NUTURN, the VCT Korea Stage 2 Champions and third-place finishers at Masters Reykjavik, will not be getting a second chance at Masters Berlin. With a quarterfinal loss to DWG KIA today, they’ve been eliminated from contention.
NUTURN’s Stage 3 Struggles
NUTURN suffered a massive loss in the off season between stages, when Kim “Lakia” Jong-min joined Vision Strikers. However, they picked up a solid replacement in Choi “10X” Jin-woo, and they still had the core four of that Reykjavik roster. On top of that, Korea was getting twice as many spots for Berlin as they did for Reykjavik. NUTURN still seemed to be one of the region’s better teams on paper, but they’ve struggled in Stage 3.
It started in the group stages, when they dropped a map to DFR. They’d still top their group, but looked a bit shaky. In the quarterfinals, they had the closest matchup, against another underperforming team, DWG KIA.
The match began on Haven. The map was close, like the entire series would be. However, an 8-4 attacking half was enough for DK to seal the win. Split was next, where it was NUTURN’s turn to take a hard-fought win.
That sent us to map 3, Breeze. The closest of all, the teams would go back and forth. Lee “Jeong Hi” Jung-ha showed some of his old duelist form, as he had been all series, with some excellent play. NUTURN pulled ahead early, leading 7-2 at one point, but DK came back. In fact, they came back so hard that they had several chances to close out the map in regulation. But NUTURN clutched up and kept themselves in it. We went to overtime, where DK would eventually find two straight rounds and take the series.
The future for NUTURN and Berlin
It is worth noting that NU’s year in the VCT is not over. With their good performance in Iceland, they secured enough VCT points to qualify for the Champions Last Chance Qualifier. Champions is the big, year-end event equivalent to LoL’s Worlds. This LCQ will take the top two teams from Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia that didn’t auto-qualify for Champions. It will also feature the Conquerors Championship winner and one last unannounced team. The winner of all 8 will qualify for Champions. Furthermore, if a Korean team wins Berlin, there’s a good chance NU will qualify to Champions automatically. However, even with all this, we won’t be seeing them in a few months in Berlin.
Those spots are up for grabs today. Vision Strikers face TNL Esports for the first spot, and F4Q play DWG KIA for the second. The winner of each of these games will become the first anywhere in the world to earn their spot at Masters Berlin.
Photo Cover Courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games