The past weekend saw the second Open Qualifier for the Six Invitational 2023 take place in North America. Mirage, playing with Paul "Hyper" Kontopanagiotis for this qualifier, had won the first Qpen Qualifier last weekend after beating RealityTV in the grand-final.
In the second qualifier, 24 teams were split into three Phase One brackets and clashed in an all-BO1 format on Dec. 10. The winner of each then proceeded to Phase Two, joining RealityTV in a four-team BO3 bracket on Dec. 11.
The winner of this qualifier would then join Mirage, TSM, Spacestation Gaming, in a Closed Qualifier due to take place from Jan. 21 to 22. Here, North America’s sixth representative at next year’s Six Invitational will be decided to join DarkZero Esports, Astralis, XSET, Oxygen Esports, and Soniqs.
With almost two-thirds fewer teams in this second qualifier than in the first, there were far fewer notable names in this qualifier.
Parabellum Esports and beastcoast were together in one of the three brackets and clashed in the second round itself. Parabellum won the match in quick fashion against their NAL opponents, though, with new signing Jaidan "Packer" working well with his team. This capped off a disappointing 2022 season for beastcoast, who will now have a long few months to ponder their next move.
Parabellum were then given a far closer fight by Challenger League team Wichita Wolves, who had beaten 2shotLFO, and were forced to go to overtime. However, the NAL team managed to come out on top in 8-6 fashion to proceed to Phase Two.
HK Rebels also eliminated Investigation File in the second round, but themselves lost to Lycus Empire in the third round. As a result, Lycus Empire proceeded to Phase Two, where they were joined by Phantom Legion -- a team that beat Vipers eSports, who had themselves beaten Arial Arise in the second round.
The second phase pit RealityTV against Parabellum in the first semi-final, but things did not go well for the NAL team that had in fact tried out the RealityTV IGL Lachlan "MrB" a while ago.
While both maps were close, RealityTV took the first map, Villa, in 7-5 fashion and then managed to win the second map, Skyscraper, in overtime against their experienced NAL opponents.
Additionally, Parabellum had apparently misunderstood the map veto order -- echoing a similar failure from FaZe Clan in the grand-final of the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals. According to Soniqs General Manager Seth "supr" Hoffman, who was co-streaming the qualifier, Parabellum had intended to pick Theme Park but ended up allowing RealityTV to ban it.
The other semi-final was far less dramatic, both in and out of the server, with Lycus winning 8-7 and 7-2 to face RealityTV in the grand-final for a place in the Closed Qualifier.
However, RealityTV proved too strong for Lycus, who folded in 7-4 and 7-3 fashion, and they proceeded to the Closed Qualifier that is set to take place next month.
RealityTV will join Mirage, TSM, and Spacestation Gaming from Jan. 21 to 22 to determine the final North American SI 2023 attendees. Of the four teams, only RealityTV's players are not represented by a professional organization.
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