We're now two weeks into the first Valorant event of 2022, as storylines begin to take shape and we start to ask the question: who will be at the top of the EMEA heap at the end of the year.
There's still a lot of Valorant left to be played, but the landscape is developing. This week, we saw some teams struggle, others dominate, and more upsets than we've seen elsewhere in the competition.
Let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from last week's EMEA group stage.
FPX making moves
We'll start with the most obvious storyline: FPX's upset win over Gambit to begin week 2.
Gambit, being Champions finalists, are considered one of the best teams in the world - reinforcing this belief with a 2-0 win over Liquid in week 1.
In this one, I'm giving all of the credit to FPX. Gambit brought a tough game and FPX held their ground; getting both of their wins in overtime.
With the hardest test behind them, FPX now faces LDN UTD, NAVI, and Team Liquid. They're expected to win at least two of those, which would secure a spot in the playoffs.
Can the underdogs make a run? Only time will tell.
Fnatic's return to the top?
From a stone-cold upset to a question about whether or not a team is for real.
Fnatic is now 2-0 in groups against G2 and BBL. Neither team is seen as a substantial threat, though, and Fnatic has aspirations of returning to Champions.
The Fnatic vs Acend matchup will be worth watching this week. We'll know more about both teams once that one wraps up.
Guild reloaded harder than almost any other team in the region ahead of the 2022 season, and it's already paying off.
After two close maps against reigning Champions winners, Acend, Guild put it away with a 13-4 slaughter on Fracture.
While it wasn't the biggest upset of the week, most analysts had Acend winning this one. So far, it looks like Guild's offseason rebuild is paying off.
Liquid struggles vs NAVI
Fan-favorite Team Liquid has been considered a top EMEA team for a long time - no matter who is in their starting roster.
Through two weeks, it's tough to gauge whether they'll remain at the top of the heap to begin 2022.
Liquid lost to Gambit in week 1, but you can't fault them too much for that. They looked to bounce back with a week 2 matchup with NAVI, but only beat them by a combined four rounds.
So, we have a classic question: is NAVI legit or did Liquid underperform? We'll see what NAVI can do against Gambit this week.
We still have three weeks left, but trends are beginning to develop? Will struggling teams pull it together or will the top dogs continue to dominate?
Here are the teams that I see making it out of the Group Stage this event.
1. Gambit: 4-1
2. FPX: 4-1
3. Liquid: 3-2
1. Fnatic: 4-1
2. Guild: 4-1
3. Acend: 3-2