This weekend saw the culmination of a miracle playoff run and the latest chapter in the best rivalry in VALORANT’s young competitive scene. Let’s get to it.

Winner: Schalke 04 Esports

Who’d have thought? Schalke 04 Esports qualified for the League of Legends European Championship Summer Playoffs in one of the most surprising end-of-split runs of all time. The team turned a corner in the back half of the season, led by the likes of jungler Berk “Gilius” Demir, and beat the odds. After Week 7, only 9.7% of more than 3,000 scenarios had Schalke making the playoffs.

This weekend Schalke bested Fnatic and Team Vitality, but most surprisingly, MAD Lions — a consistent top-two team throughout the entirety of the split. Schalke’s end-of-season run left them with a 8-10 record, tied with Excel Esports but above them in the standings on technicality.

After the qualification, G2 Esports CEO Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago tweeted screenshots of private messages between him and Gilius from last summer, where Gilius asked him for advice on how to get back into the pro scene. Gilius played for Gamers2 earlier in his career but in the years since, became known for a difficult-to-work-with reputation — something he told ocelote he was trying to
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