The first week of the North American Challengers Stage 2 Playoffs has concluded. FaZe Clan, NRG Esports, OpTic Gaming, and XSET will be competing for the two spots for Masters 2: Copenhagen. Let us look at the final four teams remaining in the tournament.
FaZe Clan faced a problematic path after being knocked down to the lower bracket after a nail-biting 2-1 series loss against 100 Thieves. Against 100 Thieves, FaZe Clan showed cracks in their inability to capitalize on their first bloods throughout the match. FaZe Clan showcased their dominance in the first half of every map but could not continue their form after switching sides. Despite taking the lead in two maps, FaZe Clan could not stop 100 Thieves’ comeback potential, especially on the final map of the series. Despite FaZe starting with a massive 9-3 lead on Split, they succumbed to 100 Thieves, dropping the game and series with a 13-11 loss.
— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) June 16, 2022
Moving on to their first elimination game against Luminosity Gaming, FaZe Clan would complete the revenge rematch after losing to Luminosity in the Group Stage. LG claimed the first map in the series, but FaZe Clan would quickly tie up the series after heroics from Quan “dicey” Tran and Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty on Fracture. The decider map was played on Breeze, and it proved to be a game to be remembered. All twenty-four rounds were played, with both teams showcasing coordination and individual flair. In overtime, FaZe Clan managed to outshine Luminosity, winning the map and series 14-12.
— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) June 18, 2022
The final elimination match FaZe Clan during week one played was another rematch against 100 Thieves. The game started on Split, where things looked like it was going to be another repeat of the previous matchup. FaZe Clan gained an early lead but squandered their opportunities after losing in overtime 14-12. FaZe Clan once again gained an early lead and managed to hold off the 100 Thieves’ comeback by taking map two. FaZe Clan held off Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk’s 72-kill performance by taking map three 13-11. dicey’s performance overcame his former team, where FaZe Clan will be moving on to compete for a spot in Masters 2: Copenhagen.
— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) June 20, 2022
NRG started in the lower bracket due to their underwhelming performance in the group stage, barely earning their fourth seed. Their first matchup was against North American underdogs Ghost Gaming. Where many fans would have expected Ghost Gaming to continue their group stage form, NRG came out of the gates dominating the first map. NRG capitalized on Ghost’s weaknesses and took map one without any difficulties. The second map proved to be a more significant challenge for NRG. Down 9-3 after the first half, Ghost Gaming failed to contain NRG’s comeback, allowing overtime after losing five rounds in a row with match point favoring them. NRG shut down Ghost Gaming’s unprecedented rise with a 2-0 sweep and moved on to the next stage.
— NRG Current (@NRGcurrent) June 17, 2022
NRG would face Evil Geniuses in their next elimination match and started extremely shaky after losing 13-3 on EG’s map pick, Bind. Despite this setback, NRG quickly regained its footing in the series and cemented their lead on the second map, which EG would never manage to threaten. The final map proved to be a thrilling match as both teams could not gain a substantial advantage. In the end, NRG Esports defeated Evil Geniuses in the twenty-fourth round and earned a chance to compete for the two spots in Masters 2: Copenhagen.
— NRG (@NRGgg) June 19, 2022
The Masters 1: Reykjavik Champions did not disappoint in their only game last weekend. Against Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming showcased their dominance, only allowing EG to notch eight-round wins. The series was never a closely contested one. OpTic erased any doubts from skeptics after their embarrassing 2-0 loss to EG during the group stage. With their victory against Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming was also the first team to qualify for Champions 2022. The best team in North America has entered the playoffs with one goal: to qualify for Masters 2: Copenhagen and defend their international crown.
— OpTic Gaming™ (@OpTic) June 18, 2022
XSET’s matchup was a Group A rematch against 100 Thieves, who handed them their only loss during the group stage. XSET heavily leaned on the performance of Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, who had 48 kills in 40 rounds played during this series. 100 Thieves fought on the first map but could not stop the XSET onslaught in their 13-10 win. XSET then quickly ended the series after destroying 100 Thieves with an easy 13-3 win on Ascent. With this dominant win, XSET will be looking to qualify for their first international tournament in the young organization’s history and represent North America.
— XSET (@XSET) June 18, 2022
Four teams have been eliminated from the Masters 2: Copenhagen contention, with the final four remaining.
These teams have been eliminated:
- 100 Thieves
- Evil Geniuses
- Ghost Gaming
- ex-Luminosity Gaming (due to organization splitting with roster)
The final games that will decide who will represent North America in Masters 2: Copenhagen will take place this weekend. OpTic Gaming vs. XSET will determine one team heading to Copenhagen, and the loser will face the winner of FaZe and NRG for the final slot.
Friday, June 24th:
- OpTic Gaming vs. XSET
- FaZe Clan vs. NRG Esports
Saturday, June 25th:
- Lower Finals
Sunday, June 26th:
- Grand Finals