EMEA’s FunPlus Phoenix wins VCT Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen
The 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters in Copenhagen concluded with the EMEA powerhouse team FunPlus Phoenix or FPX as the winner. The team snatched the title after a thrilling close matchup win over grand final contender Singapore team Paper Rex 3-2 on July 24.
Before defeating Paper Rex in Game 5 of the grand final, FPX had to play the defending champions OpTic Gaming in the lower bracket final. OpTic, at the time, was defeated by Paper Rex in the upper bracket 2-1. The Frisco-based team had to sustain yet another defeat from FPX, and their journey in Stage 2 this year was only limited to the third position.
Following their stellar performance in Copenhagen, all three teams cited above are qualified for the upcoming VCT 2022 Champions in Istanbul, Turkey, via Circuit Points.
FPX claims Stage 2 Masters title
FPX was qualified to play in Copenhagen as one of three EMEA Challengers; the other two are Guild Esports and the top-seeded Fnatic. While both FPX and Guild had to play in the Group Stage, Fnatic was qualified straight to the Playoffs alongside XSET, Paper Rex and Leviatán.
FPX was placed in Group B, competing against Korea Challengers DRX, Japan’s Northeption and APAC’s best XERXIA. In three group matchups, the EMEA team won two as they were bested by DRX in the Winner’s Match. On the brink of elimination, FPX won the Decider Match against Northeption and was given the ticket to play in the playoffs alongside DRX, while the other two were eliminated.
FPX was placed in the lower bracket and had to play the British team Guild to progress further. The team ended up winning the game 2-1 and was scheduled to take on former group rival DRX, who just conceded to OpTic 2-1 in the upper bracket semifinals. Both FPX and DRX had a tough fight, and it was certain that DRX would once again sustain yet another defeat, which they did as FPX delivered a dominating 2-0 end to the South Korean highflier team.
Up next for FPX was to play fellow region team Fnatic, and they easily won the matchup 2-1. One of the most awaited games in Copenhagen took place shortly after that on July 23 between FPX and North America leader OpTic. The matchup was extended far into Game 4, and FPX won three of the games, eliminating the NA team from the final.
FPX managed to get over the other lower bracket rivals, and their hard labor gave them a ticket to play Paper Rex for this year’s Stage 2 Masters title. The Singaporean Paper Rex had a 2-map ban advantage since the team was placed in the upper bracket. Both Split and Ascend were banned, and Paper Rex chose to play on Bind for Game 1. Despite their map advantage, FPX won with a margin-wide 13-3 points.
The following game was played on Icebox, a map selected by FPX. The Singapore-based bounced back in the game with 13-7. Both teams kept on exchanging blows and posted the exact 13-7 points until the decider match in Game 5 on Breeze. FPX was quick enough to take seven points in the first part of the game and made another six in the following — meanwhile, Paper Rex was limited to five and four points. FPX’s Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin was named MVP of the matchup.
After winning Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen, FPX is leading far up in the EMEA Circuit Point Standings with 1200 points, only 50 points behind NA’s OpTic.