Davenport University makes NA CS:GO history
Following a whirlwind of ESL Challenger League news, the Davenport Panthers have finally made it into Challenger League following a six-season climb all the way from ESEA Open. Today's story starts at the end of the previous season of ESEA Advanced, Season 41. Following a personal best 11-3 record in the regular season, Davenport University performed well enough to participate in ECL Relegation, new ground for the young and ambitious squad.
Unfortunately, their first foray into Challenger League competition did not bode well for Davenport. The eight-team, double-elimination format tournament saw the Panthers leave just as soon as they arrived with a quick 0-2 loss to Axolotls followed by an even quicker 0-2 loss to Northern Forces. It seemed as if Davenport would have to wait until next season to make ECL again. However, following a series of teams dropping out of ECL, somehow, the Panthers found their way back into Challenger League without winning a single relegation game.
This marks an absolutely stellar climb for the collegiate team. From first starting out in ESEA Open in Season 36, the team has made stride after stride to show NACS that collegiate Counter-Strike still has much to offer. With renewed interest and signing after signing, Davenport has built a squad that has reached the pinnacle of North American Counter-Strike.
While other collegiate teams have also been present in ESEA leagues such as RMU Eagles and Michigan Tech Huskies, both of those teams have peaked in ESEA Advanced and were not able to climb the final berth to Challenger League. The entire collegiate scene has been in decline for a few years now, but this success from Davenport shows just how much the Panthers stand out from the rest of their collegiate brethren. Despite the amusing situation in which they attained ECL status, it's no doubt a historic moment for North American CS. We will see what they can do against some of the best in NA in ESL Challenger League Season 42.