Liquid, Guild and M3C are the winners of the second week - VCT EMEA 2022 Group B Recap
The second week of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event has been completed with great competition entertaining fans, especially in Group B. Here is everything you need to know about this week’s Group B games!
After BBL’s big victory over Natus Vincere last week, fans were sure that the competition was going to get higher compared to the first stage. The Turkish side picked Fracture to have the advantage in the series and start a winning streak in the second week. [Team=10] started the map on the defending side and managed to win the first five rounds on the map, making a 5-0 start to the competition. After that point, BBL Esports activated their week-one mode and dominated the map with their continuous attacking strategies. As a result, the Turkish team won the last seven rounds of the first half and got the advantage before going into the second half, 7-5. TL’s Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen had a great Skye performance with 17 kills to his name and also a 1.47 rating to support his incredible gameplay. On the winning side though, the first week’s hero for BBL Esports, Doğukan "QutionerX" Dural also had a 17-kill performance but he had Neon in his hands. The Turkish duelist held a 1.49 rating and secured 4 first bloods to open up bomb sites for his team. The teams switched sides for the second half but we haven’t seen a one-sided dominance in certain times of the game. Both teams won a couple of rounds until Team Liquid decided the game to force overtime, winning the half with a score of 7-5. The last round of the normal time was purely won by Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom’s 4-kill Cypher performance. The overtime lasted six rounds as BBL Esports failed to keep their heads up in the last two rounds of the map. Liquid closed out Fracture after 30 rounds, 16-14. Miho "Miho" Shockolade’s 29-kill Astra performance came in handy for them as you wouldn’t expect your smoker to demolish the opponents on the scoreboard on top of helping with strategic moves. BBL’s latest addition to the team, Mehmet "TURKO" Özen secured 30 kills on Sage but lost the map despite having one of the best games of his career in this level of competition. Last week’s hero QutionerX tried his best with 28 kills but it wasn’t enough for the Turkish side. Liquid got the lead in the series with a close win on Fracture.
Team Liquid’s map choice was Split for the second game of the Group B game. It looks like we will see Raze in Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom’s hands more often in this stage as he constantly picks the agent. TL were the attacking side in the first half and won the opening rounds with great performances. However, BBL Esports sat behind the wheel and won 5 rounds in a row which put them ahead, 5-2. Hüseyin "aimDLL" Kabişteke played a huge role in BBL’s dominance with Omen. Liquid managed to stop BBL’s streak and started their own streak. Team Liquid’s attacking tactics were pretty awesome combined with ScreaM’s ace to win one of the rounds in their streak. The European representatives won the first half, 7-5. The Benrlitom brothers played a huge role in TL’s supremacy, ScreaM grabbing 15 kills and Nivera with 10 kills to his name. Just like every other BBL map, QutionerX had the most kills to keep his team in the game. BBL made a great start to the second half by winning the first two rounds with Melih "pAura" Karaduran stepping up for the first time in the series. TL won the other three rounds not giving the lead to their opponents and after that point, the European team showed no mercy. BBL Esports struggled to execute their attacking tactics considering their opponent’s superb defending utilities and arsenal. Liquid put an end to the series after a 6-4 second-half win on Split. They grabbed their second win in the tournament and BBL got their first loss in their second game.
After making a strong start to the tournament, Guild Esports had a chance to start a winning streak against BIG. The German organization chose Icebox as the first map of the series. They won the first three rounds mainly thanks to Nico "Obnoks" Garczarczyk’s Chamber and also Niels "luckeRRR" Jasiek’s Omen. Guild didn’t have much chance to show their strong side until the ninth round when they started a 3-round winning streak. The first half ended with a score of 7-5, in favor of BIG. Despite being behind on the scoreboard, Guild Esports players had better scores when it comes to ratings and kills. Especially the Spanish player, Jose Luis "koldamenta" Aranguren, had a monstrous Viper performance with 15 kills as well as holding a 1.63 rating on the top of 2.8 K/D. BIG’s duelist, Karel "Twisten" Ašenbrener had the most kills on the side of the German team with only 8 kills to his name and of course a negative K/D. As expected, the second half started with Guild’s dominance as they won the first four rounds. BIG didn’t have the tools to stop Guild’s attacks and they eventually fell apart on the battlefield. koldamenta’s incredible performance continued in the second half with 15 kills only in the last 12 rounds. Guild Esports closed out the first map with a score of 13-10 to move to their map pick in the series and complete a possible sweep.
