Fnatic are the first team in the VCT Champions playoffs
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Fnatic have beaten Vision Strikers 2-1, becoming the first team to secure a playoff berth at VALORANT Champions 2021. They come out of Group D as the first seed. Vision Strikers will play the winner of the match between Cloud9 and FULL SENSE, which takes place at 3:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 5, to determine who will take the second slot.

Many counted Fnatic out early as they’d been placed in one of the most difficult groups at VCT Champions. The international roster proved their doubters wrong by taking down two tournament favorites in Cloud9 and Vision Strikers on their way to playoff qualification. Fnatic also provided a definitive answer to some light-hearted trash talk that Vision Strikers’ player Kim “stax” Gu-taek supplied in an interview after their match with FULL SENSE.

“That’s what I was telling the boys,” Fnatic’s in-game leader, Jake “Boaster” Howlett, said in the post-match interview. “The reason why it’s the Group of Death is because we’re in it.”

Fnatic’s map pick of Icebox went their way in 13-10 fashion. Haven also ended 13-10, this time for Vision Strikers. Map 3 saw Fracture played for the second time at VCT Champions. Unlike the previous two battles, Fracture went more smoothly for the team from the Europe, Middle East and Africa league. The final score was 13-6 for Fnatic, the second time the team has won on the map.

“Vision Strikers said, ‘We’ll beat anyone on Fracture,'” Boaster said. “Well we don’t mind Fracture, we quite like it.”

Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, Fnatic’s Duelist player, laid down 61 kills on 275 Average Combat Score over the series. The Finn showed complete dominance on Fracture, where Fnatic made a resounding case for being one of the best teams on the new map.

“Derke is a LANimal right now and he’s popping off,” Boaster said.

Fnatic are now through to the quarter finals, which begin on Dec. 8.

Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.