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On day six of VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2: Masters Reykjavik, Fnatic edged past Team Liquid and NUTURN to advance to the tournament’s finals. On Sunday, Fnatic will play Sentinels in the grand finals for VCT Masters 2.
Fnatic eliminate Team Liquid from VCT Masters 2
Map one had Fnatic finally playing Bind at VCT Masters 2. With Liquid always insta-banning Icebox, Fnatic had the perfect opportunity to finally play a map where they post an 83% win rate, according to vlr.gg. As expected, Fnatic had an amazing start and were up 6-1, putting Liquid in an uncomfortable situation. However, when Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen picked up the Operator, Liquid gained momentum as he ran all across the map, getting picks for his team. With Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom not looking too good, Travis “L1NK” Mendoza stepped up, posting an important 3k to revitalize Liquid. The half ended 7-5, and despite ScreaM not looking great, Liquid was still in it.
In the second half, Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s strategies gave Fnatic a huge advantage. They mixed in bouts of controlled aggression to get early advantages in rounds and control the Ultimate orbs. Additionally, if Liquid aggressed, Fnatic would back up and retake the site to perfection. After Liquid won the pistol and follow-up round, Fnatic won the next five rounds to get to match point: 12-7. Finally, Boaster’s flank paid off in a retake situation, and Fnatic won 13-10.
Map two of Liquid vs. Fnatic: Ascent
Ascent looked like an even map for both teams. Neither played an Astra and opted for Omen instead, despite the strength of Astra on Ascent and Bind. Fnatic started 3-0, but ScreaM finally woke up, getting 13 kills in the first eight rounds. After that, the two teams traded rounds as ScreaM continued to get multi-kills, which resulted in multiple resurrections for his team. The half ended 7-5 with Liquid in the lead. On Fnatic’s defensive side, James “Mistic” Orfila and Martin “Magnum” Peňkov played an instrumental role in holding both sites. Boaster seemed to read Liquid perfectly and gamble stacked the right sites. After Magnum’s quad kill in a retake situation, Liquid couldn’t do anything, and Fnatic took the series 2-0. Hopefully, Liquid figure out their IGL situation and come back to Berlin even stronger.
“What an insane Tournament it’s been. We couldn’t be more proud of the Team and what they’ve achieved in such a short time. GGs @FNATIC, we’ll be rooting for you,” the Team Liquid VALORANT account tweeted.
What an insane Tournament it's been. We couldn't be more proud of the Team and what they've achieved in such a short time.
— Team Liquid Valorant (@LiquidValorant) May 29, 2021
Fnatic defeat NUTURN and head for the grand finals
On map one, Fnatic once again played Bind against NUTURN, with both teams having excellent track records on the map. Fnatic started on the attack side. Jung “peri” Bum-gi of NUTURN looked great, but once Fnatic got the bomb down, they basically won their round as they had post-plant lineups for Viper. However, Domagoj “Doma” Fancev proved how valuable Raze is on Bind, as he posted 14 kills in the first half. In the end, NUTURN did a great job against Fnatic. They drew out their utility before executing and played rounds to perfection. But, Fnatic won the gunfights and caught NUTURN off guard. Thanks to Boaster’s clutch, Fnatic took the game 13-8.
Map two, Ascent, saw two evenly matched teams. Although Fnatic’s Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev was looking outstanding on Jett, NUTURN excelled in post-plant situations. With shock dart lineups, gravity wells, and Sova’s ultimate, NUTURN won almost every post-plant they were in without needing a Viper. They strung together six rounds before Fnatic finally got a round on the board by preventing NUTURN from planting the spike. After that one round, Fnatic only got two more as NUTURN continued to excel in all aspects. With an 8-4 half in favor of NUTURN, Fnatic needed something special to come back. Despite an incredible clutch by Derke and his 25 kills across the series, NUTURN won 13-8 to force a third map.
Series down to the wire
Haven is where either Fnatic or NUTURN would win to move onto the finals of VCT Masters 2. In the first few rounds, the match shaped into Fnatic vs. Kim “Lakia” Jong-min, with the Korean player getting two quad kills and 15 total in the first eight rounds. With Boaster’s Astra, however, Fnatic stayed in the game. On top of that, NUTURN made several mistakes, from getting caught in Killjoy’s lockdown, to losing early fights. The half ended with Fnatic up 8-4, with Lakia providing the four rounds NUTURN had. Lakia stepped up again in the second half when the team was down 11-4. He pushed his squad forward with multi-kills to string together three rounds. However, after NUTURN got four more rounds, Fnatic closed out the map 13-8 and the series 2-1.
VCT Masters 2 finals will be an EU vs. NA showdown
On Sunday, Fnatic will take on Sentinels in the grand finals of VCT Masters 2. The winner will earn 400 circuit points towards the next VALORANT international LAN and $200,000. The two teams played earlier in the tournament where Sentinels narrowly won. The best-of-five will begin at 1:00 pm ET.
Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.