FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #1 Leo Leo Jannesson Derke Nikita Sirmitev Boaster Jake Howlett Chronicle Timofey Khromov Alfajer Emir Ali Beder beat FUT Esports FUT Esports Europe Rank #7 MrFaliN Furkan Yeğen yetujey Eray Budak AtaKaptan Ata Tan cNed Mehmet Yağız İpek qRaxs Doğukan Balaban 3-1 in the lower bracket finals of the VCT EMEA 2024 Stage 1 playoffs. FUT will be the third seed from EMEA heading into Masters Shanghai, while Fnatic will have a rematch against Team Heretics Team Heretics Europe Rank #3 MiniBoo Dominykas Lukaševičius Wo0t Mert Alkan RieNs Enes Ecirli benjyfishy Benjy David Fish Boo Ričardas Lukaševičius in the regional grand finals.

The map veto began with Fnatic picking Icebox first, FUT picking Bind second, and Fnatic choosing Breeze third. FUT then picked Split, leaving Ascent as the potential final map.

FUT wins Icebox by stopping a big Fnatic comeback

Starting on Icebox, Fnatic were looking to make a statement on a map they had dominated on in the past, but the match began with FUT rolling over Fnatic on their attack side. FUT had the chance to face another Sage variation of the regular Icebox composition, and just like against Karmine Corp Karmine Corp Europe Rank #17 MAGNUM Martin Penkov tomaszy Tomás Machado N4RRATE Marshall Massey marteen Martin Pátek sh1n Ryad Ensaad the day before, got off to a hot start.

After winning the pistol round, FUT only lost their bonus round and the one afterward. Just like their regular season play, FUT built their playbook around getting Mehmet "cNed" Yağız İpek into great positions for his Jett to outduel his opponents. However, Fnatic entered the half down 9-3 and almost won the map.

The attack side of Fnatic matched the firepower of FUT, with Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev reminding everyone that this is one of his best maps. He challenged cNed in Jett duels, ending the map with eight kills on cNed while only dying to him six times.

Derke getting a 4K against FUT Esports on Icebox.

FUT were able to stop the comeback at the last moment with good retakes to secure the map 13-11, but it got too close for comfort considering the task that Fnatic had in front of them.

Bind was the only one-sided map of the series

When Bind began, it looked to be the first back-and-forth map of the series, but that was just the first half. Once again, cNed was the spearhead for FUT. He dropped 15 kills in the first half on Raze, while Jake "Boaster" Howlett was the one who kept Fnatic tied 6-6 heading into the half.

Then, when Fnatic went on attack, it was another masterclass. Just like Icebox, the team looked better coordinated to counter FUT when they pressed the advantage instead of defending against set plays around cNed. Where the first map was all about the duelists, Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov and Emir "Alfajer" Ali Beder stood out on Bind.

Chronicle and Alfajer clear out FUT to win Bind.

In the second half of Bind, Alfajer dropped eight kills with only one death on Viper. Fnatic were perfect on attack, closing the map out 13-6.

Breeze was the tightest map of the lower finals

For the first time in the series, a map went the distance without a team attempting a tough comeback. Breeze had the two teams run mirror compositions asides from their choices on duelist. FUT kept cNed on Jett while Fnatic ran Derke on Yoru, a more common pick now on Breeze.

FUT won the first pistol round, and it took a 1v2 clutch from Derke to win Fnatic their first round. Both teams entered the half tied 6-6, and FUT won their second pistol round of the map. Despite losing both pistol rounds, Fnatic kept the game close. It all came down to a crucial round, where Boaster clutched a tense post-plant to tie the series at 11-11.

Boaster wins a key round late into Breeze against FUT.

Fnatic used that round to keep their economy alive, and that was critical in their next two rounds to complete the map 13-11.

Split marked the second attempted comeback for Fnatic

FUT needed to come out hot to take the series to map five, and that was exactly what they did on Split. Going back to their Chamber pick, FUT started on defense and were able to counter the double duelist from Fnatic. While Alfajer on Raze did well across both sides, Derke struggled to get value as Yoru on his attack side. With FUT heading into the half up 8-4 and players like Furkan "MrFaliN" Yeğen and Doğukan "qRaxs" Balaban taking the fragging role off cNed, they then won the second pistol round.

Fnatic only won two pistol rounds out of eight attempts, and now needed to come back from a 10-4 deficit. Thankfully, Fnatic have that experience to do those comebacks, as we saw on Icebox earlier this series. They just needed to do it again, and the scenario looked dire when FUT won their first gun round to go up 11-6. Round by round, Fnatic crept up slowly but surely.

Just as it looked like FUT got hold of the map up 12-11, Derke won a one health clutch to take the map to overtime.

Derke wins a crucial fight on one health to take Split to overtime against FUT.

The momentum that was built from clawing back down 10-4 proved too much for FUT. Split ended 14-12, and the series was over. Fnatic beat FUT 3-1, but the match was much closer than a four-map series entails.

Fnatic will face Team Heretics in the regional grand finals on May 12.