Written By frss - 2022-05-30
The final week of the VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event in Group B was really evenly contested where we saw a lot of great matches. The best game was between Guild Esports and Team Liquid, where eventually the leader of the table remained the team led by Jose Luis "koldamenta" Aranguren.
Before the start of this match, both Team Liquid and Guild Esports were still undefeated. In their first games, Liquid defeated BBL Esports and BIG, while Guild proved to be better than BIG and M3 Champions. This match was to determine who would become the lone leader in Group B. The match started on Split, where Guild dominated their opponent from the very beginning. Team coached by André "BARBARR" Möller at one point led 9-0, mainly thanks to the excellent form of Leo "Leo" Jannesson and Nikita "trexx" Cherednichenko. Swede even at one point had 16 eliminations on his account, noting only one death. Team Liquid, however, after losing nine rounds in a row, took to making up for their loss. Unfortunately, it was far too late. After two rounds won by the Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom team, Guild however did not allow their opponents to come back. After switching sides, the second pistol round was also won by the team led by koldament and they won the first map in this game 13-3. The second map, however, had a completely different scenario than the first. On Icebox, as on Split, the first half ended with the score 9-3, but this time in favor of Team Liquid. Such a good result for Team Liquid players could be mostly due to Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen, who was a completely different player than on the first map, where he also played as Omen.
Although the pistol round after the change of sides went to Guild, Team Liquid quickly responded by winning the economic round, and soon after they finished the job, finishing Icebox with 13-6. After such two maps we didn't know what to expect on the third one, which was Fracture. As it turned out, we returned to the scenario from the first map, where the Guild completely dominated their opponent. Team Liquid was making a lot of mistakes, which caused them to lose consecutive rounds. Controversial also seems to be the choice of Jamppi, who decided to play on this map as Skye, which did not bring too many positive things for his team. In the end, Fracture ended with a rather quick victory for Guild 13:4, which ultimately gave them a 2-1 victory in the entire series. After this game, Guild Esports has already guaranteed themselves playoffs, as they have won all their matches so far, and they still have a clash with BBL Esports and Natus Vincere ahead of them. Team Liquid, on the other hand, has a slightly more difficult situation as they currently have two wins and one loss, but they will face M3 Champions and Natus Vincere in the next weeks.
Saturday's game was between two teams that have yet to win even one game. After two losses against Team Liquid and Guild Esports, BIG faced Natus Vincere, who also previously lost their matches against M3 Champions and Natus Vincere. The match started on Sandy Bind, where NAVI on the attacking side was unable to realistically threaten the German team. BIG really excelled on the defensive side, mostly thanks to Alessio "musashi" Xhaferi, who totaled 5 first bloods on Bind. After the change of sides, BIG also won the pistol round and there were many indications that the match would end quickly, but with the score at 12-3 Natus Vincere tried to get back into this match. However, the advantage of BIG was so big that one mistake prevailed that eventually the team led by Niels "luckeRRR" Jasiek won one more round, thus ending the Bind with a BIG victory 13-8. The choice of the second map belonged to BIG, so theoretically we could expect them to win by a score of 2-0, but the German team decided to choose Ascent, which certainly made Natus Vincere players happy. From the very beginning NAVI was rather dictating terms of the game, although their advantage was not huge, but for most of the duration of the second map they were leading. The first half ended with NAVI leading 7-5, and after the change they switched to the attacking side, where on Bind they had huge problems with winning rounds.
On Ascent, however, their attacks were much better and above all Nikolai "zeddy" Lapko awoke, who at the very end had 22 eliminations, which was the best score on the server. A big advantage for the German team in the early rounds was Ceyhun "AslaN" Aslan, who had 5 first bloods, but it didn't matter anyway, because NAVI, thanks to the great team play, won Ascent with a score of 13-9 and led to the third map. The third map in this rivalry was Haven, which BIG had lost 6-13 against Guild Esports the week before. This time we watched a very similar scenario, as NAVI's insanely offensive composition caused BIG to lose its way. From start to finish it was Kirill "Cloud" Nehozhin's team that controlled this game, who as Neon played a really great game. The 18-year-old Russian had 23 eliminations and 6 first bloods, while all Natus Vincere players combined had 12 first bloods, thanks to his aggressive play with Neon, Breach, Fade, Chamber and Omen. In the end, Haven ended with a fairly easy victory for NAVI 13-7, thus they also won the entire game by a score of 2-1. This means that the Russian team recorded the first points in the league table, while BIG still hasn't won even one game, having already recorded three defeats. In the coming weeks, the German team will also have a tough task, as they will face off against M3 Champions and BBL Esports, while Natus Vincere will face off against Team Liquid and Guild Esports.
The final match in Group B this weekend was a clash between M3 Champions and BBL Esports. The VCT 2021 - Stage 3 - Masters Berlin - Playoffs 3 triumphers were certainly the favorites in this match, but BBL has been showing their best side in recent weeks, so we could expect a really great game. The Turkish team is playing much better than in VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event, where they often made a lot of mistakes. Now BBL in VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event is playing really well, as in the first week they defeated Natus Vincere 2-1, and then admittedly lost to Team Liquid 0-2, where both maps were really close and it was close for the team led by Melih "pAura" Karaduran to win at least one map. They didn't have an easy task on Sunday though, as M3 Champions after their first round loss against Guild Esports got extra motivation to win the rest of their games. An additional advantage of the Russian team may also be the fact that they have been at bootcamp for a few days. The match between BBL and M3 Champions started on Fracture, which probably didn't surprise anyone, because both teams really like this map.
From the very beginning, however, Ayaz "nAts" Akhmetshin with the band dictated the playing conditions on the server. Although BBL had some of their better moments where they serially won a few rounds, M3 Champions always found an answer for that. Doğukan "QutionerX" Dural in the previous weeks really looked great, but this game was not easy for him, because the Russians knew exactly how to counter his plays. However it was Ali Osman "AsLanM4shadoW" Balta who took the first blood in BBL, he had 6 of them, but it was not much. Such an experienced team as M3 Champions, as befits them, played very well, which eventually led them to victory on Fracture by the score of 13-8. The second map in this competition was Breeze, which seems to have surprised the Turkish team a bit. The duo of Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov and Nikita "d3ffo" Sudakov found the perfect way to open rounds, as the two combined to score as many as 9 first kills. Sunny Breeze was even easier for M3 Champions than Fracture, as they jumped out to a big lead quite quickly, and the first half ended with them winning 9-3. Just like on the first map, the Russians played really well and evenly, and on that day BBL was just in worse shape, so Breeze was won quite easily by M3C 13-5, and the whole game ended 2-0. After a poor inauguration, M3 Champions is back on the winning track, defeating Natus Vincere just a week earlier. They will face BIG and Team Liquid in the next rounds, while BBL Esports will have to beat Guild Esports and BIG in the upcoming two games if they still want to fight for the playoffs.
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