Without an invite, the road to EPICENTER 2017 was guaranteed to be a hard one for anybody. With Astralis, G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, North, SK Gaming, and Virtus.pro all being invited, there was some top-tier talent left out of the qualifiers, but not too much.
For the Americas side of the closed qualifiers, the forfeiture of Immortals left the path to the grand finals seemingly obvious.
After Team Liquid defeated Cloud9 2-0 in the upper bracket, Cloud9 had then defeated OpTic Gaming in order to earn a second shot at Team Liquid in the grand finals.
- Cloud9 14:16 Team Liquid (Train)
- Cloud9 6:16 Team Liquid (Inferno)
Although Cloud9 put up a great fight on Train, it was Team Liquid that would ultimately claim the victory for themselves before putting Cloud9 down in a pretty good performance on Inferno.
C9 fans shouldn't be disappointed, though. The new C9 roster is extremely promising, and the new Liquid roster has been together longer and practiced more.
Condolences do nothing to change the results, though. Team Liquid will be heading to EPICENTER 2017, and Cloud9 will not be.
They should both have a fair amount to learn from the two series that they played, which means both teams ought to come back stronger.
It might be bad look to say this, but let's go, NA! We might actually have a chance at winning something in the near future if these teams keep improving.