MIBR sweep ATK in ECL S44 finals to clinch Pro League spot
Season 44 of ESL Challenger League has drawn to a close, with MIBR taking down international squad ATK in a 3-0 sweep in the grand finals. MIBR's second consecutive victory in the domestic league has earned them a place in ESL Pro League Season 18, set to begin in August.
MIBR earned their place in the grand finals of the league after a triumphant run through the upper bracket, with the squad moving past Detonate, Nouns, and ATK without dropping a map, earning them the coveted map advantage heading into the finals. ATK's run endured more setbacks; the squad narrowly moved past Strife and EG Black before being knocked down to the lower bracket by MIBR, where another win over EG Black secured them a rematch against the Brazilians.
The series began on MIBR's pick of Vertigo, where ATK managed a relatively strong 6-3 start on the defense after snagging the first pistol round, but MIBR rallied in the latter portion of the half to edge out the lead with an 8-7 scoreline. MIBR extended the gap after snatching the second pistol round, allowing them to breach double digits with a 12-7 scoreline, but ATK found their footing on the offense to win seven rounds in a row, putting them two rounds away from evening up the series.
Although the map was quickly slipping away from them, MIBR consolidated their defense to claw their way to match point. Missing out on their chance to close out the game in regulation, ATK snatched the final round to take the map into overtime, where MIBR were able to steal away the map 19-16, bringing their lead in the series to 2-0.
Not dissuaded by the unfortunate ending to the first map, ATK marched ahead on their pick of Inferno with a commanding 8-2 lead on the T-side. The squad were poised to reach double-digit rounds, but MIBR managed to step it up in the last few rounds to narrow ATK's lead to 9-6 at halftime. MIBR laid claim to the second pistol round, allowing them to tie things up 9-9. Although ATK managed to stop MIBR's streak briefly, the Brazilians immediately responded with four more rounds to bring them a stone's throw from series point. ATK finally began to string together rounds once MIBR reached match point, but this time they were unable to bring the map to overtime as MIBR closed things out 16-14, taking the series 3-0.
|MIBR||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Henrique 'HEN1' Teles||56 - 32||+24||79.1||81.5%||1.32|
|Raphael 'exit' Lacerda||49 - 37||+12||82.5||80.0%||1.23|
|Matheus 'Tuurtle' Anhaia||45 - 42||+3||77.8||75.4%||1.11|
|Felipe 'insani' Yuji||45 - 47||-2||75.4||69.2%||1.03|
|Breno 'brnz4n' Poletto||31 - 41||-10||56.8||70.8%||0.94|
|ATK||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Ethan 'reck' Serrano||44 - 50||-6||77.4||66.2%||1.00|
|Jonathan 'djay' Dallal||41 - 42||-1||73.7||67.7%||1.00|
|Michael 'Swisher' Schmid||40 - 46||-6||72.3||69.2%||0.96|
|Jonathan 'b0denmaster' Bodenmalm||38 - 41||-3||64.6||70.8%||0.94|
|Gareth 'MisteM' Ries||35 - 48||-13||64.4||63.1%||0.85|
The final standings for ESL Challenger League Season 44 are:
1. MIBR - ESL Pro League Season 18 & $20,000
2. ATK - $11,500
3. EG Black - $7,000
4. Strife - $4,000
5-6. Nouns - $2,500
5-6. LOS + oNe - $2,500
7-8. timbermen - $1,250
7-8. Detonate - $1,250
MIBR will now be preparing for their next event of note, the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown Americas, where the squad will face off against their countrymen paiN on March 29th to kick off the fight for a place in the BLAST Premier Spring Final.