Written By ArmandVanHelden - 2022-06-19
The last EMEA winners, FunPlus Phoenix took down Acend to face M3 Champions in the VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event Lower Bracket Semi Finals.
The CIS representatives' first map pick was Haven. They started on the attacking side but looked lost against Acend’s defense. The European team managed to prevent FPX’s attacks thanks to their patience. After some point, the Turkish superstar of Acend, Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek bought Operator and he was literally unstoppable. He demolished FPX almost on his own and even rewarded himself with an ace on his own in the sixth round. FPX had nothing to do against cNed’s dominant Chamber especially when he had an operator in his hands. At the end of the first half, they only had two round wins and Acend had 10. It was totally a one-sided effort from Acend and especially cNed. The Turkish player had a monstrous Chamber performance on defense with 22 kills while holding a 2.59 rating and an 11 K/D. He also grabbed 7 first bloods to stop FPX’s fast pushes. It was one of the best individual performances in recent times. Acend’s latest addition to the roster, Vakaris "vakk" Bebravičius was his biggest helper with a 10-kill Fade performance. On FPX’s side, Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky and Pontus "Zyppan" Eek shared the lead on the scoreboard with 9 kills each. FPX won the opening round of the second half but Acend rapidly sat back behind the wheel to dominate on the attack just like they did on defense. This time, it was not cNed for them to put on a one-man show but the Polish duo, Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt and Patryk "starxo" Kopczynski with 6 kills each. Acend did not waste any time and won the game after 16 rounds, 13-3. cNed finished the game with 23 kills, 22 of them were in the first half. Shao was the best performing player on FPX with a 0.89 rating and 12 kills. The CIS team made an awful start to the series.
After demolishing FPX on Haven, it was time for Acend to face them on their map pick, Icebox. They have shown impressive results on the map during the group stage, especially against G2 Esports and FOKUS. FunPlus Phoenix successfully defended both bomb sites and won the opening two rounds of the map. After losing two rounds in a row, Acend played like a different team for six rounds in a row and their streak ended after the ninth round of the first half. Until the end of the half, FPX grabbed three more rounds but Acend were in lead, 7-5. Ondřej "MONSTEERR" Petrů’s Viper performance was on point for them as he grabbed 13 kills. The European team continued their dominance in the second half of the action by winning the pistol round. FPX played great in the eco round but it still was not enough to beat their opponents. Acend took the lead but FPX were always in the game and it was never a one-sided performance. FunPlus Phoenix managed to grab a couple more rounds thanks to their Killjoy ult and also Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks’s Chamber. Acend took a timeout before the twenty-first round but it wasn’t enough to stop ardiis and FPX tied the game after back-to-back wins, 11-11. The CIS representatives kept their good form and forced another map in the series by winning Icebox with a score of 13-11. Zyppan finished the game with 22 kills on Sova.
After forcing another map in the series, FunPlus Phoenix performed like the reigning champions in the first half of Breeze. The CIS representatives demolished Acend on the attacking side and won nin rounds in a row. Acend won the last three rounds of the first half and completed the defense. Once again ardiis led his team with Chamber in his hands, grabbing 14 kills, and Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin was right behind him with 13 kills. Acend’s best performing piece was cNed with 9 kills and 10 deaths. FPX won the first round of the second half and also the second round and got closer to the match point. The CIS representatives demolished Acend’s hopes and closed out the series after falling down a map in the series. The last map ended 13-3 in favor of FPX and Acend failed to win a single round in the second half. The last champions are now ready to meet M3 Champions next week.
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