VCT EU Challengers 2 Lower Bracket 2: TENSTAR prevail, Fnatic stay alive
Following a hectic battle in the Upper Bracket semifinals, Fnatic and TENSTAR have found themselves in the Lower Bracket. The VCT EU Challengers 2 Main Event continued with Fnatic facing Team BDS and TENSTAR taking on Rix.GG Thunder. Only two teams moved on and avoided elimination. With the EMEA Challengers Finals spots on the line, it was do-or-die time in the Lower Bracket.
It was the Rix.GG gang that kicked off Breeze with their first two rounds up on the board after Tom “otom” Hart pulled off a 1v2 on round 2. That only made TENSTAR angry as they got to work on attack. Four straight rounds were interrupted by one defuse from Rix.GG before TENSTAR got two more. The rest of the half saw the two sides trade rounds. Rix.GG had the last say as otom got another multikill to close it off with a slight deficit of 5:7.
The second half saw Rix square it up within two rounds. However, TENSTAR was gearing up for a defense-mania. After Russel “Russ” Mendes got his side the first round on defense following a 1v1 clutch, the British org would soon dominate. Mikołaj “Mickebwoy” Chojnacki and otom got a join ace on the following round. That would be it for Rix that match as TENSTAR became an impenetrable wall on defense. Be it Spike defusals or straight site denials, TENSTAR snagged Breeze with a 13:8 score after an unforeseeable defensive effort.
The TENSTAR squad was looking to close it out at this point after a long day of matches. They started their venture on the defense side and grabbed the first two rounds to start off. Rix.GG got on the server following a 3k from Oliwer “LATEKS” Fahlander. This was retaliated with one more round from TENSTAR before Rix.GG got two in return. A 2k 1v2 from Polvi got his side another round, but yet again, Rix got two to return the favor. Moreover, the blue Thunder got the last say in the half by taking the round and being up 7:5.
The second half started off well for Rix. They got the pistol and the anti-eco and were on their way to victory. However, nobody could have predicted what followed. TENSTAR got on a rampaging streak on attack. Led by Polvi and Jack “Br0die” Emmott, TENSTAR kept piling on rounds and winning clutches like there was no tomorrow. Eight straight rounds on attack stunned Rix.GG as that score led TENSTAR to a victory of 13:9. And with that, elimination from this Challengers 2 Main Event.
TENSTAR rallies on in the Lower Bracket. Rix.GG are eliminated from the event.
The matchup was an unexpected one for sure as both teams were expected to go far in the Upper Bracket. Nevertheless, it was Team BDS that brought the heat on Icebox. A phenomenal stride on defense in the first half from BDS saw them go up 8:0 as Fnatic were looking for an answer. They finally got managed to get two rounds on the back of Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev’s efforts, yet they were still far behind. The half finished at a whopping 10:2 as Jonathan “TakaS” Paupard was rolling on Reyna in the half.
The second half got a bit scary momentarily for BDS. After taking the pistol on attack, Fnatic managed to bag four straight rounds making it a 6:11 deficit. BDS snagged one back to reach match point before Fnatic took one more. TakaS got the final say on the back of a 3k to close out Icebox in BDS’ favor at 13:7.
This was Fnatic’s last stand as it was win-or-die time for Boaster‘s side. Team BDS lost the initial two rounds on defense as Fnatic piled on the pressure. A 3k from TakaS saw BDS take the third round on the first buy round. That was brushed off by Fnatic as they continued piling on rounds. A 4k from Mistic guranteed Fnatic their fifth round. BDS found their way back gradually into the battle, however, as Alex “AKUMAAAAA” Lo Bello started to come up big for his side. This amounted to a tie at 6:6 after Fnatic held a nifty lead of 5:2 at one point in the half.
BDS carried over their flow on to the attacking side with a 3k from Rodolphe “rodeN” Bianco to get them the pistol. The follow-up went their way as well before Fnatic started to get into the groove. Great site retakes resulted in a square 8:8 scoreline as we were in for another VALORANT treat. The tight matchup continued as all hell was starting to break loose in terms of frenzy. Forceful site pushes from BDS were met with great retake potential from Fnatic. However, it was BDS that pulled ahead 10:9, forcing a timeout from Fnatic. This helped them square it off 10:10 in the half.
The rounds kept getting traded as nifty backstabs kept emerging from both sides as the rounds kept getting traded. Derke‘s effort around A site guaranteed Fnatic the 12th round. Then a 2v2 situation emerged as BDS had their backs against the wall. Finally, it was Fnatic that managed to tie the series 1-1 and force the decider map.
BDS decided to sub off TakaS and bring in their sixth man, Guillaume “GatsH” Kalka and put him on Jett.
The round kicked off explosively from Fnatic as Derke dashed right into C to take the site. BDS came close to retake it, but Mistic struck with a 4k from Classic to deny those plans putting Fnatic up by 1. Fnatic continued to switch sites and keep BDS guessing. That put the up 3:0 on attack at the half. BDS went right back into it with four straight rounds. Mistic‘s 3k disrupted the streak making it a square 4:4 once more. Fnatic took one more round in the half but three rounds went BDS’ way as they bagged the half in their favor at 7:5.
BDS continued their winning ways in the pistol after a successful B site plant. On the back of that win, BDS was gradually reaching victory point. When BDS was up 10:6, Fnatic recuperated finally to streak 3 rounds in a row. GatsH won a 1v2 to break the streak, putting BDS 11:9 and close to victory. This was matched with a 4k spraydown from Mistic as the birthday boy was heating up. In fact, he heated up so much he got a 3k the following round to draw the map 11:11. BDS forcefully entered C site and left Boaster solo which put them up into match point. Of course, another overtime had to ensue. Magnum denied another power entry onto C with a triple kill before going down. This put Fnatic up 12:12.
Fnatic eventually found themselves on C site and controlled long to deny the Spike defusals to get the first round of OT. At long last, Fnatic denied the B site entry to steal the win in the very end at 14:12.
Team BDS are eliminated after a valiant effort against Fnatic. Meanwhile, Boaster‘s boys continue to see another day at this VCT Challengers 2 Main Event.
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