17th August 2020 – 4:38pm
Throughout past week, theAllied Esport Odysseytook place. This competition, part of the Ignition Series had the particularity of bringing together European esports organisations. No mix, no amateurs; only pro players who defend an organisations' colours. Only big teams from Europe.
The European scene is taking shape little by little and has been particularly hectic in recent weeks. The recruitment of Fish123 by Team Liquid and the FunPlus Phoenix team solidifies the roster of players and teams to be counted on in the future of Valorant.
This is why we have decided to make a first review of the European scene. A kind of benchmark for future tournaments to come.
The team is as strong as ever and won their fourth Ignition Series tournament. For Mixwell and Davidp, this is even their fifth victory on the official Riot Games competitive circuit. For Davidp, the tournament was marked by a sad event which undoubtedly impacted his performances. Fortunately, he can count on his teammates to take over. Ardiis, in particular, did a series of impressive actions. He's very likely the best player in Europe at the moment.
That being said, the team still showed some flaws. During group stages, G2 lost to FunPlus Phoenix. While the absence of Vaidp in the last half of the second map of course distorts the record, the team seemed already in trouble before that.
Little by little, being the best team will become a burden for G2 Esports. Deafeat is where you learn the most and its dominance of the European scene risks to make the team stagnate. It's really damaging, especially in such a young game where there is so much room to improve. This potential delay could hurt the team in the long run, especially on the international scene.
Who would have thought that, by mixing two amateur teams with decent but not exceptional performances, we would have such an effective team? It was FunPlus Phoenix's first tournament, and the least we can say is that they made an impression.
In group stages, the team tied with Giants Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid. They also won against BBL Esports, but above all... against G2 Esports. Once in the play-offs, they managed to defeat Ninjas in Pyjamas, then Team Liquid to qualify for the final.
Whether it's the beginner's luck, the element of surprise, the motivation of a new team, the tournament's format or extenuating circumstances among their opponents, the result is there. FunPlus Phoenix makes a big splash while entering the European scene. We really look forward seeing how they will evolve.
The former Fish123 seem to be the second best team in Europe. They still have a lot of work to do, if only to keep this second place. The performances of its players are very irregular, and this will eventually harm them.
Players like ScreaM, ec1s or L1NK are capable of incredible feats. True murderous madness in game. If Team Liquid players could manage to maintain such a level of precision and execution speed, there is no doubt they would rival G2 Esports.
Until Team Liquid finds its rythm, games will continue to look like heads or tails. Tails: a player transcends themself. Heads: it's lost.
The situation for Ninjas in Pyjamas is quite difficult. Despite the presence of excellent players, the results are not really there. Little by little, the defeats against the top European level succeed each other. And the defeats are pretty severe, with a 4-13 against FunPlus Phoenix in their last game.
Unfortunately, Ninjas in Pyjamas owes its qualification to the poor performance of Giants Gaming and BBL Esports who are just not up to it. Ninjas in Pyjamas is still an excellent team, but it's struggling to keep up with the European tenors. At the moment, it only seems able to compete with others in its best days.
Giants Gaming is far from having the aura of the Valorant teams aforementioned. It still has to prove itself. Despite many ties in group BO2s, losing to BBL Esports (who has lost all of its games) isn't really a good sign.
Giants Gaming is a Spanish organisation. The team is made up exclusively of Spanish players. Perhaps limiting your player searches to a single country can explain this performance. All the other teams combine the talent of players from several countries.
It remains above the average level of Valorant players, its breakthrough in the Mandatory.GG Cup proves it. It eventually hit the "G2 Esports wall". Maybe it takes more time and practice in training to find one's rythm?
Of course, that could all change at any time. All it would take is a new Agent, a new map to energise the scene and put all of this back into the game.
Most importantly, there are still many esports organisations that haven't gotten involved. We know that Vitality closely monitors the various talents on the scene. We also think that Fnatic will eventually build a team.
There are still some very good players who don't have teams right now. The Mandatory.GG Cup has given many organisation-less players the opportunity to show that there is still a lot of pure talent just begging to be exploited. Players like Yacine and bonkar, are proof of this.