9z at RMR Americas (PGL | Stefan Petrescu)
The wait is over, tomorrow starting at 10:45, 9z Team will have their CS:GO Major debut in Antwerp, Belgium. The rival will be the European squad of ENCE in what will be a historic day because it will be the first time that Latin American players from a non-Brazilian organization will compete in the top event of the shooter from Valve.
The match will correspond to the first round of the Challengers Stage, the phase that opens the competition, and which will take place in a 16-team Swiss format. This system consists of participants with the same score facing each other. This means that, after the first round whose crossings were given by seeding, those who have won will play each other, and the same for those who have lost, and so on. Those who win 3 matches will qualify, while those who lose 3 matches will be eliminated. Elimination and qualifying matchups are best of three maps, while all other matchups are Bo1.
The Violeta team had perhaps the toughest rival of this phase: ENCE. The Europeans come from being finalists of the ESL Pro League, where they fell in the final against FaZe Clan 3-1. At Europe’s RMR B, they went 3-1 in the Swiss format after defeating Team Spirit, falling to Astralis and beating HEET and Anonymo. With that result, they had to play a playoff for third place against Ninjas in Pajamas for direct entry to the Legends Stage, in which they lost a tight 2-1.
Teams at the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 (@PGL)
For its part, 9z comes after an outstanding comeback in the RMR of the Americas, where they started 0-2 after being defeated on the first day against mibr and Evil Geniuses, but were able to revert to a 3-2 since they beat Bad News Bears, 00 Nation and São Caetano. The thing did not end there since they had to play the tiebreakers, where the miracle took place: they were able to defeat Evil Geniuses and then paiN Gaming to keep the last place. His last tournament was the IEM Dallas South American qualifier, in which his best face was not seen when he fell against mibr and then against Imperial.
Going back to the Major, it is important to know that the first match will be Bo1, a situation that usually favors the team that is emerging as the least favorite in the matchups. This is why, if the European team starts the tournament with a bad day, the South Americans can hit the ground running.
But the fact that Violeta will have a significant loss is not minor, since she will not be able to count on her coach, the Brazilian Zakk, due to a controversial sanction from the ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission) that came just three days after starting the tournament for events that occurred in matches of 2018 and 2020.
The rest of the Swiss format is unknown, since one game can change all the crosses. The Challengers Stage will be held from May 9 to 12 and eight teams will qualify for the next instance of the Antwerp Major.
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