The first day of the first ever VALORANT event with a crowd took place today, marking the beginning of a new era in VCT. Fans from all around the world traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to make a little history of their own (and to watch some good VALORANT games).
We spoke with them before, during and after the series to see how it felt to be there, not 20 feet away from professional VALORANT, for the first time.
Being part of the Masters 2 Finals atmosphere
“That’s the reason I’m here — I wanted to be part of history. It’s an amazing experience, it’s great.” said one fan who was there for their first ever LAN event.
Fans who attended today have been part of the first crowd of a professional game of VALORANT in the two-year history of the game. The levels of excitement were through the roof, especially during the match of Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix. Not just the cheers of fans, all of it — the signs, the claps, the fans lining up after the series to take their pictures with the players.
“It’s really great, it’s really good.” was the general reaction from the fans we spoke with. “It feels pretty good. Like the first ever event happening, it feels really amazing. All those great matches, it feels really good that people are happy about it.”
The voice of fans brought life and soul to the body of VALORANT esports and took the game to the next level. Only now we see what we were missing from this game due to COVID-19. Even if it is only for four series, this is a gigantic step from Riot for the future of the game, especially with Champions Istanbul on the corner, and it already started paying out for them with the hype meeting the demand.
One fan said it best with “It’s exciting, exhilarating and every good word you can put on it.”
Copenhagen as the host city
“It’s great, I think generally for people from EMEA, it’s great to have a city where you can come, it’s easy to travel here, not very cheap but every city has their downs.”
For European fans, an event with two EMEA teams at Copenhagen is almost an invitation. Fans from around the region have packed up their bags and attended the three-day event to witness the finals of VCT Masters 2, despite the city being more expensive compared with other cities.
“It’s pretty amazing, I didn’t expect it to be so huge because in Denmark, they usually wouldn’t do too much about it, so I think it’s the first time we see a lot of screens and sounds. I know from League of Legends when they were here in 2016, it wasn’t that great, it just looked like it was on stream. This time, they really made it different. I think it’s great, it’s a great start.”
On top of that, local VALORANT fans are delighted to have the first VALORANT event with an in-person audience in their city. It’s been a long time since the last Riot event in Copenhagen, the EU LCS Spring Finals 2018. The Masters 2 Finals hype was not limited to the arena, it was scattered around the city with signs, posters and billboards of the event.
“It’s amazing; it’s really close by, I don’t need to fly out. I’ve always loved these kinds of events, I know there’s been a League event before and I’ve been to that as well.”
Who will win it all?
“I want Paper Rex to win, but I have a feeling Fn- Nah, Paper Rex is going to win.”
After the results of today, only Paper Rex, OpTic and FunPlus Phoenix remain in VCT Masters 2. One of these three teams will take the trophy home to their region, the others will try their luck at Istanbul. The fan consensus was clear throughout the day — the first seed of APAC is looking poised to bring this one home.
“Paper Rex has been really going demon mode, so yeah, Paper Rex.”
Before their elimination from the tournament, many fans saw Fnatic as the favorites of this event, right until the end. With two new players in their roster, the orange titans of EMEA brought a gun to the knife fight that is VCT EMEA Challengers and got first place with an impressive showing. Now with the experience gained from this tournament and a long time to work on their mistakes, Fnatic will be looking forward to taking over Champions at Istanbul.
“Fnatic is doing a good job, Enzo is crushing it, Fnatic is going to win this really easy.”
Among the local fans of Fnatic and international fans of Paper Rex, we managed to spot and talk to FunPlus Phoenix fans, many of whom were really excited for their team now that they were playing with their full roster. Since SUYGETSU’s arrival, the team in red have been playing two levels up, taking down almost everyone on their way since playoffs began. Now as the last hope of EMEA, they will face OpTic on Day 2.
“I hope FPX will win but I’m not quite sure. They’ve played amazing in this tournament, so.”
Heading into Day 2
Day 2 of VCT Masters 2 finals will see the first Best-of-5 series played out in front of the crowd. This series will be one to watch, with the combination of the fans bringing the roof down with hype and excitement and the everlasting and game-transcending rivalry of North America and Europe and the clash of two of the best rosters VALORANT has ever seen.
In an incredibly close tournament such as this, with a Paper Rex that’s one series away from a historic title and two major region teams willing to spill blood fighting for the other grand finals spot, it is a great time to be a fan of professional VALORANT, especially if you are among the crowd.
“I’m here for the plot, right? Whoever wrote this script, it’s great.”
The beauty of esports lies in its power to replace your world and its worries, anger or fears, even for the shortest of moments. I want to make this power available to all who reach for it.