Group Stage: Week 3
Acend vs Fnatic
On Saturday, May 28, the fourth match in week three of VCT Stage 2: EMEA Challengers will take place. Acend and Fnatic will meet in this clash.
VCT Stage 2: EMEA Challengers is the second major regional tournament on the Valorant Champions Tour. The top 12 teams from three different regions will battle it out for three slots in the second Masters' event and a combined prize pool of €200,000. This tournament takes place from May 13 to June 27. The group stage will run from May 13 to June 12.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Acend: Substitutions have gone in favor
Last season was very interesting and great at the end for Acend. First place at the European Masters gave the boys a good amount of VCT points they needed at the end of the year, but Acend didn't manage to qualify for their first international tournament. After regaining strength, Acend crushed European qualifiers and ,secured a place in the Masters' Berlin through the top draw at the EMEA stage. At the Masters, they managed to get out of the group, but in the playoffs they were stopped by 100 Thieves 2-1. This wasn't a disappointment to the European side as they were placed 2nd in the European ranking in terms of VLR points and won a direct pass to the Valorant Champions. That was when we saw the real power of Acend. Before the grand final, the guys lost only 1 map, which was in the tournament's first match. The final itself initially looked less fortunate for Acend, but they were able to catch on to the mistakes made by Gambit Esports and convert the game from 1:2 on maps to 3:2, thus taking the title of the strongest Valorant team in 2021.
What about now? They were invited to their first tournament, the EMEA stage, so we didn't see their form before the opening matches. The start was a solid 2-0 against SuperMassive Blaze, saying all was well so far. Next up was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Guild, but then a 2-1 win against G2 Esports. And then defeat against Fnatic and BBL Esports, which sent Acend to 5th place, thus missing their first international tournament of the year.
Shortly after that, there were 2 player replacements. BONECOLD and Kiles were replaced by vakk and MONSTEERR. vakk played for Team Vitality for a long time, but now they are getting worse and worse, while MONSTEERR played at the beginning of this year for Giants Esports, who also didn't make it to Promotion but in the Spanish region. The first match for the new Acend was against OG LDN UTD, which the boys won 2-0 on the maps. The following week Acend faced FOKUS, who, in the end of three maps, also fell at the hands of Acend. This week Acend faced Fnatic, who, after the substitution, showed again an excellent game.
Fnatic: A replacement that worked
Throughout the Valorant Champions Tour 2021 season, Fnatic's journey has not been the easiest. With Derke coming in during VCT S2, Fnatic managed to qualify for their first world tournament, Masters Reykjavik, where they finished second in a very close game against Sentinels. The path to Masters Berlin, on the other hand, was very problematic. One step away from reaching the EMEA Challengers playoffs, they were stopped by Team Liquid. In the end, the victory of Gambit Esports at Masters Berlin allowed the Fnatic a direct ticket to the VALORANT Champions. The Valorant Champions themselves were an excellent showing by the boys. Fnatic was preparing to fight in the playoffs for first place, coming from a first place out of the group, beating the Koreans from Vision Strikers and the Americans from Cloud9 Blue. However, CRU Esports unexpectedly sent the European team home 2-1 on the mapss, thus ending their season in 2021.
Fnatic decided to move in 2022, replacing doma (currently playing in Tenastar in the Valorant Regional League Northern Europe: Polaris and performing well) with braveaf, who has been inactive for a long time after being replaced in the CIS region. Fnatic blew out their group at VCT S1: EMEA Challengers with their new line-up without losing a single match. The playoff itself began with a victory against M3 Champions (former Gambit Esports). In a hard-fought battle on three maps, the European team took the given meeting, immediately securing a ticket to the first international tournament this year. And everything seems to be going well, but there are 2 unexpected news. Derke and braveaf will not play the first matches. Fnatic played the first 2 matches against H1ber and Enzo, but that didn't help. A 2-0 loss to Ninjas in Pyjamas and ZETA DIVISION sent Fnatic home instantly, not even making the playoff stage.
It was then officially announced that braveaf was leaving the team and MAGNUM was going inactive. They were replaced by Enzo and Alfajer, who played in their regional leagues. Alfajer was even close to qualifying for the Promotion phase in Turkey but was beaten 3-0 by BIG on the maps. The first match for Fnatic was against FunPlus Phoenix, where in a close three maps, we saw a win for the revamped squad, which gives a lot of confidence to this substitution. In week two, Fnatic demolished OG LDN UTD, beating them 13-4 on the first map and 13-0 on the second map. This week Fnatic faces Acend, who also go in with two wins.
Expert Betting Tips
In this match, I see an easy victory from Fnatic, and therefore I will take it for 1.72.
I'll also take a handicap 2 (-1.5) for 2.74.