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Mineski wins Manila Major qualifier, earns homecourt edge

Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mineski will once again represent the Philippines for the Manila Major as they won the Southeast Asian qualifier on Friday night.

The quintet led by Jay "Bimbo" Qui swept TNC, which featured former Mineski player Carlo "Kuku" Palad, in the best-of-five championship series, 3-0, to earn the right to join direct invites Fnatic and MVP as ASEAN contingents for the June 7-12 event at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Unlike ESL One, where both Fnatic and Mineski entered as regional qualifiers, the Manila Major does not have a special qualifying tournament for the Philippines being the host nation and that all the Southeast Asian clubs, including the Filipino squads, that did not get direct invites must go through the qualifying stage, making an all-foreign team main tournament a possibility.

However, the participation of a Philippine team in Manila Major has been assured after Mineski and TNC both made the finals.

TNC dropped Mineski to the lower bracket en route to ruling the upper bracket, while the latter survived do-or-die matches to join TNC in the championship before beating them for the qualifier plum.

Empire back in PH after winning Euro qualifiers

Also making a return to the Mall of Asia Arena after a stint in ESL One is Empire, which ruled the Manila Major European qualifier early Saturday (Philippine Time).

Empire avenged their playoff-opening loss to Ad Finem by beating them, 3-2, in the finals to enter the main tournament.

Empire will join direct invite Natus Vincere, which they ironically beat in the European qualifier finals of ESL One.

Newbee spoils EHome's PH return bid

Meanwhile, TI4 champs Newbee secured a spot in the Manila Major after sweeping EHome, 3-0, in the Chinese qualifier finals also on Friday night.

Newbee's victory spoiled the fans' hopes of having all the ESL One participants back for the Manila Major by eliminating EHome, which entered ESL One through direct invitation.

Completing the cast of the Manila Major clubs is Digital Chaos, which ruled the American qualifier on Saturday (Philippine Time).

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno