VCT: EMEA Upper Bracket Quarterfinals in the Books

The first round of the VCT: EMEA playoffs is in the books. We break down the first two matches and preview what’s to come at the VCT: EMEA wraps up this week.

The first day of the VCT: EMEA playoffs is officially in the books, as FUT Esports and Team Liquid earned the right to move on to the Upper Bracket. Meanwhile, Team Vitality and Giants Gaming are going to have to play for their lives in the Lower Bracket after suffering first-round losses. 

The playoffs have already delivered plenty of drama and close matches that fans have been anticipating, meaning you won’t miss any of the action as it continues all week, culminating with the finals on the 28th. 

Fnatic vs FUT Esports

When: Wednesday, May 24th – 11 AM ET

The first match of the Upper Bracket Semifinals features FUT Esports taking on the best team in the VCT: EMEA regular season in Fnatic. Fnatic had the most dominant run of any team in any of the Valorant Challenger Tour leagues. They finished the regular season with a perfect match record of 9-0, but even more impressive was the fact that they ended the season having only dropped a single map. 

FUT Esports, to their credit, are no slouches, either. They finished the season 5-4, which gave them possession of the 5th seed. In their opening match of the playoffs, they took down Giants Gaming in a 2-0 match. The first map saw FUT exert its dominance. Taking Haven 13-5, and though Giants forced overtime on Ascent in Game 2, FUT was just the better team taking the map and match 14-12. 

Natus Vincere vs Team Liquid

When: Wednesday, May 14th – 2 PM ET

The other match in the Upper Bracket Semifinals is between Natus Vincere and Team Liquid. Natus Vincere stumbled out of the gates losing the opening match of the season to KOI in a 2-0 fashion. Natus Vincere then went on a dominant string of wins, only losing one other match all season to Fnatic in the final week, finishing the year with a 7-2 record and the 2nd seed going into playoffs. They also were dominant in their wins, only dropping 2 maps in their collective seven-match wins.

Team Liquid ended the season 6-3. Despite coming into the tournament as the 3rd seed, Team Liquid has the 2nd most maps lost. They have battled their way through close matches all year, with only four of their matches this season not going to all three maps. Natus Vincere won when these two teams met up in the regular season; however, with the poise Team Liquid has shown all year, they may be the team to take them down. 

Lower Bracket Blues

Team Vitality and Giants Gaming are sitting in the Lower Bracket, awaiting the losers of the Upper Bracket Semifinals. With the double-elimination format of the tournament, it’s likely that we will see a rematch of the last round. No team is out of contention for the title, and Team Vitality and Giants will be given the chance to play for their tournament lives on Thursday, May 25th. The question will be how these teams respond to the early disappointment they’ve had so far. 
Team Vitality showed signs of life in their loss to Team Liquid. They won the opening map in convincing fashion, dominating them on the scoreboard 13-6. They then dropped maps 2 and 3 11-13. If they can correct some minor mistakes with the day off, they should have a decent shot at moving on in the Valorant Champions Tour: EMEA playoffs.