At the VCT NA Stage Three Challengers on July 30, TSM and Luminosity both won their upper bracket series. Two key events, each in a significantly different way against T1 and Rise. TSM and LG advance to the winner's bracket final and, more importantly, earn their spots in the NA Challengers Playoffs in August with their victories.
Both Luminosity and Rise showed up to play on Ascent, but Luminosity overcame an 8-9 deficit to take Rise's map selection, capped off by five consecutive attack rounds and a 26-12 performance by YaBoiDre on Reyna. With the Rise's problems on Icebox and Breeze, they wanted the initial map pick to go their way, but a loss on Icebox meant doom. With another incredible Reyna game from YaBoiDre and an equally great Viper game from stand-in TiGG, Luminosity hammered Rise 13-2.
The TSM vs. T1 showdown took a very different path, beginning as a one-sided affair and gradually becoming more competitive as the series continued. TSM won six consecutive assault rounds to start the series on Split, and while T1 was able to salvage four rounds in the first half, TSM won all five defence rounds to capture map one 13-4. TSM led 7-5 at halftime on Icebox before T1 knotted the game at 7-7 with two quick retakes. TSM's excellent first-half defence was surpassed by T1's outstanding second-half defence, which allowed only one round in the second half, defeating Icebox 13-8 and sending the series to Haven.
Haven, like Icebox, saw an epic Jett duel between autimatic and Wardell, the latter of whom was fantastic on the Op, the Marshall, and with the Jett blades. On his trusty Skye, he received lots of assistance from Subroza, opening the road for a victory on Haven and securing the series triumph. Wardell had 53 kills to only 30 deaths in the series, with a +9 first kill/first death differential.
TSM and Luminosity have more work to do in Challengers Two, as both teams will advance to the winners final, where they will compete for a better seed and more money. However, both teams have completed their task, earning a position in the NA Challengers Playoffs and a minimum of 40 VCT circuit points simply by qualifying. Rise and T1 are both down but not out, as they have been relegated to the lower bracket for another opportunity at the Challengers Playoffs. For the final two berths, Rise will compete against Gen.G, while T1 will compete against FaZe Clan.