Thunder Awaken are officially the first team eliminated from TI12 as the South American representatives fall in Group B.

South American team Thunder Awaken are headed home as they become the first team eliminated from The International 2023, TI12. The Peruvian squad booked their tickets home after a poor start to the tournament, finishing Phase One of Group Stage with a record of just 1-7.

Their final game, a last-chance clash against table-topping Team Liquid, on September 13, saw the team fall 2-0 to the dominant WEU squad. Earlier in the week, Thunder Awaken had found themselves in a bizarre game against Azure Ray that was paused for over 20 minutes due to a bug with Earth Spirit. This proved to be their only highlight of the tournament.

With the loss, Team Liquid, Azure Ray, BetBoom Team, and Shopify Rebellion are guaranteed to advance to at least Group Stage Phase Two, seeding matches that dictate the playoff bracket for TI12.

The early exit will fuel flames of criticism against the South American region. SA was one of just two regions to receive two automatic qualification spots for TI12, alongside Wester Europe. In total, SA sent four teams to TI12, with Evil Geniuses, beastcoast, Keyd Stars, and Thunder Awaken all making the trip. Their performances have been mixed, with beastcoast and Keyd Stars sitting securely at the middle of the table, and Evil Geniuses on the edge of elimination.

With half their teams looking poised to exit in the first stage of the tournament, it could be easy to criticize an entire region. This would be an oversimplification of the issues though.

The International 2023 continues with its Group Stage until October 15. Then, after a four-day break, the Playoff stage will start. 

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