Guild chose Fracture to complete the possible sweep that was just mentioned above but it turned out that BIG’s Fracture strategies were on another level. They proved it by winning the first four rounds with great defensive tactics by keeping the Guild players away from the bomb sites. BIG’s effort continued until the end of the half although they couldn’t keep the same dominance until the end. Guild managed to grab a couple of rounds and the first half ended by a two-round margin, 7-5. On the BIG side, everybody played their hearts out but there was someone who had a very special performance on Chamber, Alessio "musashi" Xhaferi. The German player picked up 17 kills in 12 rounds and denied Guild’s players almost all the time. He also had 5 first bloods. On the other hand, Leo "Leo" Jannesson’s KAY/O was the biggest problem and the biggest answer for musashi’s Chamber. The Swedish player took down 16 opponents and held a 1.90 rating. In other words, the first half was a battle between these two. Everybody expected a better performance from Guild in the second half but BIG’s attacking tactics were also superior. The German organization managed to execute their strategies smoothly and they showed it by winning the eco-round despite losing the first round. Twisten and musashi continued to dominate and BIG forced the third map after taking down their opponents, 13-11. The German Chamber, musashi grabbed 30 kills in total and stepped up for his team to force one more map and keep their hopes alive after losing the first map.
After seeing BIG’s performance on Fracture, fans expected similar performance from them on Haven. The first half was head to head from the start until the end. As a result, both teams picked up 6 rounds and there was a tie before going into the second half. Twisten’s 16-kill Raze performance was the main deal for the side of BIG but Guild had a better performance more as a team rather than an individual spark. Unfortunately, BIG’s fight lasted until the second half of the third map as they failed to win a single round. Guild defended the bomb sites perfectly and closed out the series after a 7-0 second-half performance on Haven. Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel had an 11-1 Killjoy performance and he denied every attack possible. On the other side of the competition, Nico "Obnoks" Garczarczyk didn’t even have a single kill and finished the second half with a score of 0-7.
After making a disappointing start to the competition by falling down against Guild Esports last week, M3 Champions had a second chance to prove themselves. Natus Vincere chose Ascent as their map pick of the series but made an awful start. M3C had a great performance while on defense and didn’t let their opponents get into bomb sites that easily. Na’Vi could only grab three rounds in the first half while losing nine to their opponent. Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov and Bogdan "sheydos" Naumov were the heroes of the first half for the Russian team as they grabbed 31 kills combined on Sova and Killjoy. Natus Vincere players didn’t have particularly great scores at the end of the first half. The Russian team made another great start on the map and won back-to-back rounds on the attacking side to close out the game after 18 rounds in total, 13-5. The first half heroes, Chronicle and Sheydos shined once again and carried their team mostly score-wise. Natus Vincere’s performance was questionable as it was their map pick and M3 Champions secured the advantage in the series, having the lead before their map pick.
The Russian squad picked to close out the series in two maps and sweep their opponents but the reality was different. M3C won two rounds after losing the opening one but after that point Natus Vincere conquered the map in every way possible. They were on the defending side and almost never let their opponents in the bomb sites, except this one time in which Igor "Redgar" Vlasov won the round almost by himself with the new agent, Fade in his hands. Na’Vi won the first half with a huge margin, 9-3, and secured the advantage before going into the second half. Artur "7ssk7" Kyourshin had a monstrous 16-kill chamber performance to help his team on defense as well as grabbing 2 first bloods to his name. M3C players didn’t have any important stat to point out as they underperformed. The same scenario happened in the second half as Na’Vi demolished M3C all around the map and finished the map with a 4-1 second-half win. They forced the third map to keep their hopes alive and also showed their strengths to the other participants of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 2 - Challengers - Main Event. 7ssk7 completed the game with 18 kills with Nikolai "zeddy" Lapko also joining him with the same amount of score contribution.
Lastly, it all came down to Icebox to decide the winner of this week’s last Group B matchup. Unfortunately for Natus Vincere, Icebox is one of M3 Champions’ best maps in their pool and they showed it on the battlefield. Na’Vi’s players failed to attack the bomb sites against M3C’s impressive defense. Especially when Ayaz "nAts" Akhmetshin plays Viper in this map, it is hard for the opposing team to execute their strategies. M3C won the first half with a score of 9-3, mainly thanks to nAts and his Viper. The Russian player grabbed 17 kills and held a monstrous 2.05 rating on the top of the 2.13 K/D. He showed why he is one of the best players in his role. Kirill "Cloud" Nehozhin looked like the only player to have a decent K/D on the scoreboard with 12 kills and 12 deaths but of course, it was not enough. M3C’s incredible performance continued in the second half and they closed out the last map with an impressive 4-0 second-half performance. They now have one win and one loss whereas Natus Vincere are sitting at two losses.