A dream has come true for South American Counter-Strike. The PGL Antwerp Major, the 18th Valve-sponsored CS:GO tournament, will be the first one to have a South American team that isn’t from Brazil playing there after 9z clinched the last Americas spot today.
The Argentinian, Uruguayan, and Chilean mix completed an impressive comeback in the Americas Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament. They were 0-2 down after the first day of the competition and won five series in a row to qualify, eliminating Bad News Bears, 00 Nation, São Caetano, Evil Geniuses, and paiN Gaming in the process.
PaiN were 9z’s last victim. The South American mix met them with momentum after eliminating EG earlier today and put together a true brawl against the Brazilian side. 9z beat paiN 16-11 on Mirage off the back of impressive performances from Franco “dgt” Garcia (22 frags), Luca “Luken” Nadotti (22 frags), and David “dav1d” Maldonado (23 frags).
Dust II, the second and final map of the series, was much more contested. 9z put on an impressive performance once again but paiN fought their hearts out and dragged the series to overtime. 9z captain Maximiliano “max” Gonzalez made the difference in the end, not only because of his calls but also because he got crucial kills such as a quad kill in the penultimate round and a triple kill in the last round of overtime, pushing 9z to prevail 19-17 and qualify for the Major.
With this victory over paiN, 9z join FURIA, MIBR, Imperial, Team Liquid, and Complexity as the last Americas representative at the PGL Antwerp Major in May. They made history today and did so after losing two important pieces for 2022, Argentinian AWPer Santino “try” Rigal and Brazilian in-game leader Bruno “bit” Lima.
The Americas RMR is now concluded, but the Asian-Pacific one is ongoing and the first European RMR will kick off on April 17.