After a long time in lockdown, Valorant will have its first international tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland. For EU teams especially the road to Reykjavík has been a long one.
Each EU team had to play through massive single-elimination qualifiers. The top 8 of these qualifiers then dumped into a Challenger’s tournaments filled to the brim with top esports teams and squads full of hidden talent. Making it to the finals of one of the two stacked Challenger brackets then earned you a spot at one final regional tournament: the EMEA Finals.
The EMEA Finals featured the top EU, CIS, and Turkish teams in one bracket - making it one of the most competitive Valorant tournaments in history. Reach the Finals of this bracket, and you finally make it to Reykjavík.
The path to the top is brutal and unforgiving but for Fnatic, it’s one of the best stories the org has seen in the past two years. Before they signed with Fnatic, this team was SUMN FC. Under that name, the squad became renowned for their tactical brilliance. In particular, they pushed the early round more than most teams in Europe. On defense especially, they racked up rounds by stepping forward and seizing space when the enemy least expected it.
Their trademark tactics brought them consistently to the top, where they’d bring the best European teams to the brink on repeat. They made Finals in First Strike Europe, breaking down a powerful FPX squad and very nearly bringing a red hot Team Heretics to game 5 in the Finals. At Homeground, they reached the Semifinals and took a resurgent Team Liquid to the final map.
Though SUMN FC kept falling just shy of the top, they still regularly out-placed major organizations as an un-sponsored squad. They weren’t the best in EU but they weren’t far from it.
Particularly, Boaster and Doma began to stand out. Brilliant with utility and one of the best IGLs in the nascent game, Boaster became well-known for his calls, clutches, and energetic personality. Brimming with raw FPS talent and always capable of pulling off insane duels and hitting hard shots, Doma is a classic young gun. He’s the team’s main fragger and carry. Mistic too became known for his insane skill with Viper, an agent who’s recently been buffed to near must-pick power. He remains a major support and utility-expert on the team.
When Fnatic signed SUMN in February 2021, the team looked poised to break into the top rung they’d constantly circled around. Boaster’s brain, Doma’s firepower, the entire squad’s cohesiveness - it should all have been enhanced by the resources that come with sponsors and salaries.