FunPlus Phoenix, last EMEA representatives - Valorant Champions
Every new day of Valorant Champions brings its share of joy and disappointment. On Tuesday 13 September, both emotions must have been running through the fans in the EMEA region. Indeed, Fnatic lost to DRX and was thus eliminated from the championship. However, there is still hope for Europe as FunPlus Phoenix won their match against XSET and qualified for the semi-final of the Lower Bracket.
DRX eliminates Fnatic
The two teams met to play the first quarter-final of the Lower Bracket. Fnatic had previously emerged victorious from their match against Team Liquid, while DRX lost to LOUD, getting their first defeat of the competition.
EMEA players largely dominated Icebox, the first map of the meeting. Derke made a splash with his Chamber, breaking through his opponents' defences without difficulty. After winning the first phase of play 7-5, the European team concluded the map 13-7.
Hostilities continued on AscentFnatic quickly took the lead, despite dropping the first two rounds. They were leading 8-4 at half-time, but the Korean players had not said their last word. They started the second phase of the game on a high note, securing the pistol round again and the next round as well. They then played an aggressive game in order to get back on track. This paid off, as the two teams were neck and neck, taking the game into over time. This did not last long, however, as DRX held on to their advantage and won two rounds in a row, sealing the deal 14-12.
It all came down to Fracture. The first phase of play was initially in DRX's favour, as the team led 6-1. However, Fnatic rallied to win five rounds in a row and tie the game 6-6 at half time. The comeback was short-lived, however, as the Koreans regained the lead once they went on attack, led by stax. Finally, they won the map 13-9 and thus eliminated Fnatic from the competition.
FPX VS XSET: Extensions due to a bug
The second quarter-final of the Lower Bracket was between FunPlus Phoenix at XSET and we can say that the match was rather tight and eventful. Indeed, the end of the third map had to be replayed due to some technical problems.
The match started on Pearl where both teams won several rounds in a row, always remaining neck and neck in terms of score. Ardiis particularly distinguished himself during the first phase of the game, using his Chamber perfectly to defend his positions. On the XSET side, it was Zekken and Cryo who stood out with Neon and Chamber, and who thus contributed to their team's victory on the map, 13-11.
The players then moved on to Bind where XSET immediately took the lead by winning four consecutive rounds. The European team, despite their slow start, responded with six rounds won in a row. At half time they were leading 7-5 and continued to build on their success to close the map 13-10.
It's on Ascent that things got complicated. The map was again very close, so much so that in round 24 the score was 12-11 in favour of FunPlus Phoenix. The latter managed to win the last round to take the victory 13-11, only it turned out that this victory was due to a bug of the game. Indeed, for quite some time now, the Valorant community has been regularly reporting a problem that occurs with Killjoy turrets. As no action was taken on this, the bug occurred during round 24, which destabilised the XSET players and caused them to lose the game.
After a period of reflection, Riot Games made the decision to replay this round, which this time led to the US team winning the round and therefore going into over time. Six additional rounds were played, at the end of which FunPlus Phoenix definitely won 16-14.
The next Valorant Champions matches will take place on 16th September. LOUD and OpTic Gaming will play the Upper Bracket final at 4pm (CEST), while FunPlus Phoenix and DRX will battle it out at 7pm (CEST) in the Lower Bracket semi-final for their place in the final. To follow this new day of competition, go to official stream.