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Four key moments that decided the SI Global Standings

These are some of the matches that built the 2021 Global Standings top 16.

Banner image: Kiril B.

With the Global Standings now locked, let’s have a look at some moments in every region that have helped at building the top 16 as we know it now. 

What if...

… TSM had won their final day matches each stage?

North America’s best team at SI 2021 could not make the cut and finished in 17th place, just five points below Sweden Major semi-finalists Rogue. 

TSM went over like a lead balloon in Mexico mainly due to Bryan “Merc” Wrzek testing positive for COVID-19. He was then was replaced by Owen “Pojoman” Mitura. Although a better performance in August would have surely seen the team clinch a SI 2022 spot, the team’s struggles lay in their own region. 

In fact, what prevented TSM from directly qualifying to SI 2022 were their underwhelming results on the final play-day of every stage. Let’s call a spade a spade. You cannot expect a team to perform internationally if they cannot get the job done in its own region first. 

TSM will compete in the SI 2022 NA Closed Qualifier (Photo: Kirill B)

TSM's 5-7 loss to Disrupt Gaming on Stage 1’s final play day cost the team 105 SI Points. And although their Stage 2 final play day loss to Oxygen Esports (3-7) did not make a difference in the final standings, a 4-7 loss to Mirage on the very last Stage 3 play-day saw TSM missing out on the Sweden Major. 

… Cowana had won their Stage 3 match against Heroic?

Following Virtus.pro's victory over Team Secret, and with Team Vitality and Rogue facing each other in the final game of EU’s Stage 3, Cowana Gaming had a very fair shot to make it to the Sweden Major. They only had to beat Heroic and wait for the right result to come out of the Rogue and Vitality clash. 

However, Cowana’s dreams faded away as the French squad surprisingly beat them in what was their first and only win of the stage. Later on, with both Vitality and Rogue confirmed to play at the Sweden Major, the French squad defeated the Germans by 7-4. 

Nevertheless, a Cowana win over Heroic would have changed all. If they had qualified for the Sweden Major, then Rogue would not have made it to the SI 2022, with the UKIN side taking their place. 

… LATAM reset its standings following the conclusion of every stage?

This is a controversial take. We went from a team’s dynasty — G2 Esports — to a country’s dynasty — Brazil. The LATAM region fully deserves to be known as the best in the game nowadays after winning every international Siege event this year. 

However, it is a fact that the format used in LATAM helps the teams at the Global Standings. This year, Ninjas in Pyjamas is the best example. 

The eventual Sweden Major finalists finished in ninth place of the BR6 Stage 3; however, the team finished in fifth in the overall standings, which qualified the squad to compete at the Copa Elite Six Stage 3 playoffs. The team’s performance there was way better than what they showed throughout the third stage, clinching a Sweden Major spot. There, the SI 2021 champions finished in second place and obtained 300 additional SI Points. 

The Brasileirão Stage 3 standings.

Overall, Ninjas in Pyjamas finished in ninth place in Brazil’s Stage 3 but ended with the team adding 525 SI Points to their personal account. Without them, NiP would have ended outside the top 16 with only 605 SI Points. 

The team admitted to struggling during the third stage of the Brasileirão, showing great adaptability to come from ninth place to finish as one of the best in the world once again. Regardless if what they showed throughout the third stage was their real form or just a “save strats” strategy, a ninth-place should never guarantee a shot to be at a Major. 

… CYCLOPS athlete gaming had won against KIRA E-Sports?

The Japanese side was one of the best in APAC this year. Following a fourth place finish in Stage 1, CAG became champions in Stage 2. A very good performance in Mexico was put to an end by Team oNe after the Brazilians beat CAG in a historic tiebreaker match. 

From then, the team went haywire. Taking fourth place in APAC North’s Stage 3 was followed by a sixth place finish at the APAC Sweden Major qualifiers. Such a poor performance meant that CAG had to wait for the eleventh hour to see if they would clinch a SI 2022 spot. However, SANDBOX Gaming’s results in Sweden prevented the Japanese side from qualifying through the Global Standings. 

The Japanese squad of CAG will compete in its region's closed qualifiers (Photo: Kirill B.)

Looking at their results throughout the year, CAG’s astonishing defeat against the Indian team KIRA E-Sports is possibly one of the matches that eventually saw the Japanese roster falling short. Its 7-8 loss to KIRA saw CAG falling to the Loser Bracket, which meant that the team would compete for a maximum of 275 SI Points, instead of the 330 SI Points that the Winners Bracket had to offer. 

CYCLOPS athlete gaming did not give their opponents a chance in the Lower Bracket, defeating the Chiefs (2-0), GUTS Gaming (2-1), Seventh Heaven (2-0), and Fnatic (2-1). 

If it was not for their shocking loss to KIRA E-Sports, CAG would have possibly won the Winner Bracket, which would have made a huge difference in November. 

Now, it is time for these teams to focus on their regional Six Invitational qualifiers, rather than crying over spilled milk. Let’s see who makes it to the biggest Siege event of the year, and who falls short.