PGL Major Challengers - Preview (Late Games)
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PGL Major Challengers - Preview (Late Games)

We break down the format and the last four opening matches in the Challengers Stage of the PGL Major

Valle
Freelance Esports Writer
26th Oct, 21·☕️ 5 min read
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Man, it is has been a while, but it is finally time for a major again. This time, the event will take place in Stockholm, Sweden with PGL as the organizer.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the major events, here is a quick rundown of how things will play out.

The major is divided into three parts, the Challengers Stage, The Legends Stage and finally, the Champions Stage.

Things will kick off with the Challengers Stage today, where sixteen teams will fight it out, hoping to grab a spot at the New Legend’s Stage on Saturday. The Legends Stage will determine the eight teams that will make it to the Avicii Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

The field is very competitive, with the likes of Heroic, Astralis and FaZe among the contestants at this Challengers Stage. Australia and New Zealand are also represented here, as Renegades will hope to make it through.

Let’s have a quick look at the format.

Format

The sixteen teams will fight it out in a swiss style bracket, which has been the most commonly used format in majors over the past few years. As is often the case with swiss, the matches will be played in best-of-one format. But there is a caveat. The elimination and advancement matches will be best-of-three, which will make it more difficult for big underdogs to make it through.

The teams will be seeded based on their performance after round three, and once the group stage has concluded, the top eight teams will advance to the Legends Stage.

Here are the teams taking part in the Challengers Stage

  • 🇦🇺 Renegades
  • 🇧🇷 Sharks
  • 🇨🇳 TYLOO
  • 🇧🇷 GODSENT
  • 🇷🇺 Virtus.pro
  • 🇷🇺 Entropiq
  • 🇷🇺 Spirit
  • 🇪🇺 FaZe
  • 🇩🇰 Copenhagen Flames
  • 🇧🇷 paiN
  • 🇪🇺 mouz
  • 🇩🇰 Heroic
  • 🇪🇸 Movistar Riders
  • 🇩🇪 BIG
  • 🇪🇺 ENCE
  • 🇩🇰 Astralis

The event kicks of today at 18:00 AEST.


Opening Matches (Late Games)

For analysis of the early matches, see our first preview here

BIG (1.79) vs. Entropiq (1.90)

H2H: BIG (2 Wins) Entropiq (0 Wins) | Map Veto Prediction: Mirage/Nuke

BIG are certainly lacking some firepower without XANTARES, but they looked pretty good at IEM Fall, beating the likes of Heroic and FPX.

Entropiq have had their ups-and-downs, but they are a dangerous side with El1an a clear standout on the AWP. With that said, I think they should be the underdog in this matchup. BIG have plenty of LAN experience and I also trust in their ability to prepare for a matchup like this.

The map veto is tough to forecast, but I expect us to end up on either Mirage or Nuke, neither of which is ideal for either team. It would be interesting if Entropiq were to float Inferno as BIG have been terrible on this map since gade joined, but I doubt they will do that.

I was pretty high on Entropiq earlier in the year, but they did not deliver against high-level competition at ESL Pro League. As such, I reckon BIG takes this match.

Prediction: BIG

Movistar Riders (1.55) vs. Renegades (2.35)

H2H: N/A | Map Veto Prediction: Nuke

Movistar Riders have been on a wonderful run of form recently and they will be the favourites here against the boys from Renegades. However, I definitely wouldn’t count out Renegades in this one. They haven’t made the journey over to Europe for nothing and I could see them beating Movistar Riders. We have seen the line move on this match a bit with Renegades initially being a bigger underdog.

As for the veto, I suspect the teams will end up playing Nuke. A great map for Movistar Riders, but it will be more difficult for them to prepare for Renegades than vice versa.

The underdog is definitely in play for this one. I would expect Movistar Riders to come out on top in the end, but certainly not without a fight.

Prediction: Movistar Riders

mouz (1.19) vs. Sharks (4.36)

H2H: N/A | Map Veto Prediction: Vertigo

Sharks are a huge underdog in this match against mouz. Recent losses to INDE IRAE and Bravos does not really impose any confidence that they can pull off the upset against mousesports.

Perhaps there is a chance for Sharks to pull off something tricky in the veto, but I think mousesports have a strong enough map pool to deal with any shenanigans that the Brazilians might have up their sleeve.

As always, there is a chance for the underdog in a BO1 but I definitely favour mousesports.

Prediction: mouz

Heroic (1.15) vs. TYLOO (4.90)

H2H: N/A | Map Veto Prediction: Overpass

It is not often we get to see Chinese teams in action these days, but here we are. TYLOO are coming in as a huge underdog against the Danish giants from Heroic.

I actually think that TYLOO match up pretty well against Heroic in terms of their map pool, but I would expect us to land on Overpass in the end which Heroic will be happy with. Heroic have beaten some very formidable opponents on Overpass recently so you would expect them to deal with a team like TYLOO pretty easily. It is worth noting, however, that most teams have managed at least 10 rounds against them, so the round handicap lines may be an option on TYLOO for this one.

Prediction: Heroic

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