VALORANT Champions Istanbul update: Six teams remain in the playoffs

VALORANT Champions Istanbul playoffs bracket is on fire, Team Liquid and Leviatán are already gone and more will join them. Just like the Champions last year and Masters tournaments this year, it has been very hard to predict, and that makes this event even more entertaining to watch.

While Team Liquid stole a map from OpTic Gaming in the upper bracket, Leviatán sadly couldn’t win a single map against LOUD or FunPlus Phoenix and left the tournament early after leaving a great impression in the group stage. Latin American fans will have to root for LOUD the rest of the tournament.

Playoffs bracket so far

Champions Istanbul introduced a double-elimination bracket that wasn’t there for the first Champions tournament of VALORANT esports. Thus, the teams had a second chance for the first time ever. We are grateful for that, or we would lose four great teams in the first round.

A South American battle kicked off the playoffs bracket. Leviatán started with a 12-6 advantage over LOUD, but they just couldn’t take one more victory to win Icebox. Watching such a come back live on stage was amazing, and using that boost, LOUD won the second map on Haven too, sending Leviatán to the lower bracket.

DRX and FunPlus Phoenix, one tournament favourite from South Korea and one from the EMEA faced in the first round. On Ascent, the teams gave us one of the best matches in Istanbul so far and the longest map in an international tournament of VALORANT. After a 19-17 victory, DRX secured the second map too, and FPX has to make a lower bracket run once again.

Just like FPX vs DRX, OpTic vs TL was also one of the best matchups in my opinion. Team Liquid started with a victory, but yay, who we talked about earlier in an article, managed to pull his team back and take the 2-1 win. After an amazing start in group stage that made his K/D 1.80, yay followed up with three Chamber games with 69/40/10 K/D/A. His current K/D is 1.77, an unmatched number.

Finally, XSET and Fnatic finished the first round of VALORANT Champions 2022. My expectation was a close Fnatic win, but XSET managed to prove me wrong for the second time after the group stage. Crushing down their European opponents with Cryocells’ unstoppable performance, XSET started with a 2-0 win.

We headed down to the lower bracket after that, where FunPlus Phoenix faced Leviatán in the first game. Sadly, Leviatán’s poor form after the 12-6 comeback continued, and they just couldn’t offer a competition against FPX for the most part of the series. Even though Ascent ended 13-11, FPX were confident. It was sad to see Leviatán go after such an amazing start that proved me wrong about them, and I can’t wait to see them next year.

Fnatic faced their EMEA opponents Team Liquid in the second match of the lower bracket. All EMEA teams were dropped into the lower bracket after the first results, meaning that they will have to take down each other at some point. Fnatic had no mercy for TL though. 13-6 on Bind and 13-7 on Haven, Fnatic proved that they do not belong in the lower bracket.

The upper bracket semi-finals will be played, the losers will drop to the lower bracket and we will have a small break until the final weekend. A live audience will be present for all of the matches, and Turkish fans delivered amazingly so far. Make sure to watch the games and follow up with the latest news, and you can do just that on Luckbox. Sign up now to claim your 100% bonus before placing your bets.

Four matches before the finals

Check out the remaining schedule:

September 12, Monday
DRX (1.58) vs LOUD (2.25) - 16:00 CEST
OpTic Gaming (1.52) vs XSET (2.40) - 19:00 CEST

September 13, Tuesday
DRX/LOUD vs Fnatic - 19:00 CEST

We will witness two great matches today with similar features. First of all, no EMEA team is here, after they were considered the favourite region to win the tournament. Secondly, both matches have a favourite, DRX and OpTic Gaming. However, both of their rivals have shown that they are no easy target, and could take you down if you fail to acknowledge their strength.

Against LOUD, my favourite is definitely DRX. Still, the South Koreans disappointed us in Masters tournaments in 2022, and I can see some scenarios where they repeat that. LOUD is an interestingly strong-minded team, and DRX didn’t lose a single map since they entered Istanbul. An unexpected come back might put DRX in a hole that they can’t pull themselves out of.

OpTic Gaming will face XSET, their North American rivals. OpTic’s primary advantage will be yay’s amazing performance obviously, but XSET played against him more than any other team in Champions. If there is an answer to yay, XSET should know that. However, if they underestimate yay’s performance, they are just another target to take down for OPTC.