M3C couldn't replicate their success in grand finals rematch.
Two giants of EMEA VALORANT faced off today in hopes of earning the last spot for the region at Champions next month in Istanbul. Though the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier has been an incredible showing of both experienced and underdog teams, the last two teams standing, Team Liquid and M3C, are household names for any VALORANT fan.
Today Team Liquid came through to push their team to Champions for the second year in a row. They took todays match 3-1 over M3C.
After parting ways with L1NK earlier this year, TLs roster has remained stable, and they have been working out the kinks as the meta evolves in 2022. Though they came up short in Stage Two by not qualifying for Masters Copenhagen, they are still a feared team in the region. At top form, their star players Jamppi and ScreaM are some of the best in the world.
M3C announced recently that the four core members of the team (Redgar, Chronicle, Sheydos, and nAts) would leave the Gambit organization and become free agents after this season. The future is uncertain for these players, and its possible today was their last match together.
Bind started as a close match in the first half, but M3C had the edge, mostly because of Chronicles effortless and reliable frags. Jady also read the defensive efforts of TL like a book. The half ended with M3C up 7-5 on their attack.
TL took the pistol round in the second half but couldnt find their footing after round two. Sheydos pulled out a huge ace, and Redgar continued to pile on assists as M3C ran away with the second half of Bind. Even the rounds that M3C lost were close contests, and the team could remain on top to take the map 13-8.
On Icebox, TL came out strong in the first half despite losing the pistol round. Icebox tends to be an attacker-sided map, but TL didnt let their defense falter today. They ended the first half up 7-5 on a map where they have an excellent track record.
M3C took back some ground on their defense, but Jamppi came back with his incredible Chamber shots, and ScreaM timed a round perfectly to delay the defuse on the spike. TL took the map 13-11.
TL continued their dominance of pistol rounds on Ascent, and this time they held on to that advantage throughout the entire map. The best player on Ascent was undoubtedly ScreaM, playing none other than Phoenix, an agent that had close to a 0% pickrate before his recent buffs. ScreaM had a KDA of 26/11 to finish Ascent, which TL won 13-6.
M3C made a pivotal decision going into the fourth map of the match and brought in their substitute player purp0. He has experience filling and substituting for several teams in EMEA in the past and is a highly flexible addition to their roster. This was his first match playing in VCT with M3C.
The casters criticized the decision to put purp0 in for Breeze, saying it wasnt fair to sub in a player for his first match in such a high-stakes elimination map.
The mistakes started to mount for M3C, with clear disconnect and pressure mounting as TL inched closer to their Champions spot.
ScreaM and Jamppi were again the stars for TL on Jett and Chamber, respectively. TL took M3C by surprise with unorthodox executes and defensive strategies. In the end, it was clear that ScreaM was determined to take his team to Champions once again. Breeze ended with 13-8, and TL secured their spot in Istanbul.
This will be TLs second trip to the Champions event, and they had overcome the struggles they faced earlier this season when they didnt make it to Masters Copenhagen. Their performance today showed that they not only have their top players in their best form but also that they are beginning to learn and adapt their strategies.
Team Liquid joins FPX and Fnatic as the third team from EMEA to represent their region at VCT Champions in Istanbul.