Written By ArmandVanHelden - 2022-06-17
After an entertaining 3-map competition, FunPlus Phoenix took down Team Liquid in VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Upper Bracket Quarter Finals.
Group A’s third seed, FunPlus Phoenix chose Split for the first game of the series. The CIS representatives made an impressive start on the attacking side. Pontus "Zyppan" Eek’s 4-kill Raze performance gifted them the opening round and dominance continued for two more rounds. Even though Team Liquid won the fourth round of the map with Dom "soulcas" Sulcas securing 3 kills on Astra, FPX quickly rose back up and won four more rounds. Team Liquid looked desperate against the opposing attacks. Apart from team strategies, Zyppan and Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin had impressive individual performances on the attacking side. Liquid grabbed one more round before the end of the first half and FPX held a huge lead before going into the second half. Zyppan and SUYGETSU grabbed 24 kills combined, making it hard for Liquid to defend the bomb sites. SUYGETSEU had a great performance on Cypher, holding a 1.46 rating as well as dropping 3 first bloods. On Liquid’s side, Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom’s individual efforts were the main factor. He and his brother, Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom had the best ratings with 0.77 and 0.73, respectively. Team Liquid started the second half in dominance with ScreaM grabbing 3 kills in the pistol round. They won six rounds in a row to get back in the game. The closest they got was 10-8 as FPX closed out the game in three rounds after ending Liquid’s winning streak. ScreaM once again carried TL’s score weight on his shoulders by dropping 13 kills and holding a 2.01 rating only in the attacking half. Nevertheless, FunPlus Phoenix won the first map and started the quarter-finals with a 13-8 victory on their pick, Split. SUYGETSU completed the game with a 1.27 rating and 19 kills in total. Zyppan followed his lead with 17 kills on RaZe. On Liquid’s side, Nivera and Jamppi had 4 first bloods each.
In order to hold onto the series and the Upper Bracket, Team Liquid had to take down FPX on their map pick, Icebox. They had three wins on Icebox during the VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Group Stage, two in the opposing picks and one on their choice. FunPlus Phoenix successfully defended the bomb site in the first round but Liquid answered back rapidly in round two. FPX players were in charge until the eighth round as they were ahead 6-2. After that point, Team Liquid’s attacking strategies started to work especially thanks to ScreaM’s incredible Raze performance. The European team finished the first half with a 5-round winning streak. ScreaM secured 11 kills in the first half and held a 1.22 rating as well as leading his team on the battlefield with a 293 ACS. Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks’s Chamber was very effective in the early stages of the game and he finished his defending duties with a 1.46 rating and 13 kills. Zyppan’s KAY/O followed him with a 1.27 rating and 12 kills. Moreover, ardiis secured 4 first bloods to prevent Liquid’s pushes. The second half started with Liquid’s great defense. They won the first two rounds with ScreaM grabbing 4 kills. FPX tried to match the opposing performance but it did not last long. Liquid sat behind the wheel once again and got to the 12-round point. They closed out the game in 21 rounds, 13-8. ScreaM led his team with a 1.43 rating and 23 kills. However, Jamppi had a crazy performance on Omen with 12 kills, and 7 first bloods on top of the 64% HS accuracy. ardiis’ 21-kill Chamber was not enough.
The decider map of the series was Haven. FPX made an impressive start thanks to Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow’s 3-kill Omen performance. The CIS representatives continued their dominance for four more rounds before dropping the sixth round to Team Liquid. Zyppan and Shao had huge impacts in their 5-round winning streak but then Team Liquid’s answer was very crucial. The European representatives tried their best to tie the game before the second half. They got very close but FPX had the lead after the first half, 7-5. Zyppan and Shao led the scoreboard for FPX with 22 kills combined. The Benrlitom brothers, ScreaM and Nivera were the leaders of Team Liquid with 12 and 13 kills respectively. FPX started the second half with a win on defense. Team Liquid got much better and executed their strategies after buying guns to reach the semi finals. After back-to-back wins, Liquid won the last two rounds and forced overtime in the third game of the series. FPX won the first overtime round and got closer to the Upper Bracket Semi Finals. They successfully got control of the bomb after dropping it to the ground and closed out the second game after the second overtime round, 14-12. FPX’s Zyppan finished the map with 29 kills and 5 first bloods. Liquid’s Nivera had a 23-kill Chamber performance but it was not enough for them to continue their way from Upper Bracket.
FunPlus Phoenix will come up against Fnatic in the VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Upper Bracket Semi Finals. On the other hand, Team Liquid’s chances will continue as they moved onto the Lower Bracket.
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