EU heavyweights compete for two remaining EMEA Challengers Playoffs slots

posted by SmittyW.,
Eight teams, two EMEA Challengers slots and a €35,000 prize pool: the second VCT Challengers Main Event promises thrilling competition. Who will represent EU along FunPlus Phoenix and Guild Esports at the EMEA Challengers Playoffs? Two slots are still vacant for the European territory. In the EMEA Challengers Playoffs, eight teams from EU, TR and CIS will compete to determine the best team in the region and the two representatives at the VCT Masters Reykjavík.

Eight teams are still in the running in Europe to make it to the Playoffs: In the second Main Event of Stage 2, some of EU's absolute powerhouses are in for a tough battle for a spot in the grand finals on Sunday. Teams such as Stage 1 champion Acend, First Strike runner-up G2 Esports and the French prodigies of Opportunists are among the teams left. Let's have a look at the action which is coming your way from tomorrow at 5 PM CEST!

  • Acend
  • Team Vitality
  • G2 Esports
  • Fnatic
  • Opportunists
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Team Liquid
  • CE Calling

Return of the champions?

Acend was the surprise of Stage 1, winning the whole thing by upsetting favourite after favourite. They went into Stage 2 as favourites themselves but dropped out in the round-of-eight in the first Main Event against Ninjas in Pyjamas. This time they begin their run at the Main Event against Team Vitality. Arguably, this opponent is not as scary as NiP, but that doesn't mean Acend can let their guard down. Vitality snatched a map from G2 in the Qualifier and forced them into overtime on another.

Speaking of G2: the team surrounding top player Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho is up against Fnatic in the second match of the round-of-eight. If the Spaniard and his team win, they could potentially meet Vitality for a rematch or Acend. The latter would be no doubt a slightly scarier opponent, considering that they totally outplayed Fnatic on two maps in the Qualifier.

Can NiP stop the French force?

Opportunists, formerly known as DfuseTeam, had a rocket start in Stage 2, barely missing the grand finals in Main Event 1. On their way to the semifinals, they beat Guild Esports 2-0 as well as Team Heretics 2-1 and could only be stopped by FPX. Therefore, the young French squad cannot be regarded as an underdog, despite being matched-up against none other than NiP. With talented players such as Killjoy ace Logan "logaN" Corti and star duelist Jonathan "TakaS" Paupard they are perfectly capable of meeting the power level of NiP's line-up on eye level.

The last match of the quarterfinals features Team Liquid, boasting the greatly feared star player Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, and the German team CE Calling. Although Liquid is the favourite in this match-up, the recent VCT history has shown that underdogs are never to be underestimated – just like Acend and Opportunists proved.


Main Event 2

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