VCT 2022: Champions Istanbul audience reactions — Grand Finals

VCT 2022: Champions Istanbul audience reactions — Grand Finals

“I never had the chance to watch a live game in an arena. It’s apparently pretty fun and more hype than whenever I watch at home, I get more excited for the plays. I hope these types of events continue to live on.”

“It was a new experience for me. I was able to enjoy it fully due to that. I hope we see more of this here, I hope there will be something where we can all attend.”

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With one of the most epic matchups imaginable for the closing of 2022, a live concert with pyrotechnics and lights for days and even a red carpet event for the talented individuals invited by Riot, the last day of VALORANT Championship Tour 2022: Champions was nothing short of memorable, especially if you were among the audience and privy to the aforementioned events that day.

“I never had the chance to watch a live game in an arena. It’s apparently pretty fun and more hype than whenever I watch at home, I get more excited for the plays. I hope these types of events continue to live on.”

The ultimate winner of VCT 2022

“I want Optic to win, whether they do or don’t is up to yay. I think they will win depending on his performance.”

Before the series, as fans were lining up in the queue, many opinions were out there, favoring both teams to be the champions of VALORANT in 2022. However, many saw it as a clash of a minor and a major region with more or less evenly matched teams. One fan even expressed their hopes for a similar trajectory of success for their home region of Turkey.

“I think LOUD will win because a lot of series took place between these two teams. They were all Bo3’s but I think LOUD will be advantaged in a Bo5. Also I want a minor region like Brazil to win to show that we can take down major regions as Turkey. We expect to see BBL compete in this tournament next year.”

The series started first with an overtime win on Ascent for LOUD and a clean victory for OpTic on Bind. After the third match in the series, 16-14 for LOUD on Breeze, many fans were hyped for one banger of a series.

“I think LOUD will win but right now I want the series to go long, to be 2-2 just for the sake of spending more time here and LOUD to take the third point. I am certain that this type of environment won’t be here again, at least not like this. I found another ticket for today, I wanna stay here as long as I can.”

“My heart lied with OpTic before the series began but LOUD are proceeding very nicely with the help of aspas. This will be very enjoyable, no matter who wins. I hope the good matches go on for as long as it’s possible, we’ll watch overtime and have fun.”

In one last show of domination, LOUD took OpTic Gaming to the cleaners on Haven with a perfect second half. The series ended 3-1 with the Brazilian region lifting the first trophy given to a minor region in the history of VALORANT, not to mention the biggest one. Their journey throughout this year is a tale to be told in depth another time, but it is worth hearing every word.

“Actually, we expected OpTic to win as the majority of fans, since there were more people who were sympathetic and cheering for NA, but it was good for LOUD to win for the sake of having different champions. They play very consistently, especially in their latest tournaments, so it wasn’t a total surprise [that they won] but they were really clean on the way to the top.”

Most surprising moment

“I would have to say ardiis’ 1v3 clutch, and the fact that all of the teams playing very impressively. There was also an unexpected level of performance from DRX.”

On the last day of this 18-day journey, we asked some fans about the moments that surprised them the most throughout Champions. The answers were a mix of good and bad, sweet and bitter, amazing and shocking. This event was a source of all sorts of emotions for everyone watching, attending or participating.

“Fnatic being eliminated so early, I expected them to make finals but they surprised me.”

Many of the responses that were on the “shocking” side was about the early exit of EMEA teams, especially of Fnatic who were treated as the home team due to the inclusion of Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder. The “amazing” side was mostly taken by the high performance of NA teams, which were unexpected to many of the fans in the venue.

“FPX performance was surprising because they weren’t their best at the start but they rose up quickly. They didn’t see the finals but it happens, I think they are the champions in the hearts of many people. As a region, I was surprised by the EMEA teams, I thought they would perform better, have better standings. NA was also surprising because they performed better than I expected.”

Looking back on VALORANT Champions Tour 2022

“NA surprised a lot of people with their performance, the atmosphere was honestly wonderful, it made us proud to see an event like this in Istanbul.”

We also asked people in the audience to shortly summarize their Champions experience, whether it’s their first esports event or they are huge fans of VALORANT. The answers we got were varied in reasonings and details but the core part mainly stayed the same: “It was awesome.”

“I only attended the last two days to watch in the venue. It was really good. It was also good to watch from home. The concert at the finals was a banger as well.”

Despite the boos of unsportsmanlike fans, unexpected results, and saddening goodbyes — despite the heartbreak and loss of hope — even those who felt some or all of those went home with an unforgettable experience. It wasn’t the best tournament in the world of esports but as the second ever LAN event of a game that is only in its third year, it was good enough to steal the hearts of most fans.

“It’s really amazing. Even though I don’t really understand that much the atmosphere is amazing, everyone is screaming. My voice has gone out as well.”

Image of Aykut Sapaz
Aykut Sapaz
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.