oBo and Complexity are one of the favorites with numerous teams potentially dropping out
ESL have announced the invites for the IEM Chicago Closed Qualifier, which is set to begin tomorrow, June 26th.
Presenting the bracket for our #IEM Chicago NA Qualifier presented by @ChipotleTweets 🙌— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) June 25, 2019
Who'll qualify and go to Chicago next month? Find out as we go live with Ro8 at 13:00 EDT tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/c7boCWPC4W
Headlining the list of invites are Complexity and Lazarus, with the addition of Lazarus being unexpected as IEM Chicago is set to conflict with the StarLadder Berlin Americas Minor. Sources within the team tell Dust2.us that they accepted the invite due to potential roster issues possibly forcing the team to pull out of the Minor.
I'm just glad to know through this Minor/Major process that the Head Referee, Head of Tournament Operations, the 'LAW', and the person who defines what is or isn't an emergency (aside from Health + Visa) is all one person from StarLadder. I wonder if he picks the catering too?— Danny Montaner (@OfficialfRoD) June 25, 2019
One of Lazarus' players for the Minor, Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, has had rumors circulating about a potential move to Cloud9 for some time, and it appears that StarLadder are unlikely to allow the team to use a stand-in. Additionally, due to TenZ's rumored move to Cloud9, South African team ATK are expected to play with Josh "jdm64" Marzano in place of TenZ, Dust2.us has learned. jdm64 has been out of action since being benched from Envy back at the start of June.
The final two invites are Ghost and Ownagio. Ghost recently dropped their CS:GO team, with Matthew "WARDELL" Yu being the sole player still tied to the organization. The team's ESEA roster for the qualifier currently has every former Ghost player with the exception of WARDELL, raising further questions about whether the team will play the qualifier.
As for Ownagio, they share the same roster as Chris and the boys roster that dissolved back on June 7th. Before disbanding, the team played in the first IEM Chicago open qualifier where they fell in the finals to ATK. The addition of the revived mix-team to the Closed Qualifier is strange as — outside of Bushido Boyz's player Christopher "Swahn" Swahn — none of the players have seen any action in nearly three weeks.
Luminosity and eUnited will also be missing the qualifier, per announcements by Luminosity coach Rafael "zakk" Fernandes and eUnited General Manager Dan "clerkie" Clerke. Dust2.us has learned that Luminosity were unable to play due to the majority of their roster being away in Brazil, while eUnited decided to pull out due to the main event conflicting with the Americas Minor.
As a result, eUnited have been replaced by New Identity while Luminosity are likely going to forfeit to Ghost
Não participaremos do qualify que ocorre hoje para IEM Chicago ! Boa sorte aos times pela vaga.— zakk (@LG_zakk) June 25, 2019
We won’t be participating on IEM Chicago closed qualifier today. Good luck for everyone ! 😺
For now, the initial matchups for tomorrow look as follows:
|New Identity||vs. Lazarus|
Matches are set to start at 12 PM EDT, with one team earning a spot at IEM Chicago, which is set to begin on July 18th.