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EU Challenger League 2022: Everything you need to know

The 2022 EUCL season starts tonight.

The 2022 European Challenger League starts tonight after a year of buildup.

A total of 16 tier-two teams will fight through a group stage and playoff tournament taking place either side of the upcoming Six Major event happening in the region. 

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the tournament and this weekend’s games:

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Group A

Victus -- Oscr, Skeptic, Eupor, NNN1CK, and skiteyyy
Rebels Gaming -- kuriboh, Goga, Foskito, croqson, and Thuunder
JLingz Esports -- Leonski, Sam, Quick, Draw, and Turqo
Dunlimited -- IWI, RORICK, n0rdwindd, ARMi, and hypx

Iberia’s representatives, Rebels Gaming, are Spain’s best chance at a successful roster in numerous years. The team includes two ex-EU League players, Goga and Thuunder, the Spain National MVP, CroQson, and two back-to-back-to-back-to-back Spain National grand-finalists, kuriboh and FOSKITo.

Also of note are Jlingz Esports, the successor to the old GAMMA GAMING. However, only Leonski remains from last year as Prano, ASTRO, and Deapek all moved to the EUL. Four new tier-three players have since joined, before the team finished as runners-up in the Benelux League.

Dunlimited is an almost completely new roster of Russian and Belarusian players with limited prior history, as their national league was cancelled. They joined their new organization on Thursday and were previously known as Vyalie Pitoni.

Finally, Victus finished fourth during the NPL league stage before beating Viperio to a third-place finish in the playoffs. This roster includes numerous players who have competed in the NPL, Benelux League, UKIN, Nordic Championship, and Russian Major League.

Group B

Activit-E Esports -- Atomic, BmB3R, Karmaze, Couraxe, and Levolution
Lan Party Hotel -- Groone, Mengo, Yuki, Aiven,and Huntbaby
LFO GSA -- Acelele, ripz, Slshr, StrkR, and Vulumix
DeathroW -- Frenchy, Prime, Shoukri, Gorank, and Swaz

Activit-E Esports were a Belgian-majority roster that finally broke the Netherlands’ perfect record at winning the Benelux League. Coached by ex-Millenium and Fnatic coach Crapelle, the team has since picked up two German players, including Levolution, who was previously banned after qualifying for EUCL 2021.

LFO GSA, previously known as Ovation, have had four members together since the 2021 GSA League. Since then, the long-time Rogue player ripz has joined as well. The team finished third-fourth in the GSA League after surviving relegation last year. 

Lan Party Hotel includes Yuki, Mengo, and Aiven, who won last year’s Nordic Championship season, with the former two then finishing in last place in the EU Challenger League. The Czech roster has since moved into the expanded Polish Masters tournament to become the V4 Masters representatives.

Finally, DeathroW finished this year’s 6 French League in fourth place. The team includes Shoukri, who was loaned to the French Heroic roster last year, where he earnt a 0.98 SiegeGG Rating and finished in ninth-place.

Group C

Acend -- ENEMY, RevaN, Kaktus, Ra1kos, DEADSHT, and AzoXx
WYLDE -- BZ, Gsla, Jay, Korey, AceeZ, and Caneo
Viperio 86 -- VITO, KaneB, Curly, Hungry, and Layton
Ex-Coalesce -- Karyuudo, Zorzi, DIVIDED, Nixon, and NoaUrz

After the Acend organization finished in seventh place in the 6 French League, it picked up the second-placed 321 Sked Esports roster and brought RevaN and ENEMY over with them. 321 Sked had been the standout French challengers this year but have since lost their star player, LikEfac, to BDS.

WYLDE feature two of the best-known EUL players, AceeZ and korey who competed in eight global events. The entire roster previously impressed at the Gamers8 event in Saudi Arabia, where they beat both Team Liquid and Spacestation Gaming at this tournament and qualified for EUCL after winning GSA 2022.

Viperio 86 finished third in the NPL league and then fourth in the playoffs. The roster includes Hungry who played on Vitality and G2 and VITO played for Chaos. The organization and Curly also finished the EUCL 2021 Season in fifth-sixth place alongside Acend.

