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Valorant Champions 2022 – DRX Ends Fnatic Run

DRX proceeds to the lower bracket semifinal after eliminating EMEA’s Fnatic in an intense three-game series that could have gone either.

After losing to LOUD in the upper bracket semifinals, DRX was knocked into the lower bracket where they were pitted against Europe’s finest in Fnatic. Fnatic was hot off a dominant win over fellow Europeans, Team Liquid thanks to their Finnish phenom in Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev. The question was whether or not Derke would be able to show off his prowess once again in this series.

EUROPEANS ARE USED TO THE COLD

Icebox would be Fnatics map pick for Map 1, a map that we hadn’t seen DRX play since April. The map began with Fnatic at the wheel as they executed a flawless pistol round to take the momentum of the game. Fnatic would go on to take the next three rounds, creating a four-round lead for the European side. DRX fighting to take back control of the map and make it so that Fnatic are unable to win any more consecutive rounds, but Fnatic also does the same. The rest of the half goes back and forth with the half ending at a pretty even 7–5 in Fnatic’s favour.

Fnatic start the second half much like the previous, winning themselves four rounds back-to-back. In the second pistol round alone, Derke adds four more kills to his K/D. DRX try their best to get back into the game, managing to answer back with two rounds of their own, but it was too little too late. Fnatic would go on to win the next two rounds to get the series lead, ending the map 13–7.

WE LOVE AN OVERTIME

The next map would be DRX’s pick of Ascent a map that DRX had already played twice this tournament, winning both in overtime, little did we know that there was going to be a third. DRX didn’t want a repeat of the last game and won the initial two rounds to take control of the game, but Fnatic was unphased and went on to win eight of the next 10 rounds. The half ended 8–4 to Fnatic.

With their back against the wall, DRX dug deep and began to show their true colours. The Korean side took over the map, with Fnatic only managing a round or two here and there. Before we knew it, the score was all tied up at 9–9. Fnatic would retake the lead by winning the next two rounds but DRX responded with three of their own, bringing the game to match point in favour of the Koreans. With the score at 12–11, DRX only needed one more round for them to tie the series, but Fnatic wasn’t going to let them have it easy, and tied the game 12–12, pushing Map 2 into overtime. Luckily for DRX, this wasn’t unfamiliar territory, in fact, they owned this territory as they went on to win the two rounds they needed to solidify the win at 14–12.

FRACTURING FNATIC

The deciding map was Fracture. With everything on the line for both teams, this was expected to be a good game. With that said, DRX went full throttle from the get-go and won six of the first seven rounds. Fnatic responded with five rounds of their own to tie the score at the half at 6–6.

With Fnatic hot off a five-round win-streak, you’d think they had possession of the game, but DRX quickly dismissed that sentiment as both teams went back and forth, eventually taking the lead and bringing the score to 10–9. While in the lead, DRX maintained composure and won the remaining three rounds they needed to close out the series 2–1.

DRX will proceed to the lower bracket semifinal where they will go on to face the most recent Masters Champions in FunPlus Phoenix. You can catch that game live on 17 September at 1:00 AM (GMT+8) on YouTube or Twitch.

Unfortunately, that’s the end of Derke and company’s season. It’s way too early to tell what’s currently in the books for Fnatic. Will they make a roster change or will they stick together? We just have to wait and see.

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