After two weekends, two events and two finals, Mineski Pro Team have won their first Valve Minor. The Southeast Asian squad took PGL Open Bucharest over Chinese team LGD-Gaming, earning $130,000 USD for the team and 150 Qualifier Points for each player.
It’s a much more meaningful win for some of the regional veterans on the team. Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung, the squad’s captain, hasn’t won a major offline event since March 2014, with the now-disbanded DK at the StarLadder StarSeries Season 9 playoffs. Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang, similarly, hasn’t won since StarLadder StarSeries Season 12 with Vici Gaming in March 2015.
At the StarLadder i-League Invitational last weekend, the team took their main losses against Team Liquid, the European champions of this year’s The International, on the same patch the event was on. Only three of those teams were the same at the PGL Open, and Mineski met none of them at any point in the event, meaning every act of victory was against fresh opponents. (They also never met a team twice at PGL.)
LGD also fought valiantly at their first international LAN appearance since the post-TI7 shuffle. They overtook South America’s Infamous and North America’s Immortals in the group stage, each fresh from their own shuffles, for an upper-bracket run at PGL. They then proceeded with a 2-0 victory over North American favorites Evil Geniuses in their semifinal match.
The North American teams were eager to prove their worth as Evil Geniuses and Immortals, each in their first LANs of the season, advanced to the playoffs. Immortals especially put up a fight against Team Secret, considered to be “second best” only to Liquid, twice in the group stages. The all-Korean team was soon taken out by tournament winners Mineski in the semis. Meanwhile, while EG came up from the lower brackets, over Chinese team VGJ.Thunder and fan favorites Natus Vincere, they couldn’t make the cut against LGD.
All four teams in the Semis will receive not only cash prizes, but Qualifying Points as well, as per the Pro Circuit standards. QP earnings are as follows:
- Mineski — 150 Points/player
- LGD-Gaming — 90 Points/player
- Evil Geniuses/Immortals — 30 Points/Player*
(*The teams shared an equal third-place position at the event, thus they receive the same number of points.)