It was an all-Brazilian affair in Sunday’s ESL Challenger, but it was young guns paiN Gaming emerging as champions of Rod Laver Arena in an intense 2-1 win over Imperial.
- Both squads entered Melbourne with new line-ups
- chelo, FalleN impress in Imperial defeat
- paiN claim EPL Conference slot with final win
paiN Gaming came into Melbourne with a touch of uncertainty around them.
The squad have endured months of competition in Europe and North America and a number of roster changes on their way to the hotly-anticipated DreamHack tournament.
But the young squad turned up in a big way, defeating Grayhound, Wings Up and Imperial–twice–to win ESL Challenger in style 2-1 (19-17, 7-16, 16-12).
Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt (63-57, 1.14 rating) combined with Felipe “skullz” Medeiros (61-56, 1.12 rating) led the way for paiN in the final, snatching the victory in front of a 3,000-strong Rod Laver Arena.
The crowd were against them for the bulk of Championship Sunday after defeating crowd favourites Wings Up in the semi-final, but the Brazilian squad embraced the moment and ran with it.
Their win nets them a cool $50,000 USD prize pool, but far more importantly–paiN’s win secures them a spot at the ESL Pro League Conference later this year.
While paiN put on a show for the Aussie audience, the Aussie audience put their own show on for the rest of the globe–and put tournament organisers on notice, just as they have done at IEM Sydney in years’ past.
DreamHack Melbourne and ESL Challenger was a huge accomplishment, but above all, the success of the event proved that Australia is open and ready once more to host the largest esports events on the globe.
ESL Challenger Melbourne Results
The eight attendees at DreamHack Melbourne were split into two GSL-format groups, with the top two emerging to play in the single-elimination finals.
All match times below were in AEST.
|Group A||Group B|
|Wings Up Gaming||Vertex ESC|
ESL Challenger Melbourne — Day 1 (Friday, September 2)
|Group A Opening Matches||OG 16-13 Wings Up||10:30am|
|Entropiq 16-4 EG.PA||12:10pm|
|Group B Opening Matches||Imperial 16-13 Vertex||1:50pm|
|paiN 16-12 Grayhound||3:30pm|
|Group A Winners’ Match||OG 13-16 Entropiq||5:10pm|
|Group B Winners’ Match||Imperial 5-16 paiN||6:50pm|
|Group A Elimination Match||Wings Up 2-0 EG.PA||8:30pm|
ESL Challenger Melbourne — Day 2 (Saturday, September 3)
|Group B Elimination Match||Vertex 0-2 Grayhound||11am|
|Group A Decider Match||OG 0-2 Wings Up||1:25pm|
|Group B Decider Match||Imperial 2-0 Grayhound||4:45pm|
ESL Challenger Melbourne — Day 3 (Sunday, September 4)
|Semi-Final 1||Entropiq 0-2 Imperial||9am|
|Semi-Final 2||paiN 2-0 Wings Up||12pm|
|Grand Final||Imperial 1-2 paiN||4pm|