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ESL announces Closed Qualifier teams for ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022

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ESL has revealed all eight teams for the Closed Qualifiers of the ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022. The first-place winner of this event will qualify for the main Rotterdam 2022 event, which features a $100,000 total prize pool and a seat at the ESL Pro League Conference Season 17.

The invitees are as follows:

1. forZe Esports (EU)

2. Sprout (EU)

3. Eternal Fire (EU)

4. Entropiq (EU)

5. ATK Esports (NA)

6. Ex-Gaimin Gladiators (NA)

7. Imperial Esports (SA)

8. paiN Gaming (SA)

About the teams and tournament

Imperial Esports and paiN Gaming qualified for the Closed Qualifiers ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022 after securing top spots in the ESL Challenger Melbourne 2022, which took place last weekend. PaiN Gaming finished first, taking home $50,000 and a slot at the ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference. Imperial Esports took home $20,000 as the second place winner.

North American teams ATK Esports and Ex-Gaimin Gladiators have had strong showings throughout the year. They always finished in the top three in every tournament they competed in. The two teams will face Team oNe eSports in the qualifiers, which was the winner of the first open qualifier. The second open qualifier has not finished, meaning the tournament is awaiting one more challenger.

ATK Esports and Ex-Gaimin Gladiators finished second and third in the ESL Challenger League Season 41: North America, earning them seats in Season 42 of the Challenger League.

ForZe Esports, Sprout, Eternal Fire and Entropiq are currently in HLTV’s top 30 rankings, ensuring that the fight for the qualifying slot will be competitive. The four other teams for the European Closed Qualifiers have not been revealed as the Open Qualifiers have yet to commence.

Ranked ninth by HLTV, Entropiq is the current favorite to win. The other teams range from rank 21 to rank 26. However, forZe and Eternal Fire currently have win rates of over 60 percent, while Entropiq has 48.

Only one team from each region will advance. The tournament will feature a double elimination bracket, with each set being a best-of-three. The games will be streamed on official ESL Counter-Strike Youtube and Twitch channels on September 16. The maps for the event are Ancient, Dust II, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass and Vertigo.

The teams that qualify from this event, alongside Nixuh, which won the South African Closed Qualifier, will join four other teams for the offline ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022 on October 14. The remaining four teams are direct invitees and currently have not been revealed.

The top six teams from the ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022 will advance to the Group Stage of the ESL Pro League Season 17, an event with an $835,000 prize pool. The first-place winner will take home almost 21 percent of the prize pool at $175,000, and all teams will earn an additional $5000 for each group stage win. The winners of the Group Stage will move onto the Quarterfinals and eventually win a slot for the BLAST Premier: World Final 2022, which has a $1,000,000 prize pool.