VCT P3 – Team Liquid wins the Challengers EU 2

The Challengers EU 2 of the VCT ended with the victory of Team Liquid facing Vodafone Giants. These two teams have now qualified for the Challengers Playoffs EMEA alongside Acend, G2 Esports, Guild Esports and FunPlus Phoenix.

These Challengers had a few surprises in store for us, notably with TENSTAR which defeated Team BDS at the beginning of the tournament as well as Fnatic who were propelled into the Lower bracket by Vodafone Giants. Let's take a look at this week of competition!

Quarter-Finals – A big surprise

The first quarter final opposed Team BDS to TENSTAR. At first sight, Team BDS was the favourite for this match, but everything did not go as planned. The TENSTARs gave Team BDS a heavy 3-13 loss on Breeze before the Swiss team rallied with a 13-9 win on Haven. The two teams then battled it out on Icebox. Although this map was the closest of the BO3, rodeN and his teammates still lost against a KRAY wreaking havoc on his Killjoy and finishing the map with a KDA of 32/14/3. After this defeat, the winners of the Summer Tournament of the VALOTF fell into the lower bracket.

The second quarter-final match was Team Liquid against Team Vitality. The bees started off well with a 11-13 win on Bind. However, Team Liquid quickly recovered on Split, the map chosen by their opponents, winning by a large margin 13-3. On Breeze, the third and last map of the BO, ScreaM shone on his Jett, snatching the winning point with a quadrakill and allowing his team to qualify for the rest of the tournament.

The following match opposed Rix.GG Thunder to Vodaphone Giants. The latter started what was only the very beginning of their journey. On Split, Rix.GG initially showed resistance, with 6-6 in the first half of the map, but collapsed after switching roles, losing 1-7. A similar scenario played out on Bind, where Rix.GG could not make the difference, giving the victory to the new team of davidp.

The last quarter final was between Fnatic and Alliance. The match started on Haven, a map that was played through overtime. Here, Fnatic could count on Doma and Derke to eliminate their opponents. Both scored an Ace during this map, in round 11 and 19 respectively. In the end, Alliance lost 14-12 after overtime. Things were very different on Icebox. If it was still a draw at sides' switch, Alliance then ran into the wall that was Fnatic and only managed to take a single point in attack phase, letting their meagre chances of a comeback slip away. Fnatic won logically with a score of 2-0.

Semi-Finals –Team Liquid progresses, Fnatic falls

Even after defeating Team BDS, it was easy to think that TENSTAR would lose by a wide margin to Team Liquid. However, the match was much closer than expected. The clashes first took place on Haven, where TENSTAR was leading until the side change. Unfortunately for them, things went wrong when Team Liquid went on defense. ScreaM and his teammates managed to get the 8 points they were missing, conceding only 3 rounds to their opponents, thus winning the map with a score of 10 to 13.

The rest of the game was played on Breeze, where it took until overtime to decide the winner. Once again, TENSTAR was ahead in the first half of the map, leading 8-4. However, Team Liquid was not going to be defeated so easily, going into overtime and winning in two rounds. Team Liquid thus won the match 2-0 against the TENSTARs who have nothing to be ashamed of.

The second semi-final opposed Fnatic to Vodaphone Giants. The match started in Fnatic's favour as they crushed their opponents 13-4 on Icebox, thanks in particular to a Derke who was unstoppable on Jett. When the players then switched on Bind, it was Giants' turn to shine, winning 7-13. This time, Fit1nho led the way, being very consistent on his Raze and even making an Ace in round 19.

La troisième et dernière map du BO s’est jouée en pas moins de 34 rounds ! Les deux équipes se sont rendues coup pour coup et étaient à égalité à chaque fin de side. Il aura fallu 10 rounds d’overtime pour se départager, mais ce sont finalement les Vodaphone Giants qui s’imposent dans cette demi-finale et avancent en Finale Upper !

Upper Final – When the underdog wins

After finishing 4th in the Masters 2, Team Liquid was undoubtedly the favourite team in this final. However, the outcome of this match was not what was expected. Indeed, the Giants started by defeating Team Liquid 4-13 on Bind, with an extremely successful attack phase with 10 rounds won. When it wasn't hoody who was carrying his team, davidp took over. Team Liquid was totally transparent in this match and could not do anything against Giants.

On Split, the second map of the final, it was on defense that Giants excelled with another 10 rounds won before switching sides. They successfully defended their points, whether in retakes or not. Team Liquid finished their rounds with 0 or 1 kill on several occasions and failed to recover, so Giants won by a score of 5-13. At the end of the match, none of Team Liquid's players had a positive KD. The underdog won over the prestigious Team Liquid, which fell into the lower bracket.

Grand Final – Once, but not twice

The Grand Final of these Challengers was a new encounter between Vodafone Giants and Team Liquid, the latter having defeated Fnatic in the Lower Final after 5 maps played. This was an opportunity for Team Liquid to take revenge on the Giants and to restore their reputation after this heavy defeat.

This Grand Final started off on a high note with the Liquid proving that they were not here to lose face again. On Icebox, they won 5-13 and managed to get spike explosions 5 times. The second map of the BO5 was Ascent, where Giants showed much more response than on the snow map. Before switching sides, they were already 8 points ahead of their opponents, but then gave themselves a scare by getting ripped off 8 rounds by Team Liquid. In the end, they still managed to secure the map and come back on top.

The following map was Breeze. Once again, the Liquids took a big advantage in attack by being very aggressive. They then had more trouble winning the remaining 3 rounds but did so without having to go into overtime. At this stage, Team Liquid only needed one more map to win these Challengers. This was quickly done on Bind with the Giants showing themselves rather feverish in attack. ScreaM, having abandoned in Reyna for Sage, finished the map in first place with a KDA of 23/12/3. Team Liquid won 6-13 and takes the first place of the Challengers 2 EU!

At the end of the two Challengers of the phase 3 of the VCT, we know the 6 teams that will represent Europe in the playoffs and therefore have a chance to participate in the Masters 3 in Berlin. Acend, G2 Esports, Guild Esports and FunPlus Phoenix qualified thanks to their performances in the first Challengers, while Vodafone Giants and Team Liquid have qualified thanks to their places in Challengers 2. These 6 teams will return to the competition from 12th August!

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