful came to a head with only two teams among the five for each region could make the cut.
Queso Soar and Qlash Become Reborn
It was a long time coming for Team Queso. A team that has been a crowd favorite in Europe for some time now and even had been invited to international esports events, like the Unified Tournament in the Summer. However, they didn’t have the easiest path to victory as they weren’t the number one seed coming into the Challenge Battles. Norm Pacani had beaten them to the punch and seemed like a favorite for any team looking to best Calamity Reborn or Team Qlash.
But sometimes a meta can favor a team or they can find that strength from vigorous training to overcome even the worst of odds. After dismantling Raging Donuts, Queso went on to beat Qlash to knock them into the elimination bracket for the teams entering from the VG8. The real test for Queso was the final battle on their road to VG8 against Calamity Reborn. Not only were the games close almost each one they played against the other, but it went to the full length in the best of 5. Either the steam in the Calamity engine had run out or Queso were making a statement for why they belonged in the VG8 as the game only looked close for the first 5 minutes until Queso out macro’d Calamity and were able to let the Krakken win at merely 17 minutes.
With one team in the VG8, it came down to Calamity and the team that came out of the loser’s bracket. After losing their first series in the Challenge Battles, normally a team would have a hard time recovering. Qlash, on the other hand, showed that sometimes one loss is your motivation to win. After losing the first game to Raging Donuts, they turned it around and won the next 6 games straight to defeat both the Donuts and Norm Pacani for a case at redemption.
A bittersweet announcement was made after all of this as Calamity Reborn forfeited their final series due to health issues within the team and not being able to compete anymore. Even though they didn’t get a chance to prove themselves, they made it back to the EU VG8 and that was the goal of the weekend for them.
Gankstars and Tempo Storm Make Way For Team Hazard and VisionGaming after the VG8 Promotions
While it was a triumphant day for the fans of EU with Queso making it into EU, NA had to say farewell for now to one of their legends, Gankstars. The team had been clearly struggling for a long time and it was apparent that the team hadn’t had the abilities they once held. Whether it was due to a lack of synergy, practice, or discipline, it just seemed that Gankstars was a hollow husk of their former glory. Unfortunately for them, the competition of the Challenge Battles for NA was extremely fierce and ready to duke it out for a shot of their own glory.
One such challenger was Vision Gaming. Having taken first place in the Vainglory League, they were already heavily favored of any team to win out over one of the two VG8 teams. Their first chance was against Gankstars. Of any of round from GS, this was by far the closest they got to winning a series. Each game was well fought, but after a long game 3, it was Vision that won out. This trend of close games continued into the next series against Tempo Storm. Each game was back and forth until finally both teams had 2 games won and needed to pick up the third. However, it boiled down to one mistake from Hide jumping in too far as Petal that allowed Vision to pick him off as well as the rest of TS to win the game and make into the NA VG8.
If Vision had a trend for close series, Team Hazard had one marked by deja vu. Against Echo Fox, round 1, it was heavily given to Team Hazard as they easily beat Echo Fox. Then they would go on to face Tempo Storm and struggle against them. In the second attempt from Echo Fox to usurp Team Hazard, this series was extremely close. You can tell that FOX had learned from the past and wanted to keep their dreams alive. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work.
However, Hazard learned a thing or two themselves about retribution and plowed through Gankstars and get a second battle against the team that beat them prior, Tempo Storm. The power of a surging team now met the despair of a team that barely lost their previous series with morale shot. Hazard used their knowledge from their loss before along with the downfall of Tempo Storm to join Vision as the second new team to join the VG8 for NA.