It’s rare to that a match feels like an instant classic before it’s even over; however, that was the case at Masters Copenhagen when the Fnatic vs. Leviatán lower bracket quarterfinals match quickly became an all-time great VALORANT Champions Tour series.
Fnatic — the Europe, Middle East and Africa first seed — managed to overcome Latin American first seed, Leviatán in a best-of-three clash of titans. At times, it felt as though every single round came down to the absolute wire in the 2-1 Fnatic win.
“The stress levels are obviously going to be there,” Fnatic’s James “Mistic” Orfila said in a post-match press conference. “I think, in this game, we handled them pretty well.”
Fnatic, alongside OpTic Gaming, are a tournament favorite in Copenhagen. After taking a surprising loss to a seemingly unbeatable Paper Rex, they dropped to the lower bracket. With their tournament lives on the line, Fnatic came up against Leviatán. The LATAM team had already knocked out XSET, North America’s first seed, and were ready to do it again with EMEA.
What followed was three and a half hours of tense, adrenaline-inducing VALORANT.
The match between Fnatic and Leviatán was nothing short of a war; every map was tight, with both Maps 1 and 3 going to overtime. Both teams won their picks, Fracture for Fnatic and Ascent for Leviatán. Bind was the closer that the series deserved. Every round was contested. Nothing was given for free.
Enzo “Enzo” Mestari absolutely performed in the clutch of the final stages of Bind. There was ice in the French player’s veins as he found every crucial kill and a 1v3 defuse to keep his team alive in overtime.
“I just accepted [that] he’d lost, to be quite honest,” Fnatic’s coach Jacob “mini” Harris said. “Not that I don’t have faith in him, but that was a f*cking ridiculous clutch.”
All credit goes to Leviatán for the close series. In particular, the team’s pistols looked impeccable; the Chileans won four out of six pistol rounds.
“I would say the high percentage we got during this events is mainly because we have a lot of aim,” Vicente “Tacolilla” Compagnon said. “We really work on our individual level. And that mixed with a little bit of strategy gives us our advantage … And having the broken Chamber Sheriff makes it even easier.”
No one can say Fnatic had an off series; not when every individual player was showing up, including Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder. The young Turkish duelist finally looked comfortable on stage after a slow start to the tournament. But Leviatán showed that LATAM is not a region to be trifled with, even as they head home from Masters Copenhagen and begin preparations for Champions 2022.
“This was our first international event and everybody thought that we didn’t deserve to be here. We demonstrated that we are a Tier 1 team,” Leviatán’s Francisco “kiNgg” Aravena said. “At Champions, we will be even stronger that we are now.”
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.