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If you were sleeping on sheph in Challenger, it’s time to wake up. After a 0-1-2 stretch, sheph has won their last two matches and is second in the division, largely because the other top two players just fought each other. Those would be pox and dowsey, with the latter winning definitvely 7-2 in a casted match to hang on to first place in this crowded messpionage.
In Challengerdowsey won in staggering fashion over plastikqs 7-0 (casted here), and now sits at the top of the division with pox who defeated waterhouse 7-4. Both players started 2-0 and dropped their week 3 matchup, but have won four straight since. c9high started 5-0 but, following his first loss, has forfeited to turnipboy. incnone shook off two straight losses (after a 4-0 start) to defeat mastrblastr 7-4.
Challenger looked like it was clearing up, but the narrowing of the field has narrowed the margins, with just two points separating the top 11 players. In this division’s Swiss style, the matchups get harder as you go, and we’re just now starting to take the true measure of its competitors as they collide with, and react to, one another.
In Challenger the last perfect season in SCL fell, as plastikqs played spoiler to c9high, winning 7-3. mastrblastr bounced back from consecutive losses after a 3-0 start to narrowly defeat fancypants 7-5. And dowsey won his third straight, beating bitbandingpig 7-5. bitbandingpig opened 4-0 but has dropped matches to c9high and dowsey respectively, as Challenger sharpens its field. The top five players are all within one point of each other, and nine more are within two of that group.
In Challengerincnone suffered his first loss, at the hands of plastikqs (casted here), and c9high‘s scored a stunning 7-2 win over previously perfect bitbandingpig, leaving him in the only 5-0 player in the entire SCL. plastikqs and waterhouse, are right behind him at 4-0-1. dowsey defeated doomedbunnies 7-4 despite the following:
In Challengerbitbandingpig, who had yet allow an opponent to get to even five wins, fell behind 3-5 against the also-undefeated masterblastr before winning the final four games in an intense casted set. dowsey won 7-2 over bayushi, incnone scored a lopsided 7-1 victory over doomedbunnies, and c9high defeafted amlabella 7-3. bitbandingpig, c9high, and incnone are the only three perfect (4-0) players left in Challenger, but three others are still undefeated (3-0-1), and five more are just two points back.
In Challenger nearly all the 2-0 players from last week won again, and won easily: bitbandingpig won 7-1, quicklime won 7-2, and sheph won 7-3. The exception was the hotly anticipated dowsey–incnone matchup, with both players coming in undefeated. incnone won a tight (casted) set, 7-5, in what could end up being a finals preview. And zerdoom jumped out to a 6-3 lead on basshead before the latter won the last three to force a tie (analyzed on the EU cast).
Challenger continues to be a roiling mess of activity, but after two weeks 12 players are 2-0. Keep an eye on incnone, who’s not only undefeated, but scored a shutout this week and is now 14-3 in two matches.
The players in Challenger are off and running. As of the time of this writing, 27 of the 32 matchups have been played. It’ll be a few weeks until the contenders emerge from the chaos, but early stand outs among the week 1 winners include dowsey, who’s amassed over 2,700 games in under a month, and c9high, who’s played nearly 4,000 in about five weeks. Keep an eye on davidw, too, and expect a few other names to emerge by the end of May as Challenger’s Swiss-style schedule gradually.