The Spanish team Movistar Riders finally proclaimed itself a champion of ESL Challenger Valencia, after beating one of the tournament’s favorites, Outsiders, in the grand final. The Russian team had arrived undefeated in the final by winning over teams, such as 00Nation, Team Sprout, and Rare Atom. However, the Spaniards took them down in a tight battle with 2-1 on the scoreboard. The team won its first international title on LAN and launched its trophy locker on the hltv profile.
Movistar Riders is the dark horse of IEM Cologne 2022, which only Natus Vincere could stop in a very tense and interesting match. Recall that the Spanish team defeated Vitality and G2 twice at this event. If you look at the past of the Spaniards, you can characterize them as a typical tier-2,3 team that periodically went to tier-1 events and did not show anything special. But this year everything has changed dramatically. Most recently, the ESL Challenger Valencia 2022 tournament was held, in which there were only two contenders for victory – Movistar Riders and Outsiders.
As expected, it was these two teams that made it to the final of the tournament, and as a result, MR turned out to be stronger, winning 2-1 on maps and earning $50,000. Very decent results at LAN tournaments for a team that mainly plays online. Now they have to play with Liquid for reaching the semi-finals of IEM Cologne 2022. By the way, this year the teams have already met in the ESL Pro League and then there was a very tense match, which ended with the victory of the Americans. Now the Spaniards have the opportunity to take revenge and sensationally go through the semi-final stage.
In terms of the map pool, the teams have almost everything the same, there are small differences on individual maps, but they are not significant. It is unlikely that the mopoz team will be able to pick their favorite nuke, since the Americans have 0% wins on it and they will ban it very first. So MR’s choice would be nuke with 50% win rate.
It was an exciting three days for all Spanish CS:GO fans with international eSports matches, live music, conferences, and cosplay contests, among many other activities. In this article, we want to recap the atmosphere of this unforgettable tournament and analyze the current situation of the Spanish team for the second half of 2022. Without further ado, let’s get started!
The Spaniards in the Semifinals
On July 3, Movistar Riders arrived as a favorite in the semifinals against Sprout for the fact of playing at home. With the stands full of fans, the Spaniards dazzled on the server with their best performance. The team continued to run over against the Brazilians and put the 1-0 in the series with a resounding 16-5 result in Inferno. The next up was Nuke. Despite having a not so bulky score, the MRS squad managed to close the semifinals with a 16-11 victory.
Historic Movie Ending For the Movistar Riders
As we have said earlier, the riders had to face Outsiders in the grand final, one of the main favorites to get a place in Valencia. This battle was tight but “mopoz” and “SunPayus” led the riders to victory with outstanding statistics and play. All the results you can see at the https://cover.gg/matches/finished webpage.
Map 1: Inferno (16-9)
The opening map was Inferno and the riders managed to close the first half with 9-6 from the T side. However, the plot twist came after the change of sides. The Outsiders managed to cut distances, demonstrating a good offensive strength. In particular, Dzhami “Jame” Ali showed that he is a top player in a 1vs3 situation and led the team to 16-9 victory.
Map 2: Overpass (14-16)
An extremely close first half on the second map of Overpass (7-8) was not very hopeful for the Movistar Riders’ comeback. But the second irregular half benefited the terrorist side of the riders to tie the series with 16-14.
Map 3: Vertigo (14-16)
The Spanish start on Vertido was perfect, but the Russian roster came to tie the score and put a tight 8-7, a result that could have been much better for the riders. The deadly duo of “SunPayus” and “Dav1g” saved a 4vs5 against Outsiders, something that caused the death of all of them one by one. MRS finally scored 16-14 and proclaimed itself champions of this event.
Spanish CS:GO Fans at DreamHack Valencia
As always, the tournament was held at the Fira València center between July 1 and 3. It was an unforgettable weekend for all Spanish CS:GO fans. Although Movistar Riders debuted on Friday at 10:25 am UTC, not really an attractive time for many people on a business day, the stage had a significant number of fans who anticipated what could happen in the grand final.
Before the grand final, you could see a roller coaster of emotions throughout the convention center. Almost everywhere, including bathrooms and the queues of the food stalls, the battle between the Spaniards and Outsiders was one of the main topics of conversation. Furthermore, half an hour before starting, it was almost impossible to sit close enough to the screen to see everything in the best possible way.
There was a tight final for the riders, but we could see a huge faith in the victory of the Spanish fans in every movement. In addition, European attendees who arrived at first to simply enjoy the CS:GO professional scene, began to cheer up and celebrate each round of MRS. The fans applauded the continuous attempts of players who were not going to give up easily. And finally, Movistar Riders scored 16-14 and put 2-1 on the scoreboard to proclaim itself a champion of ESL Challenger Valencia in front of a totally excited audience.
Galder “bladE” Barcena: Current Situation of the Team
Galder “bladE” Barcena, coach of the Movistar Riders, has analyzed the current situation of the team after its victory in Valencia. He said that the success had been more to work and talent than luck. Also, “bladE” shared the sports goals for the second half of 2022. It included the dream to move on to the main event of IEM Cologne and, what is more, to play the IEM Rio Major.