VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland Day 6 preview: Europe’s last stand - Dexerto
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VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland Day 6 preview: Europe’s last stand

Published: 29/May/2021 14:22

by Andrew Amos

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The penultimate day of VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland is here, with our second grand finalist set to be decided by the evening. Europe’s best will have one last shot to join Sentinels in the final, but Korean squad NUTURN could play spoiler.

Three more games, and we will find out who is the best Valorant team in the world right now. Sentinels are awaiting the victor of today’s bloodbath in the VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland grand final.

Europe are making their last stand, although the Koreans can play spoil-sport and force an Upper Bracket final rematch. Here’s what you can expect out of the Day 6 action here in Iceland.

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Fnatic vs Team Liquid

The battle for Europe. These squads have played 14 maps against each other in 2021, and they’re split down the middle with seven wins apiece. It sets up an exhilarating best-of-three, one where you wish it’d go to the full five.

Liquid had Fnatic’s number last time out in the Challengers 2 Grand Final, but in Iceland, Fnatic has been the in-form team. Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev sits atop the leaderboard with an eyewatering 301.8 ACS. He’s also been lethal on the entry, getting the first frag approximately once every three rounds.

Mistic Boaster Fnatic Valorant
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Just Boaster things.

However, after a slow start, the diesel engine of Liquid is slowly approaching max velocity. Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom looks better series after series, and Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen is the perfect second fiddle to him.

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The only issue about Liquid is their read of the meta. Fnatic have proven to be more adaptable than Liquid, who use Travis ‘L1NK’ Mendoza as a crutch rather than jump onto the Astra. If Fnatic get the right maps (I’d like to see a Haven pick to really maximize the Astra), they can edge their rivals out.

NUTURN vs Fnatic/Liquid

Well, we can only really preview one half of this matchup, with a few theoreticals. NUTURN did have a subpar showing against Sentinels, getting completely outclassed. They swapped up their map pool a bit ⁠— Ascent was banned so it was onto Bind ⁠— but it didn’t help them at all.

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While Bind is one of NUTURN’s best maps, with an 81% win rate, Sentinels just outgunned them. This has been a pretty noticeable thing with NUTURN: while they have good strategies for their pre-set maps, they often lose the heads-up gun fights, especially if Park ‘allow’ Sang-wook is having an off day.

Solo NUTURN Valorant
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Solo’s NUTURN faced a setback after losing to Sentinels.

However, this is where endurance is really going to be tested. Regardless of who gets through out of Fnatic and Liquid, they’ll be at least two maps in for the day. That may give them some match fitness, but if the games go long, NUTURN should be able to pull ahead ⁠— like they did against Sharks and Version1.

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There’s also the questions around preparations. NUTURN will have the time to watch the game between the two European squads, while the victor will have under an hour to come up with their game plan. If NUTURN are switched on, they should be able to force their way into a rematch with Sentinels.

VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland continues on May 29.