G2, FPX, Liquid And SUMN FC are the initial teams to reach the closing event of First Strike: Europe. This qualifier would be stained by controversy surrounding its format and the disqualification of Guild Esports due to an illegal exploit. A second qualifier will decide the last four teams to reach the Regional Finals that will kick-off December 3rd.
This first qualifier would come under fire, as criticism formed around its Best-of-One format used up until the final Round of 8 giving an edge to potential upsets. However, the first big disqualification from a competitive VALORANT event would quickly take over the spotlight.
Guild Esports had scored a major upset against major favourites, G2 Esports, to reach the Round of 8. In spite of that, Guild were ultimately disqualified for abusing a boost bug in that match, exploiting an interaction between Sage’s wall and Killjoy’s turret. This decision would spark a major discussion about Riot’s rulebook.
G2 would take over their spot and go on to seize the opportunity as they swept the Ninjas in Pyjamas with close victories on Ascent and Haven, grabbing the first spot on the Regional Finals.
Team Liquid would follow suit, going up against Prodigy. While the first map of Ascent would be excruciatingly close, with TL closing in the last two round to snatch the victory, things went much easier over at Split.
Belgium super-star Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom went big for Liquid, with a massive 26 kill performance handing them a 13-5 win and the series.
FunPlus Phoenix would take down the Opportunists on their map pick of Haven. The roster lead by Kirill ‘ANGE1’ Karasiow would complete the sweep on Bind, taking it 2-0 to secure their presence at the Finals.
Org-less SUMN FC reaches First Strike: Europe finals
SUMN FC would come out victorious in a match-up against the Lithuanian roster of eXile eSports. Croatian Domagoj ‘doma’ Fancev and British James ‘Mistic’ Orfila would form a power duo that pushed them over the line on Haven and Split, winning 13-9 and 13-10 respectively.
With this 2-0 sweep, the team, that is still looking for an organisation to represent, will now have a gigantic opportunity to show their worth in the European Finals of First Strike.