TSM and Luminosity both won their July 30 upper bracket series at the VCT NA Stage Three Challengers Two main event in drastically different manners against T1 and Rise, respectively. With the victory for each team, both TSM and LG move on to the winner’s bracket final, and more importantly, secure their NA Challengers Playoffs spots in August.
Both Luminosity and Rise showed up to play on Ascent, but Luminosity pulled away from an 8-9 deficit to steal away Rise’s map pick, capped off with five straight attack rounds and a 26-12 performance by YaBoiDre on Reyna. With the Rise’s struggles on Icebox and Breeze, they needed the first map pick to go their way, but the opening loss spelled disaster for them on Icebox. Luminosity stomped Rise, 13-2, with another great Reyna game from YaBoiDre and an equally great Viper game from stand-in TiGG.
The TSM vs. T1 matchup took a completely different path, starting with a one-sided affair and getting closer as the series progressed. TSM took six straight attack rounds to start the series on Split, and while T1 was able salvage four rounds of their own in the first first half, TSM won all five rounds on defense to take map one 13-4. On Icebox, TSM led 7-5 at halftime before two swift retakes by T1 tied the map at 7-7. TSM’s good defense from the first half was surpassed by T1’s stellar defense, who only gave up one round in the second half, taking Icebox 13-8 and sending the series to Haven.
Like Icebox, Haven was the site of an incredible Jett duel between autimatic and Wardell, the latter of which was tremendous on the Op, the Marshall, and with the Jett knives. He also had plenty of help from Subroza on his trusty Skye, paving the way for a victory on Haven and securing the series win. Wardell finished the series with 53 kills over just 30 deaths, including a +9 first kill/first death differential.
Both TSM and Luminosity have more work to do at Challengers Two, with both moving on to the winners final with a chance at earning a better seed and some extra money. But the mission is complete for both teams; a spot at NA Challengers Playoffs and a minimum of 40 VCT circuit points earned just by qualifying. Both Rise and T1 are down but not but out, with both moving to the lower bracket for one more chance at Challengers Playoffs. Rise will face off vs. Gen.G, while T1 takes on FaZe Clan for the final two spots.
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