The VCT LOCK//IN grand final between Fnatic and Loud, two of the biggest names in the international gaming scene, was met with a strong sense of expectation. It was not surprising that both teams had advanced to the championship because they both exhibited extraordinary talent and tenacity throughout the competition. The two teams squared off in a best-of-five series to decide the eventual victor, setting the stage for an epic struggle. The atmosphere was electrifying with viewers from all around the world tuning in to see the dramatic match between these two dominant teams.
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In this post-match analysis, we'll take a deeper look at the match's conclusion and analyze the crucial moments and noteworthy performances from both sides, which eventually determined the result. Let's get started with the thrilling grand final between Fnatic vs Loud right now.
The Pre Match Vibes
As the games were in Brazil, many anticipated a packed-out stadium with fans from all around the world. Going into the match Loud was the favorite. The Brazilian team had the fans as the 7th man into this final. And we knew they’d be cheering for every kill and flank they spotted.
Fnatic was the overarching enemy in this storyline. Having defeated all the giants of North America and Europe, they had to win just one more game. The title of “chokers” has been looming over their head for far too long. And tonight, they wanted to go away with the trophy and prove everyone wrong.
Map 1: Ascent
Ascent is one of those maps in the game where we get to see multiple styles of play on attack and defense. Immediately the fireworks were put on a halt due to Fnatic going guns out. Winning their defensive half comfortably; 8-4 in their favor. A majority of their rounds they won by killing each member of Loud before the plant. While Loud won each round by taking down Fnatic’s players before the plant. This was telling of the fact that both teams didn’t shy away from aim duels on this first map. Leo "Leo" Jannesson was ready for this map, made all the more obvious by his percentage of headshots — 34%.
We also got to see a taste of Fnatic’s willpower to push forward. But the momentum wasn’t on their side after losing the first 2 rounds of the attacking half. Fnatic realized they needed to flick the switch—and they did— winning the next three rounds allowed them a good enough cushion to slow down the pace. Loud tried to mount a comeback but Leo and Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov had other ideas, pushing Fnatic on to win the first map 13-8.
Map 2 Fracture
While Fracture seemed to begin in the same manner the first map did, with Fnatic not holding back and pushing hard, on the bonus round Loud came in clutch.Cauan "cauanzin" Pereira and Leo got 3 kills each, but the round went in favor of Loud with the fans going bonkers. Alas, Loud couldn’t keep up the momentum, losing 2 maps in a row. In the first 5 rounds the first kill was taken by Fnatic. Resulting in a 4vs5 situation for the defense. Realizing this Loud started to play slow and try to keep the map advantage. With this shift in dynamic, things could go either way. Finally Loud realizing that they need to be more calculated, clawed back some more rounds ending the half at 6-6.
But what happened next was simply as incredible as it gets. Fnatic let it rip, bringing a barrage of utility to the field. As a result, they were able to put immense pressure on Loud from the outset. This pressure was one of the major reasons why Loud couldn’t mount a comeback. The map ending 13-7 to Fnatic. Giving Fnatic a 2-0 lead before the third map. Leo was unstoppable once again, this time on Fade getting a total of 23 kills on the map. While averaging a headshot of 31%.
Map 3 Split
Split has been quite the hyped map for fans since its return to the game. But in Brazil, it was the map which would either end the run of the home team, Loud, or send Fnatic to the airport. But despite the high stakes, the fans of Loud weren’t having any pessimism and started cheering on their team immediately. Each round they lost, the crowd picked them up again with their support.
And each round they won, and player they killed, were applauded and cheered with so much energy. It did seem as if the energy from the fans pushed the home team forward, with multiple players from Loud who were able to get 2 or 3 kills in each round. In this second half, it did seem to hit the players that it wasn’t over just yet. Giving them the drive to claw back, round after round. And preventing Fnatic from making their much-anticipated comeback. The Map ended with a score of 13-9 to Loud. One key player performance worth noting is Felipe "Less" Basso, from Loud; accumulating 24 kills and 5 assists while having a headshot percentage of 28%.
Map 4: Lotus
Fnatic felt the tide and the fans going against them. They realized that they needed to finish this game here. If they didn’t it would lead to the final map with Loud having all the momentum. Fnatic tried being calculative as well as aggressive on the defense, winning the first 3 rounds. And as they lost their bonus round, it seemed to be the end of Loud’s push. But neither the fans nor Loud gave up. Winning the eco round and following that with 5 rounds on the bounce, putting them in the lead and ending the half 7-5 to Loud.
Fnatic, worrying they might just be allowing history to rewrite itself, did their best on the attack to mount a comeback and win the map. They got the score to 7-7. Loud knew in that moment if they didn’t rise, the map was Fnatics for the taking. They kept their wits about them, round after round, they didn’t back down, delivering clutch rounds. And then, finally winning the Map 13-8, taking this BO5 to the final map of Icebox.
Map 5: Icebox
The stage was set, after 4 hours of watching Valorant everyone knew what could be coming next. The fans in the arena and worldwide were simply feeling the buzz and hype, no one was ready to leave their seats for this final map, which ironically was Icebox. Loud took advantage of their momentum from Lotus and, with their fans driving them on, started their attack. Firstly making sure they were planting the spike and ready to play on the post plant. While on the attack nearly every player on their team got 3k in a given round. The first half ended 9-3 in the favor of Loud, and everyone was wondering two things. Would the 9-3 curse be in full force tonight? Or would Fnatic “choke” and allow history to repeat itself?
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For a time, it did seem like Fnatic had given it away, losing the first two rounds on attack with an 11-3 scoreline. Round 15 began and it was intense, with both teams on broken buys. Less got first pick and took down Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev, putting Fnatic at the disadvantage. Then More gunfights and 2 players from Loud and 3 from Fnatic’s side on the plant site. Each team went on to lose players leading to a 2v1 in favor of Fnatic. With the pressure on them and time ticking out they decide to rotate to the other plant site. Planting the spike and taking down Erick "aspas" Santos to keep their hopes and their fan's hopes alive.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing. Fnatic found a path each round to get the first pick played. With all of their players pulling themselves up to clutch each game. What’s more, each round Fnatic’s squad made sure to get two or more kills whenever possible; giving themselves the advantage on the post plant. Then finally, taking the map into overtime, and winning. Fnatic had done it, they had won their first trophy in Valorant. The fan scenes all around the world were amazing with everyone buzzing and congratulating both teams.
This BO5 showed how both teams are simply filled to the brim with talent, and have the elite mentality to face immense pressure. Fnatic are no doubt remembering Champions 2021. But this year, they weren’t the team who was flying back empty-handed.