Salt Mine Qualifiers 1 & 2 Roundup

The first two Qualifiers for Johnnyboi_i’s Salt Mine II tournament have concluded. The highly anticipated 1v1 tournament has lived up to expectations so far, already delivering numerous intense series and – as always – a healthy dose of salt.

This Salt Mine boasts four separate qualifiers in which all 32 invited players can compete. Invitations for this event were sent out to the top 32 players (per region) on Rocket League’s in-game 1v1 ranked leaderboard. Each qualifier crowns one winner who auto-qualifies for the playoffs. Points are awarded based on placement across all four qualifiers, and the remaining spots in the 8-team playoffs are awarded to the four unqualified players with the most points. With Qualifiers 1 & 2 completed, the qualification stage has already reached its halfway point.

Qualifier #1

On the EU side, qualifier 1’s stacked upper bracket saw Scrub Killa eliminated early to Alpha54. Alpha went on to lose in the semifinals to Joreuz, who is seen as a favorite in the tournament. On the other side, LuiisP upset both OSM and ApparentlyJack to meet oKhalid in the semi’s.

oKhalid, a frontrunner in any 1v1 tournament, swept LuiisP to advance to the final. oKhalid nabbed the finals win over Joreuz 3-1, but the series score does little justice to what was an extremely tight series. After winning game one, Joreuz let oKhalid equalize with 1 second left in game two, only to miss an entirely open net in overtime leaving oKhalid to dribble in the rebound uncontested.

Game three saw a further heartbreaking overtime loss after a comeback by oKhalid in the waning seconds of the match. oKhalid went on to win the last game against an understandably drained Joreuz, securing the first qualification spot. The NA side of the tournament saw a notable run from AlphaKep eventually struck down by LionBlaze in the semi’s. FirstKiller beat out WondaMike on the other side, setting up an expected but tense final between Lion and First. It went back and forth but First managed to end it with two convincing wins to take the series 3-2 and secure the first NA qualification spot.

Qualifier #2

In the second qualifier, with oKhalid out the way Dead-Monster had room to make a hugely impressive run all the way to the finals – taking out Oscillon, Rehzzy, and Aztral. ApparentlyJack had a return to form, beating Ahmad and ExoTiik to meet Dead-Monster in the finals. The pair, both teammates on Stormtroopers, had an exciting and close 3-1 series that finished in favor of Dead-Monster.

For the NA segment, Kinseh and Mile put up convincing 3-0 sweeps against MajicBear and iRicky09 respectively. Mile arguably had an easier route to the finals, as Kinseh had to take down NA heavyweight LionBlaze, but he proved himself with a qualification win over Kinseh in a 3-2 final that delivered once again.

More to look forward to

The Salt Mine has been living up to its name so far. Speed’s early exit from a sweep by ExoTiik led to a 60-1 scoreline in game 3. Ahmad, too, quit with 4 and a half minutes remaining in game 3 of his series against ApparentlyJack, and Oscillon tweeted his opinion about 1s kickoffs after his loss.

It is not too late to join in on the action. The third of the four qualifiers starts today, 25th June, at 5pm GMT / 1pm ET. To join in on the last few days of qualification, tune in to Johnnyboi’s twitch channel or check Twitch’s Rocket League section to see numerous other community casters contributing to coverage of the Salt Mine Qualifiers.

Jake Nordland

Writing about RL Esports & university Esports for Rocket Kingdom ~ Journalism student and NSE player @ University of Sussex. KBM. IGN: imprivate

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