As the teams start their journey to Dallas for the MDL Global Challenge we’re giving you everything you need to know about the action this weekend. Tune in to twitch.tv/esea on Friday to see who qualifies for the ESL Pro League and throughout the weekend to see the teams battle it out for the $75,000 prize pool.
MDL Global Challenge, $75,000
- 1st place: $25,000
- 2nd place: $15,000
- 3rd/4th place: $10,000 each
- 5th-8th place: $3,750 each
- Winner of Sprout/Vitality
- Loser of Furia/Singularity
- Team Spirit
- Party Astronauts
- Loser of Sprout/Vitality
- Winner of Furia/Singularity
- ATK Arena
- Chiefs Esports Club
|Date & Time||Match Type|
|Friday, July 12th: 12:30 pm Central||MDL EU Finals - BO3|
|Friday, July 12th: 5:00 pm Central||MDL NA Finals - BO3|
|Saturday, July 13th: 10:00 am Central||Group A Match One - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 10:00 am Central||Group B Match One - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 11:30 am Central||Group A Match Two - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 11:30 am Central||Group B Match Two - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 1:00 pm Central||Group A winners - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 1:00 pm Central||Group B winners - BO1|
|Saturday, July 13th: 2:30 pm Central||Group A Losers - BO3|
|Saturday, July 13th: 2:30 pm Central||Group B Losers - BO3|
|Saturday, July 13th: 6:00 pm Central||Group A Decider match - BO3|
|Saturday, July 13th: 6:00 pm Central||Group B Decider match - BO3|
|Sunday, July 14th: 10:00 am Central||Semi Final #1 - BO3|
|Sunday, July 14th: 1:30 pm Central||Semi Final #2 - BO3|
|Sunday, July 14th: 5:30 pm Central||Grand Finals - BO3|
The MDL Global Challenge will be brought to you by:
- Mark “Boq” Wilson
- Henry "HenryG" Greer
- Jamie "TheEternalJay" Martin
- Mike "DarfMike" Winnick
- Mitch "MagicHelmet" Langford
- Austin "Boggs" Bogdanovich
- Justin "PythianLegume" Glasner
The Season 31 MDL Global Challenge will soon be underway, wherein the very best MDL teams fight off for a prize pool of $75,000 and a chance to qualify for the ESL Pro League. Starting on July 12th, the tournament is a few weeks removed from the Mountain Dew League playoffs, which saw the top teams of Season 31 from North America, Europe, and Australia respectively fight off for a chance to qualify for both the MDL Global Challenge and the ESL Pro League. The EU and NA MDL Playoffs will conclude on July 12th and the winners of each will earn an automatic spot in the next season of the ESL Pro League. The following day, MDL’s very best will square off as the MDL Global Challenge begins.
The playoffs mark a time where both the stakes and the competition are sky-high. Responding to the pressure, some teams elevated their games to a new level. Our new match pages can help us tell the story of how particular teams excelled, and how they earned a spot at the MDL Global Challenge.
Despite losses to FURIA and ATK, Party Astronauts stood out with their grenade usage, as over the course of the playoffs they flashed their opponents a whopping 27% more than they were flashed themselves. Below are the heatmaps for the T-side flashes thrown for both ATK and Party Astronauts in the first game of their third-place decider series.
Here we see that Party Astronauts kept up with its opponents by increasing the volume of flashbangs in key points in the map—not only did they throw 6 more flashbangs than their opponents around Fountain, but we also see a greater number around the B site and Connector. On this map, Party Astronauts earned an impressive 14 flash assists, a figure that no doubt contributed to the 20 out of 29 opening kills they earned over the course of Overpass. The team’s effectiveness with flashbangs has provided them with a strong foundation on which to find picks and gain map control. As the 4th place North American team, continuing this effective grenade usage will prove essential for a Party Astronauts team if they want to succeed amidst the strong competition.
Another remarkable North American squad has been Team Singularity, who earned seventeen more opening kills than their opponents during the MDL playoffs.
From these two games, the first against ATK and second against New Identity, we can see that Singularity has been quite successful at denying entry into the bombsites, particularly around Banana, where they have earned 8 opening kills and given up only 4.
Moving on to the EU MDL, of the three teams in attendance both Spirit and Sprout outpaced their opposition by earning 57 and 58% first more kills than their opponents respectively. Sprout’s first kill differential is particularly noteworthy given the fact they only played five games in the MDL playoffs—-this means they had an average of 4.6 more opening kills than their opponents per map. If teams want to pierce Singularity’s armor, they’ll have to work hard at finding picks on the Terrorist side.
Looking at Sprout’s CT side heatmaps, we see that their flurry of opening kills comes from a variety of angles and players. This makes Sprout a dangerous and unpredictable opponent on CT side, which will surely serve them well both at the MDL Global Challenge and in the EU MDL Finals match against Vitality, in which a spot in the next season of the ESL Pro League is at stake.
As for Spirit, the team proved themselves as a dark horse by eliminating #1 European seed CR4ZY 2-0 as the 8th seed in the MDL playoffs. A significant factor in their victory was their ability to find opening picks, where they outpaced CR4ZY 34 to 16 in First Kills over two maps.
Unlike Sprout, who found opening kills all over the map, Spirit found most of their picks on Inferno around Banana. Given that Inferno is one of their most picked maps, wrestling for control of that area will prove to be pivotal in Spirit’s success in the MDL Global Challenge.
While these match page features tell us in which areas particular teams have excelled, there is still much that is up in the air. Will Party Astronaut’s edge in Flashbang usage help them overcome a rise in the quality of competition? Will Singularity’s impressive CT defense withstand FURIA’s ruthless aggression in the finals match? And can Sprout continue their sprawling defense against Vitality, who’s coming off an impressive Top 2 finish at ESL One Cologne? To find out, tune in to the MDL Global Challenge, at twitch.tv/esea, starting July 12th.