The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Katowice Major challengers stage came to an end on Sunday after five eventful days. Eight teams advanced, earning the rank of legend at the tournament, and eight teams were eliminated.
The challengers stage in Katowice proved to be as explosive and unpredictable as ever, with the favorites struggling early on, and a rather unexpected set of teams climbing to the top. NRG Esports and Renegades were able to take the top spots, both going 3-0 and securing themselves the legend status at the end of day three.
Team Spirit and Grayhound Gaming, however, were sent packing, both failing to find a win in the first three days. This was a predictable result for the heavy underdogs, who performed admirably but failed to make a scratch.
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Day four also contained the biggest surprise of the tournament, with three more teams being eliminated, including the challengers stage favorites, Fnatic. Fnatic, Vega Squadron, and FURIA Esports all fell in very close series, losing 2:1 in their final matches and exiting the tournament with 1-3 records.
The final day was truly a test of endurance and experience. With stage favorites Ninjas in Pyjamas, Cloud9, and G2 Esports all still battling for a spot in the legends stage. All three teams were able to find wins in very hard-fought series, scraping through the challengers stage with a score line of 3-2.
This meant TYLOO, Vici Gaming, and Winstrike Team were eliminated from the tournament with score lines of 2-3. These underdogs will be able to hold their heads high, though, knowing they were able to compete with some of the best in the world. They were only inches away from becoming legends themselves.
What are your legends stage predictions? Join the discussion in the comments below.