Fnatic and FPX keep up their dominance
In this week's VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Group A matches, OG LDN Utd picked up a miraculous win over G2 Esports and secured their first victory of the tournament. Fnatic have won their third game in a row and FunPlus Phoenix are back in competition with an important win against FOKUS.
OG LDN Utd’s first map pick to start the series was Ascent. For the first time in this stage, Aaro "hoody" Peltokangas picked Jett for G2 Esports. In the last two weeks, G2’s compositions were based on using different utilities rather than giving Oscar Cañellas "m1xwell" Colocho Jett but this time they had a different tactic. They started on the defending side and the Finnish Jett did a great job by taking down 11 kills in the first half, which included 4 first bloods. On the other side of the competition, OG LDN used Tomas "Destrian" Linikas’s Fade, especially in post-plant scenarios and the Lithuanian player secured 14 kills to his name. OG had the lead after the end of the first half, with a score of 7-5. Alongside Destrian, hype’s Cypher was also a huge deal for them as he grabbed 11 kills and most importantly held a 1.27 rating. G2 couldn’t benefit from Auni "AvovA" Chahade’s Omen as he didn’t have a great performance with the agent. The Danish smoker probably could have done better to prevent OG’s attacking moves. OG started the second half with two great defenses in consecutive rounds to get closer to the map point. G2’s hoody tried everything he could but hype had a monstrous Cypher performance in the second half. Cypher’s defending abilities have always been top-level but the Lithuanian player set the bar even higher with his 12-kill performance. OG LDN won the first map after finishing the second half two rounds ahead, 6-4. Interestingly, this was their first map win of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event as their two previous games were sweeps. G2’s Finnish Jett finished the game with 18 kills and 6 first bloods while holding a 1.07 rating but the support he got from his teammates was very little.
It was time for G2 to start their comeback in the series and force another game by winning their map pick, Breeze. Until this week, we saw m1xwell stepping up for the Chamber duty but this time they had something different in their minds as Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas picked Chamber. G2 made a fast start by winning the first two rounds on the defending side but OG LDN Utd managed to stay in the game. The Polish KAY/O, Michał "MOLSI" Łącki’s two first bloods gave them important rounds even though he couldn’t find more than three kills in the first half. Destrian’s Sova played a huge role in OG’s attacking strategies as he grabbed 13 kills and held a 1.45 rating in the first half. If he had more help from his teammates, OG could have been the leading side of the first half. G2 Esports dominated the last four rounds of the half and got the lead, 7-5. They managed to find the kills they were looking for and prevented a possible bomb plant in many scenarios. nukkye stepped up with Chamber in his hands, grabbing 14 kills and holding a 1.51 rating. Unlike his first map performance, AvovA had a great performance with Viper with 10 kills and a 1.37 rating. Lastly, the Swedish star, Johan "Meddo" Lundborg was also one of the most important aspects of G2’s late dominance with 12 kills on Sova. G2 kept where they left off and won the first two rounds of the second half. AvovA once again stepped up and collected kills to keep his team ahead in the competition. Even though OG LDN Utd fought a great battle in the second half, G2 Esports finalized the map by winning the second half with a score of 6-5. MOLSI secured an ace in the last round but the bomb still exploded and it was the end of the road for OG LDN Utd. G2 tied the scoreboard and forced another map in the series. Meddo and nukkye were the key parts of G2’s victory with 41 kills combined. Apart from them, hoody grabbed 7 first bloods in the entire game which the European team benefitted from.
The last map of the first series of week three was Fracture. G2 Esports made another fast start to the map with two-round wins. Meddo and hoody stepped up in these rounds to keep their team in the driver seat. nukkye’s Chamber was the most important weapon in G2’s attacking arsenal. The Lithuanian player grabbed four first bloods and 14 kills in total. He also held a 1.51 rating and a 1.75 K/D. Thanks to him, G2 Esports got the lead in the first half, 7-5. The scenario looked exactly like the previous games as both teams looked almost similar in terms of strengths and weaknesses. OG’s hype and MOLSI played the biggest roles in the first half with 23 kills combined. The duo also secured three first bloods to stop G2’s fast-attacking strategies. The second half started with G2’s dominance. They looked unstoppable in the pistol rounds throughout the series. However, this time OG had something different to say. After winning the third round, they started a long winning streak which kept on going until the 22nd round. nukkye’s 3-kill Chamber performance stopped the streak but until then, OG dominated the map on the attacking side. They performed well both as individuals and also together as a team. Winning most of the aim fights kept them ahead in the game and finally, they took down their opponents after securing their 8th round win in the second half. The Lithuanian Cypher, Tautvydas "hype" Paldavicius completed the map with 23 kills and he also had 58 kills in three maps. OG secured their first win in the competition and G2 faced their second loss in a row.
