posted by SmittyW.,
We take a look at the first four match-ups at Stage 3 Challengers Main Event 2 (28 July – 1 August), which determines EU’s last two representatives for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.
BDS vs TENSTAR: Former Underdog meets Favourite Killer
Back in Stage 1, BDS Esports (formerly DfuseTeam) from France surprised experts and fans, upsetting favourite G2 Esports. The team surrounding Killjoy expert Logan 'logaN' Corti has since developed into one of the teams to watch, boasting strong results in Stage 2 as well.
In their first match at Main Event 2, they meet TENSTAR, a team whose core consists of four British players who started playing competitively in October 2020. In May, shortly before they changed their name to TENSTAR, Finnish duelist polvi joined their ranks. The young, talented line-up beat the updated roster of Team Heretics in surprisingly dominant fashion, securing their spot at Main Event 2. They assume the underdog role in this match-up, a role which used to be a big advantage for BDS. Can the French defend their reputation as the 'best underdog' in EU?
Liquid vs Vitality: Challenging the champions
As defending champions of EMEA, Team Liquid are the favourites in this match-up. The team of Adil 'ScreaM' Benrlitom was almost unbeatable during Stage 2. Only Fnatic were capable of defeating them consistently, although in the end it was Team Liquid winning the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.
In Stage 3, Team Liquid didn’t look as dominant: in Main Event 1, they lost to their old nemesis Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix. Over time, teams seem to have adjusted better to Liquid’s aggressive playstyle. Also, the meta shift seems to have had an impact on the teams’ power levels. Team Vitality have shown continuous improvements over the course of VCT. They could pose a serious threat to Team Liquid.
Rix.GG vs Giants Gaming: A new favourite in the making?
Rix.GG played their first Main Event in Stage 3, but had to admit defeat against the two powerhouses Acend and G2 Esports. This time they are back for more and wait another debutant: Giants Gaming.
The international roster surrounding Swede Johan 'Meddo' Lundborg ploughed through their bracket, eliminating big orgs left and right: BIG, Team Vitality, and Alliance all fell before the power of this squad, which defeated each of these opponents 2-0. If they keep improving at that rate, we could be watching a new favourite emerge right here.
Fnatic vs Alliance: An impossible task?
In this match-up, Fnatic seem to be highly favoured. The team of captain and fan favourite Jake 'Boaster' Howlett placed second at Masters Reykjavík, defeating their old nemesis Liquid on the way. Although Fnatic didn’t make the cut in the first Main Event, they will most certainly have emerged stronger from their losses.
On the other hand, Alliance barely made it into Main Event 2. While the Swedish organisation was among the best teams in Stage 1, they couldn’t build upon this foundation in the second stage. Unfortunately, they have to take on an opponent of epic proportions. But is it truly impossible?
What's in it for the teams?
Main Event 2 awards prize money to the top 4 of the event. As opposed to Main Even 1, only the best two teams will qualify for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs where they will compete with TR's and CIS' top teams for spots at Masters Berlin in September.
Challengers Main Event 2 EU
Qualified teams for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs
|Guild Esports||EU||FunPlus Phoenix||EU|
|SuperMassive Blaze||TR||Oxygen Esports||TR|
|Gambit Esports||CIS||Natus Vincere||CIS|
How can I stay updated?
To stay up to date with the latest news on VCT EMEA, follow our social channels listed below:
|Twitch 1, Twitch 2, Twitch 3, Twitch 4||Twitch||Twitch|
Where can I catch the action?
Ongoing matches are broadcast directly on the official VCT channels. Also, there's no need to worry if you are busy during match times: Just tune in to the VODs uploaded to either YouTube or Twitch whenever you want to.
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Image credit: Riot Games