The first day of the StarLadder Major lasted deep into the night as the first two rounds of the New Challengers Stage gave us its fair share of stomps and upsets alike, along with some fairly impressive Counter-Strike.
North barely squeak past Syman Gaming despite the large first-half lead
The CIS side's reward for upsetting Vitality was a date with the Danes and they've almost managed to surprise us all again, but their comeback on the CT side of Train was derailed just before the promised land of overtime.
NRG crush Tyloo to put the Chinese on the brink of elimination
The North American side exorcised their demons and the memories of the awful proceedings at the last major by a comprehensive 16-7 win over Tyloo on Train. Ethan's individual play warrants special mention from this series which should bode well for NRG going forward.
Both French teams post statement wins against lower-rated opposition
G2 and Vitality both won 16-9 but their trajectories are somewhat different: kennyS and co. have been surprisingly impressive so far and they've had the tougher assignment against a DreamEaters side which already established its credentials on Overpass with their win over NRG earlier today. Meanwhile, ZywOo's side absolutely ravaged a vastly inferior INTZ by winning every single CT round, but the fact that it took them ten attempts as terrorists on Mirage to close out the game remains somewhat of a concern.
HellRaisers overrun Complexity on Inferno as nukkye and lowel shine
An unexpectedly strong showing by the CIS side shook up expectations in the lower bracket as Complexity were pushed to the brink of elimination with no direct invitation to the next major. Once again, oBo failed to shine but there was no shortage of strong individual plays in the series as nukkye and loWel finally showed up, including a 2v5 pistol round ace.
mouz cut it close but go 2-0
Karrigan’s mousesports has once again proven that they bend but don’t break as they completed an impressive comeback against AVANGAR on Inferno. So far, the CIS side has performed above expectations but fell just shy in the end against the international unit. The standout series of round 3 will definitely be mousesports' match against G2 for one of the first spots in the New Legends Stage.
CR4ZY take down Furia in impressive fashion on Train
Not one of the players on the Brazilian side has popped off as they were completely shut out on the T side of Train in a series that was even more one-sided than the score would suggest as CR4ZY were on the wrong end of many close calls in the first half of the match.
Grayhound disappoint again as they crumble against forZe
It was perhaps a sign of things to come that the Aussies only managed to win six rounds on CT side Train, and they had no answer for facecrack who had some great highlights on both sides of the map:
The New Challengers Stage of the Starladder Major continues tomorrow with round 3:
2-0 matches (bo3)
G2 vs mousesports
North vs CR4ZY
1-1 matches (bo1)
Vitality vs DreamEaters
NRG vs Syman Gaming
FURIA vs forZe
AVANGAR vs Hellraisers
0-2 matches (bo3)
Complexity vs Tyloo
Greyhound vs INTZ