Over the past month the Brawl League Open Cup – 1v1 Qualifiers have been taking place. Hundreds of players from both the US and EU regions have been competing in their respective regional events, honing the competitors down to only 64 brawlers, 32 per region. These finalists will be competing over the weekend to determine who will be getting their slice of the cash prizes and exclusive Circuit points. Before those final events unfold, it’d do you well to get caught up on exactly what went down this past month so you know what to be looking for during the climactic final moments.
Coming down off of the Winter Championships, there was already some tension and expectations. You can read up on the US Championship and the EU Championships here, but the long and the short of it is that in the US we seem to have business as usual, with the big names leading the pack and most players sticking to their tried and true methods while in EU the players seem to be experimenting with new characters and weapons, with the upper echelon of players shifting around a bit.
The US bracket saw Starlight dominate the competition in a way he couldn’t quite manage during the Winter Championship. He dropped only two games in Top 32, one against Jellyfish and the other against Remmy in Grand Finals, but the rest of his run was flawless. This may in part be due to the players who did beat him during the Winter Championship–Stevenator and LDZ—being completely absent from the bracket. Whatever the reason, Starlight made a very impressive feat by coming out first in a sea of over 500 players, taking the first US victory of the Open Cup.
While Starlight’s performance was stunning, it wasn’t the only sight worth seeing. Remmy made a lot of commotion on his run as well, ultimately earning second. The only person he lost against at all was Starlight, which is impressive in and of itself, but he also managed to knock Boomie into Losers. Boomie, of course, having just come off his 2nd place run at 1v1 and 1st with LDZ in the 2v2 division of the Winter Championship.
Wrenchd took 3rd, a title to wear proudly among this bracket. While knocked into Losers by ithrowow, he came back strong through the rest of Losers bracket, eliminating a few threats along the way. He eliminated Mother Russia, noeL, and Boomie before finally getting eliminated by Remmy. NoeL of course had done very well in the WC, eliminating names like Remmy and eggsoup. This showing by wrenchd may have been just deserts, as noeL was the one who eliminated him in that tournament 2-0.
On the other side of the globe, EU was taking its crack at the Open Cup Qualifiers, with names big and small entering the fray. Despite this variety, the top contenders were all top tier players who’ve done well in the past.
First place went to [R]eason | Addymestic, who just before had came in 2nd at the Winter Championship 2v2 division with his teammate Cake. Addymestic had a nice run through Winners bracket, beating Maltimum who took first place at the 2v2 Winter event, but eventually was knocked into loser’s by Dobrein. Having only one match to play before Grand Finals, Addymestic took his game over Eramm before completely running it back against Dobrein, winning both Grand Final’s sets against the man who took a win off him. These two played a total of 13 matches this qualifier, with Addymestic coming out ahead 7-6 in total games vs Dobrein.
Though Addymestic and Dobrein stole a lot of the spotlight with their clutch sets, the 3rd place winner did very well for themselves. Eramm lost to the eventual 1st place winner early on, forcing him to trek through Losers bracket. Eramm fought his way through, besting players like ThStardust and even Maltimum, who previously made big waves taking 1st in 2v2 during the Winter Championship. Ultimately, he only lost to this weeks winner, so chalk this up for a very respectable performance for him.
This week, the playerbase shifted a bit. Starlight was out of the picture, as was Boomie, and in their stead names like LDZ and Stevenator step into that spotlight.
The winner for the second week was noeL, who had placed 5th the week before. He had a tough bracket but managed to persevere, bulldozing his way through Remmy, Stevenator, and besting wrenchd 3-0 in both Winners Finals and again in Grand Finals. This victory comes after both last week’s 5th and the Winter Cup’s 4th place spot, and really shows the effort he put into his game. The Runner-Up was wrenchd, who is sitting pretty with two Top 3 placements so far. He had a fairly strong run through the bracket outside of getting 3-stocked twice by noeL, though he did struggle against LDZ in Loser’s Finals.
There was one hiccup in the top 32 that needs to be mentioned, though; Wrenchd was scheduled to fight LDZ during Winners Semi-Finals, but an unfortunate DQ sent LDZ into the Losers bracket. Had this not occurred, a lot could have changed about how the final matches went down. Had LDZ played and won his match, wrenchd would have had a more difficult time, having to fight more players and even Stevenator before making it to Losers finals. Assuming wrenchd made it all the way through, that would have pit him up against LDZ again in Losers Finals, or noeL if LDZ was victorious in Winners Finals. What’s done is done, however, and LDZ was not able to make up for his DQ against wrenchd in Loser’s Finals, ultimately losing 2-3.
