The Nexus Cup Annual Finals is nearing its end with four South Korean teams remaining after some ruthless battles from Wednesday to Friday of this week.
All eight South Korean teams started in the winners bracket of the knockout stage, while all of the Chinese teams had to fight for survival in the losers bracket. Although the semifinal was an all-South Korean affair, the eight Chinese teams that were knocked out along the way did not go quietly.
Vici Gaming went out with a bang by knocking out one of the favorites out of the tournament, RunAway, following the South Korean squad's loss to Lunatic-Hai on the winners side. The stage is now set for the losers bracket final between Kongdoo Panthera and Element Mystic, the winner of which will go onto the grand finals where X6-Gaming awaits.
Kongdoo Panthera vs. X6-Gaming
Upper Bracket Finals
Map 1: Junkertown (Escort)
Map 2: Nepal (Control)
X6-Gaming took a tough road to the grand finals; the team took down Lunatic-Hai, Seven and Kongdoo Panthera en route to the big match. Both Lunatic-Hai and KDP were tournament favorites, so for X6-Gaming to take both these teams down gives it a lot of momentum going tournament. Lunatic-Hai and KDP are sporting new rosters, so seeing inconsistencies and issues from the name brand teams should not be a surprise.
The first match between KDP and X6 ended in a complete stomp in favor of X6. Park "Architect" Min-ho on Genji helped pave the way with the protection of his teammates. Architect also continued demolishing KDP on Nepal with Pharah while fellow player Kim "GodsB" Kyeon-Bo consistently performed well on Tracer. KDP had only dropped one map in the tournament, but when titans fell, they fell hard.
Lunatic-Hai vs. Element Mystic
Losers Bracket Round 5
Map 1: Junkertown (Escort)
Map 2: Lijiang Tower (Control)
Map 3: Volskaya Industries (Assault)
X6 knocked Lunatic-Hai to the lower bracket with a 2-0 sweep earlier in the tournament, and Element Mystic found itself there after a loss to KDP. Element Mystic, however, didn't look down; the team a lot of hype around it given its strong finish in APEX Challengers, and it showed itself as it took down Lunatic-Hai 2-1 in this set. The former APEX champions did not go quietly: Lee "Whoru" Seung-joon found himself again and met the world-class standards he set on Genji back in APEX Season 2.
It seemed as if that should have been enough to get Lunatic-Hai back into the finals, but Element Mystic's Kim "SP9RK1E" Young-han had other plans. SP9RK1E's (read as Sparkle) Genji set a new standard. He was better and stronger than Whoru's all game and set up several team wipes. Both teams seemed evenly matched as a whole, with the first map going to Element Mystic and Lijiang Tower going to Lunatic-Hai, but Volskaya Industries was a massive stomp for Element Mystic. Its perfect hold against Lunatic-Hai on the first point sealed the victory.