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K23 and 9z finalize IEM Winter Europe closed qualifier

The second and final European open qualifier for IEM Winter has concluded, with K23 and 9z winning their respective brackets and advancing to the closed qualifier. They will join fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix, who qualified from the first open qualifier, as well as four invited teams Complexity, ENCE, MOUZ, and Spirit in a double elimination bracket to determine three teams that will advance to the IEM Winter LAN set to take place somewhere in Europe in early December.

K23 are quickly adapting to their new lineup

The second qualifier featured many upsets on the first day, seeing EXTREMUM lose to PARTIZAN, GORILLAZ lose to NYYRIKKI, and Galaxy Racer lose to naruto in the round of 64. OPAA defeated Sinners in the round of 32, and Polish mix Exalted Industries took down both LDLC and the new-look MIBR.

K23 had a relatively easy path to the top four, needing only to beat xDDDD and PACT in the top 16 to face off against BLUEJAYS for a spot in the closed qualifier. The series against the Macedonian side was fairly straightforward for K23, with David “⁠n0rb3r7⁠” Danielyan carrying his team to a close victory on Inferno. K23‘s pick was much easier, despite some resistance from Aleksandar “⁠CacaNito⁠” Kjulukoski, and the CIS team swiftly took the series win.


9z had a much more hard fought path to the final, taking down two ESEA Premier-level teams, Finest and Wisla Krakow in the top 16 before meeting Major attendees Entropiq in the top four.

The Argentinian/Uruguayan/Brazilian team dominated on the first map of the final series, winning 11 rounds in a row in the middle of the game. Entropiq answered back on map two, Ancient, with their own decisive victory, despite both Maximiliano “⁠max⁠” Gonzalez and Franco “⁠dgt⁠” Garcia putting up big numbers. The decider Overpass was extremely back and forth, with no team winning more than five rounds in a row until the very end. Once again dgt was the difference maker for 9z, as they pulled ahead at the very end to take the series.

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The IEM Winter Europe closed qualifier is set to begin next Monday, October 18. The top three teams from the double elimination bracket will advance to IEM Winter, finalizing the event lineup.

Here is the full team list for the closed qualifier:

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