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Mkers and Team Secret progress from EU SI 2023 Open Qualifier to join NAVI and Outsiders in Closed Qualifier

TT9 and Team AHP fell short.

The Six Invitational 2023 Open Qualifier for Europe took place the past weekend, as European teams began their last-ditch attempts to reach February’s World Championship event. 

Team BDS, Wolves Esports, Rogue, G2 Esports, Heroic, and MNM Gaming are all already qualified for the Six Invitational, while both Natus Vincere and Outsiders have advanced straight to January’s Closed Qualifier due to their SI Point totals.

TT9 Esports and Team Secret -- the two remaining EU League teams -- as well as TENSTAR and Dunlimited -- the top two EU Challenger League teams -- advanced straight to Phase 2 of the Open Qualifier. 

Phase 1

A single elimination bracket determined the four teams out of 75 that would advance on to Phase 2. This was a BO1 test until the final decider matchupm which was a BO3. With the semi-finals onwards not being played, this -- in effect -- created four separate brackets. 

Team Starving

The first of these included Acend, who had finished fourth in EUCL 2022, Lan Party Hotel, who had finished seventh-eighth in the same tournament, and Team Starving, which included the core of Victus, which finished EUCL in ninth-12th place. 

Lan Party were the first out, as they lost 4-7 to an unknown roster, Team YuNgBrAtZ, who themselves then forfeited to Starving in the next round.

Starving and Acend then met in the BO3 decider, which was quite a test for both teams. Acend, who were playing without RevaN after his retirement last month, lost the game 6-8 on map three to end their year on a disappointing note.

Team AHP

The next bracket included Team AHP, which included pacbull, Sloppy, Prano, and Avaiche, Les Pichichiiii, whose core had finished last during EUCL 2022, and both JLingz and WYLDE, whose cores had finished fifth-sixth during EUCL. WYLDE had since added Hungry alongside korey and AceeZ.

None of these four teams fell early, as they all reached the “semi-finals” of the bracket. Here, WYLDE beat JLingz in a rather dominant 7-2 scoreline, while AHP beat Les Pichichiiii, 7-4.

The final between these two teams therefore included three ex-professional players on each team. Hungry had notably played for G2 Esports and Team Vitality, while both korey and AceeZ were on Rogue. Prano, meanwhile, had replaced Hungry on G2, while pacbull had been on Team Secret and Chaos Esports, and Sloppy had been on Tempo Storm in the NAL.

While WYLDE took their own map pick in an 8-7 scoreline, the tournament ended for them with a 5-7 map three defeat on Clubhouse. 

Flex Offenders

This bracket starred two EUCL rosters; Team 86 (running under the name Flex Offenders) and Goga’s Rebels Gaming who had finished in fifth-eighth and last place during the EUCL 2022 respectively. Alongside them were a number of interesting lineups such as YoloSwag, which reunited the core of 2019’s Supremacy, including BiOs and Alive, MTK Budapest, which was the Hungarian football club’s Siege debut, and a Secretly-led Project-SWE.

The pride of Iberia once again fell short, continuing the peninsula’s weak performance in Europe-wide tournaments. They fell to Sweden’s representatives, as Secretly also knocked out Hungary’s best hopes, before the British T86 roster ended their run. 

While the final did go to all three maps, it wasn’t terribly close, as T86 won maps two and three in 7-4 and 7-3 scorelines. T86 notably included VITO, who had previously made his professional debut alongside Secret and thus at least one Swede advanced onwards.


The final bracket only included two teams of particular note; Mkers and Jobseekers. Both teams had competed in the EUCL, finishing in third and ninth-12th place, respectively. Jobseekers had since lost two players, including NoaUrz to Team AHP, and had replaced one with the ex-Heroic player, Sloth. 

Both teams had very easy runs through the bracket, as they both won their “semi-finals” in 7-1 scorelines. Their eventual meeting then ended in a 7-1, 7-3 scoreline to Mkers, sending them through to their second SI qualifier playoff in three years.

Phase 2 

This meant that Starving, AHP, Flex Offenders, and Mkers progressed to Phase 2, where they met Secret, Dunlimited, TENSTAR, and TT9 Esports, respectively. 

The most interesting game out of the four semi-finals was the rematch between TENSTAR and Mkers. TENSTAR had beaten their Italian opponents in the EUCL upper bracket finals by a 7-5, 8-6 scoreline, which led to Mkers’ eventual exit from the tournament and allowed TENSTAR to skip Phase 1 of this qualifier. 

The rematch was a stomp in Mkers’ favour, as they won the matchup 7-2, 7-3. They then met TT9 Esports -- EUL’s lowest ranked team, who had also just made multiple roster changes -- who they also took down in an almost as dominant, 7-4, 7-4. 

In total, across the entire qualifier, Mkers lost no more than four rounds on a single map and averaged 2.25 per map. This was despite playing one professional team and two EUCL rosters.

The other side of the bracket, the AHP “t2 super-team” were somewhat disappointing, as they went out in three maps to Dunlimited, the second EUCL grand-finalist, who had knocked Mkers out of the tournament.  

Team Secret, meanwhile, needed three maps to take down Starving before coming back from a weak 8-7 win on their own map -- Chalet -- to take Clubhouse, 7-3.

Closed Qualifiers

From Jan. 29 to 30, NAVI, Outsiders, Mkers, and Team Secret will play for Europe’s final SI 2023 spot. 

Every prior European qualifier for Six Invitational and Six Major tournaments has ended with a recent Challenger League competitor winning the spot, which gives Mkers the theoretical advantage. 

Mkers also won the SI Qualifiers in 2021 after taking out NAVI in the semi-finals. These two may meet at this stage again, but the playoff seedings are yet to be announced. 

With six EUL teams already qualified and three more in the playoffs, this leaves TT9 as the lone professional team in Europe completely out of contention. This comes despite them making changes specifically for this qualifier. As of now, the roster has no other tournaments to compete in until Mar. 2023.

Should Secret go on to win the playoffs, this would be Twister’s sixth Six Invitational after previously coaching Black Dragons to SI 2018, FaZe to SI 2019 and 2020, and FURIA to SI 2021 and 2022. The only SI he missed was when he was 16 years old during the SI 2017 qualifiers. This would therefore put him ahead of Silence and Sensi to be the coach with the most Six Invitational qualifications. He also would become the third person to qualify for SI on four distinct rosters after Skys and Geometrics. 

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