North America Challengers of VCT 2022 Stage 2 started this weekend with six great matches. Every single team was looking for a good start in order to improve their chances of making the second Masters of the year and accumulate more Circuit Points, but naturally, only six of them are heading into the second week with a victory on their back.
The first week’s winners were 100 Thieves, XSET and NRG from Group A and Luminosity Gaming, OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 from Group B. Obviously, the biggest upsets of the weekend was The Guard’s loss against 100 Thieves and Luminosity defeating Sentinels. Let’s have a look at the games together.
Week one recap
VCT 2022 Stage 2 NA Challengers started with the game between The Guard and 100 Thieves. Although they were playing against the last champion, 100 Thieves looked very confident. Korean Sayaplayer couldn’t hold back 100 alone, Asuna played both Fracture and Bind greatly, and after two victories, 13-5 and 13-6, 100 Thieves left the stage victorious.
Luminosity Gaming vs Sentinels followed after. Although they have a disappointing streak for a long time, Sentinels is pretty strong and were the favourites. However, bdog’s 28-19, 329 ACS Chamber secured a victory for Luminosity on Bind. After playing 26-17 on the first map, TenZ went on to play 40-21 on Breeze where his team won on overtime 18-16. However, he wasn’t enough to save Sentinels when Luminosity pulled the plug on Fracture 13-4.
OpTic played FaZe next day. yay’s combined 48-23 Chamber on Ascent and Fracture secured an easy win for his side, helped by Marved’s incredible Controller performances. XSET pulled another 2-0 against Ghost Gaming later that day. BcJ, zekken and dephh trio dominated Haven and Fracture for XSET’s side.
On the last day of the week, we witnessed two more 2-0 victories. In their first match, TSM played incredibly well, although they couldn’t get a win. NRG Esports won Breeze on overtime after TSM managed to turn around the second half. Following that, NRG started great on Ascent, taking it to 8-4, but TSM were just about taking it to another overtime. Two rounds were enough for NRG and they took it, but they will definitely remember TSM’s confidence the next time they meet.
Cloud9 vs Evil Geniuses game closed out the week. On Icebox, Cloud9 started out really poor on the defense side, giving out 8 to EG. However, they were able to make a comeback in the second half, taking it to overtime. Finishing it 15-13, C9 secured the psychological advantage. vanity played his Brimstone even better on Fracture, bringing a second victory to Cloud9’s side 13-9 on a game that could as well go to overtime. C9 are surely thankful.
Second week schedule and betting odds
Check out the schedule for the next week below:
May 20, Friday
FaZe Clan (1.90) vs Luminosity Gaming (1.80) - 22:00 CEST
May 23, Monday
XSET (1.52) vs NRG Esports (2.35) - 01:00 CEST
Luminosity started out with a win and now they have a confused FaZe Clan as their opponent, and they might just exploit this chance. The Guard has a great chance of bouncing back after their loss against 100 Thieves as Ghost Gaming shouldn’t be a problem for them.
100 Thieves has a similar situation to Luminosity: they are a strong team, looking for morale and motivation to become better. TSM is a good opponent, they aren’t weak but defeating them should give a boost to their confidence. Evil Geniuses will face Sentinels following that, and it’s not going to be an easy one for them but Sentinels look really distracted, and EG should make use of that fact.
On the last day, OpTic will face Cloud9. Although C9 is a great team, Masters Reykjavík champions might prove to be too strong for them, they shouldn’t mind it until the playoffs. XSET vs NRG will close the day, both had a great start to the first week, they have similar strengths, it might be an interesting game between them.
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