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Before the action happened: Regional League moments that defined the Charlotte Major

DarkZero Esports have won the Charlotte Major, but everything could have been different.

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One week ago, DarkZero Esports managed to win its first international event. However, it could have been different, not just for the Americans, but for many other teams.

These are just some of the moments that decided the shortlist of competitors at the Charlotte Major.

DarkZero Esports 7-5 Spacestation Gaming

There’s no better way to start than having a look at the champions’ path. Curiously, the eventual tournament winners would clinch the very final spot – and it was not easy.

Split by just one point, DarkZero Esports and Spacestation Gaming headed to the last playday of the stage in fourth and fifth place, respectively. The teams would face off on Apr. 27, a game that would decide who would join Astralis, Oxygen Esports, and XSET to represent North America in the Charlotte Major.

Three players above 1.20 rating, and especially ten entry kills could make you think that Spacestation won the match. It was not the case though, as DarkZero Esports won 7-5 to climb to third place in the standings. Three weeks later, the purple squad was lifting its first international trophy, the third for Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski.

Chiefs Esports 2-1 SANDBOX Gaming

After losing to Talon Esports in the team’s first match in the upper bracket, the Australian side was relegated to the lower bracket. Only a deep playoff round would see the Chiefs qualifying for what would be a second consecutive Major appearance.

Amid serious ping complications which eventually affected both rosters, Chiefs defeated SANDBOX Gaming in a game that was pushed to maximum overtime on map three. With the Australians winning the final round of the series, the team moved on to face DWG KIA, as they defeated the South Koreans by 2-0.

Regardless of the Chiefs participation in Charlotte, the team was impressed in some game areas, especially on entry rating. Ethan “Ethan” Picard is a clear example, as he scored a SiegeGG rating of 1.15, and got 14 entry kills in just six maps.

G2 Esports 7-5 Rogue

G2 Esports’ super-roster debut against former team member Juhani “Kantoraketti” Toivonen, who was making his return to the top-flight after a six-month competitive hiatus, was the match of the week for the wrong reasons.

After ten rounds played, both teams had five rounds in their pocket. Suddenly, Kantoraketti got disconnected from the match, and a Rogue rehost call was denied. Playing under Castle, the Finn had only placed two of his armor panels. G2 Esports would comfortably win the round, and the match eventually.

Paying attention to other teams in EUL that could have changed the final standings, it’s worth noting MNM Gaming’s poor results against the two bottom teams, Team Secret and PWNZ – both rosters combined three regulation wins, two of them against MNM Gaming.

Having won at least one of these two matches would have put MNM Gaming among the best four rosters of the stage, as victories against BDS, LFO, and Rogue helped the team to finish in fifth, just two points away from the fourth-placed roster, G2 Esports, against who they lost by just 4-7.

FURIA Esports 8-7 Ninjas in Pyjamas

Despite Ninjas in Pyjamas being at the bottom of the standings without any possible chances to make it to the Charlotte Major, the SI 2021 champions pushed FURIA Esports to maximum overtime on Border. Luiz “Miracle” Abrantes’s triple kill in the final round gave his team two points that eventually made the difference between them and Black Dragons.

FURIA Esports was in ninth place by the start of the stage’s final week, but managed to climb to fourth after defeating Black Dragons, INTZ, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

The team’s victory against NiP was not the only result to highlight, as FaZe Clan's loss against Team Liquid in the very final match of the stage made the final difference. A victory over the blue cavalry would have seen FaZe advancing to the Copa Elite Six, where they would have at least fought for a chance to qualify for the Charlotte Major.

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