Movistar Riders lift ESL Challenger Valencia trophy
The Spaniards cruised through the event with only one map loss.
Movistar Riders came out victorious from the grand final of ESL Challenger Valencia 2022, beating Outsiders 2-1 to lift the team's first LAN trophy of 2022. Alejandro "alex" Masanet's men dropped their first map of the tournament on Inferno (9-16) before bringing the series even on the Russians' pick of Overpass (16-14). A fantastic comeback on Vertigo (16-14) narrowly crowned the home heroes champions in front of the Spanish crowd.
The winners will walk home with a paycheck of $50,000 as well as a guaranteed spot in ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference.
After a flawless run through Group B in which Movistar Riders took down HUMMER and MIBR, the eventual champions also made quick work of Sprout in the semi-final. Their biggest challenge came in the grand final as they faced an Outsiders teams that also swept through their group, but that had shown signs of weakness against Rare Atom earlier today.
The final got started on Movistar Riders' pick of Inferno and saw Outsiders take the opening pistol and the early lead. It was a very contested half as both teams kept taking and conceding the lead of the series. Petr "fame" Bolyshev shined on the CT side, defending the B site against several pushes from the offense to accumulate a 20-6 K-D in the first half. The Russian squad would eventually secure a 9-6 lead going into the break thanks to three consecutive retakes on the A site.
alex's men failed to claim a good start early in the second half and Outsiders jumped on the opportunity to extend their lead. The Spanish team briefly recovered with a short three-round streak, but even that was cut short by David "n0rb3r7" Danielyan as he forced his way into the A bombsite. The breaking point came on round 24 as Dzhami "Jame" Ali was coming alive after a relatively quiet game and converted a 1v3 clutch to steal match point for the Russians. After that crushing play, Outsiders quickly took the last win necessary round to secure a 16-9 victory.
After moving to their pick of Overpass, Jame and co. claimed their third consecutive pistol to gain the early lead on the offensive. Movistar Riders were eventually able to get on the board after the rifles came out, but a series of mistakes from the Spaniards on round 6 gifted Jame another 1v2 clutch. Fortunately for them, a hold on long with a few pistols miraculously flipped the following round in their favor, allowing Movistar Riders to temporarily take the lead. The rest of the half remained competitive, with Outsiders edging an 8-7 advantage before swapping sides.
Spectators were treated to another competitive half, but this time it was the Spanish squad that started off strong with the pistols. Several chaotic rounds ensued as both squads exchanged wins, but a few moments of late indecision from Movistar Riders had seemingly given Outsiders the upper hand as they secured a 13-11 lead on the back of a triple-kill from Alexey "Qikert" Golubev with the Five-SeveN. However, Alejandro "mopoz" Fernández-Quejo Cano was having none of that and powered the Spanish squad as they won five of the remaining six rounds to edge the map 16-14.
For the first time in the series, Movistar Riders started off red hot on a map, with the Spaniards quickly gathering a 5-0 lead on the back of some hits on the A bombsite. mopoz played a solid half, going 5:0 in opening duels during his stint on the T side, but it was not enough to run away with the half. Outsiders found their footing after their initial struggles, limiting their deficit to 7-8 thanks to a respectable n0rb3r7 performance.
The Russian squad came alive after moving to the offensive side, claiming an 11-10 scoreline following a four-round streak that saw Qikert temporarily take over the server. Despite facing a 14-11 deficit, Movistar Riders did not give up and good economic management, as well as several crucial holds of the A bombsite, led them to a fantastic comeback. Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia closed the series on B, securing a 16-14 win for the Spaniards.
|Outsiders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|62 - 60||+2||86.5||1.14|
|58 - 55||+3||77.8||1.05|
|58 - 56||+2||67.0||1.05|
|51 - 44||+7||54.5||1.02|
|47 - 62||-15||69.0||0.96|
|Movistar Riders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 60||+5||77.4||1.16|
|57 - 50||+7||75.0||1.12|
|56 - 54||+2||81.0||1.10|
|47 - 52||-5||58.0||0.92|
|51 - 64||-13||67.9||0.92|
The final standings of ESL Challenger Valencia 2022 are: