TSM and FaZe Clan managed to escape the open qualifier after a tournament of upsets. How will they stack up in the closed qualifiers?
The open qualifiers have finished up as four teams advanced to Challengers closed qualifiers. The VCT Challengers open qualifier were abound with upsets and shockingly close match-ups. Ultimately, TSM, FaZe, Luminosity, and T1 alluded their competition to join Gen.G, Version1, Rise, and the Kansas City Pioneers in the closed qualifiers. Though many had their Masters Berlin hopes dashed, these teams now get a shot at continuing their VCT run.
Though there were plenty of highlight reel worthy performances across the vast array of games, two teams stood out. TSM and FaZe Clans are both teams that hotly chased the likes of Sentinels, but fell into ‘slumps’ at different times. The carries of these teams seemed to be on point throughout the VCT Challengers qualifier. Could their performances be a sign that TSM and FaZe Clan are back in the race?
Return of the Kings – TSM impress in VCT Challengers qualifier
TSM was far from having a perfect run in the open qualifier, but the resilience they showed in the difficult games was impressive. After making two roster changes, adding Sean “Bang” Bezerra and most recently Aleko “Leviathan” Gabuniya, TSM seem to be meshing fairly well. The early parts of TSM’s run were incredibly dominate as they swept Team Mystic, 303 Esports, and the Squirtle Squad. All of TSM’s matches in the VCT Challengers qualifier were not as easy however.
TSM’s veteran players however carried them through the more tumultuous parts of their run. In TSM’s match against DarkZero Esports that ultimately clinched their Closed Qualifier berth, Mathew “Wardell” Yu had a massive peformance. Overall, Wardell had the most kills in the entire tournament (255), maintained an impressive ADR (168), and heralded one of the highest ESR% (76%).
With TSM’s old and new guard firing on all cylinders, they certainly could pose a threat in the VCT circuit once again. TSM will have a difficult task as they will initially face off against Gen.G, but in their current form, the TSM squad could go far. Failing to achieve much since First Strike, we could witness a TSM renaissance.
FaZe breeze through the open qualifier
Once Sentinel’s near constant rivals before Masters Reykjavik, FaZe’s decline was sudden and unexpected. After failing to make Masters, it has taken FaZe some time to recover, but this VCT Challengers open qualifier showed that they are still in the race. Stay Operator, Andrej “Babybay” Francisty looked as strong as ever. Aggressive as ever, Babybay found 0.97 KPR and 178.8 ADR in the tournament.
More importantly, FaZe seemed to find their groove. Without dropping a single map, FaZe showed their prowess across every competitive map available in the VCT Challengers qualifier. FaZe never dipped below a 50% round winrate on either attacker or defender side across all five maps. Facing off against Rise to start their run in the Closed qualifiers, FaZe seem to have one of the ‘easier’ paths to the Challenger Finals.