Game Changers: Players are “Here to Slay” again in 2022
1/20/2022, 11:26:34 PM
EMEA Game Changers series is starting up once again. Signups for the first series in 2022 are wrapping up, and the first Game Changers tournament of the year will start on January 24. The tournament will run until February 6; however, games will not be played from January 26th to the 30th to allow for the teams to compete in the upcoming VRL qualifiers.
The EMEA region has been hard at work reorganizing and preparing for the new season. Organizations have announced new teams and several teams have announced roster changes. There are organizations still looking to enter the Game Changers scene and new F/A teams as well. Here is a review of how some of the top teams have been since we last saw them in VCT Game Changers EMEA Series 3.
As finalists of Series 3, Guild X have been at work getting prepared for the 2022 season. Since the win, the team’s initiator, Anastasia “Glance” Anisimova, left Guild X to join G2 Gozen. They also recently brought on Emil Sandgren as a new coach. As the former coach for Ninjas in Pyjamas, he brings his impressive resume over to the Game Changers scene as he wants to be a part of making sure the scene receives “the same support and have the same standards as everyone else.”
Guild X competed in Stage 1 Challengers 1 Open Qualifiers. The team made it to round 2, winning 2-0 in round 1 and 0-2 in round 2. They still need to find a permanent fifth member as Victoria “victoria” Ukasova from SMARACIS eSports Female, seems to be filling in during these qualifiers.
G2 Gozen has also been gaining early competitive experience this year via the main VCT Europe Open Qualifiers. In Stage 1 Challengers 1, they lost the first round to Bref. In Challengers 2, they were able to make it to round 2, defeating VeViCi Esports then losing to Team Progress. Though they were unable to secure spots in the qualifiers, they will surely bring this competitive experience into the upcoming Game Changers series. As the other finalist of the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series 3, there are high expectations for the team to keep their status as top contenders.
Rix.GG Lightning was one of the first organizations to sign a women’s VALORANT team. They benched long-time member Maria “6sonya” Istrate, who has still not been picked up by a team. Rix.GG is also one of the few women’s teams to play in the main VCT qualifiers. Competing in both qualifiers, they made it to the second round with a loss to Zerance in Challengers 1 and to Klanik Esport in Challengers 2.
Futbolist Female is a team that has had quite the roster shuffle since the last Game Changers competition. Originally named Lux Nova, this team has lost many of their key members, for example, Lada ”h6tedthemost“ Kozhemyakina, Annika “mediKa” Lambertz, and Siana Yoldez “sia” Matri. Recently, they have signed on Lea “matrix” Ransquin, Donia “Nugget” Khaled, and Cornelia “Neli” Johansson.
Even TENSTAR Nova and their winning roster is making moves. Known for their synergy and rallies in the lower bracket, TENSTAR Nova won both, Game Changers Series 1 and 2. They fell short of a three-peat, finally getting bested in the lower bracket by Oxxgen Esports. Since then, they have replaced Mathilde ”Nelo“ Beltoise, the resident Viper and Sentinel player, with RacheLL. It is unclear what adjustments will happen to the roster as there is not much match history on RacheLL except she is a fresh transplant from CS.
One of the most long-awaited signings in EMEA was from the team ChatBanned. While unsigned, this roster has been able to hang with the best of the best, consistently making far in the bracket and knocking teams like Rix.GG Lightning and Guild X into the lower brackets. Now as Alliance, and with Lada ”h6tedthemost“ Kozhemyakina on board, they are candidates to go even further and take home the prize.
ATK Esports, an organization from South Africa, has announced they are sponsoring a team for Game Changers. There have not been many teams from Africa competing in prior tournaments and so we will have to see how they perform against all the other sub-regions.
With the disbanding of STELLAR, PilotCeeBee announced that she was looking to join a new team. She continued to work STELLAR’s coach, Wonder, to find a new team for this year’s Game Changers, hence forming Equinox.
After leaving prominent teams, mediKa and aNNja have formed together to compete for series 1 in 2022. This project roster, UNtapped, will feature them and other players that have competed in prior Game Changers series. With both teams having significant experience in prior Game Changers tournaments, it is possible that they can upset the more favored teams.
There is a lot of hype for this year’s Game Changers circuit so stay tuned to Run It Back for more updates on the 2022 EMEA VCT Game Changers series.
Lynne "drDelta" Dumeny
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