The Gfinity Challenger Series is underway and players worldwide are competing to earn a place in the upcoming Elite Series Draft and potentially secure a roster spot with one of the world's top esports teams for Season 3. An opportunity this huge doesn't come around that often – and in the first two seasons of the Elite Series, we saw several Challenger Series draft picks grab the opportunity with both hands and make their mark on the competition. So if you're looking for that little extra motivation to keep playing and putting in work in the Challenger Series, read on as we take a look at four players who went from Challenger to Elite.
Boltstrike [Reason Gaming, Street Fighter V]
Arguably the most successful graduate of the Challenger Series system, Boltstrike came onboard with Reason Gaming in Elite Series Season 2. It was back-to-back MVP performances in Weeks 6 and 7 that really stood out. Both times it fell to him to close out incredibly tight matches and both times, under immense pressure, he delivered, sealing victories against Envy and Epsilon. With the former going on to take the Season 2 title, such a strong showing didn't go unnoticed – and whilst the likes of Undacuva and Ki113r_7 won hearts and minds in the Gfinity Arena, it was Boltstrike who came through clutch time after time.
Broski [Endpoint, Street Fighter V]
One of the very first graduates of the Challenger Series, Broski came onboard with Endpoint in the inaugural Elite Series season when Endpoint first drafted an SFV team for the competition. Though Endpoint never made playoffs in SFV, Broski could always be relied on as a solid hand under pressure and to come through with important wins, boasting a 64.7% round win percentage in Season 2. His Dhalsim is an ever-consistent threat – look for him to only get better from here on out.
DarkMoonHado [Prophecy, Street Fighter V]
If anyone demonstrates the importance of having a great substitute in your roster, it's DarkMoonHado. Initially drafted to supplement the core trio of Zera, Shivryuken and Akainu, it fell to him to step into the breach at the eleventh hour in Week 2 of Season 2 as Zera fell foul of travel issues and couldn't make the match. Hado not only filled in capably but helped his team to a crucial win against exceL. Later on in the season, he was the shock pick to replace Shivryuken in their semi-final match against Infused; once again he delivered spectacularly, playing his part in the epic 4-0 shutout victory. Such was his impact that questions were asked when he didn't play in the finals – the fact of the matter is, don't sleep on Hado in 2018.
Xaisty [Epsilon Esports, CS:GO]
All the graduates we've highlighted so far are SFV players, so let's mix it up with a CS:GO player – one who in a similar vein to DarkMoonHado, proved to be a vital contributor to his team's semi-final win in Season 2. That would be Xaisty, drafted onto the roster of reigning champions Epsilon and making his mark late in the season as their bid for back-to-back titles fell just short in the finals. Despite that result, Xaisty's contribution to the semi-final victory over Endpoint cannot be underestimated; expect a more regular role for the youngster in future competitions. Also, he’s got great hair.
Fancy yourself as the next Xaisty, Boltstrike, Broski or DarkMoonHado? The Gfinity Challenger Series is underway, but you can still signup and get playing for those elusive top 30 spots in the Elite Series Draft! Get yourself registered here – the Challenger Series is waiting for you.