Thailand's Buriram United Esports and Vietnam's SBTC Esports will be headlining the list of eight teams that qualified for the 2021 Wild Rift SEA Championship playoffs, which start on Thursday (30 September), following the conclusion of the group stage last Sunday (26 September).
The Wild Rift SEA Championship group stage saw 12 teams split into two groups of six teams each fighting to get into the playoffs. The top teams of each group will earn direct seeds to the playoff semi-finals while the second and third-placed teams will start in the upper bracket quarterfinals.
Although the fourth-placed teams of each group still made it to the playoffs, they are still in danger of elimination as they start in the first round of the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the fifth and sixth-placed teams of each group will completely miss out on the playoffs and have been eliminated early.
Buriram United and SBTC were the top seeds of Groups A and B, respectively, and will be heading straight into the semi-finals. Team Secret and MBR Esports qualified for the upper bracket from Group A alongside Group B's Divine Esports and EVOS Esports.
ONE Team from Group A and Flash Wolves from Group B will have to start in the lower bracket. Meanwhile, SVP, Team Flash, Alliance, and Geek Fam have been eliminated early.
Here are the standings of the teams after the Group Stages:
Group stage breakdown
Despite only being a replacement for Oceania's Gamer Koala Team — who withdrew from the competition because of travel restrictions in Australia and connectivity issues from their location — Buriram United surprised many as they led Group A with 12 points from four 2-0 wins and a 0-2 loss to secure a slot in the semi-finals.
Buriram United annihilated their opponents with both excellent skill and teamplay, even earning the moniker of the "roaming death squad" as they gave other teams no chances to recover game after game. While they lost against Team Secret after securing a spot in the semis, the Thai squad still stands as the biggest threat in the playoffs.
Team Secret had 11 points from three wins and two 1-1 draws to take second place at Group A. Secret got their campaign off to a flying start with a quick sweep over SVP of Hong Kong. The Fall 2021 winners of the Philippine Pro Gaming League then had to settle for a tie with Taiwan's ONE Team before having the same result against MBR two days later. They then ended Buriram United's winning streak on day three to cement themselves as another contender heading into the playoffs.
MBR Esports came in third for Group A with 9 points from one win, three draws, and one loss. While MBR ended the group stage tied to Taiwan's One Team, they managed to win the tiebreaker match at the end of day three to qualify for the upper bracket.
Meanwhile, One Team will be heading to the lower bracket with six points and a after scoring one win against three wins and two losses. Much is expected from the 2021 Summer Super Cup second runners-up and they will be facing a long uphill battle if they wish to make it to the finals.
SBTC Esports topped Group B with 11 points from three wins and two draws to take the second semi-finals spot. While the team only managed to get draws against Alliance and Flash Wolves in day one, they bounced back to sweep the rest of their opponents.
Divine Esports came in second for Group B, ending the group stage with 10 points from three wins, one draw, and one loss. The team continued to surprise everyone as they rose from sixth place at the start of the group stage to the top of their group after a draw against Flash Wolves on day two.
Divine then dropped to second place on day four after losing against SBTC in a bid for a slot in the semis. There's much more to expect from this team, and all the rest need to watch out against them.
Meanwhile, the pressure is high for Summer Super Cup champions EVOS Esports. While the Thai squad have made it to the playoffs, they only came in third for Group B with nine points off of three wins and two losses. While EVOS will still be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs, their campaign for another regional title certainly won't be easy.
The final team to qualify for the playoffs from Group B is Taiwan's Flash Wolves, who earned eight points from two wins, two draws, and one loss.
The Wild Rift SEA Championship playoffs will start on 30 September and will conclude on 3 October with the grand finals.
The playoffs will open with Divine Esports taking on EVOS Esports, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals to face Buriram United. The second quarterfinal match between Team Secret and MBR will then follow, with the winners earning the right to take on SBTC in the next round of the upper bracket.
The losers of the upper bracket quarterfinals will drop down to the lower bracket, where they will face ONE Team and Flash Wolves in the first set of elimination matches in the playoffs.
Here's the full bracket for the playoffs:
The top two teams of the Wild Rift SEA Championship will qualify for the Wild Rift Horizon Cup, which will serve as Wild Rift's international esports debut and will be hosted in Singapore in mid-November. The champions will also claim the grand prize of US$30,000 out of the tournament's US$200,000 prize pool.
The Wild Rift SEA Championship playoffs will be available in English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cantonese. Fans can watch these matches on Riot SEA's official Twitch, Facebook, YouTube Channels, and other partner broadcast channels.
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