Movistar Riders have exceeded all expectations after picking up a last-chance invite to ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023, thanks to The Mongolz needing to pull out of the event. Not only have they won the event, but have done so without dropping a map.
Movistar Riders were never originally on the cards for ESL Challenger Melbourne, but they took the chance for both $50,000 USD in prize money and a slot directly into ESL Pro League Season 18.
The Spaniards not only topped their group and advanced directly into the playoffs on day one, but they were also able to successfully weather the Danes of Ecstatic as well as Bad News Eagles, who sent home Grayhound on the other side of the bracket in a heartbreaking defeat for the Aussies.
Movistar Riders kicked off their Championship Sunday with Nuke against the Danes of Ecstatic. The first match of the day was all about Alejandro “mopoz” Fernández-Quejo Cano, who in the series dropped over 50 kills for his team.
Unlike some of the other matches throughout the event, Movistar Riders did not deal any blowout victories, but they were also not on the receiving end as they managed to keep all their games competitive.
Movistar Riders closed things out against Ecstatic on Inferno 16-14 and met Bad News Eagles in the finals, fresh off their victory against Grayhound.
The Spanish side then began to slowly but surely topple BNE, starting the series on Anubis. The Spaniards each chipped in throughout the grand final which once again saw both teams reaching double-digit score lines and avoiding massive blowouts.
Anubis eventually went the way of Movistar Riders 16-10. Things shifted to Ancient, a map that saw the most overtimes throughout the event.
Despite scrapping things together against the Aussie side earlier in the day, Bad News Eagles couldn’t pull things together when it mattered most and the match slipped away to Movistar 16-13.
Regardless of the APAC teams being knocked out in the build-up to the final, the crowd managed to get behind the quality of international gameplay in front of them and once again we saw a shoey-loving, chant-cheering collection of gamers who stayed long into the night on day one and two to support the teams that managed to make their way out.
DreamHack Melbourne and ESL Challenger have once again etched a mark into the history of Australian Counter-Strike and hopefully continue to set the framework for bigger and better in the years to come.
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 Results
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 saw the eight teams split into two groups. The groups were double-elimination (GSL) style, with knockout and decider matches being best-of-three. The top two teams from each group advanced to the playoffs.
The playoffs were single-elimination and will saw teams placed into best-of-threes with the overall champion pocketing $50,000 USD and a direct invite to ESL Pro League Season 18.
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 — Group Stage Schedule & Results (Day 1)
|Friday, Apr 28|
|Group A – Opening Match||Complexity 16-14 Ecstatic||10:30am|
|EG.B 10-16 Grayhound||12:10pm|
|Group B – Opening Match||Bad News Eagles 16-10 Vertex||2:15pm|
|Rare Atom 16-19 Movistar Riders||3:50pm|
|Group A – Winner’s Match||Complexity 11-16 Grayhound||5:55pm|
|Group B – Winner’s Match||Bad News Eagles 11-16 Movistar Riders||7:40pm|
|Group B – Elimination Match||Vertex 1-2 Rare Atom||9:25pm|
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 — Group Stage Schedule & Results (Day 2)
|Saturday, Apr 29|
|Group A – Elimination Match||Ecstatic 2-1 EG.B||10:00am|
|Group B – Decider Match||Bad News Eagles 2-1Rare Atom||2:50pm|
|Group A – Decider Match||Complexity 1-2 Ecstatic||7:00pm|
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 — Playoffs Schedule & Results
|Sunday, Apr 30|
|Semifinals||Grayhound 1-2 Bad News Eagles||9:00am|
|Ecstatic 0-2 Movistar Riders||12:55pm|
|Movistar Riders 2-0 Bad News Eagles||4:10pm|
ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023 Rosters
The last-minute addition of Movistar Riders in place of The Mongolz rounds out the eight squads that will be competing this weekend. Evil Geniuses are sending EG Black with HexT playing for Stanislaw for the event.
Without The Mongolz, there were only three competing teams who are also playing in Paris for the BLAST Major just under a month after this event wrapped up. Grayhound and Complexity will look to qualify for the New Legends Stage, while Bad News Eagles await them.
|Bad News Eagles||SENER1||gxx-||juanflatroo||sinnopsyy||rigoN|
|Evil Geniuses Black||Walco||RUSH||Jeorge||junior||HexT|
|VERTEX Esports Club||pz||BRACE||malta||ADDICT||HaZR|