G2 Esports and Guild put on a VALORANT showcase on Saturday, July 10 in the lower bracket final of the VCT EU Stage Three Challengers One main event. In a thrilling five-map affair, G2 edged out Guild on Ascent to move on to Sunday’s grand final series against upper bracket winner Acend.
The matchup between Guild and G2 was a meeting of two EU VALORANT teams at very different points in their respective story arcs. Guild was rocking the same lineup they’d run with during the first two stages of VCT, with a group of players that were looking better and better as those stages progressed. G2, on the other hand, played with an almost entirely different roster compared to the one from the first two stages, where the former no. 1 team in all of Europe looked lost.
In the first two maps, each team decisively stole the other’s first map picks. On map one, G2’s pick of Bind, Guild’s first-half defense was nearly impenetrable. The lone difference in agent comps went Guild’s way, with Sayf’s Phoenix outperforming keloqz’s Skye. But G2 mirrored the dominant defensive start on Guild’s pick of Split, leading 10-2 at half-time and taking the map 13-6, with nukkye getting the upper hand over Yacine in a battle between Razes.
Maps three and four were drastically different from the first two. Both maps were exceptionally close, both went to overtime, and both were dominated by blistering attack sides rather than stalwart defense. But yet again, both teams lost their own map picks, as Guild recovered in OT from a second half collapse to steal G2’s pick of Haven, only for G2 to do almost the exact same thing on Guild’s pick of Icebox on the shoulders of a 31 kill game from mixwell on Viper. The decision to this wild series would have to come in the fifth and final map: Ascent.
G2 got off to a hot start on their attack side, following the lead of a deadly Battle-Sage performance by the former Heretic nukkye, but still only led 7-5 at the half. G2 won both the defensive pistol round and the bonus round two rounds later, however, effectively putting their foot on the gas and not letting up. They would have shut out Guild in the second half if not for an insane Leo 4k clutch, but G2 inevitably took the map 13-6 and won the series 3-2.
G2 and Acend will play another best-of-five on Sunday, starting at 8am CT. Acend, G2, Guild, and FunPlus Phoenix have all already secured their spots at the EMEA Challengers Playoffs in August.