VCT Challengers EU 2 – Day 3: Play-in
The Valorant Champions Tour reaches a new stage this weekend. The VCT continues with the play-off of the Challengers EU 2. The winners of Challengers 1 and Challengers 2 compete against each other and the four winners immediately qualify for the Valorant Masters in March.
These are probably the most important matches, as they are the ones that will determine which teams will receive points or not in the race of the Valorant Champions at the end of the year.
The Challengers EU 2
Day 3 Matches
Here is our recap of the matches of Day 3 and the strategies applied by the different teams.
Wave Esports vs Alliance
9 – Icebox – 13
It's on Icebox that the play-offs, with Wave in Defense and Alliance in Attack. The latter proved to be more cautious and facetious than usual. They tried many times to bluff assaults or rotations on the different points. Hype didn't hesitate to use Viper's ultimate to give the impression that his team was attacking a site, while his teammates launched an assault on the opposite one. A strategy that has paid off and caught Wave off-guard more than once. At sides' switch, the score was 8-4 in favour ofAlliance.
The offensive strategy of Wave Esports was quite different. Rather than separating their forces from one site to another, they concentrated on the possession of the mid, before encircling Alliance. It was a chess game played between the Sage and Viper of the two teams. The walls of ice and poison were decisive in managing access to each zone. Alliance resists to the pressure applied by Wave, thanks to their technical superiority. Hype, in particular, was formidable, and enabled Alliance to win the first map.
15 – Haven – 17
The rest of the match took place in Haven. Once again, the players of the team. Alliance didn't hesitate to be rather aggressive in theiur defense, sometimes going as far as the opposing spawn. However, it was in the rounds where they were more patient and measured that they won. Krea60 and Fearoth have perfectly succeeded in taking the necessary information to anticipate the assaults of Wave. Most of the fights were close, but the flashes of Luckerrr on Breach gave Alliance the advantage it needed to win most of the fights. Once again, it was raw skill in terms of aim and precision that made the difference against Wave. At sides' switch, Alliance dominated with a score of 8-4.
Unexpectedly, the Alliance was felt to be rather fragile under attack, because of Carcass on his Jett, absolutely masterful. Once equipped with an Operator, the player showed outstanding precision and mobility, able to take 2 kills on long A at the beginning of the round, to take one more at the gates of B in the following seconds. The smokes' use of xTribune sur Brimstone, précédées par les compétences de repérage de Nico on Skye, allowed Wave to considerably slow down Alliance's usual ardour. The balance of power was then reversed, and both teams went into over time.
With so many utilitarian abilities in-game, these extra rounds were a veritable deluge of smokes and explosives. While he had been rather discreet so far, finally, Krea60 revealed himself and allowed his team to win the rounds necessary for victory. Thanks to him, Alliance is the first team qualified for the Valorant Masters EU.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs G2 Esports
This encounter looked like a revenge! The Ninjas in Pyjamas won the Challengers 1 by defeating G2 Esports. This return match was then the occasion for them to confirm their superiority.
13 – Ascent – 9
The first round took place on Ascent, former fiefdom of G2 Esports, who started on Attack. The team was very cautious. The plan was to use the abilities of Zeek and Ardiis, respectively on Skye and Sova, to spot the enemies and decide which site to attack. The strategy worked, the players of Ninjas in Pyjamas often found themselves too busy dealing with wolves, insects or opposing arrows to counter assaults. G2 Esports finishes the side with a score of 7-5.
Once in Defense, these abilities turned out to be much less useful. Even when the G2 spotted the Ninjas proches d’un site, ils n’avaient jamais le temps de se repositionner. Au début de chaque round, les Ninjas in Pyjamas would choose a site and run into it as one man. They would then regularly secure the points without counting the slightest loss in their ranks. Thanks to this numerical advantage and their ability to lock a given point, the Ninjas completely dominated the second half of Ascent. They then won 8 rounds, losing only 2. Ninjas in Pyjamas then won the first map, with a score of 13-9.
13 – Haven – 10
Being backed into a corner this way seem to have had an unexpected effect on G2 Esports. The players seemed particularly feverish in Defense and made a string of mistakes. The Ninjas took very regularly a free kill by throwing an explosive into the long A corridor. Mixwell and Zeek where the victims more than once. As soon as they lost one or two players at the beginning of the round, G2 seemed to give up the fight and let NiP plant the Spike and win the points freely. G2 were not confident in their ability to win with a disadvantage and without weapons. But when they felt ready, we could see great actions from them. In spite of a very cautious style of play, G2 were only 2 rounds behind at sides' switch. The grouped assaults of Ninjas, always on different sites, allowed them to take the lead, with score of 7-5.
It was then the turn of G2 to attack. Mixwell playing the only duelist on his team, resolved to abandon the Operator to play closer to his teammates. Decidedly capable of the best as well as the worst, he dominated the first rounds by a wide margin. But little by little, the Ninjas in Pyjamas consolidated their defences, favouring the flanks over back lines. Chiwawa, often alone to defend site C with his Cypher, countered more than one G2's assault alone. Jady and rhyme was really successful through the smokes of Patitek.
The two teams were tied, until NiP decided to increase the pressure a little bit more by pushing the defenses very far. G2 Esports almost never attacking at mid, the NiPs took the opportunity to cross site B and get around their opponents. This is the advantage that the team needed to close this match. With a score of 13-10, Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated G2 Esports and qualified for the Valorant Masters.