Family ties takes front and center stage at the start of Valorant Champions 2023.

Team Liquid’s coach Emil “eMIL” Sandgren and Natus Vincere’s (NAVI) coach Erik “d00mbr0s” Sandgren, who are identical twin brothers, will compete against each other at the start of the group stage.

Last year, the siblings qualified for the Valorant world championship, but their teams did not meet during Champions 2022.

This year, Team Liquid and NAVI were placed in Group D, where they will kick off the Champions 2023 with their match as the opening game.

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EMIL and d00mbr0s will finally get their international VCT match at Valorant Champions 2023

Team Liquid's Emil "eMIL" Sandgren and Natus Vincere's Erik "d00mbr0s" Sandgren at Berlin, Germany: Taken during the VCT EMEA 2023 Week 6 Day 3 at Messe Berlin
Credit: Hara Amorós/Riot Games

During an interview with Run It Back before Champions last year, eMIL expressed his joy at the opportunity to get a victory against his own brother.

“People who know us know that we are very competitive, even about the small things. It would definitely be one of the biggest matches for me because I really, really want to beat him,” said eMIL.

While the siblings didn’t meet at Champions last year, it was d00mbr0s who had the better run, with FunPlus Phoenix finishing 4th place. Meanwhile, eMIL and Team Liquid ended their Champions 2022 campaign tied for 7th place.

The two siblings finally faced each other during the debut franchised VCT EMEA League in 2023. D00mbr0s got the better of his brother when NAVI won 2-0 against Team Liquid in Week 6 of the regular season.

Team Liquid wins inaugural VCT EMEA League championship with 3-1 victory over Fnatic
Credit: Riot Games

EMIL got his revenge a few weeks later when Team Liquid beat NAVI 2-0 in the upper bracket semifinals of the VCT EMEA League playoffs. They went on to win the VCT EMEA championship after upsetting favorites Fnatic 3-1 in the grand final.

The identical twin siblings are currently tied with one victory each in their heads-up matches.

In each group at Valorant Champions 2023, only two teams will advance to the playoffs among the four competing squads. Group D includes strong teams like DRX and last year’s Valorant Champions winner, LOUD.

The first match is set to take place on August 6, 12 p.m. PDT | 9 p.m. CEST | August 7, 3 a.m. GMT+8 | August 7, 4 a.m. JST. Fans can watch the match live on Riot Games’ official Twitch and YouTube channels.

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