Things are finally starting to heat up in the Valorant Champions Tour as we saw the VCT EMEA Challengers teams close the first week of the group stage.
There were no major upsets yet. Gambit Esports, Natus Vincere, and FunPlus Phoenix scored their first victories in Group A, while Acend, Guild Esports, and Fnatic secured an early head start in Group B.
Gambit’s Dominance Continues
The runner-up Valorant Champions squad is still as strong as ever. The Russians claimed their first victory over Team Liquid, securing a quick 2-0 sweep and placing second in the group.
Team Liquid had a difficult task ahead of them and simply had no answers to Gambit’s play. They’re currently sitting at the fifth spot, waiting for their second chance against Natus Vincere on February 20th.
And speaking of Natus Vincere, they made quick work of LDN UTD by securing both maps, just like Gambit Esports. However, their win was slightly more convincing, which bumped them up to the first spot in Group A.
And that leaves us with FunPlus Phoenix and BIG. These two teams clashed on February 12th where FunPlus Phoenix was left victorious, but not without struggle. BIG turned out to be trickier than first expected.
They took an early map win on Bind and proceeded to contest Haven, although unsuccessfully. The match on Split seemed to be going into BIG’s favour, but FPX quickly mounted a comeback in the second half and ended BIG’s dreams.
Current Group A Standings
- 1 – Natus Vincere (1-0)
- 2 – Gambit Esports (1-0)
- 3 – FunPlus Phoenix (1-0)
- 4 – BIG (0-1)
- 5 – Team Liquid (0-1)
- 6 – LDN UTD (0-1)
Acend Reigns Supreme
Acend have once again shown why they’re the current Valorant world champions. They faced SuperMassive Blaze and obliterated them with a 2-0 win.
The first match was actually pretty scary for Acend. They went into overtime and managed to close with a 14-12 score, but it was the second map on Bind where they decided to get serious and wrapped things up with a 13-4 score. As expected, they’re looking in top shape.
The match between Fnatic and G2 Esports was a real rush. Fnatic managed to beat G2 2-1 and secured an early lead for themselves. Both teams were evenly matched, but it was Fnatic in the end who survived.
The final match of Group B was between Guild Esports and BBL Esports. The Turkish squad put up a good fight but Guild Esports were simply too strong. Guild took an easy 2-0 win and placed second in the current Group B standings.
Current Group B Standings
- 1 – Acend (1-0)
- 2 – Guild Esports (1-0)
- 3 – Fnatic (1-0)
- 4 – G2 Esports (0-1)
- 5 – BBL Esports (0-1)
- 6 – SuperMassive Blaze (0-1)
Four Weeks to Go
While these teams have managed to secure some early victories, that doesn’t mean they can relax just yet. There’s four more weeks of EMEA Challengers group stage action and a lot can change in that time. We hope to see some interesting twists and turns.
But overall, this was an excellent start to the VCT EMEA Challengers and we can’t wait to see more. Riot Games view the EMEA region as superior, and rightfully so. These teams really are a cut above the rest.
But even this can change once the first Challengers are over and all the dust settles. We’ll see how this region will compare to the NA or even the rising Brazilian scene. We’ll have to wait and see.