Round 1

Renegades opened up the Challenger stage with a convincing win over AVANGAR, as both halves on de_train went their way for a 16-8 victory. Simultaneously, however, the first upset has happened, as Fnatic, one of the overwhelming favorites to make it through, fell flat against Vici Gaming on de_inferno, 16-9. TYLOO kept the Asian streak going strong, as Chinese-Indonesian squad took down Team Vitality 16-8 on de_inferno, while Cloud9 survived the late comeback from Grayhound Gaming, winning de_mirage, 16-11.

ENCE Esports, one of the expected favorites, started with a 16-10 win on de_nuke against Team Spirit, while G2 Esports made a comeback against Vega Squadron on de_cache, taking it in the last round of regulation, 16-14. Ninjas in Pyjamas were in full cruise control against FURIA Esports on de_mirage, 16-6, followed by NRG Esports closing the first round of play with a win on de_nuke against Winstrike Team, 16-9.

Round 2

Down in the “0-1” bracket, Vega Squadron and Team Spirit battled on de_mirage, ending only in the last round of regular play with a 16-14 victory in favor of the former. Grayhound Gaming led against Team Vitality 13-2 at the half on de_nuke, but the latter were victorious in the end, mounting up a monstrous come back for a 19-17 win in the overtime. A yet another full set of rounds was played between AVANGAR and FURIA Esports on de_mirage, as South American team led at the break, 8-7, but CIS squad took control during the last few rounds, winning 16-14. Fnatic was expected to recover after their initial loss, but Winstrike Team trounced Swedish giants in the first half of de_train, leading 13-2 and eventually closing it with a 16-11 in their favor.

Back to the “1-0” bracket, TYLOO continued to impress, as they did not allow Cloud9 nearly anything on de_overpass, taking a commanding 16-3 win to improve in the standings. At the very same de_overpass, ENCE Esports had an even better defense than their Asian counterparts, leading 13-2 at the half-time against G2 Esports, ultimately securing a 16-6 win, coming one step closer to the next stage. Ninjas in Pyjamas had a narrow 8-7 lead at the break on de_mirage, but coming fresh off the halftime timeout, Renegades won the map, 16-13. Closing out the second round and the day overall, NRG Esports and Vici Gaming clashed on de_overpass as well, and it was all about the North American team, as they won 16-6 and moved up in the brackets as well.

Round 3

Great first half by AVANGAR on de_overpass was followed by winning 16-10 against G2 Esports on de_overpass and improving to “2-1”. On the very same map, de_overpass, Team Vitality completely locked Vega Squadron out of the game, making it 16-1 and moving up in the standings. Vici Gaming continued to showcase their form, as they ran over Cloud9 on de_inferno, 16-6, while Winstrike Team added another Swedish team to their list of victories, as they took down Ninjas in Pyjamas on de_train, 16-6.

Renegades won both halves on de_nuke against ENCE Esports, taking the map with a convincing 16-7 scoreline, and while Finnish team nearly came back on de_mirage, Australian squad won it 16-14 and advanced to the next stage of the Major with a “2-0” victory. NRG Esports and TYLOO fought back and forth on de_inferno, as North American team picked up the victory in the very last round of regulation, 16-14. The second map, de_mirage, looked to be over when NRG Esports got to a countless amount of match points in the second half, but Chinese-Indonesian team almost brought the game back, tapping out at 16-13, as Americas Minor winners moved to the second stage of Major in Katowice.

Commanding 13-2 half on de_inferno rewarded Fnatic with a 16-9 opening win over Grayhound Gaming and while de_overpass was closer, it was still about Swedes, who won 16-11 and survived for a yet another day at the Polish Major. Solid defense by FURIA Esports on de_mirage left them with a little work on offense, as the first map against Team Spirit went their way, 16-9. The same thing proved to be working on de_nuke, as Brazilian team trailed at the halftime, 9-6, but took the win in the last round, 16-14, eliminating CIS squad from contention and closing the second day of the Challengers Stage in Katowice, Poland.

Round 4 — Winners

Team Vitality and Vici Gaming traded 10-5 halves on de_inferno, ending up in the overtime, but even there, teams had to play multiple additional sets, before French organization came up on top, 25-22. Moving to de_nuke, many expected a free ride for Team Vitality, but Vici Gaming made a game out of the map before finally tapping out at 16-12, as French-British squad moved to the next stage of the event. Back and forth on de_cache, TYLOO and AVANGAR traded blows until it was 16-12 in favor of the CIS squad to pick up the first map. Returning to de_inferno, AVANGAR got to the multiple match points, but Chinese-Indonesian squad nearly brought it back once more but was ultimately unable to complete the comeback, as 16-14 scoreline moved CIS team to the Legends Stage in Katowice.

Showing up on Winstrike Team’s pick of de_dust2, ENCE Esports followed their great defensive half with a solid offense, winning 16-11, but CIS team returned the favor on de_dust2, taking it 16-7, equalizing the score. Giving up only one round in the first half on de_train, Finnish squad looked to quickly end the game, but Winstrike Team managed to make a game out of it, coming dangerously close to turning the match around, but ENCE Esports survived in the end, winning 16-13 and advancing to the Legends Stage with a “2-1” victory.

Round 4 — Losers

Vega Squadron held on against Ninjas in Pyjamas in the overtime on de_overpass, winning the map, 19-17, but Swedish squad fired back on de_train, convincingly taking it, 16-6. Back to de_mirage, CIS team was leading 9-6 at the halftime, but Ninjas in Pyjamas pushed the pace in the second half, taking the map, 16-13 and surviving until the next round in the Challengers Stage. In a classic matchup between Fnatic and G2 Esports, Swedish team started with a solid showing on de_mirage, winning it 16-8, but French squad did the same on de_dust2, equalizing the match score with a 16-8 of their own. Going to de_overpass, G2 Esports won both halves for the 16-5 finish, eliminating Fnatic earlier than everybody expected.

FURIA Esports opened the last series of the day with a monstrous 16-1 win on Cloud9’s pick, de_mirage, but North American organization did the same on de_inferno, returning the favor with a 16-1 of their own. Back and forth in the first half of de_cache, Brazilian team led 8-7, but Cloud9 did not want to get eliminated in the Challengers Stage and won 16-10, advancing to the last round.

Round 5

A yet another solid showing for Ninjas in Pyjamas on de_train gave them a 16-7 win over Vici Gaming, but Asian team fired back on de_inferno, coming back from a deficit to take the map win 16-13, equalizing the scoreline. Decider map, de_mirage, was on the edge for both teams at some points, but in the end, it was Ninjas in Pyjamas, who won 16-10, advancing to the Legends Stage. TYLOO came back on de_mirage to take the opening map, 16-12, but G2 Esports had a monstrous showing on de_dust2, winning it 16-2, before following it with a 16-7 victory on de_cache, advancing to the next stage of the event.

The last series of the Challengers Stage between Cloud9 and Winstrike Team started on de_nuke, where North American team won both halves for the 16-7. CIS squad came back from the match points on de_overpass, forcing overtime, but Cloud9 was not to be stopped that day, as 19-16 win allowed them to progress forward in the tournament in Poland.