VCT Europe Challengers 1 Main Event Preview
After a dangerous qualifier that could have seen one of the top dog teams easily get dropped, we’ve moved on to the main event of Valorant Champions Tour Europe Challengers 1. The two-day event will see eight teams battle it out for four available slots for Challengers 2. There’s also a bonus $5,248 USD prize for each team that qualifies. At Challengers 2, each team will have the opportunity of qualifying for the Masters event in March.
The VCT Europe Challengers 1 Main Event will see the following matchups over two days.
The reformed Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) roster faced their G2 Esports rivals not too long ago. The two met at the semifinals of Red Bull Home Ground, with G2 Esports coming out on top with a 3-1 score in maps. Despite the result, NIP did seem like in shape and the addition of Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans has most definitely reaped benefits. NIP will be looking to shake up Europe’s most dominant Valorant team of 2020 in this matchup. Meanwhile, G2 Esports have won the recent Red Bull Home Ground event after a thriller best-of-five against Team Liquid that went all the way. The team’s decision to drop David “davidp” Prins, and bring on board Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt may have been a fantastic move. zeek showed up big at the Red Bull event, being right up there alongside Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho in his team’s performance throughout the tourney.
Given how strong G2 looked throughout their last showing in 2021, it’s a tough sell to bet on NIP making the upset. Nevertheless, at this level, anything is possible.
The second matchup of the day features the only organization-less team of the main event of VCT Europe Challengers 1. The Monkey Business roster is rumored to be the new OG team. For now, the team competes under the Monkey Business name and was also present at the Red Bull event, where they were swept 2-0 by SUMN FC (now Fnatic). Meanwhile, Guild Esports have much to prove, After a clean run in the last two matches of the qualifier, Guild are looking hot coming into this event. The team never really found their footing after their victory over G2 Esports in the First Strike qualifier was denied, following their illegal use of a Sage wall boost on a Killjoy turret. This is Guild’s time to bounce back.
The former SUMN FC roster, Fnatic, received quite the scare during the qualifier playoffs, after they nearly blew their round of 32 match following a tight contest posed by the Polish org-less team MAJSTERSZTYK. This showed that Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s side is not unshakeable. Nevertheless, the First Strike Europe Regional Finalists are a force to deal with. Now under the Fnatic banner, their confidence in their own abilities must be bubbling.
On the other side is Wave Esports. The Austrian-based organization had a smooth run through the qualifiers and is ready to show that they belong up there among the best teams. Featuring Robert “Carcass” Mikuckis, the roster is looking solid. 2020 brought about a series of first and second place finishes at various C-tier events. This is their chance to prove that they can compete at the highest Valorant level, and what better way to do it than beating Fnatic?
The very last matchup of VCT Europe Challengers 1 main event is going to be a show. Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow’s FunPlus Phoenix will be taking on Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom’s Team Liquid. Two of Europe’s finest teams will go head-to-head as only one team can advance to Challengers 2 without having to go through the qualification process again.
We’ve seen Team Liquid go the distance at Red Bull Home Ground. The final against G2 was a close affair, as it could have gone either way nevertheless. Liquid’s strongest asset, ScreaM, is looking hot as ever, as he received our MVP award for his outstanding performance at the event. If the Belgian can frag out and his teammates will be keep up with doing their part, then Team Liquid is a well oiled machine that can take this matchup by sheer force.
On the other side we have the tactical mastermind ANGE1. The team has signed Dmitriy “dimasick” Matvienko at the beginning of January to be their Cypher main, effectively replacing Johan “Meddo” Lundborg on the roster. Though the new Raise Your Edge roster put up quite the fight at the qualifiers against FPX, ANGE1 and co. looked solid as ever coming into this event.
This is the match that we recommend everyone makes the time for to watch. The sheer fragging power of Team Liquid versus the highly tactical approach from FunPlus Phoenix will be an absolute show to watch.
Tune in to Run it Back as we’ll be covering each day of the VCT Europe Challengers 1. Also check out all of our latest news, extensive guides, and exclusive interviews in the world of Valorant. And remember to join our Discord to enter competitions and win prizes!