The 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour enters its final stage, with Champions Istanbul the last international tournament for the year. Champions features the top sixteen teams from all regions in the 2022 VCT. In EMEA, FunPlus Phoenix and Fnatic have already claimed two out of three Champions slots from the overall Circuit Point standings. Eight teams now fight in the Last Chance Qualifier for the third remaining spot as EMEA’s representative. Previous 2021 VCT Champions Acend find themselves as the fifth seed in entering the tournament and lacked a fifth member following the benching of Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt. In his place, Travis “L1NK” Mendoza has been transferred from Team Liquid, now serving as Acend’s fifth player in the EMEA LCQ.
L1nk on Team Liquid
L1NK has played on Team Liquid since its inception in 2020, finding success as the team’s Initiator and Sentinel role. Known for his Breach and Sage, L1NK served as a longstanding veteran for the team throughout the 2021 and 2022 VCT. However, L1NK would step back from the team in Stage 2 of the 2022 VCT after playing three Groups Stage games. He would move to the bench with Aurimas “Dreamas” Zablockis serving as his replacement. L1NK would not play in any more VCT matches until his signing with Acend. Now facing the EMEA LCQ, L1NK and Acend play for the final spot to represent EMEA in Champions 2022 Istanbul.
Bald buff activated 🔥
— ACEND CLUB (@AcendClub) July 29, 2022
Acend’s 2022 VCT Performance
Acend’s first performance in the 2022 VCT floundered, with them bowing out of Stage 1 in the Groups Stage. Group B found them in fifth place of their group with a 2-3 record. This would eliminate them from Stage 1 while earning only 40 Circuit Points. This faltering performance saw early changes in their roster, with the release of Vlad “Kiles” Shvets and Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi. In their place, Acend introduced Vakaris “vakk” Bebravičius and Ondřej “MONSTEERR” Petrů for a Stage 2 run. Group A saw Acend performing much better, ending as the second seed with a 4-1 record, only beaten by Fnatic. However, Acend would bomb out of the playoffs following a 0-2 loss against M3 Champions and a 1-2 elimination match against FunPlus Phoenix. They would finish in fifth place, earning 65 points for a total of 105 Circuit Points.
The EMEA LCQ features L1NK, Acend and seven other teams fighting for the third seed to Champions 2022 Istanbul. Running from August 7 to August 14, the tournament features only one prize for the first place team, with all other teams eliminated from the 2022 VCT. The winner will join FunPlus Phoenix and Fnatic as the EMEA representatives to Champions 2022 Istanbul in September. For Acend, winning the EMEA LCQ allows for the 2021 Champions to defend their title on an international stage.
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