Fnatic emerged victorious from the last match of the VCT Challenger EMEA against FunPlus Phoenix. The latter was the European title-holder after defeating G2 Esports in March during the final of the first European Challenger of the year, but yielded the title to Fnatic after only three games during the Grand Final today.
Fnatic proved to be the best European team with a determined and cohesive performance that saw them win two maps in overtime and another with a crushing 13-5 result. The match kicked off on Split, a map chosen by FPX, who demonstrated excellent control of the environment by winning the first four rounds in a row in defense. However, Fnatic soon recovered thanks to aggressive rotations and site entries that put FPX’s defensive strategies in peril.
The first map became a vicious battle to the death that saw both teams face defeat due to minimal but fatal errors. It came down to the first overtime, and the back-and-forth exchange of rounds continued with the one team covering the defense and gaining a slight advantage thanks to the easy reading of the attacking team’s rotations and strategies. In the fiercely contested first game, Fnatic ultimately emerged victorious after twenty-eight rounds played on what was supposed to be FPX’s comfort map.
This narrow defeat dealt a powerful blow to FPX’s morale, who appeared disjointed and absent-minded on Icebox, Fnatic’s map of choice. Despite winning the first pistol round, FPX was left gasping for a moment of calm by the fast and precise attacks made by the Fnatic in the first half of the game. FPX only managed to win two rounds in total. Even when the game went into the second half, FPX could not counter Fnatic’s strategies. Fnatic won the second map 13-5 and maintained a level of dominance unmatched by their opponents.
At the end of the series, the two teams met on Haven, where FPX came up with an unusual team composition but very much their own. Despite some excellent gameplay by Fnatic, FPX managed to outwit them thanks to Shao’s Jett, who scored several kills with the operator. FPX then managed to find advantages in attack, winning four consecutive rounds and remaining in the lead even during the second half of the game. However, Fnatic was no less impressive, and thanks to two consecutive clutches by Enzo, they took enough rounds to reach their opponents’ score.
In an exchange of blows, FPX reached match point first, followed almost immediately by Fnatic, who led the last game into overtime. But as with the first map, Fnatic emerged victorious from overtime with the same score as Split, but with a final round won thanks to the calm and focus of their captain, Boaster.
By the end, both teams displayed their strength and dexterity. Although the results did not favor FPX, the team proved they had the talent and mental toughness to fight through despite less than optimal conditions, with one of the players playing during a highly tense war in Ukraine.
Both Fnatic and FPX have qualified for VALORANT’s next international competition in Copenhagen in less than two weeks’ time, where they will have the chance to win valuable points for the entry ticket to VCT Champions 2022.