Shortly after Riot Games announced the Ignition Series, tournaments officially supported by the developer, we saw the first of these events in Europe, as G2 Esports hosted their third VALORANT tournament. This time had a catch, though - teams were randomized. Despite calls that the tournament was yet another showmatch, and that fans wanted to see real teams, the tournament was well produced and had a large audience watching. I, personally, enjoyed it more than I thought I would. And when it all came to an end, it was G2’s own signing Mixwell beating his boss ocelote in the final.
The games in Group A took place on Friday, June 19th, 2020. The action started off exciting with Team Zerator smashing Team Arch. The unlikely duo of Egor “chiwawa” Stepanyuk on Sage and Jake “Boaster” Howlet on Jett was dynamic, and it looked like Team Zerator might be the team to beat. Unfortunately for both them and Team Arch, however, smashing the latter would become a theme during the day, and Team Zerator ended up in third place in the group - still enough to qualify to the playoff bracket, but having to start in the quarterfinals.
The closest match of the day was Team Mixwell vs. Team Draken, the other match that started off the day. Of course, G2’s new signing Oscar “Mixwell” Cañelles Coloch was fantastic, but he had a great supporting cast with Charles “CREA” Beauvois proving proficient on the Operator and David “davidp” Prins also smashing the competition. Team Draken was no slouch, though - Patryk “Patitek” Fabrowski and the team’s captain, William “draken” Sundin, would prove particularly deadly over the course of the tournament. These two teams were good enough that they would meet again in the finals, but for the moment, Team Mixwell took the series 2-1.
Mixwell and draken’s teams then won out for the rest of the day, though Team Zerator managed to steal an incredibly close Ascent game off of Team Mixwell. Team Mixwell ended the day 3-0, with a bye to the semifinals. Team Draken finished 2-1, Team Zerator 1-2, and Team Arch 0-3.
Group B’s games happened the next day, on June 20th, 2020. I had pinpointed Team ANGE1 as the team to watch in the group, due to the presence of one of Europe’s best players, Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks, and the recent cheating allegations surrounding him. However, he and Travis “L1NK” Mendoza from Team Izak had to drop out of the tournament due to internet connection issues. Team ANGE1 would still finish second in the group after some hard-fought games, but Team Izak would fall to last place. With ardiis out of the way, the team led by former Overwatch League player Timo “Taimou” Kettunen secured first place. Team Ex6TenZ was somewhat unlucky as they lost two matches at a scoreline of 2-1, against Teams ANGE1 and Taimou, but their win over Team Izak still secured them third.
The playoffs began in earnest on June 21st, 2020, as every team fought it out for the final prize. The third place teams in each group were dropped first, Team Draken comfortably winning over Team Ex6TenZ and Team ANGE1, somewhat surprisingly to me at least, defeating Team Zerator in a closer 2-1 match.
Team Draken’s semifinal was much closer, though, as they went up against a very strong Team Taimou. This series went the distance, with the final map going to overtime. Draken and Patitek again looked good, but the series was marked by the surprisingly good play of G2’s owner and former League of Legends pro, Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez. Team Taimou were no slouches, though, and stellar play from players like Dom “soulcas” Sulcas and Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi kept the series incredibly close. Ultimately, Team Draken won it in overtime. They were going to the finals, and, amusingly, ocelote was one step away from winning his own invitational.
They would face a familiar and incredibly tough opponent, though, as Team Mixwell won a relatively close series over Team ANGE1. The finals were set: draken vs. Mixwell, ocelote vs. his own signing, and €15,000 on the line.
But, despite the excitement and cool storylines, the final was a blowout. Mixwell and davidp were a terrifying pair of riflers, and Team Draken didn’t stand a chance. Though the first map, Haven, was a relatively close 13-7, Split was absolute domination from Team Mixwell as they won 13-1.
The G2 Esports Invitational was the first Ignition Series tournament, but not the last. The RAGE VALORANT JAPAN INVITATIONAL took place last weekend as well - stay tuned for a recap of that coming soon - and THESPIKE.GG will be bringing you coverage of this weekend’s T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown in North America. Stay tuned to the site for all the news and matches!
Final Standings for G2 Esports Invitational
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