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The Red Bull Home Ground Grand Finals came to a thrilling conclusion today as Fnatic emerged victorious with a 3-2 victory over Cloud9. The professional VALORANT Invitational tournament saw a closely fought finale, with Cloud9 starting strong but unable to stop Fnatic’s momentum as they upped their game round by round, handing the US team their second straight 2nd place finish, as the Red Bull Home Ground trophy returns to EU.

The teams put on a spectacular show for fans viewing online as well as attendees at the legendary Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Since Friday, the eight attending teams have been battling it out for a place in the Grand Final, where Cloud9 and Fnatic today went head to head in a best-of-five showdown to crown the winner.

In the Group Stages on Friday both Fnatic and FUT Esports put in dominant performances, going 2-0 and immediately qualifying for the Semi-Finals. In the first round, FUT Esports had an especially dominant match against defending champs 100 Thieves, handily defeating them 13-3 and showing the world they didn’t just come to play, but came to win. Local fans may have been disappointed that two of the three hometown Japan teams, SCARZ and Fennel, were knocked out in the Group Stages, with Cloud9, DRX, 100 Thieves and ZETA Division progressing to the Saturday Playoffs.

The Playoffs began with a dominant 2-0 victory for DRX over 100 Thieves, meaning a new champ would be crowned at this Red Bull Home Ground. Cloud9 vs ZETA Division was a much closer affair, with ZETA taking the first map before a strong turnaround from Cloud9 allowed them to take the following two maps and the victory. They continued their strong performance in the Semi-Finals, taking a 2-1 win over FUT Esports, the top team in the Friday Group Stages. On the other side of the bracket Fnatic took no prisoners with DRX, only allowing them to win 7 rounds across two maps as they moved onto the Grand Final.

The final stage of the competition saw Cloud9 face Fnatic in a 5 map drama that had the audience on the edge of their seat. Fnatic took the first map, before dropping the next two and looking like they would hand the victory to Cloud9. However, a strong performance on Lotus levelled the score, with all to play for on the final battleground Haven. In the final map, Fnatic took an early lead and never looked back, ending the show with a 13-5 win.

Following an outstanding performance throughout the tournament, newly-crowned Red Bull Home Ground Champion Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev commented “I’m feeling really good as we’ve won here twice now. I’m really happy with everyone, the boys, everyone in the team and the staff for supporting us. Having a great match today, we played seven maps and it was really hard, but we came out on top.”

The tournament was hosted by VALORANT personalities Iain Chambers and Adam Savage, supported by a team of expert commentators, including Tom ‘Tombizz’ Bissmire, Mitch ‘MitchMan’ McBride, Seth ‘Achilios’ King, and Clinton ‘Paperthin’ Bader.

By Zoltan Tundik

Zoltán Tűndik-Kiszner-Szilágyi is the Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at Hipther Agency, parent brand of WireUp, European Gaming, PICANTE, and Gaming Americas. Zoltán is a self-taught publisher and events organizer who has developed several brands and services that have increased the notoriety of his company within several multi-billion industries. Among the developed brands and services you can find online news portals that cover several tech industries, gaming, blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence, and more. In parallel, the company has built a portfolio of annually organized boutique-style conferences in Europe and North America. All the events organized by his company focus on bringing a wealth of information about the latest innovation in several industries such as Entertainment, Technology, Gaming and Gambling, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Quantum Technology, Legal Cannabis, Health and Lifestyle, VR/AR, eSports and many more.