Movistar Riders, one of three underdogs alongside Copenhagen Flames and Fiend that made the IEM Fall playoffs, have now punched their ticket for PGL Major Stockholm, becoming the first Spanish lineup to achieve the feat.
They did so by beating Copenhagen Flames in the 5-8th place decider bracket, where the Danes will have one last chance at securing their own spot to the event in Stockholm.
Fiend will have their own chance at qualifying when they go up against G2, who already have a berth in the Major but are playing to secure a spot straight into the Legends stage, while FaZe are relying on former teammate Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and his squad to win at least one match in the 5-8th place decider to secure their spot in the Major.
Vitality came out guns blazing on Nuke, taking NIP aback on their own map pick with a massive showing on the CT side as in-game leader Dan “apEX” Madesclaire spearheaded his team’s efforts in an expeditious map that ended 16-5.
NIP, whose Legend spot at the Major was already locked in, nevertheless took it to Vitality on Overpass, winning the CT side 9-6 before keeping Richard “shox” Papillon and company down and running away to close the map out 16-9.
The Frenchmen, who are currently fighting for a spot in the Legends stage with Astralis and G2, weren’t able to regain traction on Inferno, the decider map, where they were blown out of the water by the Swedes, who have been showing fantastic form ahead of the Major on home soil.
Movistar Riders made a strong case on their map pick of Vertigo, holding nothing back on the attacking and taking a 7-0 lead, but Copenhagen Flames came alive to win six in a row in a 6-9 half. The Danes then snowballed on the attack early on and hit match point with two chances to close things out as Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard came online for his team. But in a final push, Alejandro “alex” Masanet and company pushed their map pick to overtime before locking in a 1-0 lead in the series.
Copenhagen Flames then won a second round forcebuy on Ancient to get a head start on their pick, but Movistar Riders stabilized on the defense to build up an economy and an 11-4 lead with big plays by David “dav1g” Granado Bermudo and Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia on the B site.
After taking the second pistol round Galder “bladE” Barcena’s men were on the path to qualification as they didn’t take long to hit match point with plenty of room for error, although they gave up just three rounds to win the map, match, and secure a spot at the Major.
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