Virtus.Pro withdrew from StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 3 one day prior to Phase 3 of the European qualifiers beginning. Citing the need to focus on the upcoming Kiev Major, the team has been replaced by Vega Squadron following a best-of-three playoff series against FRIENDS in an additional qualifier. The last phase of the qualifiers began on January 24th, with eight teams competing for one of two remaining spots for the region.
— Team Virtus.pro (@TeamVirtuspro) January 23, 2017
Virtus.Pro revealed the team would not be competing in the StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 3 European Qualifier.
The news seemed to come suddenly, one day prior to Phase 3 of the European qualifiers beginning.
Virtus.Pro was one of six teams to be directly invited to participate in the last phase of the qualifiers – two teams from the eight squads competing will advance directly to the main event to be held February 23-26 in Shanghai China.
Virtus.pro General Manager Roman Dvoryankin stated
When it was announced that the next major will take place in Kiev, we alongside with the guys sat and decided that our main goal for the first half of 2017 is to perform well at this event. And so all our games, all our performances, all our post-Boston practices were directed to prepare for Kiev.
The team had recently participated in two major LAN events, essentially back to back.
In early January the team seized 3-4th place at ESL One Genting 2017 in Malaysia, departing from the big island to then play in Dota Pit League Season 5 in Split, Croatia the following week. Virtus.Pro claimed a disappointing 5-6th place finish at the event.
In their stead – Vega Squadron will be appearing in Phase 3, after being edged out by Cloud 9 2:1 in the semi finals of Phase 2.
Both FRIENDS and Vega Squadron narrowly missed their opportunities – being knocked out in the semi finals. The two teams received a lucky shot with an additional best-of-three playoff to be granted the honor of replacing the VP.
Vega Squadron came out on top with a 2:1 victory over FRIENDS and will join the other seven teams in the last segment of the qualifiers – already underway.
StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 3 European Qualifier
There have been a total of 3 phases for the European Qualifiers
- Two open qualifiers
- Dec 26 – Dec 30
- Single-elimination brackets
- Best-of-one matches
- Finals Best-of-three
- Winner of each open qualifier advanced to Phase 2
- Open Qualifiers #1 – LQ
- Open Qualifiers #2 – Digital Company
- Invitation Qualifier
- Jan 05 – Jan 19
- Two single-elimination brackets
- 6 invited teams – FRIENDS, EMPIRE, Horde, Vega Squadron, January 25th, Cloud 9
- 2 teams from Open Qualifier – LQ, Digital Company
- Best-of-one matches
- Winner of each bracket advanced to Phase 3
- Bracket #1 – Horde
- Bracket #2 – Cloud 9
- Group Stage
- Jan 24 – Feb 04
- 6 invited teams – Alliance, Team Liquid, Team Secret, Ad Finem, Na’vi, Vega Squadron*
- 2 teams from Phase 2 – Horde, Cloud 9
- Round-robin group
- Matches are two game series
- Top two teams qualify to LAN Finals
*Vega Squadron replaced Virtus.Pro
StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 3
Eight teams will compete in the third iteration of the joint series between Starladder and iLeague.
The LAN finals are to be held February 23-26 in Shanghai China at the International Gymnastics Center with eight teams competing for the $300,000 prize pool.
The International Gymnastics Center was built in 1997 and is 24,900 square meters to accommodate up to 4,000 viewers.
- Direct invites: 2 teams – Wings Gaming/TBD
- China: 2 qualified teams – VGJ/iG.Vitality
- Europe: 2 qualified teams – TBD/TBD
- America: 1 qualified team – TBD
- South East Asia: 1 qualified team- TBD
StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 2
At the end of March, it was revealed SL iLeague StarSeries would begin with a second season. This time, joint organizers announced that the offline finals would be taking place July 19-24th for the first time in the United States. The event was held at the BTS house where Na’vi walked away with the championship title and $135,000 after besting Team Secret 3:1 in the Grand Finals.
StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Season 1
The first season of SL iLeague StarSeries saw 12 teams, qualified through four regional qualifiers, compete in a group stage followed by a final playoff for a total prize pool of $300,000. Alliance become StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Champions, taking their second consecutive title and the first LAN title of the new year when they easily bested Evil Geniuses 2:0 in the Grand Finals.
The event was held in the Minsk Arena with an announced total capacity of 18,000 spectators.