Acend advance into Playoffs, Liquid and Fnatic fall behind

posted by jacpaka,
The first Main Event of VALORANT Champions Tour: Stage 3 is wrapped up and Europe has determined its first four participants for the playoffs. In an epic finale of the EU Challengers 1, Acend have proven that they are back by taking down G2 Esports with a 3-1 after struggling in the second VCT Stage. Quickly falling behind on the first two maps, G2 found themselves in a tough situation not being able to stage a comeback. The 13-5 on Icebox and the 13-2 on Bind led to a 2-0 lead for Acend in the best of five series.

A convincing 13-6 win on the third map Ascent saw G2 bounce back and force a fourth showdown on Haven, but Auni 'AvovA' Chahade and his team weren't able to repeat this success. Acend secured a 13-10 victory after a tight first half, taking the series, €15.000 prize money, and guaranteeing their participation in the EMEA Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs. This is Acend's first success since winning the European Stage 1 Masters back in March.

The fans had a clear favorite regarding the “Player of the Match”. In a poll on the European VCT Twitter channel, Acend’s Mehmet Yağız 'cNed' İpek got over 90% of the votes after showing some incredible plays and KDAs against G2.

G2, Guild Esports and FunPlus Phoenix also qualify for playoffs

With the loss to Acend, G2 wasn't able to complete their impressive Lower Bracket run. The Spanish organisation around Oscar 'mixwell' Cañellas not only played the most games out of all participants in Challengers 1, but also took down a long list of strong opponents on their way: Rix.GG, Fnatic, FunPlus Phoenix and Guild Esports. With a new Lineup for the third Stage, G2 finally showed their potential and reached their first playoffs.

The usual big dogs Guild Esports and FunPlus Phoenix also qualified for the tournament which will take place in mid-August. Both teams could rack up a win against our Masters 2 representatives. Guild won against Fnatic 2-1 in the Upper-Bracket Round 2. Meanwhile, FPX won 2-0 against Team Liquid.

Fnatic’s Boaster: The quality of play has dropped

Both of EU’s former strongest representing teams Liquid and Fnatic did not take their run too far into the event. After having already lost against G2 in the Closed Qualifier earlier in July, Fnatic wasn't able to get their revenge in Challengers 1. The finalist of the Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík also had to admit defeat in the most recent clash of these two teams. Jake 'Boaster' Howlett talked about the rather early exit in the Challengers 1 tournament saying that the 'quality of play has dropped' since the team returned from Iceland and that him and his teammates need to step up in the future.

Liquid had to abandon their dream of speedrunning through the Lower Bracket as FPX eliminated them 2-0 in the second round. However, both Fnatic and Liquid got a seed for Challengers 2 at the end of July and thus will not have to compete in a qualifier. With only two European spots left for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs, both teams are looking to take it much further in the second Challengers Event of Stage 3 in a few weeks.

The first four European participants locked in their places for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs, starting on 12 August. Also, the following four teams qualified for the Main Event 2:

Challengers Playoffs:

  • Acend
  • G2 Esports
  • Guild Esports
  • FunPlus Phoenix

Main Event 2:

  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid
  • Team BDS
  • Rix.GG Thunder

The participants of Challengers Week 2 will fight for one of the two remaining EU spots for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs which will bring the three regions EU, CIS and TR together to determine which four teams will represent the EMEA region in Masters 3 in Berlin.

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Photo credit: Riot Games/Freaks 4U

  • jacpaka


    Jacqueline Segeth
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