Credit: ESL Stephanie Lindgren
Outsiders took on the hometown team of Movistar Riders in the Grand Final of ESL Challenger Valencia 2022. Neither team had lost a map before this match, but that would change as the Riders needed all three maps before hoisting the trophy on home soil.
With Nuke being the Outsiders' permaban, the Movistar Riders tried their luck with Inferno. Lady Luck was not their friend today though, as all five Spaniards had lower ratings than all of their opponents at the end of the map. 'fame', especially, was punishing the Riders, as he was an impenetrable barrier on defense, going 20-6 with several opening- and multi-kills.
The Movistar Riders now absolutely had to win on Overpass, a map that has not treated them well lately. And it did not start well for them as they were behind 8-7 at the end of their CT half, due to losing clutches and getting out-rotated by an Outsiders squad that was just a step ahead.
As the Riders turned to the offense it seemed like they had more answers. They had some trouble with their mid-round calls but by way of some good opening frags and better play in clutches, the Spaniards narrowly managed to steal away the Outsiders' map and push the match to a decider.
Movistar started great with a five-round streak on the T side of the final map, Vertigo. 'mopoz' had an enormous impact with lots of opening frags throughout the half and was impactful wherever he went. The Outsiders were able to put a stop to him and the Riders though, and they recovered nicely by taking seven of the last ten rounds of the half.
It looked like the Riders were about to throw away the tournament as the Outsiders went on a 7-1 run that gave them a 14-11 lead, but the power of the home crowd elevated the Riders who magically won five in a row to clinch the series and the tournament.
With the win, the Riders grab the $50.000 first prize and a spot at ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference.
Highlight of the Bo3-series:
Outsiders - Movistar Riders 1-2 | ESL Challenger Valencia 2022
16-9 (Inferno) | fame - 1.44 Rating / 24-13 K-D / 86.9 ADR
14-16 (Overpass) | mopoz - 1.23 Rating / 22-17 K-D / 77.6 ADR
14-16 (Vertigo) | mopoz - 1.36 Rating / 27-21 K-D / 84.5 ADR
MVP: Alejandro 'mopoz' Fernández-Quejo Cano - 1.16 Rating / 65-60 K-D / 77.4 ADR