Finally, the core of ex-Coalesce also competed in the Northern Premier League, finishing in sixth place. Since then their analyst notably moved to become Lan Party Hotel’s coach and KaneB moved to Viperio 86. Since then, two Italian players have joined after finishing in sixth place on Totem Esports in the PG Nationals.

Group D

TENSTAR -- azzr, YZN, Jeggz, Jonka, and Zenoxo
Mkers -- Gemini, aquim, Lollo, dora, Sorry, and Sasha
MNM Gaming Academy -- Nerf, Jaiilo, Relaxing, Erkkari, and wild
KVM Esports -- Neox, Shd, NoerA, JaKs, and EiZ

TENSTAR won the Northern Premier League after a tense 3-2 win over Heroic in the grand-final. The team stars Jonka, who was in G2 Esports last year and earlier this year included NAVI’s Leadr and Secret’s Savage. Even with these players leaving, they still look like a strong EUCL favourite.

Mkers previously attended the 2021 Six Invitational where they finished 9-12th. Four players still remain from this roster as they’ve added in two more, Dora and Sorry. Since then, they have won four out of five Italian National tournaments but struggled in numerous Europe-wide tournaments. 

MNM Gaming Academy are yet another Northern Premier League roster and finished in seventh place in the tournament. Since then, they’ve replaced two players and finished as the top ranked open qualifier roster, finishing in second place in two of the three qualifiers. 

Finally, we have KVM Esports -- the ex-Acend and Les Pichichiiii roster. Replacing the departed ENEMY and RevaN come JaKs and Neox, who finished both 2021’s 6 French League and EUCL in third place on DeathroW. The remaining ex-Acend players also include NoerA, who played in the EUCL on TrainHard last year, and Shd, who was the fifth highest rated player during EUCL 2021.

Schedule, Format & Prize Pool

The format will see an initial group stage, where the top two teams in each group progress to the subsequent playoffs.

The groups will take place over the next two weekends from Oct. 14 to 23. It will be a double round-robin, best-of-one format, meaning every team plays six maps.

The playoffs will then be on Nov. 7, 10, 14, and 17, concluding from Dec. 2 to 4. This will be a best-of-three map double-elimination bracket.

This schedule means that there will not be a break in the action. The EU League ends on Oct. 31 and will be replaced with two play days a week of Challenger League action. A week's break for the Jönköping Major will then be followed very quickly by the EUCL Finals. 

While no European League spots will be on offer, the winning teams will have an unspecified advantage during the 2023 season. This will act as a perfect scouting opportunity for tier-one teams ahead of the mid-season transfer window.

Prize pool wise, there is €50,000 on offer split up as follows:

  • 1st place: €15,000
  • 2nd place: €10,000
  • 3rd-4th place: €7,500
  • 5th-8th place: €2,500

This Weekend

The first half of the group stage will take place over this long weekend with 24 games over three days:

Friday, Oct. 14

  • 6:00PM -- Victus vs Rebels and Jlingz vs Dunlimited
  • 7:15PM -- Activit-E vs Lan Party and LFO vs DeathroW
  • 8:30PM -- Acend vs WYLDE and ex-Coalesce vs Viperio
  • 9:45PM -- TENSTAR vs Mkers and MNM vs Pichichiiii

Saturday, Oct. 15

  • 6:00PM -- Victus vs Jlingz and Rebels vs Dunlimited
  • 7:15PM -- Activit-E vs LFO and Lan Party vs DeathroW
  • 8:30PM -- WYLDE vs ex-Coalesce and Acend vs Viperio
  • 9:45PM -- TENSTAR vs MNM and Mkers vs Pichichiiii

Sunday, Oct. 16

  • 6:00PM -- Victus vs Dunlimited and Rebels vs Jlingz
  • 7:15PM -- Lan Party vs LFO and Activit-E vs DeathroW
  • 8:30PM -- Acend vs ex-Coalesce and WYLDE vs Viperio
  • 9:45PM -- TENSTAR vs Pichichiiii and Mkers vs MNM

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