The Pittsburgh Knights pulled off a surprising victory against Rise Nation in Group B of VCT NA Challengers Stage 1.

Pittsburgh Knights stunned Rise Nation to claim their first win in Group B of VCT Challengers NA.

Rise were seeking redemption after a less than convincing performance against Version1 in their last match in Challengers NA. Whereas the Pittsburgh Knights are seeking their first win in Stage 1 after a tough loss against Sentinels earlier.

Rise vs Pittsburgh Knights Match Recap:

Map 1: Ban and Skuba rise to the occasion on Ascent

Kicking off this matchup we headed to the Knight’s map pick, Ascent. Rise had impressed many of the experts with how they played this map versus OpTic Gaming a couple weeks ago. But would they be able to replicate that success against the Knights?

Rise got the ball started with a solid 4 – 0 start on their defense. And despite Knights managing to get a round on the board soon afterwards, Rise seemed like they were in control of the match. With a 7 – 1 lead, Rise looked to stamp their authority on this map.

But Knights were having none of that, as they managed to halve their deficit to 8 – 4 going into the switch. Large in-part due to Ban’s aggressiveness on the Jett.

Knights’ fortunes were much improved in the second half as they continued to build on their momentum from the end of the first half. Winning five rounds back-to-back on defense to pull ahead for the first time on this map.

Rise were able to win a round on offense to tie it at 9 – 9, but they struggled to respond to the pace being set by Knights; with Ban continuing to be a nuisance on the map. And after some highlight reel plays from Skuba, Pittsburgh Knights completed the comeback to take Ascent 13 – 9.

Map 2: Knights clutch up on Bind

Despite their resounding win on Ascent, Map 2 presented Knights with a very different sort of challenge. Bind was a map that Knights had struggled on in the past, so this, in theory, presented Rise with a much needed advantage if they had any hope of getting back in this match. But that advantage ultimately meant very little in the end.

Knights carried their Map 1 momentum into Bind as they opened the first half with a 3 – 0 lead. Rise managed to trade a few rounds here and there, and they certainly made things close.

But following on from an insane play from XXiF, the Knights managed to regain their early game composure to give themselves a hard fought 8 – 4 lead going into halftime.

As the teams swapped sides it looked as though Rise were poised to make the comeback as they won the opening two rounds of the half. But despite managing to win another set of rounds, their was seemingly no wear or tear amongst the Knights players.

And in the end all Rise were able to do was slow the bleeding a bit, as the Pittsburgh Knights eventually closed closed out Bind 13 – 8, and the match 2 – 0.

Pittsburgh Knights prove that they are far from being “Ascent One-tricks

This win for Pittsburgh Knights sees them moving out of last place in Group B. There were a lot of standout moments from the Knights players, but it was Ban’s incredible performances on the Jett, particularly on Ascent, that proved to be the biggest difference between the two sides.

Coming into Challengers, Knights were 20 – 0 on Ascent. A stat line that is large in-part due to Knights’ unique team composition. And Knights IGL Ashton “Frosty” Rakoske claims that “there is no thought about changing it up anytime soon.”

Frosty also credited XXiF with coming up with their interesting Sage composition for Ascent. Yet despite their recent showings on Ascent, it turns out that Knights have spent the least amount of time practicing it. At least according to Frosty.

“We probably have put in the least amount of work on that map [Ascent]. We have been focusing hard on our other maps, so that we aren’t just Ascent one-tricks.”

Ashton “Frosty” Rakoske, Pittsburgh Knights IGL

Pittsburgh Knights will be taking on NRG on March 6. Whereas Rise Nation will be hoping they can bounce back in their forthcoming match with Sentinels.

James Bassett -

James Bassett

| Twitter: @TheMaverickJB

James Bassett, otherwise known by his in-game name Maverick, is a freelance writer, gamer, and sports enthusiast from Reading, England. He has been an avid follower of Call of Duty esports for 8 years. Having written for sites such as TheGameHaus and DBLTAP, Maverick looks to provide people with entertaining, and insightful content. He is a proud London Royal Ravens fan.