With just one map loss, the Spaniards breezed through the competition.
In the ESL Challenger Valencia 2022 (July 1st – 3rd) championship matchup, Movistar Riders defeated Outsiders 2-1 to claim victory and win the team’s first LAN championship of 2022.
The team of Alejandro “alex” Masanet lost their opening map of the competition, Inferno (9-16), before leveling the series with the Russians’ choice of Overpass (16-14). In front of their home crowd, map Vertigo was crucial (16-14) for their win over the opposition to become champions.
The winning team will get a $50,000 bonus in addition to a guaranteed position in the “ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference”.
Movistar Riders defeated HUMMER and MIBR with ease in Group B, while the eventual winners also easily dispatched Sprout in the semifinal. The Outsiders squad, which had also won their group but had struggled against Rare Atom previously in the day, presented them with their strongest challenge in the championship game.
The Finals Recap
Outsiders took the pistol round and the early advantage in the final, which was set on Movistar Riders’ choice of Inferno. Both squads kept taking and giving up the series lead, making it a very competitive half. Petr “famous” Bolyshev shone on the CT side, holding off multiple offensive pushes at the B site to compile a 20-6 score in the first half.
After three straight retakes on the A site, the Russian team eventually secured a 9-6 advantage going into the break.
At the beginning of the second half, alex’s team struggled to get off to a strong start, and Outsiders seized the chance to widen their lead. A brief three-round streak helped the Spanish squad regain momentum, but even that was ended prematurely when David “n0rb3r7” Danielyan paved his way in the A-site.
Round 24 was the turning point when Dzhami “Jame” Ali, who had a very quiet game up until that time, erupted in a 1v3 clutch to give the Russians match point. After that heartbreaking performance, Outsiders promptly won the final round required to clinch a 16-9 triumph.
Jame and company took their third straight pistol after heading to their preferred Overpass location to take the initiative early in the offensive. After the guns were fired, Movistar Riders eventually managed to score, but on round 6, a string of errors by the Spaniards gave Jame another 1v2 clutch.
Luckily for them, a push on long with a couple handguns improbably turned the next round to their benefit, giving Movistar Riders a brief advantage. The remainder of the half was closely contested, with Outsiders pulling out an 8-7 victory before switching teams.
After switching to the offensive end, the Russian team woke up, winning 11-10 after a four-round run in which Qikert temporarily took control of the server. Despite being down 14–11, Movistar Riders never gave up, and with wise financial management and a few key holds of the A-site, they made a stunning comeback. Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia finished the series on B-site, giving the Spaniards a 16-14 victory.
Although not one of the most popular tournaments, ESL Challenger Valencia gave us a lot of fun moments last weekend, and proved that the best CSGO experience doesn’t have to be found only on the world’s biggest stages.