Falcons breaks rival Quest to win ESL One Birmingham MENA Qualifier cover image

Falcons breaks rival Quest to win ESL One Birmingham MENA Qualifier

The regional rivals meet in another grand final.

After a heartbreaking 3-2 victory and denying a reverse sweep to PSG Quest, Falcons will now represent the MENA region at ESL One Birmingham starting Apr. 22. The squad will fight for a piece of the $1,000,000 prize pool against 11 other teams in one of England’s most iconic cities. The qualifiers for Western Europe, South America, and China are still in progress. Top teams including Gaimin Gladiators, Team Spirit, and Team Liquid are already confirmed.

Falcons clinch MENA qualifier for ESL One Birmingham over Quest

Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu’s Chen defined game one. As Falcons’ captain kept lanes on lock, a handful of goofy rotations from both sides swung the midgame back to even. A 22-minute Aegis for Oliver "skiter" Lepko’s Troll Warlord set Falcons up for success. Quest called GG shortly after losing its top barracks at 26 minutes.

Game Two - Alchemist dominates the draft

Game two’s draft featured a spicy Alchemist for skiter. PSG Quest responded with a last-pick Primal Beast to break through Falcons’ back lines. Tony "No!ob" Assaf attempted to keep pace with Primal, but the game quickly slowed down due to cautious farming. The casters questioned Quest’s damage potential, but those concerns were quelled with an explosive fight at 18 minutes.

Despite losing map control, Falcons hit a crucial timing with Level 18 and Black King Bar on Alchemist. After dumpstering Quest in a team fight, a lucky Double Damage led to another Falcons sweep near Roshan. With top barracks down, Stanislav "Malr1ne" Potorak’s Scepter-fueled Mantas chipped away at Quest’s base. One last dive from Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf triggered the GG call, sending Falcons up 2-0.

The ESL One Birmingham 2024 event kicks off on Apr. 22 in Birmingham. The tournament has a million-dollar prize pool with some of the best Dota 2 teams in action. The various regional qualifiers for the event are currently underway with the MENA Qualifier one of the first to reach completion.

Game three - Boring lanes with some trash talk

For game three, Falcons opted for a strong pushing lineup with Terrorblade, Vengeful Spirit, and Dragon Knight. Quest countered with Windranger, Doom, and Storm Spirit for brutal pickoff ability. Lanes were as boring as expected with only a few kills traded in Quest’s safe lane. The game finally opened up with an Aegis on Aybek "TA2000" Tokayev’s Windranger followed by an incredible Skewer steal from Omar "OmaR" Moughrabi.

Quest’s momentum was stalled by a very long pause due to technical issues, which featured some light trash talk from both sides. After resuming, the squad immediately shattered Falcons’ base to claim its first game in the best-of-five series. OmaR was the clear MVP for the round.

Game four - Battle of the cheese

Game four’s draft started out normal, but was suddenly disrupted by a shock Meepo pick for TA2000. Falcons fired back with some cheese of its own with a Huskar for Malr1ne. ATF had difficulty finding good Doom targets, failing to find purchase in the early midgame. No!ob’s mid Snapfire consistently delivered in early fights, picking off Falcons heroes left and right on the way to a 16-minute Meepo Aegis. 

However, a botched team fight brought the game back to a crawl until another major Roshan fight. GG quickly followed, bringing the series to a decisive fifth game.

Game five - First pick Meepo wasn't enough

For the final game, PSG Quest doubled down on TA2000’s Meepo by snap-picking it in the first phase. Falcons used its draft time to counter with Troll Warlord and Monkey King, setting itself up for great lanes. ATF’s Doom was in much better shape this game, performing very well in the lanes and landing key ultimates on Quest’s cores. Despite losing his lane, Malr1ne’s BKB rush on Monkey King paid dividends in the mid-game. 

TA2000 just wasn’t able to claw into this game like the last, and Falcons ultimately ran roughshod over its regional rival to finish the game 40-11 in 38 minutes.

Twelve teams will participate in ESL One Birmingham 2024 with the winner receiving a lion's share of $300,000. You can follow all the teams qualified for ESL One Birmingham here.

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