Across the Atlantic Ocean the EU players were having their own run as well. Coming out on top in Week 2 was Dobrein, who demonstrated a commanding lead over his competition. He didn’t lose a single set, and only lost a few games here and there towards the end of the tournament.
There weren’t a lot of really big names this week, though q4r took 2nd place with a pretty strong showing. After besting Lanze, Ephi and Slug, q4r eventually did fall to Dobrein in the Grand Finals, losing 1-3. The 3rd Runner-Up was Slug, who only lost to the first and second place Winners and otherwise enjoyed a very comfortable bracket.
The third week sees yet another big change to the entrants. None of the heavy-hitters from the previous 2 weeks are in attendance, so the top spots are all open to fresh faces.
Ithrowow comes out ahead this week, taking wins off of some prominent players. He bests Stevenator, Crockie and Mother Russia on his way to the top. He ended up sitting pretty after dominated Winners, with his most serious threat coming from STTP Wilson who managed to take a game off of him to reset the bracket.
While placing 2nd, STTP Wilson’s run was far from uneventful. Having lost in the first round of Winners side, he had to eliminate 7 of the Top 32 competitors to make it through Losers. Despite destroying over 1/5th of the players here and resetting the bracket against ithrowwow, he eventually succumbs to the pressure and gets 3-0’d in the final set of the night.
Finishing 3rd was Mother Russia, who we saw struggle to make their way into the spotlight in previous weeks, ranking 9th the first week and 13th the second. Not letting any frustrations from past weeks interfere, Mother Russia makes a confident trail through this week, losing only to the 1st and 2nd place Winners of the event. This may even be the confidence boost needed to step up their game, leading to future performances shining even brighter.
On the other side of the ocean we have another bracket missing many of the biggest names from Winter Cup. The lack of those giants didn’t make the event any less impressive to had made it through, as over 400 competitors were eventually whittled down to just a handful and making it to the top of any bracket that size is a herculean feat.
First place winner was Janus, who made Top 8 in both 1v1 and 2v2 divisions of the Winter tournaments. He had an impressive run, besting names like TB, 1cePingu, Zeloxory and Cake on his way to the victory. He didn’t see Losers bracket at all, and took the event utterly undefeated.
Second place went to Cake, who finished 2nd during the Winter 2v2 event as well. He was sent to Losers bracket at the very start of Top 32, having to make his way all the way through the entire bracket. After eliminating many of the players that Janus sent to Losers, in addition to Logec in Losers Semi-Finals, Cake ultimately was unable to take his win streak all the way and ended up losing 1-3 against Janus. 3rd place went to Zeloxory, who didn’t get a lot of time to show of what he was made of; after 3 short matches he ran into Janus and then Cake, who together eliminated him altogether.
The fourth and final qualifier was the last chance for players to prove their worth for the main event, the Open Cup Finals. Let’s look at what went down in the final week of the Brawl League Open Cup.
On the US side of things we have another varied bracket. We have a few notable names popping up, but the one to take it this week is Midget. Taking out players like Blood Diamond and Boomie, both players that placed very well at past events, Midget made it to Grand Finals without being knocked to Losers. Boomie, who made it to Winners Finals, didn’t roll over; a total of 15 games were played between the two due to Boomie resetting the bracket, with Midget just edging out a 8-7 lead. Though Boomie walked away with second place, this could have very easily ended the other way around.
3rd place went to Cyclist, who had a bit of an unfortunate matchup. Though Cyclist beat Mother Russia–who placed 3rd last week,–in both Winners and Losers, he unfortunately suffered instant payback by having the same done to him by Boomie. While able to take out Blood Diamond in Losers, his inability to deal with Boomie prevented him from going any further.
Over in EU we have another batch of hopefuls trying to take their prize. The Winner was Exodass; their run through the bracket was very strong, losing only one game all tournament in Grand Finals. While making short work of most of the competition, the 2nd place VipR3 did put up a fight. After taking an early loss to Dazel, VipR3 had 5 opponents to run through before making it to Grand Finals. They managed to pull it off, though, taking out players like Daz and QuerStation—who got 3rd, losing to both 1st and 2nd place players–along the way.
With all of these matches out of the way, the final 32 players have been selected. A lot of the favored players have made it in, but several underdogs and fan favorites are in the running as well. You can check the full Top 32 for the US bracket and the EU bracket here, and we’ll be covering the Finals here soon enough.