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VCT EU Challengers 2 Upper Bracket semifinals: Giants stun Fnatic, Liquid deals with TENSTAR

VCT EU Challengers 2 Upper Bracket semifinals: Giants stun Fnatic, Liquid deals with TENSTAR

Naim "EnKay" Rosinski


VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Challengers 2 is underway in Europe. With the first pair of teams getting knocked out on day one, only six stay alive in contention for a ticket to Masters Berlin. Today’s Upper Bracket Matchups of the Main Event saw Fnatic battle to the bone against Vodafone Giants and Team Liquid take on TENSTAR. Both matchups were exciting as we saw the favorites pushed to their limits.

Fnatic vs Vodafone Giants


Fnatic kicked off Icebox on the attacking side and right off started menacing the A site. A great pistol round led to Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s side to get the early lead. The rounds kept piling on as Giants seemed much more efficient on Marshalls on ecos, especially Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas, which guaranteed them one round. However, Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev’s aim took charge as Fnatic was already up 5:1 on attack and not looking back. David “davidp” Prins’ 3k while lurking gave VGIA their second round of the half. One more round went their way before Fnatic set sail for a 9:3 victory which they got with style.

The second half went all wrong for VGIA as Fnatic made their life living hell on B site, effectively granting themselves the pistol. VGIA looked lost on Icebox on the attack side as Fnatic gained ground easily and were masterful in denying Spike plants. This eventually led to an outclass at 13:4 on Icebox.


VGIA got to work early on Bind getting themselves the pistol on attack. Another great round went their way before Adolfo “Fit1nho” Gallego’s 3k efforts were denied to get Fnatic up on the board. After VGIA snugged one round back, Fnatic took a timeout that did wonders for them as they took the lead at 4:3. However, VGIA decided to do the same, granting themselves two rounds in return to strike back. Fit1nho was a menace on attack, entering sites relentlessly and taking ground. Those efforts led to a 8:4 lead for Giants as they were eyeing the third map at the half.

VGIA rocked their mojo for the first two rounds of the half on defense putting them up 10:4. Fnatic eventually managed to take back some ground on attack on gun rounds to make it 10:7, yet VGIA would start running away with it. Fit1nho once more stepped up to get a phenomenal ace to put Giants up 12:7 after taking back one round. Štěpán “Ambi” Beránek was the hero of the last round for his side as he clutched a 1v1 against Boaster to get the defuse. This saw Vodafone Giants force the decider map.


The decider map saw Fnatic start out on the attacking side. After pulling off a fake, Fnatic eventually entered the A site to get the Spike down and the pistol win. However, VGIA got the eco round to work after leaving Boaster in a 1v2 which he lost. Fnatic pulled one back but it was VGIA that was forcing Fnatic’s hand in the half. At a 5:2 deficit, Fnatic took a much needed overtime. This gave them a big boost as the managed to square off the half 6:6 despite VGIA putting up great resistance on defense.

The tight match continued as James “Mistic” Orfila was getting heated on Omen, giving Fnatic the pistol on defense. Fnatic began clawing their way to the finish line with great defensive setups and Domagoj “doma” Fancev coming online on his birthday. Fnatic eventually reached match point. However, VGIA recuperated with three straight rounds before that and needed one more to tie it up. And guess what, they did as we were going to overtime.

There, the insane matchup continued. Both teams kept trading blows with neither team backing down. In the end, davidp‘s lurking paired with Fit1nho‘s OPing was faced with Mistic‘s clutch ability. The match turned into who has the bigger nerves. After VGIA getting within match point time and time again, Mistic run out of clutches and lost the 1v2,

After the hectic matchup, it’s Vodafone Giants that advance to the Upper Bracket Final. Meanwhile, Fnatic are dropped to the Lower Bracket and must face Team BDS. What a turn of events at this VCT Challengers 2 Main Event.

Team Liquid vs TENSTAR


Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and co. kicked things off on Haven, their own map pick. Though it was TENSTAR that started off on the right foot with success on the pistol and the anti-eco. Liquid retaliated with two rounds of their own, though Calum “KRAY” Knight’s side punched back with two as well. Three-by-three round trades happened as neither team would let the other take a big lead in the half. This amounted to a 7:5 half for TENSTAR.

The second half finally saw Liquid get an early start. A great pistol round was accompanied by two follow-up wins on defense to pull ahead with 1 point. Despite that, TENSTAR was quick to retaliate with three straight rounds of their own making it 10:8. The tug of war continued as Liquid’s great map control put them in the lead at 12:10. Finally, a promising C site split push from TENSTAR was swiftly denied by Liquid to get themselves the final point necessary for the victory at 13:10.


Liquid kicked off Breeze with a bang on defense. ScreaM was heating up on Jett as the first three rounds went their way. Liquid would not see a round go their way for a while after that as TENSTAR got to work on attack to string six rounds. Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen and co. took one more before the British medley took the last two rounds to make it an 8:4 half in their favor.

The half saw hectic action unfold on the B site. Liquid, now on attack entered forcefully and were able to hold it in their favor until the very end. The anti-eco also went their way featuring two Marshall kills from Jamppi. On their buy round, Jack “Br0die” Emmott did a hell of a job to hold the A site with a 3k and seal the round. At that point it was still 9:6 for TENSTAR. The British org took one more round before Liquid finally started getting to work.

Two well orchestrated entries onto A site granted them two rounds. Another round was taken after great map control efforts. VGIA finally took an overtime to talk things over but to no avail as Liquid squared it off at 10:10. A clutch by Kryptix using his Viper’s Pit ultimate got Liquid the 11th round after winning a 1v2. Liquid got their 12th round but TENSTAR were having none of it and forced overtime after two nail-bitingly close rounds.

Liquid, however, were done with charades. The first round on defense went their way. Their attacking round saw ScreaM with the final dagger as he clutched the 1v2 to get his side the 2-0 win over TENSTAR.

Team Liquid move onto the Upper Bracket Final while TENSTAR are dropped to the Lower Bracket to face Rix.GG Thunder.

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