Four teams – Gamelanders, Sharks Esports, FURIA, and Team Vikings – have been the undisputed top four in Brazil for several months now. They’ve been untouchable, securing top four in nearly every event. Gamelanders had been the Brazil’s best since the Ignition Series, FURIA and Vikings were both built as superteams earlier this year to challenge them, and Sharks had first emerged as an unsigned team called Squad5, but had quickly proven that they belonged where they were. It was expected that we would get yet another great round of games between the four to see who would be representing the region in Iceland. And that’s nearly what we got, save for an upset run by Havan Liberty.
Opening matches went as expected for the big four. Sharks would be the only team to drop a map, to SLICK, while the rest took things in comfortable 2-0 fashion. This included Gamelanders beating Havan Liberty, something that would come back later.
This gave us the top four, with one from the upper bracket heading to Iceland. First up, we had Sharks and Gamelanders playing. Sharks looked like the better team the whole way through, routinely shutting down GL’s stars, Leonardo “mwzera” Serrati and especially Walney “Jonn” Reis. Gamelanders managed to squeak out an Icebox win 13-11, but Sharks would take both other maps to win 2-1.
Next up was FURIA-Vikings, a series that was supposed to be close, with the Masters 1 champions facing probably the hottest team coming into Challengers Finals. But in the end, it was incredibly one-sided. FURIA star Alexandre “xand” Zizi played Skye for Bind, a map they lost 13-7, before they got dominated on Ascent 13-2. Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi had a great series, as usual, for Vikings, and they headed into a matchup against Sharks with Iceland on the line.
In the end, things would turn out similarly to the FURIA series. Vikings’ uni que playstyle and pure rifling skill was too much for Sharks to handle. Ascent was another domination for Vikings, 13-4, and while Sharks made it closer on Bind, the Astra-Viper combo was too much. Team Vikings will be one team representing Brazil in Iceland.
In two somewhat surprising early results, Havan Liberty took out Slick and INGAMING Esports eliminated paiN Gaming in the first lower bracket matches. This set the former up against Gamelanders and the latter against FURIA.
In their rematch, it would be Havan Liberty to knock out the dominant Ignition Series and First Strike-era team that was Gamelanders. Despite a great series from mwzera, it became clear that the rest of the team didn’t have the firepower to keep up, and that strategically they just weren’t ahead of the other Brazilian teams anymore. For Havan to take things in the manner they did, though, was still surprising. GL wouldn’t reach double digits on any map, and Gabriel “shion” Vilela put up a huge performance on Icebox to help Havan take the 2-0.
On the other side, things would go more as planned. FURIA duelists Gabriel “qck” Lima and Alexandre “xand” Zizi rolled over INGAMING with their lightning-quick playstyle. It was a dominant 2-0, setting FURIA up against Havan on the final day, with the winner going into Sharks, and the winner of that reaching Iceland.
Up against Havan, the team that had pushed Gamelanders so hard, it was comfortable for FURIA. xand dominated, and the controlled play that had worked so well earlier began to fall apart for Havan. qck, playing an unusual Killjoy role on Icebox, was a monster on lurks, and FURIA won Icebox 13-7 and Ascent 13-4 to advance.
This set up one last showdown: Sharks vs FURIA, with Iceland on the line. Map 1, Sharks’ pick of Bind, began closely, with the teams trading rounds back and forth. Towards the end of the first half, though, FURIA began to edge ahead, and would continue to build a lead despite some failed clutch attempts. They wouldn’t lose a round on defense and would win the map 13-5.
Ascent was a complete swing in the other direction. A map that had been great for FURIA all event long, Sharks dominated, taking the map 13-3. FURIA looked completely out of sorts, whiffing shots and clutches that their individual skill usually got them, while Sharks worked them all around the map to great effect. Icebox was a map that had been great for both teams at times lately, and would be the decider to determine who was going to Iceland.
FURIA started off quick and fast. It seemed Sharks couldn’t handle their quick play, and they’d only get 6 kills in the first 5 rounds. Sharks would start to pull some rounds back by the end of the half thanks to some Operator play from Gabriel “gaabxx” Carli, bringing things to 8-4 as they moved onto their attack.
With all the momentum in their favour, Sharks would continue to capitalize. They steadily took the advantage out of FURIA’s hands, getting plants down fast and making retakes incredibly difficult with their numbers. They’d pull off the comeback, winning the map 13-10 and qualifying for Iceland.