New Stars Emerge: ESEA Global Challenge Group Stage Recap

Recapping the Group Stage for the ESEA Season 23: Global Challenge held in Burbank.

After two days of play, the top ESEA Premiere teams from North America, Europe, Oceania, and South Africa have finalized action in the group stage. Here are the results:

Day 1 (Jan. 6)/Day 2 (Jan. 7):

Group A:

Bravado (South African) defeats Team SoloMid (North American) on Mirage 16-8

LDLC (European) defeats Rogue (European) on Overpass 16-5

LDLC (European) defeats Bravado (South African) on Overpass 16-4. LDLC advances to playoffs. 

Rogue (European) defeats TSM (North American) in a clean 2-0 series on Train 16-4 and Dust II 16-12.

Rogue (European) defeats Bravado (South African) in another clean 2-0 series on Train 16-7 and Mirage 16-3. Rogue advances to playoffs. 

Group B:

Tainted Minds (Australian) defeats Rush (North American) on Train 16-6.

Team Kinguin (European) defeats Muffin Lightning (North American) on Overpass 16-6

Team Kinguin (European) defeats Tainted Minds (Australian) on Cache 16-9. Team Kinguin advances to playoffs.

Muffin Lightning (North American) defeats Rush (North American) 2-0 on Dust II 16-14, and Overpass 19-15.

Tainted Minds (Australian) defeats Muffin Lightning (North American) 2-1 on Dust II 16-12, Cache 6-16, and Mirage 16-13. Tainted Minds advances to playoffs.

These group stage matches bought rising talent from scenes across the globe out of the woodwork and into the spotlight. Some notable potential stars included South Africa’s finest – Robby bLacKpoisoN da Loca – who dropped 29 kills against TSM with a whopping 110+ ADR. On LDLC’s side, both Antoine “to1nou” Pirard and Alexandre xms Forté boasted solid performances against international competition, which helped ease LDLC’s journey to the playoffs. On the other side of the groups, Jay liazz Tregillgas for the Australian side Tainted Minds (formerly Athletico) proved to be a dominating force and a surprising star over more well-known teammates Jesse “InfrequeNt” Barker and Connor “chuch” Morgan. 

The playoff bracket will see LDLC play Tainted Minds and Team Kinguin play Rogue for a chance at their share of the $50,000 prize pool and the eyes of keen viewers outside of their respective domestic scenes. 

Written by Max Melit – who can be found on Twitter @max_melit or via email at [email protected].