EMEA Challengers 1 Qualified Teams – VCT 2022 Recap Week 2
In last week's recap, we told you that Guild Esports, BIG, SuperMassive Blaze and FunPlus Phoenix were advancing to the main event of the first Challengers 2022. Today, we have the names of the four other teams that will be participating in the tournament. They are G2 Esports, LDN UTD, BBL Esports and Natus Vincere.
The second qualification phase began on 17th January with an Open Qualifier, during which 256 teams competed for a place in the next stage. After two days of single elimination BO1 competition, the top four teams from each region earned their place in the Closed Qualifier 2. Here is a recap of the second week of competition.
Teams qualified for the Closed Qualifier 2:
- Team Finest
- Excel Esports
- G2 Esports
- LDN UTD
- Veselie Vintovki
- Tactical Five eSports
- Team AURORA
- Thunderbolts Gaming
- Surreal Esports
G2 Esports takes revenge
Qualified European teams
Just like week, there were two places up for grabs in Europe. The teams that managed to qualify in the first Closed Qualifier did not shine in this second Closed Qualifier phase. Vitality, TENSTAR, Alliance and Rebels Gaming were all four eliminated and will therefore not be participating in the first EMEA 2022 Challengers.
G2 Esports dominated the upper bracket by beating Alliance, TENSTAR and Excel in turn. While the team was eliminated very quickly during the previous week, this time they took their revenge and will be part of the main event.
This week's surprise is LDN UTD. The team came into the competition through the Open Qualifier 2, but first lost 0-2 to Vitality in the upper bracket and moved down the bracket. There, they beat the odds and eliminated some important teams.
First Rebels Gaming and TENSTAR, then Team Vitality. The two teams met again, following the bees' defeat against Excel in the semi-final of the upper bracket. This time, however, it was LDN UTD who triumphed 2-0. The team then went on to eliminate Excel, who had lost 1-3 to G2 Esports in the upper bracket final. The Lithuanians only conceded two maps in the final qualifying round and thus secured their place in the main event.
NAVI is back in the game
Qualified CIS teams
For CIS, nothing changes, one spot was up for grabs for the main event. However, this time, the top 2-5 qualified for the VRL CIS.
This included Natus Vincere, KPI Gaming, 5MOKES and SMARACIS Esports, the teams that had gone top 3-6 in Closed Qualifier 1. Of these teams, SMARACIS was defeated very quickly. Beaten 2-0 by Tactical Five eSports and then by Dobeg, they ended this stage of the VCT with a top 7-8 finish that will disappoint many.
The team that surprised everyone and drew attention to itself was Tactical Five eSports. They made it all the way to the final of the upper bracket by conceding a single map to KPI Gaming, but fell to the lower bracket after losing 2-0 to 5MOKES in the final. They were then eliminated in the lower bracket final by the winners of the Closed Qualifier: Natus Vincere. Despite their defeat, we salute their great performance.
It is then Natus Vincere who won in this last qualification phase. After being beaten 2-0 by 5MOKES in the semi-final, the NAVI players climbed all the way up the lower bracket to finally take their revenge on those who had beaten them.
The first game of the match ended 13-3 and although the other two maps were closer (13-10 and 13-11 respectively), Natus gave their opponents no chance and qualified quite easily.
BBL Esports takes the win
Qualified Turkish teams
As with the CIS, Turkey again had onlyone spot to take for the main event, but its top 2-5 qualified for the for the Closed Qualifier of the VRL Turkey. The teams that qualified in the first Closed Qualifier stages, namely Fire Flux Esports, BBL Esports, Galakticos and Galatasaray Esports, were joined by Futbolist, Team AURORA, Thunderbolts Gaming and Surreal Esports.
In the upper bracket, Fire Flux Esports and Futbolist were the two dominant teams and met each other in the final. However, Futbolist won 2-1, after a hard-fought BO3, and qualified for the Grand Final.
In the lower bracket, Team Aurora and Thunderbolts Gaming have been eliminated very quickly by Galakticos and Galatasaray Esports. BBL Esports were defeated 2-0 by Futbolist in the semi-final of the uppert bracket, but managed to climb the whole lower bracket. They won the final against Fire Flux Esports, only to meet Futbolist in Grand Final.
There, BBL Esports players won the first two maps, but their opponents didn't give up and won the third map, bringing the game to a close. Finally, the fourth and last map ended in favour of BBL Esports with a score of 13-10, thus closing the final.
BBL Esports will therefore occupy the last place in the EMEA 1 Challengers and will make its return to the VCT. Indeed, the team has not been seen on the official circuit since Phase 2 of 2021.
Composition of the Challengers EMEA 1 groups
With the qualifying rounds just completed, Riot Games has already revealed the line-up for the main event. There will be only two groups, each consisting of six teams.
Now we will have to wait until the start of the main event to find out which teams will manage to qualify for the first Masters of the year. Two places are up for grabs and the competition is likely to be tough. See you on 11th February for the start of the Challengers EMEA 1.