Fnatic win first major Valorant trophy with victory at VCT Lock In
15 March 2023
The Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Lock In LAN event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was always going to be a spectacular affair, but few will have predicted a run like that of Fnatic. The London-based esports organisation, one of the most recognisable names in esports in UK at the moment, dominated from the get-go, but needed some real magic to come out on top in the grand final as well. Since entering the international Valorant scene back in February 2021, the VCT Lock In victory resulted in the first major international Valorant success for Fnatic, on top of $ 100.000 worth of prize money.
Perfect record for Fnatic
The latest Valorant Champions Tour Lock In event in Brazil was played from February 13th 2023 to March 4th 2023, and Fnatic showed they meant business from minute one. A total of 32 teams qualified for the tournament and the British organisation faced its first opponent, Sentinels from the United States, on February 24th. Fnatic dispatched of the Americans with relative ease, beating them 0-2, before going on an impressive undefeated run. Not only that, but the team did not even lose a single map on their way to the grand final.
In the Round of 16, Fnatic dealt with Brazilian esports organisation FURIA Esports by defeating them 2-0. In the next round, the quarterfinals of the VCT in Sao Paulo, they faced another American side, Cleveland Cavaliers-owned 100 Thieves, and another 2-0 victory followed. The 1-13 thrashing on the first map (Fracture) was particularly spectacular. The semi-finals pitched Fnatic against Ukrainian esports organisation Natus Vincere and despite the change to a best-of-5 format, the Brits maintained their perfect record: 11-13 victory on Haven, 4-13 victory on Lotus, and 11-13 on Fracture.
Crazy comeback in the grand final
The grand final of the Valorant Champions Tour Lock In in Sao Paulo was between Fnatic and home team LOUD. While the Brazilians were impressive in their own right on the way to the final encounter, the perfect record of Fnatic meant the UK esports organisation was favourite for the trophy. They certainly lived up to those expectations, winning the first two maps relatively easily (Ascent and Fracture), but what followed was nothing short of historical for Valorant.
On map three (Split), Fnatic lost their first map of the tournament, quickly followed by a second loss as well, on Lotus. This meant it was all coming down to the fifth and final map, which turned out to be Icebox. Against all odds, LOUD got off to an impressive start and were up 11 to 3 in no time. Just when it looked like the big favourites were letting glory (and $ 100.000) slip right from their fingers, something happened. Suddenly LOUD was no longer scoring points, while Fnatic ramped up the rhythm. The British team edged closer and closer, and unbelievably managed to decide the grand final in their favour: 14-12, after being 3-11 down. Incredible stuff for esports in the UK and European Valorant results in general, and a historical result for Fnatic as their amazing comeback won them their first-ever major Valorant trophy.