The only undefeated teams of Group A faced each other on the second day of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Week 3. Acend picked Ascent as the opener of the series and it looked like Fnatic gladly accepted the choice, performing on another level. Acend won the pistol round thanks to Patryk "starxo" Kopczynski and Vakaris "vakk" Bebravičius as they took down all the Fnatic members. Acend’s dominance continued for three more rounds and they got the lead with a four-round margin. After that point, the whole world saw a different Fnatic. Enzo "Enzo" Mestari lit the fire by picking up two kills in round five with Face in his hands. Fnatic won every single round until the half and held an 8-round winning streak. Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev’s Chamber and Emir "Alfajer" Ali Beder’s Raze played a huge role with 28 kills combined. On top of grabbing 28 kills together, the duo also had 6 first bloods which prevented Acend’s attacking moves on many occasions. Fnatic had the lead after the first half, 8-4. Acend had a poor defensive performance in the second half. They got outplayed in many positions and couldn’t resist Fnatic’s impressive attacking strategies. Derke grabbed 9 kills to his name in the second half and also held a 2.33 rating and a monstrous 9 K/D. Fnatic closed the opening map after winning five rounds in the second half, without losing a single one. In other words, Acend won the first four rounds and Fnatic won the rest.
Last week, FNC picked Icebox against OG LDN Utd and pulled out a perfect game, winning it 13 to 0 to secure their second win in the tournament. Moreover, Icebox was also the decider of FNC’s battle against FunPlus Phoenix in which they took down the latest EMEA Champions with a score of 13-10. They are one of the best performing teams on Icebox and we have seen the same pick from them against Acend. ACE made a great start to the map by winning the pistol round. Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek’s Reyna was not even needed as the rest of the team picked up all the kills. Acend won two more rounds and increased the lead to 3-0. With Derke’s 4-kill Chamber performance, Fnatic won their first round on the defensive side. Acend’s dominance continued for three more rounds but FNC won the last four rounds, tying the score to 6-6 before the second half. Jake "Boaster" Howlett’s Viper played an important role in Fnatic’s 4-round winning streak. Derke, Alfajer, and Boaster picked up 33 kill combined and they were the leaders of the team in almost every stat. Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt kept his team in the game with a 10-kill KAY/O performance. Fnatic’s late game performance in the first half continued in the second and they held a 6-round winning streak. The heroes of the first half, Boaster, Alfajer, and Derke stepped up once again and put up incredible performances. Acend won two rounds but in the end, it was Fnatic closing out the game after 21 rounds, 13-8. FNC are now the only undefeated team in Group A.
The last EMEA Champions, FunPlus Phoenix, had a chance to tie their place with Acend and they picked Breeze as the opener. FOKUS made an impressive start to the series by winning the pistol round. Lewis "YaBoiLewis" Hughes stepped up with two important kills and FOKUS also secured the second round while FPX players decided to eco. Their comeback was strong as they won back-to-back rounds and tied the scoreboard and won four more rounds to get the lead, 6-3. FOKUS had magnificent performances in the last three rounds of the first half and tied the score to 6-6 before going into the second half. KAY/Os had the most kills on each side, 13 kills on Pontus "Zyppan" Eek’s name and 12 on Lewis "YaBoiLewis" Hughes. Even though the second half was also very close, this time the last champions didn’t make the same mistakes. Especially with Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky’s Sova, they led the game at the end, winning it with a score of 13-11. Besides Shao, the famous guy in the off-season whose name was mentioned with Bleed eSports, Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks grabbed 12 kills in the second half four of them were first bloods.
FOKUS picked Fracture as the second map of the series. They were looking to secure their first win of the stage by winning Fracture and forcing another map to keep their hopes alive. However, FunPlus Phoenix made one of the greatest starts to the map on the defending side. FOKUS’s players failed to break FPX’s defense. The CIS representatives won eight rounds in a row and FOKUS secured their first win in the ninth round. After that point, FPX didn’t let their opponents grab another round in the first half and had an 11-1 lead before the second half. Pontus "Zyppan" Eek, Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks, and Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin were the real heroes of the defense as they grabbed 35 kills combined. FPX won the pistol round of the second half to make things easier for themselves and crush FOKUS’ hopes of a possible comeback. The CIS team won the second map after 14 rounds, 13-1. They are now tied with Acend, with two wins and one loss. On the other hand, FOKUS are yet to win their first game.
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