After securing their spot in the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik, G2 Esports took on FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) in a best-of-five thriller to wrap up the Stage 1 EMEA Challengers.
In an exciting series that stretched over four maps, G2 and FPX fought for the coveted title of champions of Europe, with the latter emerging as the winner.
FPX started strong with a dominant victory on Icebox, with G2 claiming Breeze to equalize the score. However, the former's attacking prowess on Ascent, paired with their overtime efforts on Split, drowned G2's hopes of a Challengers title.
G2 Esports will be joined by Fnatic and Team Liquid as EMEA's representatives at the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik. Despite FunPlus Phoenix's tournament victory, travel regulations and Covid restrictions hindered their plans to head to Masters Reykjavik, so Team Liquid replaced them.
G2 Esports's head coach pipsoN had lots to say post VCT 2022 Stage 1 EMEA Challengers Grand Finals loss
In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J Kumar, G2 Esports' head coach Daniil "pipsoN" Meshcheryakov elaborated on their performance at the VCT 2022 Stage 1 EMEA Challengers, shedding light on their expectations for the upcoming VCT Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavik.
Q: The Grand Final showdown between G2 and FPX was a close encounter, with an overtime victory sealing the outcome for FPX. How would you rate G2's performance in this VCT matchup?
pipsoN: I think we played bad on Icebox. We did way better on the other maps, but FPX is a powerful team, and they proved it by playing really well. The game could've gone either way, especially on Split. It was one hell of a match.
There were rounds we weren't supposed to win, and there were rounds they weren't supposed to win. It was an insane match. They also showed us the stuff we knew we had to work on before heading to Iceland.
Q: G2 has encountered FunPlus Phoenix on the competitive level several times. However, this is the first official encounter between the current rosters of both teams. Do you think FPX's performance matched the expectations you had set for them before the matchup?
pipsoN: Yeah, kind of. We practiced against them quite a lot, so both teams knew each other and respected each other. We knew that this series would be insanely tough for both sides. We just wanted to win, but it didn't go our way today.
Q: G2 Esports had been unbeaten on Icebox since the updates from patch 4.04 kicked in. Considering this was FPX's first match on the new Icebox, how do you think they managed to claim a victory over G2 on this map?
pipsoN: They had an excellent game plan by having a good hold of the B-site using double molotovs and double shockdarts. They had a plan for retaking the A-site since they knew that we liked to go there.
We just couldn't adapt mid-game. Right now, we know what we need to do to win that game on Icebox, but we couldn't find a solution during the game.
They were retaking A by using the Viper wall and flashing with KAY/O through our Viper wall. After we planted the spike, we couldn't fall back and had to stay on-site in places like backsite, default, or top site. Whenever they would pop the KAY/O flash, we had to start trading. That was the biggest issue that we faced in attack.
We couldn't win enough rounds in attack. We won only four rounds in that half, even though we won the pistol round, so it was an awful attacking side from us. The game could've been different. They just had a perfect game plan that reflected changes with the new patch.
Q: Since the start of the VCT 2022 Stage 1 EMEA Challengers, G2 Esports has encountered several hurdles, persevering through each phase and eventually finding success in the form of a Masters qualification. How would you describe G2's efforts in the tournament?
pipsoN: Overall, I do think that we did well. We had a really rough time with the player changes, but we managed to overcome all of that and worked hard. In the end, the hard work paid off.
Q: G2 is one of the 3 EMEA teams to qualify for the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik. How excited are you for the tournament, and is there any particular team you would enjoy playing?
pipsoN: We are really excited to play in Iceland. I don't have a team against which I want to play. We just want to play overall.
We have a plan, and we know what we need to work on before Iceland. There's still massive room for improvement, which must be done before the tournament starts. If you need to win this mega Valorant event, you need to play everyone.