VCT EU Challengers 2: Liquid get revenge against Giants to win the final
The final has finally arrived. After a grueling fight, two teams have booked themselves the final two spots at the EMEA Challengers Finals. As an added bonus, the two survivors, Team Liquid and Vodafone Giants, faced off in the grand final of VCT Challengers 2 Main Event for seeding, bigger cash prize, and street cred. The matchup, much like the Lower Bracket Final, was a best-of-5 as VALORANT fans were in for another treat.
The pistol kicked off with Liquid ScreaM finishing off Fit1nho in a 1v1 to secure the round on attack. The anti-eco went their way before Giants went on to get their first round of the half on defense. That did not deter Liquid as they went back to winning ways swiftly with Jamppi and ScreaM paving way on Jett and Reyna respectively. At a 4:1 deficit, Giants were up 5 vs 3 in numbers, yet an effective Liquid A push almost gave them a round before Davidp defeated ScreaM in a 1v1 to bring Giants closer to Liquid’s lead.
Liquid continued rolling right after as Fit1nho was denied a 4k on an eco by soulcas, putting Liquid up 6:2. VGIA were struggling to repent the Liquid attackers losing opening duels over and over. Liquid’s confidence led to the half going in their favor at 8:2 before Giants requested a timeout. This was only followed with a 3k from Jamppi on the OP. In the end, the final point belonged to Giants as we saw them trail in the half at 9:3.
It was Giants that continued their streak on Icebox’ attack side as they bagged the pistol to slowly start mounting the comeback. The anti-eco was followed up with more success from Giants as F1tinho‘s Marshall and Sheriff combo brought him three kills as the score was 9:5 in favor of Liquid.
Liquid went back to winning ways soon after to get their first round on defense to make it 10. On round 15, Meddo‘s effort put VGIA in a 2v2 but Liquid were one step ahead to get their 11th point on Icebox. Giants were left hopeless on attack as Liquid kept flanking them to catch them off guard. This led to 2 more straight rounds go their way, closing Icebox at 13:5.
Giants kicked off on attack with a mid to A push to get themselves the site and eventually the pistol round. Liquid’s Sheriff round saw great success to see them take the anti-eco and square it up. Liquid followed up with a 3k from ScreaM to go 2:1 into Ascent. This was followed with a great effort from Fit1nho to deny Liquid the retake after KRYPTIX hit a collateral. This tied up the map once again at 2:2.
From there, Vodafone Giants went on an unparalleled run to pull way ahead on attack. Hoody came back from a rather quiet Icebox to pull his team ahead on Sage. Giants did not lose a round for the remainder of the first half on Ascent. This ultimately put them up with a massive lead of 10:2 at half-time.
VGIA was not having an easy Ascent on defense, however. Liquid woke up on their own attack side to give Giants a battle. Jamppi‘s great 2k guaranteed Liquid the round as Giants would not see a point on defense for another four rounds. Liquid were creeping closer, at that point at 10:7. A 1v2 clutch from Hoody followed which finally saw Giants take the first round on defense. That was followed up with a 3k from Fit1nho as VGIA were on match point and eager to close out the match.
Liquid did however continue fighting. Three straight rounds went their way before a hectic round emerged that would give Giants the dub. Meddo‘s heroic A site defense on Cypher resulted in a 3k and allowed the rotate to come in. This resulted in his side taking the second map of the series at 13:10.
Liquid stormed the A site on attack to take the flawless pistol round as their own. The anti-eco was followed up by Liquid until VGIA were on their buy round which granted them a round on defense making it 2:1 for Liquid. VGIA eventually requested a timeout after Liquid kept the pressure piling on with a 4:1 lead. Despite a close win in an eco round, Giants were trailing 5:1 to Liquid.
ScreaM and co. did not slow down from there as whatever move Giants pulled off, Liquid had an answer that was even more effective as Liquid were up 7:1. At long last, Giants found success after Davidp got the opener, reducing the gap to 7:2. This did not deter Liquid from extending the lead. Liquid kept taking ground forcefully and entering sites with grit. Liquid took a big lead of 9:2 as the last round of the half ensued. And what a half it was as Liquid defended the A site following the Spike plant. Jamppi finished things off with style with a Shorty kill to put Liquid up 10:2.
The second half finally saw Giants put up a round as the pistol went in their favor after KRYPTIX failed to get the defuse in time. Giants surfed the wave on the attack side of Breeze as they started the comeback dream by getting to a 5:10 deficit. They continued the indomitable run as Davidp and co. were creeping dangerously close to Liquid, then at 10:8.
A great flank from Davidp and Fit1nho gave Giants their 9th. However, Liquid broke the streak on a Sheriff eco round as they retook the A site on defense to stun Giants, granting them a 2-round lead at 11:9. Giants retaliated with one before Liquid snagged another round to put them at match point. Yet another phenomenal A retake led to the Liquid side get the last round necessary to close out Breeze at 13:10.
Bind was up next as Liquid were one map away from taking the series at this VCT Challengers 2 event. It was Giants, however, that clinched the pistol on their defense side as Meddo clutched the 1v1 against ScreaM to get the defuse in time. Giants got the anti-eco, but it was Liquid who got the first gun round as ScreaM pulled off a nasty 3k to get his Liquid side up on the board.
Liquid found three straight rounds inclusively from there to finally pull ahead at 3:2 on attack. Giants found one more round on defense before Liquid found three in return. In the end, VGIA had the final say to the half as they garnered the round to make it a close 7:5 at the half.
The pistol saw a 2v2 skirmish unload around A site. L1NK was the hero of the round as a backstab through Showers denied the bomb plant to guarantee the pistol and put Liquid up 8:5 on Bind. A flawless round followed as Liquid were starting to pull ahead. Despite a full rifle round from VGIA, soulcas managed to get a quadra-kill on a Spectre to deny the B-site entry putting Liquid at a 10:5 lead and Giants in trouble.
ScreaM and co.’s lead extended to 11 as VGIA decided to take a much needed tactical timeout. This granted VGIA a round as Meddo outplayed L1NK to get the round. Liquid finally traded the round to put them into match point. Finally, a great defensive hold on B saw Liquid take the cake with a 13:6 score and winning the series 3-1.
Team Liquid are the champions of VCT Challengers 2 of Stage 3 in Europe. Despite Vodafone Giants’ loss, both teams qualify for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.