Team Liquid and Fnatic to represent Europe at VCT Masters in Iceland after EMEA semifinals victories
Fnatic and Team Liquid have advanced to the grand final of VCT EMEA Regional Finals. This also means that the two teams will be present at the first international Valorant LAN taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland. Team Liquid were pitted against Oxygen Esports in their semifinal match. Fnatic had to go through Gambit in order to advance to the grand final, and the Masters event.
Team Liquid came into this matchup like never before. A sturdy showing the day before against Guild Esports by Oxygen, gave hope for the Turkish side to give us a tight showing against Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom’s powerhouse. The exact opposite happened, however.
Action started out on Haven, map pick of Turkish side Oxygen. 13:0 scores at such a high level of Valorant play happen rarely. Little did we know that we were about to witness absolute demolition of Oxygen.
Liquid started on the defense side and got off to work quickly. Dom “sulcas” Sulcas opened up with a 4k on the pistol round. ScreaM was quick to follow with a 4k on his own on round three, putting Liquid into the driver’s seat. As it turned out, Liquid’s agent composition on Haven was way too much to take for Oxygen, as the Duelist-less Liquid bagged 12 straight rounds in the half. Oxygen were lost for breath at that point.
A defensive effort by Oxygen was cut short after James “Kryptix” Affleck sealed the deal on Haven with a 3k 1v1 clutch. Team Liquid were looking strong as ever at that point and have sent a statement worldwide with a clean 13:0 sweep on their opponents’ map pick.
Ascent followed, picked by Team Liquid. It was finally Oxygen that managed to put up their first round on the board in the best-of-three on the pistol. They wouldn’t get another round for what seemed like ages afterwards, however. Liquid on attack once more dominated the half by getting eight straight rounds to pull way ahead. Oxygen managed to bag one more round in the half before Liquid took the last two to make it 10:2 in the half.
On Defense, it was Liquid that kept their momentum rolling. They took the pistol and the following round to get to map point. One last effort by Muhammed “m1tez” Tezcan with a 3k saw Oxygen take a round. Liquid denied their opponents from getting back in the game by taking the following round. This resulted in another crushing victory for Liquid at 13:3.
Oxygen Esports only managed to take 3 rounds in the whole best-of-three series as they were eliminated. Team Liquid advance to the final of VCT EMEA Regional finals and take the first spot at the Iceland Masters event.
The second semifinal of VCT EMEA Regional Finals saw a closer matchup compared to that of Liquid’s. Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s side took on the CIS Gambit Esports side that eliminated FPX from the event.
Action started out on Icebox. Boaster‘s men were quick on the trigger right off the bat. A successful pistol on the back off Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev’s 3k, propelled Fnatic to take a commanding lead at the half on attack. Eight straight rounds went their way. Gambit eventually punched back with two efficient Spike defusals. The teams then traded rounds to amount to a 9:3 half in favor of Fnatic.
Fnatic yet again took the pistol, this time on defense. It was Gambit however, that started working on a comeback with two rounds soon after. The dream was only a dream as Fnatic soon after sealed the deal with a joint wipe from Derke and James “Mistic” Orfila. Fnatic took Icebox efficiently with a 13:6 score.
Bind was up next, as Fnatic was one win away from receiving a straight ticket to Iceland. Gambit made their job a lot harder on Bind, however. The CIS squad started out on defense and looked like an entirely different team compared to Icebox. Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov paved the way for his side to take a commanding lead in the half at 9:3. Fnatic were struggling to break through on attack and had to mount on a comeback to take it home.
And so they did. On Defense, Fnatic were a well-oiled machine. The dynamic trio of Domagoj “Doma” Fancev, Boaster, and Derke, saw Fnatic take six straight rounds on defense, leading to a draw. It was then when finally Gambit woke up to take a pair of rounds. That would be it for the CIS squad as their doom was impending. Three straight site retakes followed by Spike defusals led to a 12:11 score for Fnatic as it was match point. A defensive stride from MAGNUM, guaranteed Fnatic two kills before he was traded on B site. Eventually left in a 1v3, Chronicle was helpless and eventually fell to Derke. This led to Fnatic getting the comeback and sealing the deal on Bind at a tight 13:11 scoreline.
Gambit have been eliminated from the VCT EMEA event as Fnatic move on to the finals against Team Liquid. Fnatic are also handed a straight ticket to the Reykjavik Masters event in late May.
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Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
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