The group stage of the Brawl 10K concluded last night, and we now know all the teams who will be competing in the playoffs this evening. The double-elimination groups that were played through over the last three days resulted in 8 teams advancing.
In Group A, the NA Spring Series champions G2 stormed through the upper bracket. They picked up wins against Zookeepers and Mirage. In the lower bracket it was Pittsburgh Knights who prevailed, also beating Mirage in their final match. Mirage had beaten them in the upper round 1, and therefore had to play the lower final best-of-7 with a 1-game handicap.
This handicap rule proved to be unpopular with the players, and was removed after day 1.
Spacestation Gaming managed to get through Group B with a win over Soniqs in the final. The team they beat in the first round, Skillz’s “3 Star Armada”, bounced back to reach playoffs. This made them the first team that came through the qualifiers to do so.
Now over to group C, and it was the new NRG roster that dominated here. Jstn, GarrettG and surprising new recruit SquishyMuffinz seemed to work excellently together, and they dropped just two games on their way to qualification.
There was another interesting story in the rest of the bracket, despite being less high-profile than the all-star NRG team. The ex-Cloud9 duo of Torment and Gimmick, with Allushin, swept the “72PC” roster of LionBlaze, Jacob and Wonder in the first round. As it turned out, these two teams would meet again in the lower bracket final, and this led to surely the best series of the tournament so far.
Match Spotlight – Rat Enterprises vs 72PC
This best-of-7 match could have been a simple formality. In the aforementioned round 1 series, Rat Enterprises comfortably beat 72PC. However this series completely defied expectations, and 72PC racked up a 3-0 lead in games. They needed just one more to win it all and qualify for playoffs.
But now it was time for Rat Enterprises to win 3 games in a row. They emphatically brought the series level, and we had a 3-3 scoreline, and a game 7 on our hands. Rat Enterprises going for the reverse sweep, 72PC trying to switch the momentum and get the win.
This game 7 seemed to be going with the general direction of the series, and Rat Enterprises had a slim but decisive 2-1 lead going into the final 30 seconds. 72PC were piling on the pressure, and LionBlaze managed to find a beautiful shot into the top corner on 0 seconds to equalise and dramatically take the game to overtime.
This overtime would end up being short, but it was a fitting end to the series. After scoring the goal to save his team from defeat, LionBlaze once again found the net 30 seconds after kickoff. This goal secured the game 7 overtime win for 72PC, and denied Rat Enterprises the reverse sweep. This meant LionBlaze, Jacob and Wonder would be going to playoffs.
Now finally onto group D, and there was one thing that everyone was watching out for in this bracket: Turbopolsa. The 4-time world champion was playing for Team Envy, along with Mist and Atomic. This roster breezed through their games, beating Stromboli 3-1 and sweeping Jamal Jabary in the final. That match was closer than the 4-0 scoreline suggests, but still an emphatic performance from this team.
While all eyes were on Turbopolsa, it was Mist who scored one of the goals of the tournament. Jumping from where the backboard meets the ceiling, he found the goal at an incredible angle with had his teammates speechless, with Atomic simply saying “What an angle”.
Elsewhere in the group we had yet another reversal of result in the lower final. Rogue achieved a with a win over Stromboli in the first lower round after losing 3-1 to Jamal Jabary in their first match. The two teams met again in the lower final, and it went the distance. Rogue prevailed in a thrilling game 7, and took the final spot in the playoffs.
So with all this action behind us, we have just the playoffs remaining tonight. All matches are best-of-7, and the format is a straight single-elimination bracket. The matchups are as follows:
You can catch the Brawl 10K Playoffs on Twitch from 8pm BST, with the Grand Final starting at 11pm. The winning team takes home $5,500, the runners-up receive $2,500, and the semifinalists get $1,000 each.