VALORANT Champions Istanbul: the cancelled round

The first phase of the playoffs at VALORANT Champions Istanbul is over, and a cancelled round left a mark on the tournament. Approximately one hour after the FunPlus Phoenix vs XSET match was over, Riot Games decided that a bug occurred in the last round of the last map and decided that it should be replayed.

Champions 2022 will finish this weekend on September 16-17-18 with the final four matches with the remaining teams. The winner will lift the most important trophy of VALORANT esports, and make history. Let’s take a look at what happened yesterday and what is waiting for us this weekend.

FunPlus Phoenix vs XSET

Last night, the last game of Champions Istanbul before the final four was played between FunPlus Phoenix and XSET. After two close maps, the series was decided on Ascent, where FPX won the map 13-11 with a heroic performance. It was after midnight in Turkish time and some of the Riot Games staff started to leave the venue. However, some press members were still present when they heard some unfortunate yet exciting news.

The last round of the Ascent would be repeated, due to a Killjoy turret bug which led to XSET thinking that FPX members were hiding somewhere they weren’t. According to some people in vlr.gg, another Sova arrow bug also occurred during the round. Thus, Riot Games took the hard decision to repeat the round.

XSET won the round this time and took the game to overtime. Six rounds of overtime once again decided FPX as the winner of the series, which probably was a relief for Riot Games. VALORANT esports fans on Twitter and many players were shocked at the decision to repeat the round, mainly because there are lots of bugs that always happen in VALORANT. If XSET won, fans would have started a riot on social media.

Nonetheless, FunPlus Phoenix won the series at around 2:30 in the night. It will most likely be the most unforgettable moment in Champions Istanbul, one that will be discussed for months to come, especially whenever a minor bug happens in one of the games. Riot Games might have to issue a more detailed explanation in the future.

On the other side of the bracket, LOUD stopped the undefeated DRX 2-0 after another comeback, just like the one they pulled against Leviatán. Following that, DRX broke the curse of finishing 5th-6th in every single international tournament they attended this year by defeating Alfajer’s Fnatic 2-1 in one of the best series in the tournament. Check out the highlights:

LOUD and OpTic Gaming are alive and well in the upper bracket after OpTic’s win over XSET in the North American derby. FPX will face DRX on Friday to decide which team stays alive for the weekend. You can find live streams on Luckbox to keep track of the games. Make sure to sign up now to grab your 100% bonus before placing your bets.

Schedule for the weekend

Check out the schedule below:

September 16, Friday
LOUD (2.10) vs OpTic Gaming (1.65) - 16:00 CEST
FunPlus Phoenix vs DRX - 19:00 CEST

The matches on Friday will be played in best-of-three formats, and after that, we will witness the best-of-five series on the weekend.

LOUD vs OpTic Gaming turned into an unexpected rivalry, as they have faced each other four times in the past and LOUD could win only a single time. The Brazilians defied all expectations and secured a top three finish in Istanbul, but defeating OpTic Gaming is their toughest task yet. If they can keep their cool attitude against the North American monsters, they are my favourite for winning the whole thing.

FPX will face DRX in the lower bracket, and in my opinion, this is the last stop for DRX. Although they totally deserved to be here after disappointing results in Masters tournaments this year, I just think that with two days of break and the morale boost after the game against XSET, FPX’s chances look better than DRX. It’s a shame to lose one of these teams before the grand final, but there are lots of great teams here in Istanbul.

After FPX vs DRX, the winner will face the loser of LOUD vs OpTic in the lower bracket final on September 17, 16:00 CEST. The winner of that best-of-five will take their chances against the winner of LOUD vs OpTic in the grand final on September 18, 16:00 CEST. The grand final will be played with a live audience present, making it one of the most historical moments in VALORANT esports already.