FNATIC live to fight another day despite tough test from FURIA at VCT Champions

Next up is a rematch between FNATIC and 100T.

The first round of elimination matches at the 2022 VCT Champions tournament continued today as group Ds FNATIC and FURIA fought for their lives in the event.

Brazilian team FURIA faced a formidable opponent in their opening match, going against Koreas DRX. The first map in that series was a lengthy overtime battle, and in the second, FURIA completely fell apart despite the team needing to step up in the match today to avoid a similar fate.

FNATIC came in after a contested series with North Americas 100 Thieves. Despite being consistently one of the best teams in EMEA, FNATIC has been plagued with inconsistencies in international tournaments in the past. 

Though todays match was a back-and-forth battle full of surprises, the giants of EMEA prevailed and won the match 2-1 to move on to the group D decider match.

For the second time today, we started off on Icebox. FNATIC usually thrives on this map, making it an easy first pick for them after it was left in the pool. Despite this, FURIA came out of the gate aggressively with four rounds in a row to start off, and kept up this dominance the entire map.

Mistakes began to mount for FNATIC even though several rounds were very close. Derke missed a few of his shots, and Boaster turned away at just the wrong moment to cost the team. Things werent looking good on the EMEA teams map pick. 

FURIA were able to close out Icebox handily 13-9, capitalizing on their thrifty rounds and falling back on Khalil and dgzin as their star players. This surprise upset on the first map put the Brazilian team in a good position moving into their own map pick.

FURIAs pick was Breeze, a map that used to be FNATICs perma-ban. That they let the map float through the bans suggested the EMEA team had a strategy going in. Alfajer, the only Turkish player in the tournament in Istanbul, locked in Neon.

The hidden strategy for FNATIC paid off, and the script was flipped from the first map. FURIA was stumped by FNATICs executions and utility usage. Alfajer netted an average combat score of 305 in the first half.

Though FURIA stayed present and composed on their attacking side, FNATIC got the better of them on Breeze 13-7 and kept themselves alive.

Similar to how the first series of the day went between XERXIA and KRÜ, the third map started off much more evenly than the first two. FNATIC and FURIA were equal at 6-6 at the half, with the final rounds of Haven left to decide their fate.

The Chamber players from both teams were impressive, but Derke really started to find his expected form. Khalil found an incredible 4k to keep his team in the game just as it seemed like FNATIC had established a lead.

The tension was tangible in the final round, which came down to a 1v1. Enzo, despite being one of the quieter players on his team, sealed the close map for FNATIC 13-11.

FURIAs 2022 VCT journey ends here, while FNATIC goes on to a rematch with 100T in a few days. Even though the team smiled and hugged each other on stage after this win, the battle ahead will be difficult as their weaknesses were exposed today. Their next match is scheduled for Sept. 8 at 12pm CT.

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