Valorant Champions 2022 — EMEA struggling in the playoffs

After an extremely exciting group phase, the biggest tournament in Valorant goes into the playoffs. Between September 9 -18, the... Fragster | 12. September 2022

After an extremely exciting group phase, the biggest tournament in Valorant goes into the playoffs. Between September 9 -18, the best teams in the world will play for over $1,000,000 and the right to call themselves Valorant Champions of 2022.

There are three EMEA representatives still in the competition, namely FunPlus Phoenix, Team Liquid and FNATIC. Two North American teams also qualified for playoffs — OpTic Gaming and XSET, while the remaining spots belong to DRX from South Korea, Leviatán from Chile, and LOUD from Brazil.


DRX vs. FunPlus Phoenix (2-0)

You could call this match the Premature Grand Final. FPX defeated DRX hands down almost two months ago, but since then, DRX seemed like they were exchanged.

The series started on Ascent. Round after round, different players improved until FPX Pontus “Zyppan” Eek shot the game into overtime. Then his teammate Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks delivered an unbelievable 1v3 in the first overtime, avoiding the direct loss. However, Yu “BuZz” Byung-Chul and Kim “stax” Gu-taek took care of keeping DRX in contention. After three incredible overtimes, DRX won 19-17 on Ascent.

Then the two teams faced off on Breeze. FPX decided to go in without Chamber and classic initiator and were immediately punished for it. Without much resistance, DRX asserted dominance, and ultimately won the second map of the series 13-5.

Leviatán vs. LOUD (2-0)

The South American derby between Leviatán and LOUD was an absolute spectacle. Leviatán have been extremely upset after ditching a 12-6 lead on Icebox. This was particularly annoying for Leviatán’s Francisco “kiNgg” Aravena, who had 26 kills on the first map and still lost. In the end, LOUD secured Icebox14-12. kiNgg showed incredible performance on Haven as well, but in the end, LOUD kept the upper hand and took the map with a 13-6 scoreline.

OpTic Gaming vs. Team Liquid (2-1)

The first derby between EMEA and NA couldn’t have been more exciting. After a dominant first map from Team Liquid, which they won 13-7, OpTic fought back on the other two maps. First playing the highly controversial Breach Neon strategy and failing on Breeze, they found the game much easier on Bind. The first half on Bind remained quite tight (7-5) for the North Americans. After the change of sides, however, Liquid handed the map over to OpTic at 13-8.

The conclusion of this clash came on Ascent, where OpTic’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker put on an exceptional performance in attack. OpTic were able to secure ten rounds in the first run, but in the second half, Liquid started a small comeback, which was only enough to correct the result. Ultimately, the third map went to OpTic with a score of 13-8.

XSET vs. FNATIC (2-0)

Even Fnatic could not prevent the playoff upset. It looked like the European squad was surprised by XSET’s choice of Pearl. XSET showed not only creative variants, but coupled with incredible shooting power from Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, XSET crossed the finish line with a score of 13-8.

On Fracture, Fnatic seemed much more focused as they were able to take a narrow 7-5 lead in the first run. Once on defense, however, XSET set the pace and brought calm into the game. In the end, XSET scraped together enough laps to finish at 13-11, despite a monstrous performance from Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev.

Lower Bracket Round 1

FunPlus Phoenix vs. Leviatán (2-0)

Once again the Stage 2 Masters winners from Copenhagen FunPlus Phoenix had to fight their way through the lower bracket, where they met Leviatán. From other Leviatán matches, it is apparent that they are very dependent on kiNgg’s carry performances. These didn’t exist on Icebox, so FPX destroyed them at 13-6. Just like in the previous game, Leviatán felt a lot more confident on their own map, Ascent, and managed to take some rounds. In the end, FPX were dominant and brought the map through 13-11.

Team Liquid vs. FNATIC (0-2)

The second elimination game also had a noticeable performance deficit between the competing teams as from the start, Fnatic dominated the game on Bind. Especially the Fnatic star Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder showed a lot of individual actions which caused the local crowd to go wild. The map went to Fnatic at 13-6. The following Haven was no different. Fnatic were superior on all levels and finished the map with a 13-7 scoreline.

Header: Riot Games