After five rounds of Swiss and filling the extra slot due to 100 Thieves being unable to compete, the CS:GO Major’s Top 16 have been decided.
The CS:GO Major’s New Challengers Stage has just ended, with the eight teams from the regional Minors facing off the previous Major’s bottom 8 teams in five rounds of Swiss played over four days.
The Chinese team of Flash Gaming, coming in from the Asia Minor was one of the first teams eliminated after their 0:3 record, losing out in their first match against G2 (11:16 on Inferno), their next match versus Quantum Bellator Fire (13:16 on Inferno) and finally to EnVyUs (13:16 on Inferno).
Another team to be eliminated by the third round is the CIS squad of FlipSid3 Tactics, who played with former Natus Vincere player Denis “seized” Kostin who is currently on-loan with them. They were shut out by Misfits (4:16 on Overpass), Team Liquid (10:16 on Cobblestone) and Avangar (7:16 on Train), marking their earliest exit from a Major since DreamHack Winter 2014, making it the first time in 8 Majors where the organization has failed to make Top 16.
Meanwhile at the top of the table stands the North American squad of Cloud9, taking down EnVyUs (16:11 on Cache), Sprout (16:5 on Inferno) and mousesports (16:5 on Train), marking an impressive feat for the squad looking to bring NA its first Major. Alongside them is the French super-team of G2 Esports, who won over Flash Gaming (16:11 on Inferno), Misfits (16:5 on Cobblestone), and took a hard-earned overtime victory over Vega Squadron (19:16 on Overpass).
The three teams to make it into the New Legends Stage thanks to their 3:1 records are the following: FaZe Clan, who are one of the favorites to win the entire Major, earned their wins from Team Liquid (16:14 on Overpass), Quantum Bellator Fire (16:6 on Mirage), and Natus Vincere (16:4 on Train). The CIS squad of Vega Squadron pulled off the underdog victory over them in the second round however, earning an impressive 16:6 victory on Inferno. Space Soldiers also managed to secure their slot to the next round thanks to wins over Avangar (16:9 on Mirage), Misfits (16:13 on Train) and mousesports (19:17 on Mirage), recovering from their early loss from Sprout (11:16 on Cobblestone). Vega Squadron was the third team with a 3:1 record, thanks to their wins over Misfits (16:14 on Mirage), FaZe Clan (16:6 on Inferno) and Team Liquid (16:14 on Mirage) – their impressive win over FaZe cemented them as a true contender, and their close overtime match versus G2 (19:16 on Overpass) only proved the roster’s strength.
Playing out the full five rounds and making it in with a 3:2 record are: mouseports, who defeated Avangar (16:12 on Mirage), Na’Vi (16:2 on Mirage), and Renegades (16:4 on Mirage) – recovering from their losses versus Space Soldiers (17:19 on Mirage), and Cloud9 (5:16 on Train). Natus Vincere also makes it in despite their shaky matches versus mouz (2:16 on Mirage), and FaZe (4:16 on Train), thanks to wins over QBF (16:8 on Inferno), Sprout (16:3 on Mirage), and Team Liquid (16:5 on Inferno). The last team in via Swiss was Quantum Bellator Fire, who scored three wins over Flash Gaming (16:13 on Inferno), EnVyUs (16:12 on Inferno) and Avangar (16:6 on Train) despite their losses to Na’Vi (8:16 on Inferno) and FaZe (6:16 on Mirage).
Due to 100 Thieves being unable to participate in the tournament, their slot was left open for the remaining teams, where Renegades and Avangar went through a best-of-one, with Avangar winning 16:10 on Mirage, and then facing off with Team Liquid, who then defeated them in a nail-biting best-of-one which went into overtime. Team Liquid eventually clinched a win, 19:15 on Mirage, securing the last slot into the New Legends Stage.
There, they will be facing the remaining top 7 teams of the previous Major (PGL Krakow): Gambit Esports, Astralis, Virtus.Pro, Fnatic, SK Gaming, BIG, and North, to ultimately decide the eight new legends of CS:GO, who will eventually go on to play in the single-elimination, best-of-three bracket and crown CS:GO’s current best team in the world.
KaLeRei usually can’t shut up about video games, so she writes about them instead. Single-player RPGs or empire-builders/strategy games are her usual cup of tea, but she’s also been an avid follower of the Dota 2 and CS:GO professional scenes for a while. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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