Group Stage: Week 1
OG LDN UTD vs Acend
The second game of the first week of VCT Stage 2: EMEA Challengers takes place on Friday, May 13. This will be a clash between OG LDN UTD and Acend.
VCT Stage 2: EMEA Challengers is the second major regional tournament on the Valorant Champions Tour. The top 12 teams from three regions will battle it out for three 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 Sign-Up Bonus!
LDN UTD: Nothing is lost yet
Let's start straight away with the trumps. This squad plays so well that they never made it to the main stage of the VCT all last season, but they have had a great showing in tournaments outside of the Valorant Champions Tour, against the European and CIS teams in Tier 2 and Tier 1.
They failed to qualify for last year's closed qualifiers, but in a fairly close game, they lost to BIG this match to qualify for the next stage. These open qualifications were no less easy for LDN UTD as they had to face KOVA and Wave Esports teams on the way.
The closed qualifications themselves began with a match against last week's most unlucky team, Team Vitality. This time, the French organization couldn't afford to lose, so things got tough for LDN UTD from the very start. The first map was lightning fast, but on the second map, the real war started. LDN UTD could even clinch the match at the 12:11 mark, but Vitality took three rounds in a row and finished this match 2-0. LDN UTD then went undefeated in the lower bracket, defeating teams such as Rebeld Gaming, TENSTAR, Team Vitality, and EXCEL. Having got to the EMEA stage, their first opponent was Natus Vincere, whom they should have easily passed, but 2-0 at the end of the meeting broke all their plans. The meeting with BIG was held on a high note, but LDN UTD clinched the match with a 2-1 win. After that, they could only beat FunPlus Phoenix in the remaining three matches, finishing 5th in the group. As the boys had secured their place in the next tournament, the focus turned to training. On May 6, it was announced that OG merged with LDN UTD and will play under OG LDN UTD. Hype also joined the team, who previously played for Alliance (Alliance took 4th place in the VLR Northern Europe: Polaris, thereby not getting to the stage of Promotion). The first match of OG LDN UTD will be against Acend, who are not in the best shape now.
Acend: Winning at Champions at the cost of terrible results
Last season for Acend was very interesting and great at the end. First place at the European Masters gave the boys many VCT points, which were needed at the end of the year, but Acend didn't qualify for their first international tournament. After regaining strength, Acend crushed European qualifiers and, at the EMEA stage, secured a place in the Masters' Berlin through the top draw. 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 one 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 two 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 will be against OG LDN UTD. Although Acend is considered a favorite, these two substitutions could make them one of the weakest teams in EMEA.
Expert Betting Tips
In this match, I see OG LDN UTD winning for 2.62.
I'll also take Total Over 2.5 maps for 2.10.
TelecomAsia Sport is looking for tipsters for the Chinese Super League. Contact [email protected] for more information.