Just when you think you have the lay of the land in Valorant, teams come into a new year and completely turn everything on its head.
NA and EMEA are often considered the strongest regions in the game, with only a select few from other locations rising up to make some noise.
So far in the Masters 1 Group Stage, that hasn't been the case. We saw OpTic Gaming fall to the lower bracket after a 2-0 loss against XERXIA. Now, Fnatic has experienced the same fate against Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Fnatic, once considered one of the best teams in the world, is still a top EMEA contender. It's surprising to see them sent to the lower bracket in the first round.
Their real weakness, in this matchup, was attack. NIP's unorthodox style didn't mesh well with what Fnatic do best, and they had a hard time breaking through and holding sites in the post-plant.
Fnatic now faces the ZETA DIVISION, which should be light work. The latter just lost a blowout to DRX. At lest, Fnatic kept it close.
NIP now advance to face DRX with a chance to qualify for the playoffs.