EMEA Stage 2 Challengers: Viewer’s Guide and Predictions
5/12/2022, 5:50:44 PM
Photo credit: Michal Konkol / Riot Games /Freaks4U
VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 is cranking up in all of the major regions. And with it, top teams battling for a spot at the next and final Masters event of 2022. The stakes, once more, are extremely high, so the level of competition should reach its peak. Much like North America, EMEA Challengers for Stage 2 kicks off on May 13. Here is a viewer’s guide ahead of the event along with our predictions for each of the groups.
Much like the first EMEA Challengers of 2022, Stage 2’s event follows an identical format. The group, also called season stage, is followed by a playoffs stage.
The playoffs will feature only the best 6 EMEA teams move on from the group stage and only 3 will make it to Masters 2.
Apart from making it to Masters, a hefty €200,000 Euro prize pool awaits to be split. The prizes for the top four teams are as follows:
The rest are split accordingly to placement, ranging from €15,000 Euro to €8,000 for bottom placements.
VCT EMEA Challengers 2 will run from May 13 until June 26. Almost 1.5-months long, the event will see teams counter-strat each other in the initial group stage, before pressure will start to pile up in the playoffs stage.
Group A boasts five teams from Stage 1 Challengers that have placed at least 10th, 9th, or higher in the event.
The sixth team has qualified from the VCT Promotion event.
Group A is an extremely tough group to predict in terms of who gets to the playoffs. That is mostly because of a lot of roster changes that have happened in the past couple of weeks.
G2 Esports is a safe bet. Their appearance and run at VCT Masters Reykjavik was decent, and their roster, on paper, should be enough to fend off the other teams and finish in the top 3.
FunPlus Phoenix is a team that absolutely dominated the last EMEA Challengers, but due to VISA issues and the ongoing war in Ukraine, was unable to attend the event. The team is back with Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow at the steer and will be looking to finally make an appearance at a VALORANT LAN event.
FOKUS is definitely a dark horse in the group, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if they make a dream run. The team’s signing of Jakob “JUGi” Hansen paid dividends instantly. Their run in the VCT EMEA Promotion was rock-solid, as a near-flawless Upper bracket run, saw them qualify as the first from the event, beating SuperMassive Blaze and BIG on their journey and losing only 1 map throughout the entire event.
Fnatic, Acend, and OG LDN UTD are big unknowns. The first two saw recent roster changes, while the OG LDN UTD merger was a surprising sight. If the previous Challengers outing for LDN UTD is anything to go off of, we’d say they will not make the top 3.
Group B, similarly to A, sees the first five teams qualify from the previous VCT EMEA Challengers event placement:
The last team took the second and last spot at the VCT Promotion event in EMEA:
Group B is a little less hectic when it comes to recent roster moves. BIG have recently signed Niels “luckeRRR” Jasiek and Alessio “musashi” Xhaferi to the team, and NAVI had to replace Yaroslav “Jady” Nikolaev with Nikolai “zeddy” Lapko, but the changes end there when it comes to the group’s teams. However, also for those reasons, we do not believe in both teams making it out alive to the playoffs. BIG also, despite qualifying in the end, did not have the smoothest of runs at VCT Promotion.
BBL, while in the end not finishing bottom last Challengers, left a lot to be desired. Unless serious prep was done, and the team comes out confident, we wouldn’t bet our money on the Turkish side.
Team Liquid is an obvious choice for finishing in the top three. While they were not supposed to make it to the previous Masters event at first, they ended up being a worthy replacement for FPX. Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen shined bright at Masters and a lot of eyes will be on him to push Liquid to the limits alongside Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and co.
M3 Champions (former Gambit Esports roster) are always a safe bet. Despite not making it to the last Masters event, this team is one of the most talented out there, and as the name suggests, have gotten a dub at last year’s Masters 3: Berlin. A top 3 finish is a likely outcome for this CIS squad.
Lastly, our third prediction goes out in favor of Guild. Despite always floating in the top, but never shining too brightly, Guild have shown time and time again they have what it takes to battle with EMEA’s finest teams. We are hoping they replicate this once more, and clinch a top 3 finish.
Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
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