No one could have expected that the rematch between XSET and FunPlus Phoenix would happen at Valorant Champions 2022.
While FPX eventually took the 2-1 win, they had to fight twice for it. A Killjoy turret glitch undid the FPX’s initial victory and forced a final round replay on Ascent – and for a moment it looked like the series could potentially have a different outcome.
By the time the match ended, it was past 2 a.m. in Istanbul, Turkey. Three additional rounds of overtime were also played, after XSET won the replay.
Emotions were clearly running high on FPX’s side. In a post-game press conference, FPX game leader Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov made it clear what he thinks – replaying rounds harms the competitive integrity of the game.
FunPlus Phoenix ANGE1: “We were all super angry”
On Lap 24, XSET’s Killjoy Turret went the wrong direction, meaning Rory “dephh” Jackson spent time holding A Heaven instead of looking in the direction where FPX was really coming from.
“I think there are a lot of bugs in any game. There’s a lot going on every game,” ANGE1 said. “It’s not the best idea to replay rounds, especially after the game, because then the teams will question all the bugs that have occurred in the history of Valorant.”
“Should the round be replayed or not? That’s why I was really angry about it.
At the same time, the several-hour gap between the end of the match and the replay meant that teams could have the opportunity to review gameplay footage or hold strategic discussions, although coach Don “Syyko” Muir has since confirmed that there is no possibility of doing so.
“I don’t think the round should have been replayed just because of the turret bug,” added FPX IGL. “It’s not our fault, we shouldn’t be involved in this.”
“I think it’s obvious to anyone watching that this bug isn’t something that big. From my perspective, it also ruins the competitive integrity of the game. With two hours between games, they could have watched the game again and understood what we were doing.
With their tournament lives on the line in the lower bracket, FPX was also understandably upset with Riot’s decision to replay the round. “We were all super mad,” ANGE1 said. “That anger gave us energy.”
Coach Erik “d00mbr0s” Sandgren also spoke about the difficulty of getting back into the right frame of mind after thinking the game was over.
“When you win a match, you let all your emotions run wild and your energy level goes down,” he said. “Having to go back and get back into the right mode, especially at that pivotal moment on the third map, is a really, really hard thing to do.”
FPX now moves on to a rematch with DRX on September 17 at 1:00 GMT+8 | September 13, 10:00 a.m. PT | September 13, 5:00 p.m. GMT.
The match will be broadcast live on the official Valorant Twitch and YouTube channels.
READ MORE: DRX MaKo v Fnatic: ‘They’re weaker than they were last year’