5th December 2020 – 4pm
It's time for the semi-finals in the European Valorant First Strike. After rather tight quarter-finals, the last four teams are now fighting for a place on the podium. Who, from Team Heretics, G2 Esports, SUMN FC and FunPlus Phoenix will qualify for the grand final?
Saturday 5th December, from 5pm
2 Vs 1
2 Vs 1
The G2 Esports have seemed feverish throughout the First Strike tournaments, and this time they've paid a heavy price. The Team Heretics have succeeded in beating those who have been unbeatable since the launch of Valorant.
The feat began on Ascent, which is considered the home of G2 Esports. They were leading with a solid 9-3 at the sides' switch and the victory seemed already certain. And yet, once in Attack, the Team Heretics kind of transformed. It moved slowly and meticulously, seeking to kill a player isolated from their allies to gain the numerical advantage. Special mention to lowel, always impeccable and precise in his duels. Thanks to a great job of luring and spins, they surprised G2 from behind, round after round. Team Heretics then defeated G2 scoring 10 rounds on Attack and conceding just one. Final score: 13-10.
Visibly shaken and frustrated by this defeat, Mixwell and Ardiis have decided to take things in hand on Bind. Both G2 players displayed unusual aggressiveness, as if to upset Heretics' methodical pace. They finished the map with 23/9 and 20/8 respectively. Despite very nice arrows from niesoW on his Sova and an admirable map control from pAura, nothing could stop the G2 steamroller. G2 Esports equalised in this BO3 with a 13-5.
The third and last game was by far the closest between the two teams. Heretics won the pistol round on Split, which didn't please G2 Esports. The latter then tried tp force buy again and again, without success. By refusing to agree to concede a round in economy, they fell behind at the start of the game and conceded 5 rounds, before finally managing to regain the upper hand. The two teams were ultimately tied at sides' switch.
In the second half of the map, the two teams traded tit for that and it was impossible to guess who was going to win. As for Mixwell, they still played really aggressively, taking a lot of kills using Raze's explosives. As for Heretics, although his final score didn't reflect his real impact on the game, pAura saved the decisive rounds. Rather than using his Cypher's abilities to control the map, he used them in the middle of a fight to spot his opponents' hideouts and create a diversion, before going in with the weapon in hand. But the MVP of the map is undoubtedly Nukkie. The player used Raze's Blast Packs to fly all over the map and surprise G2, both in combat and map rotations. It's on his Ace that the game ended, knocking G2 Esports out of the competition on a 13-11.
Second semi-final: a new outsider team against tournament favourites. And once again, we were treated to an incredible upset.
The first map was played on Split. It was won very quickly by FunPlus Phoenix. Or rather, by Shao. While playing Sage, a usually rather withdrawn Support Agent, the player had an uncommon killing spree. He led the way for his team, led the assaults and it worked! At sides' switch, with his team dominating 10 rounds to 2, Shao had a staggering 22/2 score and had used his resurrection no less than 7 times. It didn't take many more rounds for the Phoenix to win this first map.
Once on Haven, SUMN FC have decided to drive the FunPlus Phoenix nuts. Taking advantage of their offensive position, SUMN FC players spent their time simulating assaults and movements on the various sites of the map, eventually performing full rotations. It was becoming very difficult for FunPlus Phoenix to build strong defenses, as they had to constantly reorganise and reposition themselves. To this tactical genius which characterises SUMN FC is joined the pure talent of Doma, Mistic and Moe, able to win fights which seem to their disadvantage, thanks to an excellent sense of timing. These are qualities that made the difference once in Defense. The team ultimately won the map with a score of 13-8.
We felt FunPlus Phoenix turned upside down after this loss on Haven. They start Bind full of doubts, and it showed. SUMN FC had been absolutely imperial on this map during the quarter-finals, and this time they proved it was no fluke. Mistic on Viper, Moe on Sova and Tsack on Cypher are clearly at ease there, and performed skillshots throughout the map. With each round won by SUMN FC, we could see the faces of the FunPlus Phoenix crumble, especially as some seemed impossible to lose. Led 10-2 at sides' switch, they clearly no longer believed in their chances of winning, and some already had tears in their eyes.
This was without counting on the fear of winning of SUMNFC. As they led 12 rounds to 2, the outsiders were in too much of a hurry and shaking. This gave FunPlus Phoenix a few rounds of hope, but the expected miracle didn't happen. SUMN FC, the last team in this tournament not to be backed by an esports organisation, won their place in the final, with art and style. They will encounter Team Heretics on Sunday 6th December, at 5pm.