Time is running out for the likes of Team Liquid and Oxygen Esports, those two high performing Grid teams will not qualify for the major as it stands.
Welcome to the last week of the Fall Split. By this time next week, all The Grid and Regional events will have concluded in Europe. Even so, some big changes are happening that you shouldn’t overlook: Fadeaway, the next best-placed team in The Grid qualifier that took place back in July will be replacing Chalked in Week 9, however, like Team Singularity, they did not get a bye to the Closed Qualifier of Regional 3.
This is the first week where some teams are already locked into a certain band of placements in The Grid standings, or in other words, Team BDS, Top Blokes, Triple Trouble and Team Liquid have already secured a Winter Grid spot and can’t claim the wildcard spot, while Dignitas, Chalked and Fadeaway are not capable of reaching tenth place.
The Grid Wildcard Race
Standings: Renault Vitality (963 pts), Oxygen Esports (830 pts, -133), Vodafone Giants (781 pts, -182)
Prediction: Renault Vitality to claim The Grid Wildcard spot
Maths aside, it is going to take a monumental upset for either Oxygen or the Giants to pass Renault Vitality in the standings. If Oxygen Esports win, they need Renault Vitality to go out in the quarter-finals or earlier, if the Giants win, they need Renault Vitality to be eliminated in round one of the group stage. I tried preparing a visualisation for all scenarios yesterday, but I quickly discovered that computers are hopelessly slow when there are more scenarios in just this week of The Grid than metres between the Earth and the Sun. Using pen and paper to remove a lot of the meaningless scenarios Renault Vitality stays on top 91.8% of the time.
The Grid Survival Games
Prediction: Guild Esports, Endpoint, and Monkeys avoid relegation
I admit that this isn’t exactly a bold prediction, but I’m stuck in terms of who I can hype up as an underdog for this story. Libertas needs to win and also have a bunch of other factors outside of their control go in their favour to clinch tenth place, while FC Barcelona, Team Singularity, and Solary have been looking flat lately. Monkeys’ switch to using arju seems to have lifted the “Dutch curse” that has been plaguing them, Dignitas, and Libertas all split, and barring any massive changes in form this week, they should get the points they need. Endpoint has been inconsistent throughout the split, but their small buffer should get them through the final day, and Guild Esports have such a large buffer (80 points) that they could get away with not winning a series.
- Read More - The Next Step - An Interview With Guild Esports
The Road to the Fall Major
Prediction: Team BDS to win Regional 3
Time is running out for the likes of Team Liquid and Oxygen Esports; those two high performing Grid teams will not qualify for the major as it stands. Based on the current points table a final total of around 200 points should secure a spot at the Fall Major, meaning that everyone down to and including Monkeys is probably safe, while the teams outside the top 15 will probably need a playoffs or strong Stage 2 finish (0-3 doesn’t count by the way Team Liquid).
There might be a few unfamiliar faces for the casual viewer this event: The Nameseekers sacrificed their 40 points to bring on Tahz and tore through the Regional 3 qualifier and The Field. Rix.GG acquired the Stormtroopers a few weeks back, and they are capable of making their way into the Major qualification spots. Dignitas, Endpoint, Triple Trouble, and Libertas are the teams most in danger of falling out of the top 15, and them staying afloat may even depend on Vitality securing The Grid Wildcard to open up that sweet sixteenth spot at the Fall Major.
Stage 1 seeding has already taken place, and Group B is looking lethal - Renault Vitality, Giants Gaming, FC Barcelona, Oxygen Esports, Triple Trouble, and Team Liquid are all competing for the same eight spots. When you throw Fadeaway into the mix, it starts to look almost certain that one of these top teams is going to miss the target. Team BDS and Top Blokes should comfortably sweep Group A, while Barrage, Solary, and Endpoint will be counting their lucky stars as they seem to have the easiest group of the entire split.
Images via DreamHack | Tom Hurrell | Liquipedia