VCT EMEA Challengers 1: Week 2 Surprises

Published: Feb 20, 2022

Now that the second week of VCT Stage 1 EMEA Challengers is over, it’s time to look at the current group stage standings and analyze some of the matches.

To say that this week has been filled with upsets would be an understatement. Whatever VCT EMEA predictions and power rankings you had in mind, you can throw those out of the window.

FunPlus Phoenix and Guild Esports secured massive wins against Gambit Esports and Acend respectively. In turn, both FPX and Guild Esports now find themselves sitting at the top of their groups with two wins each.

While these two matches were the highlights of the week, and we’ll definitely focus on them the most, there’re still more to cover. Now, without further ado, let’s jump right into the week 2 of the VCT EMEA Challengers 1 – Group Stage.

Image Credits | Riot Games

Gambit and Natus Vincere Suffer Defeats

We’ll start with group A where we saw Gambit Esports lose to FunPlus Phoenix in the first match of the week. There was a lot at stake here as both teams had one win each, so whoever was to win, would certainly have a massive head start in group A.

While some might claim that FPX had a lot of luck by winning the first and the third map through overtime, and we’ll give them that, there’s still no denying they completely earned their victory. They took down one of the best Valorant teams in the world and put a dent in their Valorant record.

LDN UTD and Team Liquid both secured important victories this week; LDN UTD took down BIG with 2-1, while Team Liquid managed to overpower Natus Vincere with 2-1 as well. This means that all four of the teams currently sit with a 1-1 score in group A. The only exception is BIG, who are the only squad with 2 losses and zero wins so far.

Image Credits | FunPlus Phoenix

Guild Esports and Fnatic Take Control

Group B, much like the previous group, had a lot of surprises in store for us.

Guild Esports managed to dethrone Acend in the first match of the week. Guild completely caught Acend off guard and began mounting an assault from the first minute. Despite a considerable early lead on Split, Acend managed to close the first map and went to Breeze with a 1-0 advantage.

However, this is where things completely fell apart for the current Valorant champions. Guild Esports continued to pressure Acend and managed to even the score on Breeze. The last map was played on Fracture, and this is where Acend simply gave up. Guild completely dominated the map and finished with a 13-4 score. In the end, Guild Esports took down the biggest threat in group B and increased their Valorant odds for the Playoffs drastically.

While this was by far the most important match of the group, it’s important to mention the other two victories by Fnatic and G2 Esports.

Fnatic secured yet another win, this time against BBL Esports, and propelled themselves to the 2nd spot in the group where they’re right behind Guild Esports. G2 Esports, on the other hand, managed to somewhat remedy their week 1 loss by securing a convincing win against SuperMassive Blaze.

Both Turkish teams, SuperMassive Blaze and BBL, find themselves at the bottom of the barrel with 2 losses and zero wins. They might have a chance to make it out alive, but the Valorant betting odds aren’t looking great for them.

Image Credits | Riot Games

What to Expect This Week?

Certainly, one of the more interesting matches to keep an eye on in week 3 will be the match between Acend and Fnatic in group B. This battle of the titans will most likely decide the fate of both teams. Acend needs this win to get back into the race for the top, while Fnatic needs to win in order to maximize their odds of finishing first in the group.

At this point, it’s pretty much a coin toss between the two. Acend, while suffering a loss this week, are the best team in the world right now. They’re not happy about their match with FPX so they’ll most likely double their efforts now. Fnatic, on the other hand, have been in top shape. The two consecutive wins will most likely motivate them to push even harder against Acend and look to exploit any possible weakness they find in their opponents.

The other match worth mentioning will be the battle between the two CIS teams – Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports. Whoever wins here will probably end up being 2nd by the end of week 3, and potentially even 1st if FPX ends up losing in a horrible fashion. But given how FPX is fighting against LDN UTD, that’s highly unlikely.

All in all, there’s quite a lot to look forward to in this week. Hopefully we’ll see more twists and turns like we saw in week 2. As always, we’ll follow the Valorant Champions Tour EMEA events and keep you updated.

Denis Alihodzic

Since: March 1, 2021

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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