In a close match that had a crowd cheering against them, VALORANT champions, DRX prevailed against Fnatic in the 2022 VCT Champions.
The first match of the VALORANT Champions played in Istanbul between EMEA’s Fnatic and Korea’s DRX was an action between two teams that desperately hoped to move on and avoid elimination.
They both go into the tournament following their attendance at nearly every international VCT tournament.
Fnatic has never moved beyond the third spot, while DRX continuously seems to get stuck in the playoffs.
Against all odds, DRX broke their top-six curse and qualified for the semifinals of VCT Champions 2022.
This was a game they had struggled in the first map, but the players rallied together around their stars, BuZz and Rb, to beat Fnatic 2-1. This means the EMEA team have been knocked out of the tournament.
The battle for the semi final spot began on Icebox, Fnatic’s map pick.
Having suffered on this map earlier in the tournament during the group stage against FURIA, but overall this year, Fnatic had relied on Icebox as a strong pick.
However, DRX hadn’t played Icebox yet at Champions, or much during the 2022 season in general.
As expected, being their favourite map, Fnatic came out swinging, and Derke was clearly warmed up. The chamber player got a 4k in the opening pistol round. He had by round three got his ultimate.
After Fnatic had recorded a handy four-round lead, DRX and their Jett player BuZz woke up slowly and were able to salvage the scary start to the map to be down just 7-5 at the half.
DRX also lost Icebox 13-7 as they show signs of hope. They were only able to get two rounds on their attack side.
Fnatic, on the other hand, saw a great performance from Mistic during the first map. Mistic has been showing the best form he’s ever had on LAN during this Champions tournament. His supportive gameplay was the difference several times for his team, and his Sage walls on Icebox were both flawless and innovative.
The game then moved to DRX’s map pick, Ascent. Here, both teams opted for a composition that featured Jett in contrast to most teams that haven’t been playing the duelist at all in the tournament.
Mako and BuZz then pushed their team over the line in overtime to silence the EMEA-biased arena and take Ascent, helping DRX to win the map 14-12.
Still having the momentum, DRX rushed forward onto Fracture with a blazing pistol round win on defense.
With his stellar performance, BuZz, this time on Chamber, and Rb stepped up by playing confidently and aggressively on Neon. The latter ended the map with a KDA of 21/15.
DRX them went on to secure three rounds in a row to take the map 13-9 after a tumultuous half.
DRX won the match 2-1 in close fashion. Cheers for Fnatic died out across the crowd when DRX players chanted their team name along with their small show of fans in Istanbul.
Written by Oladipupo Mojeed