Fabio | 20. March 2021

VALORANT Masters EU: Heretics and FPX are Playoffs Favorites

Team Heretics and FunPlus Phoenix managed to successfully complete all their group matches. They’re now heading into the fray against Guild Esports and ACEND. Can they set themselves on top of these opponents as well?

As the favorites of the entire tournament, they have put up a solid show so far. Even though some of their maps went the full distance, they always came out with the victory. But in the playoffs, there won’t be any second chances for them. Starting from the Semi Finals, they’re heading straight into the Grand Finals with no Lower Bracket to catch them. In a Best-of-Five match, the winners of VCT Stage 1 Masters EU will be crowned.


Christian “lowel” Garcia Antoran managed to secure a rather quick 2-0 over Ballista Esports early on. The Poles then eventually bombed out of the tournament entirely, but Heretics had to face the Ninjas in Pyjamas next. As the final bosses of G2 Esports, Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans and his men were definitely dangerous, but Dustyn “niesoW” Durnas pulled his team through to a 13-5 victory.

Later, he was swapped out for Ruben “RUBINO” Villaroel, which – at least with regards to kills – turned out to be a huge mistake. The Norwegian only recorded six kills on the entire second map and had to watch helplessly as NiP mounted a 13-11 victory. He was still at the bottom of the scoreboard on Ascent, but Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas finally stepped up to deliver the kills necessary for a 13-6 finish.

So what does that mean for their upcoming match versus Guild Esports? In Group B, Guild took FPX to two 11-13 maps. So they should definitely not be underestimated. RUBINO having such a bad tournament will also prove to be a major disadvantage. Heretics will most likely not swap him in for niesoW if the German player consistently tops the scoreboard for them.


The former RYE lineup has established itself as one of the major forces of the playing field. In the Opening Match already, they brought the Ninjas to the brink on an 11-13 map and another overtime on top. Later, they turned the tables in the Elimination Match, sending Ex6TenZ and the rest home to secure their playoffs spot. But FunPlus Phoenix are a different kind of team.

Even though Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow and his players had to play out two 13-11 maps against DfuseTeam, they are the obvious favorites for this match. They have experience and individual talent on their side. More importantly, though, they’re used to this level of play and will be under less pressure than ACEND, who are in the Semi Finals of a major tournament for the first time in their careers.

If the favorites manage to get through to the Grand Finals, a bitter fight will ensue between Heretics and FunPlus Phoenix. Will RUBINO get his act together in time? Without him, Heretics might struggle to compete with the FPX powerhouse.