| Tags: Valorant
| Author Bence Loksa
Valorant: Fnatic secures their spot in the VC 2021 Playoffs
Now being Europe’s strongest team, Fnatic is the first one to go 2-0 in the Group Stage in the World Championship of Valorant.
Vision Strikers and Cloud9 Blue both won their opening matches on the initial day of the first ever Valorant Champions. While both beat their opponents, the Korean team had a much more dominant showing, beating APAC representative Full Sense 2-0, while Fnatic had two very close matches and while ultimately winning, they had to go into overtime in their last match against Cloud9’s North-American squad.
Fnatic got off to a strong start on Icebox, winning the first five rounds on defense, but Korean squad Vision Strikers managed to take the site and plant the Spike every single time. After the first few rounds, the Strikers caught onto Fnatic’s tactics and won six rounds before the EMEA team managed to win one, ending the first half of the first map in a tie. Vision Strikers won the pistol and the bonus round of the second half, then came a bit of a back-and-forth between the teams and by round 16, the Korean team lead the match 9-7.
But after a heroic round from Fnatic’s healer, Domagoj “Doma” Fancev, the EU squad went on a streak again, taking back the lead from Vision Strikers, getting to 11 points before their opponents got to their 10th. The last two rounds were really dominant from the side of Fnatic, with Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev fragging hard to secure the first win for his team in the series.
Fnatic started strong again with a fast 3-2 push to C on Haven, winning the bonus round right after with another attack on C. This time around though, Vision Strikers were able to stop them in Round 3, cornering Fnatic in A long and slowly picking them off. But it took another two rounds for the Korean team to find their footing, closing the gap to 1 point. After another two rounds going the way of Fnatic, some excellent plays came in from Strikers’ Initiators, Kim “stax” Gu-taek and Goo “Rb” Sang-min, both getting three unbelievable kills and helping their team tie the series 6-6 before the switch.
Vision Strikers started their attacking half better, taking the pistol round from Fnatic and winning the second round as well. After a four-round rebound from the EMEA squad, Strikers were done playing, switched up their style by countering Fnatic’s flanks by the courtesy of Lee “k1Ng” Seung-won and Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan, while Jake “Boaster” Howlett and co. failed to adapt to the situation, losing the Haven round 10-13. It was time for Fracture, the final map of the series.
But Fracture turned out to be the pocket pick of Fnatic. The newest map of the game has not been played often in tournaments, and even though teams scrimmed on Fracture, Fnatic was something else. They won the first half 9-3, having a 7-round winstreak from Round 4 to 10. Their tactics were flawless, with textbook pushes and plants. At the end of the first half, Vision Strikers showed some promise as they took the last 2 rounds, but there was still a long way to even catch up to Boaster and his team.
After the switch, Vision Strikers quickly asked for a timeout which they desperately needed. They played much better on the attacker side, winning gunfights consistently and starting to close the gap between them and their opponents. But Fnatic’s lead was too massive, and they still played the map beautifully.
With this victory, Fnatic is the first team to secure a spot in the first Valorant Champions Playoffs. Vision Strikers will have to play in the Decider Round against either Cloud9 Blue or Full Sense and win if they want to continue the fight.