Written By ArmandVanHelden - 2022-05-16
VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event is continuing without a single stop as the first week's games are over now. Acend, Fnatic, and G2 Esports started the run with wins over OG LDN Utd, FunPlus Phoenix, and FOKUS, respectively. The results were kinda expected for Acend and G2 Esports but the competition between FPX and Fnatic was worth watching.
It was the first game for Acend’s new lineup with Ondřej "MONSTEERR" Petrů and Vakaris "vakk" Bebravičius on the battlefield. The series started on Icebox with Acend on the attacking side of the map. OG LDN Utd started the map strongly, winning the first two rounds of the map. Even though it was sort of a shocking start for Acend, they managed to make a comeback and closed out the first half with eight wins on their side, 8-4. Acend’s Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt had a great showing on KAY/O, grabbing 13 kills to help his team get into bomb sites easily. Acend won almost every first blood which made it hard to defend the bombsites for the side of OG LDN. Michał "MOLSI" Łącki kept his team in the game by holding a 300 ACS and 10 kills to his name. The second half started just like the first half with OG winning the first two rounds. Lukas "feqew" Petrauskas grabbed two kills in the opening round to keep their hopes alive for the first map. Acend players were not trying to give up as they showed their consistency by winning back-to-back rounds. The European team grabbed what they needed after 8 rounds in total, ending the game with a score of 13-7 and grabbing the advantage in the series. MONSTEERR and zeek had phenomenal performances in the second half, using KAY/O and Viper’s defensive utilities to stop OG LDN’s vicious attacks. The duo secured 42 kills combined.
The second map was Split and the game started with three wins in a row by OG. MOLSI’s Raze decided the early stages of the competition as he demolished his opponents with the agent. OG’s dominance kept on going until the end of the first half, winning it with a score of 8-4. OG LDN were the defensive side of the half and they did a great job defending the bomb sites until the last three rounds of the first half. Acend shifted gears and prevented a possible 11-1 disaster by winning all three rounds with vakk, zeek, and MONSTEERR stepping up in each round. MOLSI and feqew did great for their team in the first half. The sides were switched at the start of the second half and once again OG won the pistol round. This time, Acend players played their hearts out starting with the eco round and caught a 4-round winning streak. It was needed for the side of Acend as they were behind on the scoreboard. The last VCT Champions showed their dominance in the second half and tied the scoreboard to force overtime. Acend’s great chemistry showed itself in the overtime and they closed the map after winning both maps, 14-12. It looked like the new arrivals, vakk and MONSTEERR are what they needed and with improved chemistry, Acend may live their past dreams again.
|OG LDN Utd||Agents||Rating||ACS||K/D||K||D||A||ADR|
With their new roster, Fnatic played their first-ever game in the second stage which was against the latest EMEA winners, FunPlus Phoenix. The first map was Fracture, per Fnatic’s choice. The European team showed their strengths on the defending side. The young Turkish star, Emir "Alfajer" Ali Beder had a great Raze performance with 20 kills in total. He first showed his capabilities under the Surreal Esports uniform and signed with Fnatic a couple of weeks ago. The promising player held a 2.43 rating and a 2.86 K/D on defense as Fnatic closed out the first half in the lead, 9-3. Besides Alfajer, Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev was his biggest helper with 12 kills on Chamber. Moreover, he stopped the enemy attacks by grabbing 3 first bloods to his name. Derke has always been one of the most important players on the Fnatic roster and he showed it again. On the other side of the game, FPX’s Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin had the best showing with 10 kills to his name but FunPlus Phoenix looked lost in the first half. The dominance continued in the second half and Fnatic won all four rounds to end the game in 16 rounds, 13-3. Alfajer ended the game with 26 kills in total and most importantly he held a 3.25 K/D.
FunPlus Phoenix had a disastrous performance in the first game and they had to show their strengths on their map pick, Ascent, to keep their win hopes alive in the series. They won the first four rounds of the map and grabbed an advantage as well as looking much better than their previous form. FPX dominated the first half, while on the attacking side mostly thanks to SUYGETSU’s Sage. The Russian player grabbed 12 kills and FPX had the advantage before going into the second half, taking the lead 8-4. Fnatic grabbed some rounds but never caught a winning streak which showed the dominance of FunPlus Phoenix. Fnatic won the first round of the second half and showed life pulse with Alfajer grabbing two kills to help his team but FPX did not make any mistakes, starting with the eco round. The CIS representatives won five rounds in a row and closed out the second map in 18 rounds. Pontus "Zyppan" Eek had a great KAY/O performance, holding a 1.42 rating.
The decider map of the series of the week was Icebox. FPX managed to plant the bomb in the first round but Fnatic’s post-plant strategies were better with Enzo "Enzo" Mestari and Jake "Boaster" Howlett stepping up with four kills in total. The same scenario occurred in the second round FNC did not make any mistakes until the third round. The competition was balanced between two giants as both teams were answering back to their opponents' moves. It was very close until the end and the first half ended with a tie, 6-6. James "Mistic" Orfila and Enzo were the leaders of Fnatic in the first half. On FPX’s side, SUYGETSU stepped up with 13 kills on Viper but it was not enough to break the tie. Alfajer and Mistic stepped up to win the first round of the second half by grabbing 4 kills and Fnatic got the lead. FunPlus Phoenix tried their best to catch their opponents on defense but Fnatic’s attacking strategies were very dangerous when combined with Alfajer’s incredible aim. Fnatic won 7 rounds in the second half to win the series in three games. Alfajer was the MVP of the series, grabbing 62 kills in three maps and holding a 1.57 rating.
We had the privilege to watch FOKUS’s first-ever performance in the big league. Their first showing in the big league was against the European giants, G2 Esports. FOKUS picked Fracture as the first map of the series and showed great performance until the very end of the map. They won the first round on the attacking side but G2 Esports’ experience and chemistry showed themselves starting with the second round until the seventh. G2 won six rounds in a row and grabbed a huge lead on the defending side. FOKUS managed to grab a few more rounds before the end of the first half but G2 still got the lead, 8-4. Aaro "hoody" Peltokangas’s KAY/O played a huge role in G2’s dominance as he grabbed 17 kills and held a 2.22 rating. Ilari "iluri" Puranen kept FOKUS in the game with a 10-kill performance on Breach. The same scenario happened in the second half but this time the roles were reversed. FOKUS maintained their calm and used their utilities to tie the game and force overtime. Vong "vong" Nguyen’s Brimstone came in handy for the European representatives but it was not enough during overtime. G2 Esports won both overtime rounds and ended the game in 26 rounds. Hoody’s 25-kill KAY/O was the main factor of G2 Esports’ success in game one.
G2 picked Icebox as the second map of the series but FOKUS won the opening rounds of the map and increased the lead to 4-0. Even though G2 Esports fought to stay in the game, FOKUS’ defending abilities were superior and they won the first half with a score of 7-5. The Norwegian star, vong, had a great half with Chamber in his hands as he grabbed 16 kills in the first 12 rounds. Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas’s Sova was the biggest helper for G2 Esports’ five-round wins in the first half. As expected, G2 Esports sat behind the wheel to close the series after an 8-4 win in the second half. The Lithuanian star, nukkye had a great showing with 24 kills on Sova. Despite losing the first game of the tournament, FOKUS still had a great showing and fought until the end. Both maps ended very close but G2 were the winners.
The first week of Group A has ended and the next week will start on the 20th. More information is on the events page.
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