The New Challengers Stage concluded with the final three matchups in the 2-2 bracket, only one of which produced an upset. In the end, despite the many surprise results early on, it was only FURIA’s elimination which really turned out to be a surprise but every 2-3 team distinguished themselves in some capacity and could have made it to the next stage on a different day.
It was the qikert show as Syman couldn’t quite put together a last hurrah required to qualify, as they only managed to push the series to a third map before faltering on the decider. A 16-10 loss on Inferno and a 6-9 deficit on Mirage seemed to indicate a short series but the underdogs won eight rounds in a row on the CT side to turn things around, then winning two out of the next three to take things to Dust 2. Unfortunately, AVANGAR raced to a seven-round lead and never looked back, and the 16-5 result in the end was a fair reflection of how the map played out.
The second CIS derby of the day featured two underdog sides going up against each other, and though forZe was the bookies’ favorite, DreamEaters’ stronger performances (and wins against the top seed sides) foretold a competitive series. In the end, they were the ones who ended up with a comfortable victory, taking a large lead on the T side of Overpass and eventually shutting things down 16-10 despite losing both pistol rounds.
Their own map pick taken care of, Mirage was next on the agenda, and an 11-4 lead in the first half seemed to indicate a swift conclusion to the series. However, forZe fought back valiantly, winning six of the first seven CT rounds before eventually succumbing to the pressure.
The Frenchmen managed to achieve the bare minimum expected from them by making it to the second stage of the major but it wasn’t an impressive performance at any point throughout the proceedings. This was also through for their 2-2 clash against Grayhound: initially, it was all the ZywOo show as he raced to a 14-0 K/D six rounds in and ending a 13-2 half with 21 kills and 3 deaths. Soon thereafter, the map ended in predictable fashion, and it seemed like the series would as well as Vitality won on the Aussies’ map pick 16-5.
However, Overpass turned out to be a very different affair despite another strong start by Vitality. This time around, it would be Sico and co. who’d race to a big lead, ending the first half 11-4. ZywOo and his merry men fought back to a 12-12 scoreline by which point Grayhound found their footing again, barely making it past the finish line with 16-14 on the board.
Initially, Inferno followed the Overpass script but with the roles reversed as Vitality managed to keep their early lead this time around to finish the half with an 11-4 lead thanks to a great individual performance by NBK-. Despite losing the second pistol, Vitality struck back with four in a row to rack up ten match points, and though the Aussies managed to burn through five of them, the sixth was good enough to end he series and send them home.
There’s going to be a one-day break in the CS:GO action before the New Legends Stage kicks off with the following matchups:
ENCE vs AVANGAR (12:00 CEST)
Astralis vs DreamEaters (13:15 CEST)
Renegades vs NRG (14:30 CEST)
Liquid vs CR4ZY (15:45 CEST)
Vitality vs North (17:00 CEST)
FaZe Clan vs mousesports (18:15 CEST)
Natus Vincere vs G2 (19:30 CEST)
MIBR vs NiP (20:45 CEST)