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QConfirm wins World eSports Challenge 2021 as teams across APAC compete

The cross-APAC World eSports Challenge returned for a second edition this weekend.

This weekend some of the best teams from across the APAC region competed in the World eSports Challenge tournament which gave us a first glimpse at how the teams match up ahead of the 2022 Six Invitational qualifiers.

Jump to:

  • The Teams
  • The Games
  • The Takeaways

The Teams

While the two Korean teams qualified via an open bracket, the other six rosters were all invited as some of the biggest names in their sub-region:

APAC South League teams:

  •  Elevate -- Sapper, DCH, Nay...Pew, sprInigiri, Nerix, Dr.Bestsiaer (coach), and nanoKidz (analyst)
  •  QConfirm -- Lycolis, Producerboom, Hajime, SpaceHead, Darkk, and DomeDominic (coach)
  •  ORDER -- JackDaddy, Bailey, Naate, Specs, Nikoh, Derpeh, and ItBeStyle (two coaches)

As the only pro-tier competitors, these teams were the standout favorites for this tournament with them finishing the 2021 Season in first, fifth, and seventh place respectively.

South Asia National teams:

  • MercenarieZ -- FATAR, HasibWantsPeace, Mii7, SnoowW, Ayan, and Sinstar
  •  KIRA E-Sports -- Invi, RhymesWithBuck, DOC7ER, Amar, Atharv, and Nostalgia

Finally, we have the top two teams in the South Asian sub-region (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.) from Stages 1 and 2. KIRA finished the three stages in second, second, and fourth while MRCZ won four stages running before coming second most recently.

MercenarieZ and ORDER will be competing in the same APAC South relegation tournament next month. 

APAC North National teams:

  •  StarRise -- JJangDDol, Kira-Miki, BuSuKo, Gakki, RBT, Chanzo, Mingoran, Grace (two coaches) and Cloud (analyst)
  •  Black -- Marb1e, LiNPL, TemPestA, Hiro, GaRIN, GlowMe (coach), and bennett (analyst)
  •  Donuts USG -- Kawa, Perro, DD, Rento, and Aokayu

Black (previously known as D4RK Esports) finished the most recent Korean Open season in seventh place before beating the StarRise roster 7-5, 7-4 in the relegations to keep their spot into the main season. Both teams have since made changes and managed to battle past fellow Korean Open rosters of GroovJam and RECON to make it to this tournament.

Donuts Unsold Stuff Gaming meanwhile shocked the world with their surprise victory over CYCLOPS in the Japan Championship making them a real underdog to watch going forward.

The games

Quarter finals

A real barnburner started off the tournament as after an initial weak start MercenarieZ’ defensive half on Kafe saw them come back against StarRise to take the game to overtime. Three rounds later sR’s offensive win was the only one either team managed giving them the win. 

Following this saw the game of the day between the two professional APAC South rosters of QConfirm and ORDER in which QC was seemingly in control outside of a few standout plays from ORDER.

Next up the ex-D4RK roster was taken down by Elevate on a similar 3-7 scoreline, also on Oregon while, finally, KIRA E-Sports was eliminated 3-7 against Donuts USG on Kafe.

Semi finals

After their thrilling quarter-final, StarRise was then slapped down by the professional roster of QConfirm in a 7-1 scoreline on Kafe as the difference between the tiers became very apparent. 

This was less so in the second semi as, while Elevate also won their Kafe matchup. It was in a much tighter 7-5 scoreline against Donuts USG.

Grand final

And so the two Thai rosters of QC and Elevate met in the grand-final the following day as most expected. With Elevate being the highest-rated team in APAC by SI Points, they were certainly the favorites here yet QConfirm managed to edge them out on both maps. 

Starting on Kafe, a tied first half meant QC had the advantage as they went to attack with a single round making the difference before on Villa a 10-2 offensive record during the first 12 rounds meant QC’s line defensive round win made the difference giving them the 2021 title.

The Takeaways

The biggest letdown of the tournament was the South Asian region. While the top-seeded roster of Monkey Hunters wasn’t competing, the sub-region’s most successful team, MercenarieZ, was taken down by StarRise which was relegated from the Korean Open league last season.

KIRA meanwhile, which had competed in the last two APAC Playoffs, was taken down in a 3-7 scoreline against the recent Japanese champions. While both teams still have had minimal time to develop against APAC-wide opponents, this does make MercenarieZ's upcoming relegation battle against the best of APAC South’s national leagues a massive uphill battle.

Elsewhere outside of the grand final all of the results went as expected with Donuts USG’s 5-7 result against Elevate the closest we got to an upset. Donuts are certainly an underdog to watch as we near the Six Invitational qualifiers.