Group Stage: Week 2
FunPlus Phoenix vs G2 Esports
On Saturday, May 21, the third match in the second week of VCT Stage 2: EMEA Challengers will take place. This fixture will pit FunPlus Phoenix against G2 Esports.
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 3 slots in the second Masters tournament 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.Get Your Welcome Bonus!
FunPlus Phoenix: A bad start after the break
For FunPlus Phoenix, the Valorant Champions Tour 2021 season ended in August. Defeat at the hands of Forze ended FPX's chances of qualifying for the Last Chance Qualifier, but it didn't take long for the organization to settle down. Having signed SUYGETSU at the beginning of October, they began training and testing again. Finally, in early December, the signing of ardiis put an end to the roster issues.
For the VCT 2022 season, ANGE1 and the company decided to start with a little trickery. This squad has enough players to participate in both EU and CIS qualifiers. As a result, FunPlus Phoenix took the easy road, taking part in CIS qualifications, where they got through the first week without any problems. Phoenix started the first week at EMEA Challengers with a win against BIG. The teams traded spades on the first maps, but then the real battle started on the decisive map. With a score of 13:11 on the third map and 2:1 in the match, FunPlus Phoenix came out victorious, picking up their first win in the group stage. In the match against Gambit Esports, this team made the breakthrough that had long been missing, winning in a close encounter with a score of 2-1.
After a long break in the matches, it became known that baddyG would replace ANGE1, who was unable to play at the moment. The opening match against Team Liquid went as easily as possible, winning 2-0 on cards. Against LDN UTD, it didn't go well, losing 2:1, and in the match against Natus Vincere, we saw a wonderful comeback from 1:0 on maps. Further on baddyG changed other players in the lineup. Still, it didn't matter as even with those substitutions, FunPlus Phoenix took the first place in this tournament, losing only one map in the playoffs (It happened in the grand final, against G2 Esports. FunPlus Phoenix then won with a score of 3-1).
And now we were getting ready to see FunPlus Phoenix in their first international tournament of the year, but most of the squad couldn't get visas to Iceland, so the organization gave up their slot, giving it to Tem Liquid. By the way, Riot Games went along with FunPlus Phoenix and awarded them VCT points for the 8th playoff spot, as FPX was definitely going through to the playoff stage. At the moment, FunPlus Phoenix is hungry for wins and is ready to win this tournament again. Their first opponents will be Fnatic, who have already lost to guys in their strongest form. Right now, Fnatic has a bunch of problems that FPX can safely turn into keys to win, but the opposite has happened. After a devastating defeat in the first map, FPX recovered in the second, but the third map went 13-10 in favor of Fnatic. Thus the FunPlus Phoenix lost their opening match. Their opponent this week will be G2 Esports, who are hungry after losing the last international championship. FunPlus Phoenix can handle G2, but will there be enough effort for all 3 maps?
G2 Esports: A good start
Last season's Valorant Champions Tour for G2 Esports was a busy and interesting. If the beginning of the year was a search for the right lineup, but at stage 2, G2 Esports showed their strength by going to Masters Berlin. At the Masters itself, the results were very good - 3-4th place. The problem was that they didn't have enough VCT points to qualify for the Valorant Champions, so they had to play EMEA Last Chance. They blew it, falling to Guild 0-2 in the lower bracket final.
G2 Esports started this season with open European qualifiers. All was well until they reached the indoor qualifiers. On the first day, losses to Team Vitality 0-2 and Alliance 1-2 knocked G2 out of this qualification. Immediately after that, Mixwell was replaced by keloqz, after which things went much better. A first-place qualification and a lot less trouble sent G2 to rest, pending a schedule at EMEA Challenges.
In the first match, G2 Esports faced Fnatic, who got a direct ticket to this stage, plus made one player substitution. Card swap brought the teams to Split, where Fnatic had no problem shutting down their opponents, but it was not evident from the G2 game that they were ready to fight on equal terms. At Iceboox, they went from 7:5 to 8:13 after the change of sides, and at Ascent they went 9:3 until they won the gun round. In the match against SuperMassive Blaze it was as simple as possible, so a victory immediately overtook the defeat by Fnatic. After this match, it was revealed that Mixwell was returning, replacing keloqz. In the renewed lineup, G2 Esports lost to Acend in a close encounter, 2-1, but followed that up with two 2-0 wins. G2 Esports fell to Team Liquid, taking second place in the group, but if we look a little deeper, we see 2 wins over the Turkish teams and 2-0 against Guild Esports from all matches. In the playoffs, things did not start so smoothly. The 2-1 defeat by Team Liquid sent the team to the lower bracket, but this very net was given to the Europeans as easily as possible. Without losing a single map, G2 Esports advanced to the finals of the EMEA stage, where they faced FunPlus Phoenix for a direct playoff berth in the Masters. The teams went head-to-head on every map, but 3-1 FPX took this final for themselves and secured a comfortable start to the Masters. A week later, the news emerged that FPX would not be able to compete in the tournament due to travel difficulties. TG2 Esports take their place in the playoffs and the third slot is given to Team Liquid, who finished 4th at the EMEA stage.
The tournament itself was not too successful for G2 Esports. Having beaten ZETA DIVISION in the opening match, the boys lost 2 times with a score of 2-0, thus taking only 5-6th place in the first international tournament this year. Embittered at the poor result, G2 returned to their league, where they started with a not very confident, but still win against FOKUS, who went to this stage through Promotion. This week's opponent for G2 Esports will be FunPlus Phoenix, who the boys have already met nine times. G2 can win this meeting if you look at the form of FPX, but can also make a few mistakes, after which they let the game go.
Expert Betting Tips
I see a victory from G2 Esports in this match, so I will take it with odds of 2.22.
I recommend taking Total Over 2.5 maps for 2.00.
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