Their only hope is now the all-star game.

After a shock loss to an unknown team, Falcons Esports will not represent its sponsor region at the Esports World Cup. The brutal best-of-one loss eliminates the squad from contention at the $60 million multi-game event, the largest prize pool in esports history. The disappointment is the latest underwhelming result from the superteam. Here are details on Falcons’ surprise defeat and the team that pulled off the upset.

The match took place in the European Open Qualifier for Esports World Cup 2024. Falcons entered the 32-team event as a dominating favorite with competition from GamerLegion, AMKAL, and Apeks. The squad matched against RUBY in the first round, a lesser-known team that competes in the tier two scene. 

RUBY immediately seized the lead with an 8-4 CT half. Falcons attempted to rally on its own CT side, but fumbled a crucial buy round to lose the economic advantage. The Russian-Kazakh team went for the throat, with Maksim “dekzgosu” Korolev earning the last of his 20 frags to finish the best-of-one. With a single game on Mirage, Falcons has missed out on the biggest prize in esports history.

This is the latest of multiple disappointments from the all-star stack. Falcons missed the Copenhagen Major after a series of upsets compounded by poor clutch form. The Saudi-backed squad dropped the bag again after signing superstar Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyljev as a stand-in for BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2024.

Now after signing the winningest player in CSGO history with Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen, the team once again fails to perform. Expect Falcons to make even more changes while its rivals march towards the Esports World Cup.

Who is RUBY? The team that beat Falcons for the Esports World Cup

To Team Falcons’ credit, RUBY is actually a solid underdog to win the qualifer. 

Älihan "w1nt3r" Köpjanov leads the stack after departing the IGL role of AVANGAR. He’s backed by two explosive riflers in dekzgosu and Maksim “sowalio” Beketov, who combined for five triple kills in the one map. AWPer Abdurakhim “mo0n” Issa is no slouch either, going 16-13 with a 50% headshot rate.

w1nt3r at the Antwerp Major during his stint on Team Unique (Image via PGL)
w1nt3r at the Antwerp Major during his stint on Team Unique (Image via PGL)

After knocking Falcons out, RUBY will face Aurora Gaming, then likely GamerLegion in the Esports World Cup qualifiers. The stack will face Cloud9 and Eternal Fire in the closed qualifier if it goes the distance. The path to the event is arduous, but beating Falcons has likely put a very strong breeze in RUBY’s sails.

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