May 18, 2023
It’s playoffs season in Challengers EMEA, as the regular season begins to close across several different regions. With GGC & Iraq and Levant & North Africa’s regular season over, we’re looking forward to seeing the two regions face off in the MENA finals. DACH: Evolution’s playoffs are also well underway, with the race for the title in full swing. If you missed any of the action, here’s everything that happened this week.
It’s playoffs season for DACH: Evolution and the battle lines have been drawn. MOUZ took down ALTERNATE aTTaX in a clean - but not uncontested - 2-0 sweep to advance into the upper bracket final, where they’ll face off against CGN Esports, who rounded out their three-match series with Ovation eSports a flawless 13-0 on Fracture. Ovation still has a chance to come back, though, with their series against ALTERNATE aTTaX on May 20 offering an opportunity to showcase what they’ve got.
Third-place squad Anonymo Esports secured their place in the playoffs alongside Diamant Esports and frontrunners Acend, who are now confirmed to finish top of the table in the regular season! All eyes are on which of the remaining teams will make the playoffs, as four teams - Zero Tenacity, GoNext Esports, Enterprise Esports, and NOM Esports - look to fight for three spots. With Zero Tenacity facing both NOM and Enterprise this weekend, the stakes are truly higher than ever.
Result / Points
Gentle Mates remain anything but gentle, cementing themselves as the winners of the regular season despite a close loss to rivals JobLife early in the week. JobLife, however, dropped a game to Zerance, meaning they’re neck and neck with Mandatory and WYLDE. Regardless, Mandatory, JobLife, WYLDE, Valiant, and Zerance are now all locked in for playoffs, but the order in which they place will be decided when the season draws to a close next week.
The playoffs have been set, and to no one’s surprise it is GMT Esports and DSYRE leading the charge. Both squads rounded out the regular season with flawless weeks, with DSYRE handing previously third-place rivals MACKO Esports the L on the first day of play. Flanking the frontrunners are QLASH and MACKO Esports, who will battle it out in the lower bracket semifinal for the chance to take on GMT or DSYRE.
GCC & Iraq
It’s playoffs season in GCC & Iraq, with Team Falcons soaring away with the trophy and straight into the MENA upper bracket finals. The birds of prey easily dispatched Twisted Minds to advance to the final, where they struggled on the first map (Lotus), but snatched the title back winning 3-1. Runners-up Triple Esports Club will still advance to the MENA playoffs and are set to take on Levant & North Africa’s Team RA’AD in the lower bracket semifinals.
Levant & North Africa
While Team RA’AD emerged as the Levant & North Africa champions, their road to the top wasn’t easy. NASR Esports beat the squad 2-1 in the upper bracket final, so Team RA’AD had to take down Geekay Esports in the lower bracket final - and given the fight Geekay put up on the second map (Pearl), it looked pretty scary for Team RA’AD. Their finals rematch with NASR Esports was just as intense, with Lotus going into overtime and back-and-forth bouts on Ascent and Pearl. The crown is theirs, but can they take home the MENA: Resilience title? The stage is set, and it’s going to be an exciting show.
Northern Europe: Polaris
As the regular season ends, Apeks pave the way to the playoffs with a flawless 7-0 result. Apeks will face off against Les Petits Bouffons, whilst FOKUS will face Who Cars? Can Apeks continue their flawless run into the finale? We’ll have to see, but FOKUS, Who Cars?, and Les Petits Bouffons won’t be making it easy for them.
Les Petits Bouffons
Despite starting the season strong, SAW has dropped to second place in the wake of an impressive run from GTZ Esports. Both teams ended the regular season with a clean sweep and will meet in the upper bracket finals to duke it out for that finals spot. EX0TIK GAMING will take on EGN Esports - who make it over Impulse Gaming Warriors and Panthers Esports on round difference - in the lower bracket, and we can’t wait to see who emerges victorious.
Impulse Gaming Warriors
Whilst most other regions have reached the playoffs stage, Spain: Rising still has one week left - and the top teams are far from determined. Case Esports currently sit at the top of the table, but Ramboot, Team Queso, and UCAM Tokiers are hot on their heels, all tied for second place. A historic moment in VALORANT esports took place this week as Rebels Gaming brought in Paula Blanco ‘devilasxa’ Martínez from their Game Changers roster, whose debut ended in victory as they beat AYM Esports 13-6 on Split. This Sunday (May 21) ZETA will be facing Falcons to decide who makes the playoffs, don’t miss it!
As we get to the pointy end of Türkyie: Birlik, the competition is fiercer than ever. With Fire Flux Esports out in front after a back-and-forth series against Digital Athletics, the team is coming into the final week of the regular season looking strong, but not invincible. Will we see an upset in the last week of play? Given that it’s Türkiye: Birlik, you can never rule anything out.
Fire Flux Esports
Denizbank İstanbul Wildcats