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VCT Challengers Europe: Guild and FPX to meet in the grand final

VCT Challengers Europe: Guild and FPX to meet in the grand final

Naim "EnKay" Rosinski


Valorant Champions Tour Europe Stage 2 Challengers 1 has finally revealed two teams that are going straight to the EMEA finals. The two semifinals saw Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) take on Guild Esports while FunPlus Phoenix faced Opportunists.

NIP vs Guild

The first semifinal brought us the Ninjas against Guild Esports. The best-of-three (BO3) went the distance as we got a real treat of a matchup.


Action kicked off on Haven with NIP taking the initial lead with a 4:1 lead. Guild battled on attack to get back what’s theirs, bringing it very close at 5:4 following two great site entries which led to Spike plants. The last three rounds of the half were all NIP after Egor “chiwawa” Stepanyuk and Yaroslav “Jady” Nikolaev stepped up getting a 3k on two separate occasions in the final rounds. This amounted to an 8:4 lead for the Ninjas.

The second half brought more of the same power for NIP. Though Guild bagged the pistol after a 3k retake led by Yacine “Yacine” Laghmari, NIP turned it around quickly featuring a joint 4k by Emir “rhyme” Muminović and Kevin “akukhoS” Droolans. This propelled NIP to forcefully eliminate the defending Guild, as we witnessed a fragathon that led to a 13:6 blowout for the Ninjas on Haven.


It was time for Bind as NIP had the upper hand from their victory on Haven. A 3k by Yacine kicked us off as Guild got the pistol on their starting defense side. This was traded by Jady, who upped the ante to a 4k on the following round. What followed was the unthinkable. Guild went on a rampaging streak of 7 rounds in a row, denying site entries or masterfully defusing the planted Spike. NIP managed to finally get two rounds in before Guild closed out the half by retaking a site in the nick of time to make it 9:3 in their favor.

The side switch saw the initial two rounds go NIP’s way as Jady and Charles “CREA” Beauvois got their own 3ks on the two separate rounds, bringing back NIP’s hope to snatch Bind back. This hope was cut short as Guild forcefully entered bombsites thrice, successfully defending the Spike before detonation. On round 18, Yacine delivered the final blow with three kills to close out Bind in a stellar performance. Bind went to Guild with a 13:5 scoreline as the teams were set for the decider map.


While Haven and Bind resulted in blowouts, Split finally brought a close performance from both teams. Similarly to Bind, NIP started it off on a good foot, taking the first two rounds on defense. The next two rounds were shared, but Guild once again managed to string six rounds to pull way ahead. The Ninjas finally woke up for the last two rounds of the half, bagging them for themselves before side switch. Guild were still ahead at the half with a marginal 7:5 lead.

NIP once again show that they got the pistol rounds down perfectly, once more taking the initial two rounds on attack after side switch and making it all square at 7:7 as the match was heating up. Round 15 saw Yacine clutch a 1v2 to make it a 3k for himself and get the defuse in the nick of time. NIP retaliated with another two rounds on the back off a 4k from Rhyme on Raze, as the teams started to trade blows on Split. At a 10:9 deficit, Guild suddenly woke up as they realized they have nothing to lose. Guild stringed four rounds in a row with equal contributions from the whole team to close out Split 13:10 in their favor.

Guild Esports are the first team to qualify for the EMEA Challengers finals from Valorant’s Europe region.

FPX vs Opportunists

The former DfuseTeam roster, Opportunists, has faced Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow’s FPX squad. Both teams showed that they are solid as ever through fierce shootouts that brought yet another thrilling series.


We were taken at first to Haven with bets going in favor of FPX. It was Opportunists, however, that turned up the heat right off the bat to get this series started. The first four rounds were mostly Dylan “hoppY” Aube on Phoenix as his defensive strides put up his side at first. FPX scraped rounds here and there on the attack but failed to maintain a steady streak despite Tobias “ShadoW” Flodström brilliant showing on Astra. The half went in favor of Opportunists as a site retake on the back of a 3k by Alex “AKUMAAAAA” Lo Bello closed it out at 8:4.

FPX was quick to wake up on defense, this time grabbing the first four rounds of the half for themselves as Dmitriy “dimasick” Matvienko put up the pressure with an initial 3k. Opportunists had enough of that as they traded that out with yet another four rounds of their own, only being in need of 1 more round to bag Haven. FPX took just one more round before hoppY ended things with a first blood paired with a 2k and plant to close out Haven with a score of 13:9 for Opportunists.


Split saw Opportunists wanting to end things then and there. On defense, the French medley took the first two rounds for a change. FPX fought right back with two of their own. Shao and Zyppan then continued their winning ways by bagging two more rounds after Opportunists took one for themselves following a retake. Two more rounds saw the Frenchmen take the fight by successfully retaking bombsites. The last three rounds of the half were FPX as they forcefully overpowered Opportunists to end it at 7:5 in their favor.

The second half saw FPX go back to their winning pistol round strats. A 1v1 success was met with a defuse by ShadoW, as the pistol was met with a win on the subsequent round. Opportunists then woke up for just two more rounds in the half following a 3k and 1v1 win by Logan “logaN” Corti on the first, and another 1v1 win on the second. Opportunists’ rounds ended there, however. FPX woke up again to put together four rounds to close out Split in their favor at 13:7, making it all square in maps. We were heading to overtime.


Though Haven and Split were relatively close maps, Bind was nothing of such sort. FPX came out guns blazing into Bind. A valiant effort from dimasick at the spearhead brought FPX the first straight four rounds on attack on Bind. Finally, a joint surge of retake energy was brought out by rodeN and AKUMAAAAA to get that first important round up on the board. This did not matter as FPX continued their winning ways to close out the half with a crushing 10:2 lead on Bind.

Going into the defensive side now, not much changed in FPX’ mindset. Yet again they bagged the pistol and the subsequent round, only needing 1 more round to meet Guild in the final of this VCT Europe Challengers event. This had to wait for 3 more rounds as Opportunists gave it all, including a 4k from AKUMAAAAA to take two more rounds. On round 17, a round where FPX had Sheriffs, a Bucky, and a Judge, things would come to an end. A patient play guaranteed the retake on B site for FPX as Opportunists were caught off guard by the set play. FPX beat Opportunists in sweeping manner on Bind, 13:4 and won the series.

FPX qualifies for the EMEA Challengers alongside Guild. The two will meet the following day in the grand finale of VCT Challengers Europe 1.

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