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PGL Major Challenger’s Stage Day 1- Everything you need to know

The PGL Major Antwerp 2022 kicks off with the Challengers Stage on the 9th of May. 16 teams are all placed in the same group, fighting for 8 slots for the Legends Stage. The participants come from all regions of the world, with Europe having the majority of representatives. 

This phase of the tournament lasts for 3 days, from May 9th to the 12th. It does not have a crowd, but it will be played on lan. The format is the Swiss system, the same as it was for the RMRs, with an identical format to that of Europe RMR B, which also had 16 teams. Contenders play BO1s amongst each other, with the first matchups being the following:

After this first round is complete, matchups are seeded based on wins and losses, with teams needing three wins to qualify, and being eliminated after three losses. The first two matches are BO1s, the remaining ones are BO3s. The top eight teams from the Challengers Stage will qualify to the Legends stage, which will have the exact same format and same number of teams. 

The swiss system isn’t perfect, and this first draw shows that some matchups are definitely tougher than others. Team Liquid drew G2, despite being a generally strong team, while some matches don’t carry nearly as much competition, like forZe versus Renegades. Thankfully, no team can be eliminated or qualify through only BO1s, so everyone should get a fair shot. 

The overwhelming favorites to take the top 8 spots are the European teams, but there can be some surprises. G2, Astralis, Ence, Outsiders and Vitality are expected to be lock-ins. They consistently battle for top 10 spots, even though all of the aforementioned squads have had some troubles in the last few months, so this lesser opposition shouldn’t be much of an obstacle. 

That still leaves 3 spots out though. Despite their flaws, Liquid should still be another favorite to qualify to the Legends stage just out of pure skill. The last two spots are much harder to predict. 9z, Imperial and Team Spirit all looked quite decent during the RMR, but all of them just lost their coaches due to ESIC’s investigation

WIth these three teams weakened, every remaining contender might have a shot at the last available slots. It will likely come down to how tough their journey is and how well they perform in this much bigger stage. 

Let’s see what all these teams can do in the PGL Major Antwerp Challenger’s Stage.