the VALORANT Champions tournament continued today in Istanbul and the first match of the day was between EMEA’s Fnatic and Korea’s DRX. These two teams both desperately hoped to move on and avoid elimination. Despite both attending nearly every international VCT tournament, Fnatic have never been able to top second place and DRX continuously seem to get stuck in the playoffs.
But today, DRX broke their top-six curse and ascended to the semifinals of VCT Champions 2022. Despite struggling in the first map, the DRX players rallied together around their stars, BuZz and Rb, and beat Fnatic 2-1 to knock the EMEA team out of the tournament.
The match began on Icebox, Fnatic’s map pick. The team suffered on this map earlier in the tournament during the group stage against FURIA, but overall this year, they’ve relied on Icebox as a strong pick. DRX, on the other hand, hadn’t played Icebox yet at Champions, or much during the 2022 season in general.
Fnatic came out swinging and Derke was clearly warmed up, getting a 4k in the opening pistol round. By round three, the Chamber player already had his ultimate. Though Fnatic started off with a handy four-round lead, DRX and their Jett player BuZz slowly started to wake up. They were able to salvage the scary start to the map to be down just 7-5 at the half.