With the first day of the MDL Chengdu Major’s playoffs complete, four teams have been eliminated from the event.
For Team Adroit and Team Unknown, the outcome isn’t surprising. The Southeast Asian and South American squads qualified for the event despite having a fairly limited resume in prominent tournaments. Adroit was formed earlier this year and has primarily competed in regional leagues, while Unknown has popped in and out of existence for several years but done little outside of surprisingly qualifying for the Frankfurt Major 2015.
Both teams went 0-2 in their groups, and looked no better in the main event. Adroit wasted a 22,000 net worth advantage and 26 kills by MC Nicholson “Mac” Villanueva in a loss to beastcoast. Meanwhile, Unknown was handed a straightforward loss by Fnatic.
Though this outcome wasn’t necessarily surprising for Adroit and Unknown, the stumbles of Gambit and Team Spirit are somewhat shocking.
Gambit Esports and Team Spirit were relatively unknown commodities entering the MDL Chengdu Major, but they both stood as dark horse candidates for strong runs in the tournament. 0-2 performances in their groups undermined that and both drew tough matchups for the lower bracket best-of-ones, with Gambit taking on Team Aster and Spirit facing EHOME.
Aster wasted no time in establishing itself early against Gambit, capitalizing on an early lead en route to a dominant victory. Spirit vs. EHOME was much more competitive, but the Chinese team took control late to seal up the victory.
Leaving Chengdu in last place is an indictment under any circumstances. Spirit looked solid in the qualifiers and has a talented roster while Gambit started its season with a second-place performance at ESL One Hamburg. This loss puts a cloud over their solid starts and does not speak positively to their long-term prospects.
The MDL Chengdu Major was a huge opportunity for teams in the middle of the pack to score DPC points towards an invitation to The International 2020 as heavyweights like Team Secret and PSG.LGD went on vacation for the first major cycle.
The season isn’t over for either team yet, but losing this way undoubtedly stings for these teams.