Kings in the South

Elliott Griffiths
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Illustration by Fuffy

All hail the new kings of DreamHack Op-, erm, we mean ESL Challengers.

It just doesn’t sound the same.

After a flawless victory in their home country, Movistar Riders had been frozen out in Rotterdam and Melbourne. Uninvited, unwanted and unloved, the Spaniards were left to lick their wounds having missed out on the Major.

Until they got the last minute call to replace TheMongolz. The Riders were imbued with an sense of injustice, and set out to punish ESL for their insolence by smashing everybody once more.

After two ridiculously long days, Movistar decided to make up for lost time by picking up two 2-0s to complete the event without dropping a single map.


alex and mopoz came out as the best players in the event, joined by Martinez in the top three rated. Yes, the top three rated players at the event were all fighting Dragonites. That’s dominance.

They came up against Bad News Eagles in the grand final, and were largely untroubled in a two map victory over an admittedly jetlagged opponent - though they didn’t fly any further than the Riders, on their Dragonites.

They were even able to win while noscoping their own teammates to death in important rounds, for crying out loud. Seriously taking the mick.

One has to wonder if not qualifying for the Major makes you better at the game in the short term.

Or maybe one qualifying event isn’t entirely representative of a team’s level over an extended period of time. One of the two.

Final standings:

1. 🇪🇸 Movistar Riders ($50.000)

2. 🇽🇰 Bad News Eagles ($20.000)

3-4. 🇩🇰 ECSTATIC ($10.000)

3-4. 🇦🇺 Grayhound ($10,000)

5-6. 🇺🇸 Complexity ($3.000)

5-6. 🇨🇳 Rare Atom ($3.000)

7-8. 🇺🇸 EG Black ($2.000)

7-8. 🇦🇺 VERTEX ($2.000)

April 30, 2023

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