The 2021 Valorant Champions Tour is upon us, and this year’s tournament didn’t take long to heat up. With day four in the books, we recap the day’s games of the premier Valorant competitive event.
Gambit Esports (EMEA) vs Team Viking (BR)
After rumors of a possible COVID-19 outbreak among the players and an hour-long broadcast delay, Gambit Esports and Team Viking took to the stage for the first series of the day. The first map started poorly for Gambit as they found themselves behind 4-0. They quickly found their footing to finally take the first map with a score of 13-6. While the momentum was in Gambit’s favor, it was Team Viking that took over the game on Bind. The first half ended 8-4 for the Brazil representatives and they ended up tying the game at 1-1 after taking their map 13-5.
With both teams tied and the Vikings looking to pull off the major upset, Icebox would be the deciding map to figure out who would punch their tickets to the quarterfinal. Yet again, Team Viking dominated the first half and finished the first 12 rounds with a 9-3 lead, but things were far from being over for the Stage 3 Masters Berlin champions. Gambit’s Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov started the comeback by winning the first round of the second half. As time went on, the EMEA titans started to cruise past their opponents, forcing overtime. After winning nine rounds in a row, Gambit secured their place in the quarterfinals.
Sentinels (North America) vs Team Liquid (EMEA)
The second series of the day saw Sentinels take on Team Liquid in round 2 of North America vs EMEA at Valorant Champions. This series was not played at the normal venue because Liquid’s Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom had tested positive to COVID-19 a couple of days prior.
The first map of the game saw both teams take total control over their opponents, but in the end, Liquid took the point on Breeze. Liquid outperformed the NA team and found themselves on map point after 22 rounds, with a 12-10 lead. With their backs against the wall, Sentinels fought back. The first half saw some great individual performances, like when Sentinel’s Jared “zombs” Gitlin pulled off the magical 1v3 to put his team a round closer to tying. The rest of Sentinels rallied and forced the overtime, but Liquid went to secure map one regardless.
If the first map was a close battle between the two closely matched rivals, the second one was complete domination from Sentinels. The squad from North America ran through the opposition, dropping only two rounds on Bind. The Sentinels worked as a team, though their players showed bursts of spectacular individual talent. For example, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan went on multiple killing sprees on Sova, and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo won a 1v2 in the pistol round of the second half. In the end, Sentinels tied the series after a 13-2 victory.
With both teams ending up in a deadlock, they had no choice but to put the series on the line on Split. The teamwork from both teams shined during the first half of the game, and teams were tied at 6-6 after 12 rounds. Both teams fought fiercely and refused to give up an inch, but in the end, it was Liquid that ended up winning the final map and the series. On this final map Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom rose to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive KDA of 25/15/6.
With that win over Sentinels, Team Liquid joined their EMEA colleagues in the playoff section of the tournament. Fnatic and Gambit Esports locked in their spots by topping their groups. Both Team Viking and Sentinels still have a chance to make it out of the group stage of the 2021 Valorant Champions Tour by winning the lower bracket of their groups.