May 30, 2023
Despite their flawless regular season run and dominant playoffs performance, EMEA favorites Fnatic fell at the final hurdle to a new and improved Team Liquid, whose underdog story will go down in VALORANT EMEA history as one of the most explosive redemption arcs ever.
If you missed any of the VCT EMEA playoffs action, trust me when we say you’ll want to check out this recap!
VCT EMEA Playoffs: Final standings
Below are the final standings for VCT EMEA, and yes, you read that right Team Liquid have finished on top. They, along with the other top four teams will progress to Masters Tokyo, with the best three in Japan making it to Champions. The fourth will have to battle through the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to join them there.
A redemption arc for the ages
Ahead of the playoffs, VCT EMEA looked like it was going to be a done deal. With Fnatic failing to drop a series during the regular season - and only losing a single map - the VCT LOCK//IN stars looked like they would be adding yet another trophy to their collection this year. Playoffs largely echoed that narrative, as Fnatic took down FUT Esports in a 2-1 reverse sweep, dropping just 3 rounds, then moved on to 2-0 Team Liquid. With a grand finals position locked, it looked like Fnatic had one hand on the trophy.
Despite their loss to Fnatic, though, Team Liquid smelled blood in the water. Sweeping aside FUT Esports 3-0, they met their rivals once more in the finals, with the odds never really in their favor. The series began amid the ruins of Lotus once more, ending in a hard-fought victory for Fnatic.
Liquid bounced back, winning Ascent 14-12, perhaps unsurprisingly given it was their map of choice, but then they took Haven, a Fnatic-favoured map. It all came down to Fracture, where Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen executed clutch after clutch, and Dom ‘soulcas’ Sulcas became a living nightmare on Fade. With IGL Igor ‘Redgar’ Vlasov popping off on Brimstone, the squad cemented their VCT EMEA victory with a hard-fought 13-11 that soulcas calls “the start of the redemption arc.”
“The confidence comes from the hard work, you just need to trust yourself,” Jamppi tells us, and the team has certainly had to work hard given the ups and downs they experienced this season. This win marks a new age for these dark horses - or, well, white horses - and we can’t wait to see how they perform at Masters Tokyo!
VCT EMEA Playoffs: VODs
If you missed out on any of the VCT EMEA action, you can check out all of the VODs at https://valorantesports.com/watch.