The final EMEA slots in Masters Tokyo belong to FUT Esports FUT Esports Europe Rank #4 MrFaliN Furkan Yeğen AtaKaptan Ata Tan Muj Serhat Yüksel MOJJ Buğra Kiraz qRaxs Doğukan Balaban qw1 Konuralp Şahin and Natus Vincere Natus Vincere Europe Rank #5 ANGE1 Kyrylo Karasov Shao Andrey Kiprsky Zyppan Pontus Eek SUYGETSU Dmitry Ilyushin cNed Mehmet Yağız İpek , after a long and drawn-out VCT EMEA day saw Team Vitality Team Vitality Europe Rank #3 MOLSI Michał Łącki Destrian Tomas Linikas Twisten Karel Ašenbrener BONECOLD Santeri Sassi ceNder Jokūbas Labutis and Giants Gaming Giants Gaming Europe Rank #32 Fit1nho Adolfo Gallego nukkye Žygimantas Chmieliauskas hoody Aaro Peltokangas rhyme Emir Muminovic Cloud Kirill Nehozhin eliminated from the running.

Before FUT and Vitality, the first teams of the day, could even take the stage, nearly two and a half hours of delays plagued Messe Berlin. Riot Games' local servers cut out just prior to the start of the matches, forcing the on-site team to switch the matches to online servers and cancel interviews with press.

FUT celebrate on the VCT EMEA stage Photo by Hara Amorós/Riot Games/LVP

FUT Esports vs. Team Vitality (FUT 2-1)

The elimination bout between FUT and Vitality was the culmination of a 10 month-long war. These two rosters were first pitted against each other in August, for the VRL Finals' upper bracket. Those two later rematched in the final, which FUT won.

Since then, FUT and Vitality have only met once. Their Week 2 match in the VCT EMEA regular season ended as a relatively comfortable 2-0 win for the Turkish side.

Vitality's three wins on Split — and FUT's three losses — made the former pick the map. With no comp changes on either side, Vitality floated to a 4-1 lead to kick off the map. Some trades forced FUT into a 6-3 deficit, at which point they called a timeout. Even still, Vitality punched through and were up 8-4 by halftime.

The trademark Turkish aggressiveness came out on attack, as FUT went on a flawless streak on their way to match point. Eight straight rounds took them from a four-round deficit to a four-round lead at map point and, later, the 13-9 win.

After a flawless attack, FUT took a first win on what should not have been their map. qw1 and qRaxs were on top of things in the second half, sharing 23 total kills. The former also found first blood five times, putting him on top of the board at the end of the map with a 1.23 rating and just over 250 ACS.

They're so cute!

Heading into the second map of the series, Vitality were in a tight spot. FUT hadn't lost Haven this year — one of their many wins actually came against the bees (13-10) — while Vitality entered with only two spaced-out wins.

Vitality seemed unfazed by their own record, hopping in with a 7-1 lead boosted by solid performances from ceNder and Twisten . FUT chipped away in the closing stages of the half, but a 3K from Twisten gave his team yet another 8-4 lead at halftime. On defense, they seemed poised for a quick win and went 10-4 up.

But FUT were not done yet. In a recall of the first map, MOJJ 's men began chaining rounds and recovered to 10-8, a two-round deficit. Vitality had taken a timeout in the previous round, which they then used to climb to a 12-8 map point. MOJJ briefly delayed Vitality with a 3K, but MOLSI replied with his own three-piece to push the decision to Lotus.

Vitality's 13-9 win came off of a dominant trio: Destrian , Twisten, and ceNder all finished within 0.04 rating of each other. The first two shared the same rating, but Twisten accrued 50 more ACS by the end of the map. His four entry frags were still incomparable to qw1's seven — five of which were on defense.

Vitality players hug on the VCT EMEA stage Vitality's Haven was surprisingly locked down. (Photo by Hara Amorós/Riot Games/LVP)

The ticket to Tokyo would be awarded on Lotus, a map both teams have a shaky record on. Despite different comps, both teams also run the trio of Killjoy, Omen, and Viper. There were no changes in the comps, but something was different in FUT.

