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Vitality among dominant Challengers on first day of PGL Antwerp

A backlit keyboard is part of the gear online video game streamer Jordan Woodruff uses in his Gilbert home.Jordan Woodruff
Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Team Vitality, ENCE, G2 Esports and forZe are 2-0 after the first day of PGL Major Antwerp 2022: Challengers Stage on Monday in Belgium.

The major’s opening stage features 16 teams competing for eight berths into the Legends Stage. Utilizing the Swiss System format, the eight teams that won in Round 1 proceeded to the Round 2 “High” matches and the eight that lost moved to the Round 2 “Low” matches.

All matches are best-of-one except elimination and advancement matches, which will be best-of-three.

Team Vitality had the most dominant day. Facing Complexity in Round 1, Vitality posted a 16-1 rout on Inferno, then handled Astralis 16-8 on Mirage in their Round 2 High match. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut of France led the way for Vitality; he followed up an 11-0 kills-to-deaths differential against Complexity with 24 kills and a plus-13 K-D differential against Astralis.

ENCE defeated 9z 16-7 on Mirage in the first round and took down Outsiders 16-6 on Vertigo in their next match. Israel’s Lotan “Spinx” Giladi had 30 kills and a whopping plus-22 differential for ENCE against 9z, while Pawel “dycha” Dycha of Poland led with 22 kills and a plus-11 against Outsiders.

G2 breezed past Team Liquid 16-6 on Inferno in Round 1 but needed overtime to beat Team Spirit 19-17 on Dust II in Round 2. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Nemanja “huNter-” Kovac had a combined 51 kills in the two matches, and his cousin and teammate Nikola “NiKo” Kovac totaled 47. G2 announced contract extensions for both players over the weekend.

forZe got by Renegades 16-9 on Nuke in the first round and beat Bad News Eagles 16-7 on Inferno in the second. Evgeny “Norwi” Ermolin posted 44 total kills and Aleksandr “KENSI” Gurkin had a combined 42 kills on a plus-21 K-D to guide the all-Russian forZe squad.

The winners of Tuesday’s two Round 3 High matches will advance to the Legends Stage, and the losers of the two Round 3 Low matches will be eliminated from the major. After the Challengers Stage concludes Thursday, the Legends Stage runs May 14-17 in the same format to determine which eight teams will clinch spots in the Champions Stage.

The Challengers Stage continues Tuesday with eight Round 3 matches:
–Team Vitality vs. forZe (High)
–ENCE vs. G2 Esports (High)
–Team Spirit vs. Eternal Fire (Mid)
–Bad News Eagles vs. Imperial (Mid)
–Astralis vs. MIBR (Mid)
–Complexity vs. Outsiders (Mid)
–Renegades vs. IHC Esports (Low)
–Team Liquid vs. 9z (Low)

–Field Level Media