After eight days of action at VALORANT Champions 2021, one of SEA’s representatives, as well as NA’s last hope have been sent home.
The VALORANT Champions playoffs have claimed its victims. Team Secret and Cloud9 were all sent home in the quarter-finals after defeats to Acend and Team Liquid, respectively, who will move on to the semi-finals.
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Team Secret’s backs were up against the wall from the outset as they faced the incumbent Masters champions of Gambit. The pressure, however, did not seem to influence the Filipino side, as they outclassed Gambit on Icebox despite an eventual 1-2 series defeat. They next faced an elimination match against Japan’s Crazy Raccoon, which they won in a 2-0 fashion.
Following that, the decider match versus Vikings, which was supposed to be one of the most equally matched matches of the tournament, turned out to be very one-sided, with Secret controlling the pace throughout the game, leaving little chance for the Brazilians to react. And with that victory, Team Secret became the first Southeast Asian team to qualify for the VALORANT Champions playoffs.
Their first playoff clash for the Filipino side was against the European mixture Acend. The EMEA representatives took an early lead and maintained an 8-4 lead at the half on Icebox. While Team Secret tried to claw their way back into the game, Acend were just too dominant, especially with an on-fire Mehmet Yaz “cNed” pek averaging a 345 ACS after Acend’s 13-8 map triumph.
Another straightforward match on Breeze for the Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi-led side, with them dominating the early game and completing the first half with another 8-4 advantage thanks to a stellar defense. They wasted no time completing the game 13-6 and advancing to the next round, thereby eliminating Team Secret from contention with a 5th-8th finish.
“We are really pleased to be here. Finally, we have time to show our FPS skills, the Filipino FPS skills, and I hope that next year it will continue.” JessieVash said in the post-match interview.
After Sentinels and Envy departed for the nearest airport, Cloud9 presented themselves as NA’s final opportunity to address why the region is and always one of the world’s most strong regions when it comes to VALORANT. However, A defeat to Fnatic in the first match of the group of death forced them to claw their way back. They sealed off a playoff berth after taking down FULL SENSE and narrowly defeating Vision Strikers.
In their first playoff match, they faced another EMEA representative, Team Liquid. The match was filled with ten former Counter-Strike players from two of the most prominent regions. However, Cloud9 were unable to shut both Bind and Ascent despite reaching double digits. Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom dominated the 2-0 series to Liquid (Bind 13-10, Ascent 13-11), averaging a 305 ACS and a 36% headshot percentage with Reyna – the highest on the server.
Eight action-packed days of VALORANT Champions matches have already taken place, and several teams are inching closer to the grand final, where a US$350,000 first-place prize is waiting for them. Fans should now set their eyes on the tournament’s second day of the playoffs, which starts on Dec. 10 at 1 AM SGT (UTC+8).
Cover photo courtesy of Michal Konkol/Riot Games