Fnatic Secure Back-to-Back International Titles at VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo
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Fnatic Secure Back-to-Back International Titles at VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo

Fnatic solidified their tag as the best Valorant esports team in the world on Sunday, June 25, when the Black & Orange swept Evil Geniuses in the grand finals of Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2023 Masters Tokyo.

FNATIC Makes VCT History | Masters Tokyo Day 12 Highlights

By winning the tournament, Fnatic secured their spot in the Valorant esports Hall of Fame as the first-ever team to win back-to-back international events.

Pure Display Of Dominance

Fnatic entered VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo Finals as heavy favourites to defeat North America’s Evil Geniuses, and the European squad didn’t fail to live up to the expectations. The best-of-five series started on Lotus, a map on which Fnatic smashed Evil Geniuses (13-3) just four days prior in the upper bracket finals.

This time out, Fnatic didn’t get to such a commanding start. As the two teams switched sides, tied at 6-6, as all eyes turned to Fnatic and what they could do as defenders, and they didn’t disappoint. A strong 6-0 start in the second half from Fnatic was enough to gain a substantial lead, and despite facing some resistance from Evil Geniuses, who mustered up two maps as attackers, Fnatic closed it out at 13-8 and took the series lead.

The grand finals continued onto Split, which again started close, but thanks to Emir “Alfajer” Beder’s individual input, Fnatic pulled ahead and got themselves four rounds ahead (8-4) before the second half. After switching sides, Evil Geniuses showed some teeth and strung together five points to overtake Fnatic, but their excitement didn’t last for long, as Fnatic struck back and tied the series at 11-11.

In the final stretch of the map, there seemed like there wasn’t much to separate the teams until Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev took matters into his own hands and led Fnatic to a 13-11 victory and a 2-0 series lead.

With backs against the wall, Evil Geniuses took an early lead (8-4) before the switch and added two more rounds (10-4) as defenders. But despite the strong start of the opponents, Fnatic clawed their way back into the game, tieing the series at 12-12, before winning the final two rounds to complete the clean sweep.

Close, But No Cigar

Fnatic winning VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo is hardly a surprise, given the team’s dominance this season. The European powerhouse won their first international event in March when they defeated LOUD (3-2) at VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo and looked unstoppable throughout the regular season before losing the VCT 2023 EMEA League finals.

But despite Fnatic’s historic achievement of becoming the first-ever Valorant team to win back-to-back international events, the exciting story of VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo are the underdogs. The Japanese tournament was quite a treat to watch, as many outsiders exceeded expectations and left quite a statement before the season-culminating VALORANT Champions 2023.

EDward Gaming, who aren’t even a part of the VCT, defied all the odds and made the lower bracket quarterfinals, where they got eliminated by another unlikely champion – Paper Rex. Despite winning VCT 2023 Masters Pacific League, Paper Rex travelled to Tokyo without their star player Ilya “something” Petrov, which many believed would severely harm their chances to make a deep run.

But going against all the odds, Paper Rex went all the way to the lower bracket finals and came just a few rounds short of reaching the big stage. And on the topic of underdogs proving everyone wrong, Evil Geniuses are a story of their own.

After barely making any noise in the VCT 2023 Americas League and securing their ticket for Tokyo by the skin of their teeth, Evil Geniuses proved themselves as a very competitive squad by reaching the big finals. Even though Evil Geniuses fell apart against Fnatic, they looked excellent and had a couple of rounds gone the other way; VCT America’s third seed could’ve become our new VCT Champions.

What’s Next On The VCT Schedule?

With the conclusion of VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo, the VCT 2023 season is close to the end, with just the VALORANT Champions 2023 left on the schedule. But before the world’s top teams clash in Los Angeles, we still have to get our final representatives from the Americas, EMEA, Pacific, and China, who’ll fight for their ticket in their respective qualifiers.

  • VCT Americas Last Chance Qualifier – July 15-23
  • VCT EMEA Last Chance Qualifier – July 19-23
  • VCT Pacific Last Chance Qualifier – July 15-23
  • VCT China Qualifier – July 3-16

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