THESPIKE.GG Valorant Event & News Coverage

Titans toppled as final four teams qualify for EU Masters Stage 1

Written By    Germanicus  -  Share:

VCT action continued in Europe this weekend, with the open qualifiers and Challengers 3 marking the last chance for teams to grab their spot in Masters. There were many good matches over the course of the event, and we now have the full field of teams set to compete in the big championship.

To get a few things from the open qualifier out of the way first, we saw a few teams upset. Team Liquid, in Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen’s debut, failed to make it to the play-ins, and Team Vitality also found themselves knocked out early at the hands of Acend. Obviously, those are some incredibly disappointing performances for organizations of that calibre, and they’ll need to retool before stage 2 begins, especially if they want a chance at the recently announced Iceland LAN.

All this did set up some interesting play-in games, though. Guild Esports faced Entropiq in the first, and this match was close, with Guild edging out Entropiq two maps in a row. Leo "Leo" Jannesson and Karel "Twisten" Ašenbrener were on fire for their respective teams. Opportunists demolished Vodafone Giants, only allowing them 8 round wins over two maps to spoil Adolfo "Fit1nho" Gallego’s return to his old organization, while honk and Ballista Esports, two newer teams who hadn’t had many eyeballs on them, played a very interesting matchup. Ultimately, Jakub "qxv" Sawicki led the way for the new Polish roster, with a 52% headshot percentage on Split. Lastly, Raise Your Edge met Rix.GG. The match was defined by Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek’s stellar play, and we even got a Yoru out of Tom "otom" Hart. Ultimately, Raise Your Edge won the tense affair.

This all set up the Challengers matches - Guild against Wave Esports, DfuseTeam playing G2 Esports, Ballista matching up against Fnatic, and Raise Your Edge playing OG Esports. The first match saw Wave play Guild, and unfortunately, Wave continued their fall from the heights they’d had in Challengers 1. It wasn’t really close, as Wave didn’t get past 6 rounds on a map, and Guild took home the victory and the Masters spot.

Next up was G2 against the ever-dangerous DfuseTeam. G2 had been slipping, and with Dfuse always having upset potential, there was a funny feeling in the air that we could see an upset.

It didn’t start out well for the French squad. G2 were all over them on Ascent, and with a knife kill to top things off, it seemed the series might just be over. But after the 13-3 victory, DfuseTeam resolved to bring it back.

And they did just that, winning the next two maps 13-8 and 13-7 to take series and knock the big-name squad out of Masters contention. Jonathan "TakaS" Paupard led the way, top fragging each game for Dfuse as they pulled off the big upset.

Next up, we went to Fnatic and Ballista. Though Fnatic had been slipping lately, they were still Fnatic, one of the biggest orgs in the world, and SUMN FC, First Strike finalists. There’s no way they would lose to a Polish start-up, right?

Um, about that. It was a 2-0 in favour of the Poles as they delivered the second shock of Challengers 3. Kamil "baddyG" Graniczka put up a huge match playing Phoenix the whole way through, while it seems Fnatic’s playstyle has been figured out by the other top teams over the last few months. They’ll have some serious fixing to do, while Ballista have made a great achievement in their qualification.

Finally, Raise Your Edge and OG Esports seemed to be one of the most interesting matches on paper, however, Raise Your Edge continued their rapid ascent up the standings with a swift 2-0 victory, only allowing OG 9 rounds throughout the series. Vladyslav  "kiles" Shvets went crazy on Ascent, posting 2.14 Rating, 417 ACS, and a 24-8-8 scoreline as Reyna. OG are another team that have been slipping lately, and while they have big potential, it may be back to the drawing board for them as well.

This all sets the Masters field for Europe as follows:

Alliance Ninjas in Pyjamas FunPlus Phoenix Team Heretics Guild Esports DfuseTeam Ballista Esports Raise Your Edge Gaming

Team Heretics will look to defend their title, but have not been quite playing like their old selves lately, while Ninjas in Pyjamas probably come in as the favourites here. FunPlus Phoenix will be a top team as well. We still don’t know what the full Alliance lineup will look like for the event, while DfuseTeam and Raise Your Edge will have big upset potential. It kicks off on March 12th, follow along with everything on THESPIKE.GG!

Comments

Interesting week 2, but NIP are surely the favourites for me going into Masters.
2021-03-07 15:24
n0thing | Anime4life
Unexpected
2021-03-07 15:44
nip, fpx or heretics?
2021-03-07 16:46
humlik | Dumbo
It is crazy that teams with orgs like G2, Fnatic, Liquid and Vitality didn't even QUALIFY for a tournament that is not even considered like Major.
2021-03-07 17:24
Ive only seen like 2-3 maps of Vitality and they dont look strong at all...then again, Ive only seen a bit from them
2021-03-07 18:18
masters are classed as the majors ....
2021-03-08 18:29
Team Heretics Uri
its going to be either Heretics or FPX, maybe NIP but after seen G2 state i dont know 100%
2021-03-07 20:34

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