FPX and Guild spring a surprise – VCT 2022 Recap Week 4
This second week of the VCT EMEA 2022 main event main event had a few surprises in store for us. Some leaders have fallen, others have stood out. Nothing is decided yet as there are still three weeks of regular season left before the playoffs start, but the rest of the competition promises to be interesting and to offer some great matches.
Recap of the fourth week of the VCT 2022 competition.
Phoenixes dominate Group A
|Natus Vincere||1-2||Team Liquid|
FunPlusPhoenix VS Gambit Esports
This weekend, FunPlusPhoenix won against the second world champions, Gambit Esports. This victory makes them the only undefeated team at the end of this second week of competition.
The match opened on Fracture, a map that was particularly long as it lasted well over an hour and ended 17-15 in favour of the Phoenix. The latter were particularly dominant in the first phase of the game, notably thanks to ardiis and Shao, on Jett and Astra respectively. However, they lost their dynamism in the second phase of play. They won the first three rounds, but then conceded the next nine, bringing the score to 12-12 and forcing overtime. Eight rounds later, it was FPX who finally won, despite a hard work from Chronicle and sheydos.
On Bind, the Gambits took over and got their revenge on the Phoenix. By the time half-time arrived, the score was 10-2 in favour of the Russians thanks to some very aggressive play on their part. The second phase of the game was relatively quick and the map ended in 13-6.
The last map was Icebox and it went pretty much the same way as Fracture. FPX opened the score in defence and quickly led 6-1 thanks to a Zyppan and a Shao unleashed. They won the first phase of play 8-4, and Gambit the second phase also 8-4. Once again this led to extra time, this time shorter than the first card. Only two rounds were enough to crown FPX who sealed the map 14-12 and the match 2-1.
LDN UTD VS BIG
In contrast to the previous match, the match between LDN UTD and BIG was quite fast, especially as the Lithuanians inflicted two heavy defeats on the German team on Haven and Breeze.
So it was on Haven that the match started. The BIGs didn't have many chances to breathe and were quickly overtaken by the very aggressive play of Boo and Dreamas. They managed to pull off three rounds before half time, and only one afterwards. LDN UTD then quickly sealed the map 13-4.
On Split, the German team was again badly beaten and won only four out of twelve rounds. However, they came out on top after half-time and only allowed LDN UTD to win two rounds. AslaN and gob b were particularly strong and contributed greatly to their team's victory, 13-10.
Finally, Breeze had a similar outcome to Haven. BIG only managed to win four rounds in the first phase of play and none in the second. Once again, Boo and Dreamas proved to be ultra-dominant, and the great performance of Destrianwas also commendable. Totally unplayable, they ended the match with a score of 13-4.
Natus Vincere VS Team Liquid
Last week, NAVI won their match 2-0 while Team Liquid lost theirs 0-2. This week the tables were turned and Liquid won their first match of the season.
Despite the fact that Haven was NAVI's choice, it was Liquid who came out on top on this first card, and it was thanks to the monstrous Chamber of Jamppi. The latter was especially strong in defense and allowed his team to reach the half-time break with a 7-5 lead. With his Neon, soulcas also put in a good performance, this time on the attack, completing the work started by Jamppi and giving Liquid the win, 13-9.
On Bind, NAVI were a little more dominant than their opponents, and this time it was Cloud who came out on top. Team Liquid was once again better in the first phase of play, but NAVI regained control once they went on the attack and only conceded three rounds, sealing the map at 13-10.
The last map, Split, was as close as the two previous ones. As they say, things always come in threes, and once again it was Liquid who came out on top before half-time. The team won eight out of twelve rounds. This time, however, NAVI was unable to take control of the game. Despite a very good second phase of play, it was Team Liquid who finally won 13-10.
Draws in Group B
|G2 Esports||2-0||SuperMassive Blaze|
Guild Esports VS Acend
This week, reigning world champions Acend fell to Guild Esports. Guild Esports is one of the undefeated teams in Group B, along with Fnatic.
Split Split was the scene of the first clash between the two rosters. Guild Esports immediately announced the colour by winning the first phase of the game 9-3. However, Acend were not to be buried just yet, as they responded perfectly once they went on the defensive. They completely turned the tables and sealed the map at 13-11 after winning ten rounds in the second phase of play.
Determined not to lose the next few cards, the Guild Esports players stepped up their game on Breeze and won 13-9. Sayf was monstrous on Jett and was a key part of the team's victory.
Once launched, Guild proved unstoppable and gave Acend no chance on Fracture, the last map of the match. If the latter had some hope by winning the first two rounds, it was short-lived. With only four rounds won on the map, the world champions lost 13-4 to their opponents who were all very good in this match.
BBL Esports VS Fnatic
As previously mentioned, Fnatic is one of the undefeated teams at the end of this match. BBL Esports on the other hand, have already lost two games and are in the bottom half of the table alongside SuperMassive Blaze.
The match started on Icebox and it's fair to say that Fnatic made short work of their opponents. Just like last week, Derke and braveaf were particularly dominant on Jett and Sova. They led 9-3 at the half and then sealed the deal with a score of 13-6.
With the match ending 2-0, Ascent turned out to be the second and final map. BBL Esports put up a bit more resistance this time, but it wasn't enough against the Fnatic steamroller. The first phase of play was very close and ended in 6-6. However, despite a great performance from QutionerX, BBL was unable to take the lead and eventually lost 13-10.
G2 Esports VS SuperMassive Blaze
The encounter between G2 Esports and SuperMassive Blaze closed the Group B matches for the second week of the competition. Like BBL, SMB is lagging behind and has yet to win a game this season, despite putting up a good fight in this match. G2 Esports, on the other hand, are managing to stay in the middle of the table.
On Split, SuperMassive Blaze won the first two rounds and quickly gained an advantage over their opponents, leading 8-4 at half time. However, this lead was not maintained in the second phase of play, as the Turks only won one round out of ten. This left the field open for G2 to get back into the game. On this first card, Izzy put in a good performance but it wasn't enough against the Raze of nukkye.
Once again SMB won the first phase of play on Haven and were leading 7-5 when it was time to switch sides. However, once they switched to defence, the team collapsed again and couldn't find the keys to hold on against a very aggressive hoody on Breach. The card ended 13-10 and G2 Esports won their second match of the competition.
The ranking at the end of the second week of competition
After the second week of the VCT 2022, three teams stand out. FunPlusPhoenix is leading Group A, while Guild Esports and Fnatic are dominating Group B. However, some teams are struggling to win games. BIG, SuperMassive Blaze and BBL Esports are all struggling and it will be important for them to finish week three with a win if they don't want to see their Masters dreams slip away.
To follow the rest of the competition, see you on 25th February.