The New Challengers Stage of ELEAGUE Boston has finished with the last matches ending on Monday. Out of 16 teams made up of Minors’ Champions from all over the world and the PGL Major Krakow teams which failed to make the Playoffs, eight earned themselves the right to play in The New Legends Stage where they will have to contend against the PGL Major Krakow Legends.
The whole tournament has had some weird situations stopping us from enjoying world-class Counter-Strike. First, TyLoo had to step out of the tournament due to visa issues, with Flash Gaming replacing them.
Then, Team Liquid was stopped from using their full roster because their newest addition, Lucas “steel” Lopes, was locked to his former team, Immortals, causing him to be replaced by the team’s coach, Wilton “zews” Prado.
With zews, Team Liquid got a boost in ingame leading and an roundabout boost to their players due to not having to think about what to do next, allowing them to concentrate more on performing mechanics-wise. That didn’t come without consequences, however. Team Liquid had to make up for their coach’s lack of playing form.
Team EnVyUs also had problems in the tournament, due to one of their players, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, being debilitatingly and increasingly sick as the tournament progressed. Eventually, nV had their coach, Damien “maLeK” Marcel stand in. That understandably didn’t help matters, causing the team to fail. You can’t blame them for it, however. Illness is a force majeure.
A shocking development also came up in the middle of the Challengers Stage, when it turned out that 100 Thieves, the team with a base of former Immortals players, wouldn’t be able to compete due to visa issues. The organizers had to figure out a way to fill the spot left by 100 Thieves on a very short notice. Their solution had three highest placed teams which failed to qualify play for the right to fill in.
FaZe Clan, one of the favorites of the tournament, also underperformed in the Challengers Stage but managed to qualify anyway.
Anyway, here’re the teams that qualified for the Legends stage over the weekend.
The first teams to qualify for the Legends Stage were Cloud9 and G2 Esports with 3-0 records. The roads these two teams had on their way to the Main Event weren’t hard, to be honest. Cloud9 had to face EnVyUs, Sprout and mousesports, while G2 Esports played against Flash Gaming, Misfits and Vega Squadron.
The next three teams to qualify for the Main Event were FaZe Clan, Vega Squadron and Space Soldiers.
FaZe started the Challengers Stage on iffy grounds, barely winning against Team Liquid and actually losing against Vega Squadron. Next, they crushed Quantum Bellator Fire and advanced to face Natus Vincere, where they really flexed their muscles, blowing the CIS stars out of the water 16-4 to earn themselves a spot in the Main Event.
Vega Squadron had a surprising road to this week’s stage of the tournament. They started off the Qualifier by winning against Renegades. Then, they surprised everyone by defeating FaZe Clan, but couldn’t extend their upset streak against G2 Esports. Once they were matched against Team Liquid with its playing coach, however, they did manage to win.
Space Soldiers probably had the easiest time out of the three teams. The only truly strong opponent they faced was mousesports in Round 4. Sprout, AVANGAR and Misfits weren’t really that dangerous for a team with Top 16 appearance ambitions.
The last three teams to qualify were mousesports, Natus Vincere and Quantum Bellator Fire.
Mousesports faced AVANGAR, Na’Vi and Renegades and won, only losing to C9 and Space Soldiers. Na’Vi, on the other hand, lost to two strong teams, mousesports and FaZe Clan, winning against the other three, Quantum, Sprout and Team Liquid, just like they were supposed to. Quantum surprised by reaching the Main Event after losing against Na’Vi, winning against Flash Gaming, losing to FaZe, winning against the struggling EnVyUs to knock them out of the tournament, and finally closing it out against AVANGAR.
After all x-3 teams were decided with the conclusion of Round 5, the losers of the three matches of this round played in a small tournament of their own to earn themselves the right to take 100 Thieves’ place.
Team Liquid was considered to have the best seeding in this mini tournament, so they were pushed to the Qualification match, while the other two, Renegades and AVANGAR, had to play each other in a best of 1 for the right to face Liquid. In the end, AVANGAR won against Renegades and advanced to an interesting OT best of 1 against Liquid, which they lost 15-19, making Team Liquid the team to advance to the New Legends Stage of ELEAGUE Major Boston.
The New Legends Stage will start on Jan. 19, 2018. Sixteen teams will play five rounds of Swiss until all eight New Champions Stage teams are determined. We already have the matchups for the first round of the Swiss. Here they are:
Gambit Esports vs. Natus Vincere
Astralis vs. mousesports
Virtus.pro vs. Quantum Bellator Fire
Fnatic vs. FaZe Clan
SK Gaming vs. Space Soldiers
BIG vs. Team Liquid
North vs. Vega Squadron
Cloud9 vs. G2 Esports
The most interesting matches will be the CIS showdown between Natus Vincere and Gambit, Fnatic vs. FaZe Clan where Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer will play against his old team, and C9 vs. G2 Esports.