26th July 2021 – 5:32pm
The qualifiers for the second Challengers of the NA VCT Phase 3 ended yesterday. As a result, we now know the 4 teams that will join Gen.G Esports, Pioneers, Rise and Version1 in their attempt to win a spot in the NA Challengers Playoffs. Back to the qualifiers of the Challengers 2 NA of Phase 3.
The first quarter final was opposed Ghost Gaming to FaZe Clan. The two teams first faced each other on Ascent, the map chosen by Ghost Gaming. In the first 12 rounds, FaZe struggled defensively, being down 8-4 at side change. However, the team was able to turn the situation around once in Attack. Correy led the way on Raze, ending the map with a KDA of 26/14/9. At Ghost Gaming, NiSMO stood out with his Skye and his KDA of 25/18/4. In the end, the match went into overtime and FaZe Clan won 14 to 12.
On Bind, the second map of the BO, FaZe largely dominated the attack, so that it was thought that the game would end really fast. In fact, while they were down 10-2 at side change, chase and his teammates ripped off 9 points from FaZe in their attack phase. Unfortunately, the FaZe Clan's lead was too big and they managed to scrape together the missing 3 points to win 13-11. FaZe Clan thus qualified for the main event of Challengers 2.
The encounter between DarkZero Esports and TSM FTX is the only one played in 3 maps, symbol of a very disputed quarter final. The first match of the BO3 took place on Bind, the map chosen by DarkZero Esports. They were almost equal to TSM but kept a slight lead at side change (7-5). In the second side of the map, TSM initially collapsed and were down 12-5 at the end of round 17. However, they managed to win 6 rounds in a row before DarkZero took their 13th and final round, thanks in part to an Andersin in very good shape on Viper.
The next round of matches took place on Ascent. Here, both teams were far better in Attack than in Defense, with both halves ending 8-4 in favour of the team with the spike. On the TSM side, Wardell switched from his Jett for Sage and was very convincing in his support of bang and his Reyna. In the end, TSM won 14-12 in overtime.
The third and last map was Icebox, chosen by DarkZero Esports. Unfortunately for them, this choice was fatal. If the two teams were neutralized in the first part of the map, things were totally different afterwards. Indeed, TSM largely dominated their opponents 7 to 2 once they went on Attack and left Icebox victorious with a score of 13 to 8, earning their place for the rest of the competition.
The match for the 3rd quarter final was T1 against Built By Gamers. The recent changes in the T1 roster paid off, as they won 2-0! The two teams first faced each other on Icebox. After pitting themselves against T1 in the first half of the map, Built By Gamers didn't look like a threat in attack and only managed to win 3 times. Will was unable to make the difference on his Raze and ended the map with a KDA of 10/18/10. T1 was much more convincing, with dawn on Viper who proved that he deserved his promotion from the academic team.
The second map of the match was Ascent. This map was the scene of an imperial defense by the T1s, with a curry on Astra who scored a quadrakill in round 9. By the time of side change, T1 was already leading 10-2! Built By Gamers only woke up when it was their turn to defend, winning 7 rounds. Unfortunately, their wake-up call came much too late as their opponents only had 3 rounds left to win and logically succeeded. T1 thus emerged victorious from this quarter-final, qualifying for the Challengers 2!
The last game of the qualifiers opposed Cloud9 Blue to Luminosity Gaming. The latter team took advantage of their recent changes to perform, with no less than 3 new players in their ranks: dazzLe, ban and TiGG. The two maps of the match ended with a score of 9-13 in favour of Luminosity Gaming. On the first map, Ascent, Luminosity Gaming was impregnable in defense and YaBoiDre was exemplary on his Reyna, even making an Ace in round 5. At side change, Cloud9 was already led 9 to 3.0 Despite a better defense than their attack, they ended up losing to Luminosity Gaming.
On Icebox, Cloud9 once again came up against the wall that was Luminosity. Although their match started well enough with a two round lead before switching sides, Cloud9 could do nothing against Luminosity who won the 8 rounds they needed in a row. This was another setback for Cloud9, which did not qualify for any of the VCT Phase 3 Challengers.
The 8 teams that will compete in the NA Challengers 2 are Version 1, Gen.G Esports, Rise, Pioneers, FaZe Clan, TSM FTX, T1 and Luminosity Gaming. The 4 teams were already qualified by virtue of their performance in the First Challengers, and the last 4 are the winners of these qualifiers. The top 4 teams from Challengers 2 will earn a place in the NA Phase 3 Playoffs.