VALORANT Challengers Finals EMEA: Playoffs Coming Up!
During a brutal Group Stage, Liquid, Oxygen, Fnatic, and Gambit have made their way past the competition. But how high are the teams’ chances of actually making the Grand Finals?
FunPlus Phoenix were surprise performers at these Challengers Finals – but not in a good way. Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow and his boys already exited in the Group Phase. They didn’t make it past Gambit, who mounted a decisive upset. Guild Esports also shocked us with an early exit after failing to compete versus Oxygen Esports.
TEAM LIQUID & FNATIC: THE FAVORITES?
In Group A, Liquid really had it easy. Aside from a loss on the first map versus BBL, they raced to the playoffs undefeated. FunPlus Phoenix in particular didn’t stand a single chance. They had to watch as Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom dismantled them with 47 kills. So they’re already in perfect form going into the playoffs.
But Oxygen Esports have also shown quite a lot of potential. With their wins over Futbolista and Guild Esports, they have proven to be capable of more and have demonstrated that the Turkish scene can actually challenge the European one. So it will be the job of ScreaM and the rest to maintain Europe’s position at the top. On paper, they boast a stronger lineup, but this would definitely not be the first upset for the Oxygen boys.
Fnatic are in a comparable position to Liquid. After months of disappointments, they have finally turned things around. They managed themselves well against Oxygen and Guild, but now they’re facing the upset-Russians on the Gambit camp. This upcoming Best-of-Three will decide who gets to enter the Grand Finals, and just like Liquid, they’re staring down the barrel of a team they don’t have a lot of material on.
4 teams. 2 #VALORANTMasters slots.
— VALORANT Champions Tour EU (@valesports_eu) April 30, 2021
THE UPSIDE OF BEING THE UNDERDOG
This might just decide the outcome of the matches. Liquid and Fnatic have surely made preparations for Guild and FPX – not for the smaller teams hailing from Eastern Europe. Now, they actually have to go up against these relatively unknown rosters. Without much time for preparation, they are going into the playoffs and face the pressure of being favorites. Oxygen and Gambit, on the other hand, can already be content with the fact that they got this far at all.
So the playoffs are primed to take an interesting turn. Even though the Grand Finals will decide on a large chunk of the prize money, the teams will already be qualified for Masters Reykjavík with a Semi Finals victory. This will be the primary target for the teams, as they’re finally going to be able to face the other regions there.