LOUD reach Grand Finals, EMEA returns home
OpTic Gaming picked Bind to start things off at the Upper Bracket Final of VALORANT Champions 2022 İstanbul. The North American team started strongly with a pistol round win and also won the second round. However, LOUD never fell behind and answered back to every move OpTic had. The Brazilian team did great on defense and tied the game in the last round of the half by defusing the bomb. Erick "aspas" Santos carried his team with a 1.47 rating on Raze as well as 12 kills. On OpTic’s side, Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker was the man of the team as usual with 12 kills on his Chamber. LOUD were much more consistent on the attacking end of their turn, winning the first two rounds of action. Despite losing the first gun round, the Brazilians came back on top and kept their lead by completing a 3-round winning streak. In the end, LOUD completed the first map with a score of 13-10, securing a huge advantage by winning OpTic’s map pick, Bind. Bryan "pANcada" Luna stepped up in the second half and completed the game with 20 kills.
LOUD’s map pick was Ascent and they started where they left off, winning the first two rounds of the map. OpTic won the gun round, showing a pulse but after that point, LOUD’s dominance was out of hand. The Brazilian team won nine rounds on the attacking side, only losing three. pANcada once again played huge and held a 1.48 rating. Saadhak followed him with a 1.40 rating. OpTic failed to win a single round in the second half and got wiped from the battlefield, 13-3. LOUD reached the grand final after a one-sided win over the North Americans. pANcada’s Omen was the most important piece for the team as he finished the game with a 1.53 rating.
The second match of the day was do-or-die for FunPlus Phoenix and DRX VS. DRX managed to plant the bomb for two rounds in a row but FPX’s post-plant performances were on point and they managed to defuse the bomb twice. However, the South Korean did not give up and completed a 5-round winning streak to take the lead. After that, it was a cat and mouse situation in which FPX ran and DRX chased as the EMEA team grabbed three rounds and the Koreans won two. DRX VS won seven rounds and lost five in the first half and went into the second half with a slight advantage. Just like the previous tournaments, Myeongkwan "MaKo" Kim once again showed his potential in clutch moments as he carried his team with 15 kills and a 1.94 rating on Viper. Pontus "Zyppan" Eek’s efforts weren’t enough to keep FPX ahead in the competition even though the Swedish player held a 1.87 rating with 17 kills on Raze. FPX started the second half in style, winning six of the first seven rounds but after that point, DRX VS’ defense got impossible to execute their attacking strategies. DRX’s 5-round winning streak started with a defuse and continued until they won the game. The South Koreans grabbed the first win in the series, 13-11 on Ascent. MaKo finished the game with a 1.57 rating.
DRX’s map choice was Haven. Just like the first map, FPX once again stepped up during the post-plant and won the first two rounds by defusing the bomb. DRX VS only won three rounds in the first half as they were unable to get past FPX’s defense. Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin held a 1.74 rating on Viper, making it impossible to attack against him with Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks’s 1.62-rating Chamber help. The second half was a whole different story. FPX managed to plant the bomb for five rounds in a row but DRX defused the bomb every time and had great post-plant performances. The South Korean team did not lose a single round in the second half and won the game after winning 10 rounds in a row. FunPlus Phoenix were very close to forcing another map in the series as they grabbed nine rounds in the first half but they struggled to execute their attacks on Haven. Yu "BuZz" Byung-chul played out of his mind with a 2.26 rating on Jett, grabbing 17 kills on defense.
OpTic Gaming and DRX VS are going to compete against each other to face LOUD in the grand final. It is time to say goodbye to FPX as they are out of the tournament now. More information can be found on the events page.
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