With the conclusion of the Stage 2 Challengers 2 – Open Qualifier in North America, all teams are set for Challengers 2 next week. The event is a big one, qualifying four teams for Challengers Finals, as was this open qualifier, with all teams who failed to progress dropping out entirely of Masters contention. With it concluded, the teams participating in Challengers 2 are:
From Challengers 1:
Built By Gamers
From Challengers 2 Open Qualifier:
After the conclusion of all previous rounds, the first qualifying match was Sentinels facing Noble. Noble are certainly a solid upcoming team, but the mighty Sentinels proved to be too much of a challenge.
Now that’s not to say it wasn’t a good game. With scorelines of 13-6 and 13-7, Noble had their moments.
But the Sentinels squad just had too much firepower, and they’ll move one step further in their run for Reykjavik.
Luminosity Gaming played NRG Esports in the next qualification match. LG came into this on a bit of a slump, and showed why throughout the game. It was a very close series – NRG have been pretty consistently around this level – but LG simply didn’t have the strategic depth to keep up anymore. They can certainly still aim, though.
Through both maps, LG started off pretty well, but NRG would begin to claw back, making the score 6-6 at the half. In the later rounds, though, NRG proved their worth, even putting up a 7-1 attacking side on Bind. A 2-0 win put NRG through and knocked LG, the 5th-6th place team from Masters 1, out of all contention for Masters 2. They failed to even make a Challengers event this stage.
The next day kicked off with what ended up being a fantastic matchup – FaZe Clan taking on T1. In the exact opposite trajectory of LG, T1 have been putting up great showings lately, but taking on the second-place team from Masters was a whole other challenge.
Icebox opened up with a great attacking half from T1. They marched to a 9-3 lead with some excellent macro play. The second half would be closer, as FaZe tried to claw their way back in, but T1 would end up taking it 13-8.
Bind was a completely different story. FaZe dominated, only letting T1 get a single round en route to a 13-1 win. It was fast-paced and dominant, with Andrej “babybay” Francisty actually opting primarily for LMGs, to great effect.
Things all came down to Split. The first half was back-and-forth, with some incredibly close rounds leading up to a 6-6 scoreline.
Gen.G would attempt something of a comeback on the next half, but with a 10-2 scoreline heading into it TSM just had too much of an advantage. Ascent ended 13-6.
Although Gen.G started off Haven better, it ended up being more of the same. The plays were off from Gen.G – trying to push Wardell with no utility, an odd lack of smokes, things were just off. And TSM capitalized hard. Again, Gen.G tried to make a comeback happen, grabbing six straight rounds on their attack, but again, it was just too much to overcome. TSM booked their ticket to Challengers in dominant fashion.
With all these games concluded, Challengers 2 is set. Four teams from there will join 100 Thieves, Envy, XSET, and Version1 in Challengers Finals, where the top two teams in that final bracket will advance to Masters in Iceland. As always, keep track of everything with THESPIKE.GG!