FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #1 Leo Leo Jannesson Derke Nikita Sirmitev Boaster Jake Howlett Chronicle Timofey Khromov Alfajer Emir Ali Beder and Team Heretics Team Heretics Europe Rank #3 MiniBoo Dominykas Lukaševičius Wo0t Mert Alkan RieNs Enes Ecirli benjyfishy Benjy David Fish Boo Ričardas Lukaševičius have qualified for Masters Shanghai, defeating Karmine Corp Karmine Corp Europe Rank #17 MAGNUM Martin Penkov tomaszy Tomás Machado N4RRATE Marshall Massey marteen Martin Pátek sh1n Ryad Ensaad and FUT Esports FUT Esports Europe Rank #7 MrFaliN Furkan Yeğen yetujey Eray Budak AtaKaptan Ata Tan cNed Mehmet Yağız İpek qRaxs Doğukan Balaban in the VCT EMEA 2024 Stage 1 playoffs. This leaves one more international slot for KC and FUT to fight over in the lower bracket.

With this win, Fnatic are back in international play after missing out on Madrid. As for FUT, their rise to success in Stage 1 was mitigated by a Team Heretics squad who finally worked out the issues after adjusting their roster after Madrid.

Fnatic sweep Karmine Corp to get their revenge from Kickoff

Heading into the 2024 season, there was little reason to point to Fnatic losing to Karmine Corp back at the EMEA Kickoff. It happened nonetheless, and Fnatic took that as motivation to try harder in their rematch, sweeping KC to make it to Shanghai.

The map draft began with Fnatic picking Breeze and Karmine Corp picking Bind, leaving Lotus as the potential deciding map.

Map one started with KC hitting all their shots, which mattered on Breeze and its open sight lines more than most other maps. Running the double duelist with Jett and Yoru, it was Martin "marteen" Pátek that stood out with five first-kills and 13 kills at the half. KC were up 9-3, but nothing could foretell the attack half Fnatic would have. The double duelist proved tough on defense for KC, as Fnatic converted a pistol win into a bonus conversion. Leo "Leo" Jannesson, Emir "Alfajer" Ali Beder, and Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov all got over 11 kills each. The map ended 13-11 for Fnatic, with KC only winning two rounds all half.

Bind was a near mirror matchup, with the only difference between the two teams being their secondary controller choice. Much like Breeze, it was a battle of who could attack better. KC started on attack, going up 8-4 on more marteen entry kills and good teamwork with Tomás "tomaszy" Machado. Alas, when Fnatic got their attack side, it was another lead blown for KC and another near-perfect second half for Fnatic. KC only won one round, and Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev truly returned to form with 19 kills on the map. The map ended 13-9, completing the 2-0 sweep for the two-time international winners.

Fnatic will face Team Heretics in the upper finals on May 10, while Karmine Corp will have one more chance in the lower bracket finals to qualify for Masters Shanghai.

Team Heretics stop the momentum of FUT Esports

The second match of the day began with Team Heretics picking Lotus and FUT picking Split, leaving Sunset as the potential deciding map.

Lotus saw the return of the composition that FUT loved to run in Stage 1: no initiator, with Sage, Cypher, and Omen. Team Heretics ran Enes "RieNs" Ecirli on Breach, trying to use his stuns and flashes to counter the firepower of Mehmet "cNed" Yağız İpek and his Operator. A 6-6 half continued into a close map, with FUT and their Sage disrupting the planned setups of Team Heretics. It was a crucial timeout and some amazing shots from ReiNs swung the map for Heretics. The map ended 13-10, giving FUT their first loss on Lotus in Stage 1.

For Split, FUT decided to move cNed onto Chamber while Heretics kept their standard Split composition the same. Heretics started hot on defense after winning pistol and converting the bonus round. RieNs continued his form from map one, while the team stifled any plays that FUT threw their way. FUT did adapt with better post-plant setups, but Team Heretics kept the lead at 7-5. The second half began with FUT tying the map after winning pistol, taking a small late lead thanks to cNed's Operator.

cNed gets three crucial Operator kills late on Split.

Team Heretics took a crucial timeout and extended the map to overtime off of another key 4K from Benjy "benjyfishy" David Fish. Overtimes were traded, and the highlight of the game was when benjyfishy refused to lose with a second clutch 4K. Team Heretics took that momentum and clutched map two 15-13 to get the second 2-0 sweep of the day.

Team Heretics have qualified for Masters Shanghai and will face Fnatic in the upper bracket finals on May 10. FUT Esports will fight Karmine Corp for the final EMEA slot at Masters Shanghai.