The new year’s excitement of Valorant Esports is back to the stage with a highly anticipated tournament, VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers. Acend, the European organization that was crowned in the Valorant Champions 2021, were directly invited to the first noticeable tournament of 2022. Also, the CIS representative, Gambit, are another team invited to the VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers thanks to circuit points they accumulated throughout 2021.
Gambit overpowered Team Liquid in the opening series
Twelve teams across the EU, TR, and CIS region split into two groups, and fans watched many thrilling bo3 series as of the first three days of the Group Stage. Team Liquid and Gambit, two competent rosters that were considered the favorites of group A, faced off each other in the opening series of the VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers. Though Gambit had difficulties in particular times in the series, they secured their first win over Team Liquid.
The CIS juggernaut demolished TL on Icebox, finishing the map 13–8. It is worth noting that Team Liquid was able to stand against Gambit’s astonishing performance until a certain point, but it was not enough to take the map. Gambit’s young star Chronicle had an excellent game against TL on Split. He was selected MVP thanks to the advantages that he brought to his team when Gambit was about to lose control of the game.
— Gambit Esports (@GambitEsports) February 11, 2022
Here are the results for the first three days of the VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers
- Team Liquid 0 — 2 Gambit
- Fnatic 2 — 1 G2
- FunPlus Phoenix 2 — 1 BIG
- SuperMassive Blaze 0 — 2 Acend
- NAVI 2 — 0 LDN UTD
- BBL Esports 0 — 2 Guild
Acend kicked off its VCT 2022: EMEA run with a clean win over Turkish team SuperMassive Blaze. It was surprising that SMB did not ban Bind map against Acend. They showed off that all team members trust each other. The second match of the series was not different. Acend finished the map with 13–4 and intimidated the other opponents in the group by taking down the best team of the TR region without facing resistance.
Guild intimidated the other opponents in Group B
Guild Esports opened up the group stage with a clean win over BBL Esports. Apparently, Guild will keep their form high to be a contender for leadership. Both teams secured their spot in VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers thanks to their outstanding performances in open qualifiers.
Guild took BBL to Breeze in the opening match. The other Turkish team in Group B kicked off the game by taking rounds one by one at the beginning. Then, Guild showed off why they picked Breeze, though it was not their best map. Leo hunted all BBL members one on one. Koldamenta also directed the macro game. Guild was able to enter the bomb side easier than they expected.
On the flip side, things always have been shaped after the plant for BBL. Guild did not let any surprise in eco rounds, had a better post-plant game throughout the series. Guild closed up Breeze with 13–6 and Haven with 13–9, made a promising start to the VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers.
Happy days 👏🏼
We're off to the perfect start in #VCT
— GUILD (@guildesports) February 13, 2022
FunPlus Phoenix survived against BIG, NAVI demolished LDN UTD
The two European representatives, FunPlus Phoenix and BIG, faced off each other in a close series. After an encouraging 2021 for FPX, it was important to be qualified for VCT 2022: EMEA for the organization. On the other side, BIG took part in its first international tournament after failing in open qualifiers. Both teams offered us an action-packed series, and that’s what fans wanted to see. FPX won the series 2–1 and changed its focus to the match against Gambit, which will be played on February 18.
NAVI looked well enough in their first match against LDN UTD as a team that has never competed in an international tournament before. They kicked off the series with quick-round wins, and there was a noticeable talent gap between them. NAVI was on the driver’s seat throughout the series, although LDN UTD reacted sometimes on its map, Haven. The London-based team will probably be one of the weakest teams in the tournament.
The VCT 2022: EMEA Stage 1 Challengers is set to return on 18 February with a CIS versus EU competition. Gambit will face off FPX to assure their leadership, while Guild Esports will try its chance against the reigning champion, Acend, in group B. You can catch all the action from Riot Games official Twitch and YouTube channel. Have fun!
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