Still riding the comeback high from the first map, MrFaliN opened up Lotus with an ace. His team used that to climb to 5-1. Even after Vitality got two more points in, FUT seemed largely uncontested. MrFaliN threw himself into the spotlight again with a 3K, catapulting his team to an 8-3 lead. Vitality looked poised to take a fourth point, but AtaKaptan had other ideas.

Twisten took down four while flying into the C site, leaving AtaKaptan alone against Twisten and Destrian. Vitality dropped a 1v2 situation against FUT's lone player, putting them down 9-3. Vitality were able to secure three more rounds before FUT closed it out, but fate seemed skewed towards the Turkish side.

MOJJ won a defining and eye-squinting 1v1 against BONECOLD to reach match point and, while MOLSI was able to delay the win with a 3K, qRaxs took his own and only triple of the match to close it out in his team's favor 13-6.

With an uncharacteristically low performance from qw1 on Neon, but a compensative show from the rest of his team, FUT have reached Tokyo. They will be the second team to represent Turkey abroad, nearly two years after Papara SuperMassive Papara SuperMassive Europe Rank #14 sterben Emre Demirci CyderX Caner Demir Elite Efe Teber Burzzy Burak Özveren Celasun Emir Celasun Izzy Baran Yılmaz played Masters Berlin in 2021.

FUT's win is also a testament to the players' trust in each other and the organization's trust in the roster. By this time last year, FUT had just started the run that would take them to the VRL Finals trophy over Vitality. Now, 12 months later, they're at the top of the region.

"That was kind of close," said salah . Probably.

Natus Vincere vs. Giants Gaming (NAVI 2-0)

The second match of the day shouldn't have happened, according to many. Over 80% of pick ‘ems expected NAVI to win their opening playoffs match, and over 70% had Liquid winning this match.

Neither happened.

Instead, the second and fourth-best teams of the regular season were now facing each other for a Masters Tokyo ticket… or a ticket back home.

The first half of Pearl was scrappy, with both teams going back and forth all the way to a tied 6-6 half, where no team found any clear advantage. nukkye had a standout performance that gave his team several rounds by way of 13 kills in the first half alone, second to none in that half.

That chaos lasted until the score was 8-8, after both teams put in clutches and multikills. SUYGETSU found an Ace on B site that ramped up his team's lead, with two other points putting them at 11-8. hoody clutched against two to give Giants a ninth point, at which point NAVI closed it out 13-9.

The scrappy map concluded with the two Killjoy players, SUYGETSU and nukkye, atop their teams' boards. Shao just overtook the latter in rating thanks to his assists (six) and far fewer deaths (just 10 to nukkye's 17).

SUYGETSU on the VCT EMEA stage SUYGETSU had 23 kills on Pearl. (Photo by Hara Amorós/Riot Games/LVP)

Giants' Ascent pick was a curious one to see, as neither team had shown weaknesses on the map in EMEA. Their only loss (in five played) was to FUT, 14-12, in the first round of playoffs. NAVI's only loss (in four) came two months ago, to KOI in the opening round of the league.

Much like Pearl, most of the map was strewn in chaos. Giants managed a 3-1 start, but that was soon annulled. Their opponents brought it back to a leveled scoreline, after which nukkye won a 1v1 and NAVI took a timeout. Unlike the previous match, the half ended with NAVI glaringly on top, 8-4, after showy plays from several members.

Giants punched their way back in on defense, taking four 3Ks in the first four rounds of the half. A 1v2 from cNed gave his team a ninth point, but the map was eventually tied again at 9-9. He found three the following round, rallying his team to chain another three points, as Shao closed it out with a 3K that gave his team the 13-9.

With NAVI's scrappy win over Giants, they qualified for Masters Tokyo. The former FPX core will uphold their LAN streak, having qualified for every LAN since early 2022. Their lowest international placement in LANs attended was at the last iteration of Champions, where they placed fourth.

cNed and Zyppan hug on the VCT EMEA stage Back to the LAN grind. (Photo by Hara Amorós/Riot Games/LVP)

Looking Ahead

With all qualifying matches concluded, the next three days of competition will determine the seeding of the four EMEA teams heading to Japan. But more than that, these matches will also culminate with, on Sunday, the crowning of the first VCT EMEA champion of the partnered era.

Tomorrow's matches are: