Movistar Riders Crowned Melbourne Champions After Unforgettable Victory at ESL Challenge

Toby Marshall
1 May 2023
Movistar Riders

In what can only be described as a true underdog story, Movistar Riders emerged as the champions of the ESL Pro League Season 15 Challenge in Melbourne. The Spanish team, who were playing with two emergency replacements, beat the likes of Renegades, BIG, and Heroic to take home the grand prize of $30,000.

Movistar Riders’ journey to the top was nothing short of remarkable. The team had to make two emergency replacements just days before the tournament, as their star players couldn’t make it to Melbourne due to visa issues. The replacements, Ricardo “rmn” Oliveira and Christopher “MUTiRiS” Fernandes, had never played with the team before and had to quickly adapt to their playing style.

Despite the setbacks, Movistar Riders started the tournament on a high, beating the Australian team, Renegades, in their opening match. They then faced off against BIG, the number one seed in the tournament, in the quarterfinals. BIG were the heavy favorites, but Movistar Riders put on a masterclass performance, winning the best-of-three series 2-0.

In the semifinals, Movistar Riders faced off against the Danish team, Heroic, who had been on a hot streak in recent months. The series went the full distance, with both teams trading blows in a back-and-forth affair. However, Movistar Riders came out on top, winning the deciding map 16-14, to set up a final showdown with the Swedish team, Ninjas in Pyjamas.

The grand final was a tense affair, with both teams putting up a strong fight. Movistar Riders took the first map, Mirage, in convincing fashion, winning 16-8. Ninjas in Pyjamas bounced back in the second map, Nuke, winning 16-12 to level the series. The third and final map, Inferno, was a nerve-wracking affair, with both teams refusing to give an inch. In the end, it was Movistar Riders who emerged victorious, winning the map 16-14, and with it, the championship.

The hero of the final was Movistar Riders’ star player, Alejandro “mopoz” Fernández-Quejo Cano, who put up a stellar performance throughout the tournament. He was the highest-rated player in the final, with a rating of 1.33, and was also the tournament’s MVP, with an average rating of 1.29 across all matches.

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Speaking after the win, Movistar Riders’ coach, Ignacio “meyern” Meyer, praised his team’s resilience and determination. “It’s been a tough week for us, with the visa issues and the last-minute replacements, but the team showed great spirit and fought hard in every match. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved here in Melbourne.”

The win is a significant milestone for Movistar Riders, who have been steadily climbing the ranks of the European CS:GO scene in recent years. The team has undergone several changes in the past year, with new players coming in and out, but they have managed to maintain their winning form.

With the ESL Pro League Season 15 Finals coming up in November, Movistar Riders will be hoping to carry their momentum forward and make a deep run in the tournament. The team has shown that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level, and with their recent win in Melbourne, they will be a team to watch out for in the months to come.

Overall, the ESL Pro League Season 15 Challenge was a thrilling event, showcasing some of the best CS:GO talent from around the world. Movistar Riders’ victory is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination, and it is sure to inspire other under

Author Toby Marshall