Stage 2 EMEA finalists to rematch at Main Event 1

posted by SmittyW.,
Fnatic and Team Liquid battle each other once more, G2 Esports test their updated roster: Main Event 1 offers a little taste of what's to come in VCT's last Stage this year. A battle of titans, promising newcomers, charismatic fan favourites, and scores to settle: EU's Main Event 1 features merely eight teams but there are twice as many interesting storylines to follow. We take a look at the first matches of the €35,000 event which runs from 7 until 11 July. Which four teams will advance to the EMEA Challengers Playoffs in August? This is the beauty of VCT: there is no way of knowing!

Fnatic vs Liquid: EU's El Clásico

Both Fnatic and Team Liquid were the undisputedly best teams in Stage 2, and have fought against each other several times. Fnatic won two of the three series, most recently the unfortunate elimination match at Masters Reykjavík which destroyed EMEA's hope of an intraregional grand final in Iceland.

In Stage 3, Team Liquid completed the Qualifier with relative ease, only struggling a little against Alliance, who they defeated 2-1. However, the squad of Jake 'Boaster' Howlett almost didn't make it: first they lost to G2 Esports in Upper Bracket Round 2, then they dropped a map against underdog Wave Esports.

If the recent past is any indicator, this match-up will be certainly one of the most thrilling ones we will see at Main Event 1. And unlike Iceland, the defeated team won't go home early but will continue their journey in the lower bracket.

Guild vs BDS: Fight of fan favourites

Few teams boast as many charismatic individuals as Guild Esports and Team BDS. Yacine 'Yacine' Laghmari and Rodolphe 'rodeN' Bianco are among the people who are not simply good at the game but also make you smile listening to them. In addition to that, the two rosters are representatives of their home countries, as they belong to the few internationally successful line-ups consisting of national players only. Guild Esports can rely on the support of the Swedish community, whereas BDS enjoy the favour of the French fans.

Both squads are regulars in EU's Challengers and have been tested many times. Although neither of them ended up winning a regional Stage, they are perfectly capable of defeating even the strongest teams of the region. If we look at their VCT history, there is not telling who will have the upper hand: out of the two matches they played, one went to BDS and one to Guild.

G2 vs FPX: Which philosophy prevails?

No, G2 couldn't be happy with their performance in Stage 2. The team, which was said to be the best prior to VCT, has had surprisingly little impact so far. In June, they exchanged almost their entire roster, only leaving star player Oscar 'mixwell' Cañellas. Among the new signings one can find notable players from several VCT-proven teams such as Žygimantas 'nukkye' Chmieliauskas and Auni 'AvovA' Chahade (formerly Team Heretics) and Jose Luis 'koldamenta' Aranguren (formerly Acend). The refreshed roster passed the qualification phase with flying colours, even besting EMEA's Stage 2 runner-up Fnatic 2-0.

FunPlus Phoenix have enjoyed more success in VCT so far. Accordingly, the line-up has been stable, which speaks for captain Kiril 'ANGE1' Karasiow's trust in his team. Despite being one of the best teams in Stage 1 and 2, FPX haven't scored a big victory yet. The match history against G2 doesn't look that promising: FPX have only won one series out of six. However, all these were played prior to VCT, so we are in for a whole new storyline in the making right here. Will G2's new roster prevail or ANGE1's unshaking belief in his team?

Acend vs Rix.GG: Newcomers challenge champions

Acend were the surprise in Stage 1, claiming victory at Masters 1 against Team Heretics in the finals. With powerhouses such as Mehmet Yağız 'cNed' İpek, Santeri 'BONECOLD' Sassi and koldamenta, the team beat favourites and claimed the $60,000 prize money.

During Stage 2, Acend were not able to repeat their feat, dropping out of the race for spots at the EMEA Challengers Playoffs. Since exchanging koldamenta for ex-G2 duelist Aleksander 'zeek' Zygmunt, the Masters 1 champions seem to be more successful once again. In their first match, Acend meet Rix.GG Thunder. The British organisation is no stranger to VCT fans, as it has been a constant competitor in the circuit. This time, they finally managed to advance to a decisive phase of Challengers. And everyone familiar with VCT's young history knows how dangerous underdogs can be.

What's in it for the teams?

Main Event 1 will hold prize money for the top 4 of the event. On top of that, the four best teams qualify for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs where they will compete with TR's and CIS' top teams for spots at Masters Berlin in September.

Challengers Main Event 1 EU


How can I stay updated?

To stay up to date with the latest news on VCT EMEA, follow our social channels listed below:

Where can I catch the action?

Ongoing matches are broadcast directly on the official VCT channels. Also, there's no need to worry if you are busy during match times: Just tune in to the VODs uploaded to either YouTube or Twitch whenever you want to.

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Photo credit: Riot Games