North American First Strike Day 3 – The Grand Final is set between TSM and 100T
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
12/6/2020, 1:58:25 AM
The North American First Strike tournament has completed Day 3. Day 3 offered the semifinals portion of the bracket. Powerhouse squads like Team SoloMid (TSM), Team Envy (NV), 100 Thieves, and Sentinels were ready to scratch and claw their way to the grand finals. Only two teams were able to advance, however.
Ascent started with NV defending and TSM attacking. NV was able to pull ahead and defend well on the first two rounds. TSM quickly answered back. Matthew “Wardell” Yu baited a flash and was able to take out Jake “kaboose” McDonald. This set off the chain of events that lead to TSM’s first round. Kaboose would bounce back with a 3k to prevent the tie up. Then the next round, he shut down TSM with another 3k. The plays just kept coming with Stephen “reltuC” Cutler and Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik dominating Team Envy in a Thrifty round. Things then began to go a bit back and forth. The first half ended all tied up 6:6.
Switching sides saw Team Envy quickly get the Spike down, leaving TSM for a retake. TSM handled it well and continued to defend well. A huge round came in for Team Envy, but TSM did not let that slow down their momentum. James “hazed” Cobb would be vital in the TSM defensive plan, preventing any sort of break through that Team Envy was looking for. Match point came at 12:7. Taylor “drone” Johnson started the final round with a big set of kills. That would push TSM to the finish line, ending the map 13:7.
Right off the bat, Team Envy took over B Site and sent TSM into the alley. It was a decisive first round victory. The second round was just as dominant. TSM were able to stop an early deficit behind Wardell’s Operator, however. Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik kept up the TSM flurry with a solid 3k and an Op save. TSM did everything they could to keep Team Envy from closing in. Subroza really did not want to give any room for Team Envy to catch up. His name popped up in the kill feed constantly. TSM took things to the second half 9:3.
Team Envy is known for their incredible defense on Split. They started off by proving that statement true. Anthony “mummAy” DiPaolo had a crazy play, updrafting and dashing onto the site before clearing it and defusing the Spike. Things did not continue trending up for them, however. Subroza unleashed a new form of aggressiveness. He would end Split with a KDA of 23/13/2. That led TSM to a second dominating victory of 13:5. This locked in their spot for the North American First Strike Grand Final.
Before Icebox began, Spencer “Hiko” Martin baited everyone into thinking he would pick Viper. Instead, he switched last minute to his trademark Sova and the map begun. Sentinels immediately went to work with a quick two rounds. The gun rounds began and Sentinels continued attacking efficiently. Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan went to town with the Operator. Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk got tired of losing and took out four members of Sentinels for 100 Thieves’ first round. Things continued well for 100T, seeing a Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella 3k with the Operator. 100T would end up taking the lead at the half 7:5.
Hiko immediately showed off with a 4k on the second half pistol round. 100 Thieves kept rolling, dismantling Sentinels and forcing a lesser economy. Sentinels were finally able to fight their way to a round win, decreasing the gap to three. Joshua “steel” Nissan put a quick stop to that with a beautiful 3k. Jared “zombs” Gitlin would go on a rampage clearing the site for a defuse, but was shut down by Hiko during the 1v1. Sentinels would start to fight back and put together a solid handful of rounds. ShahZaM and zombs were able give their team the push they needed to tie things up 11:11. Things would go to 12:11 in Sentinels’ favor after a wild Hunter “SicK” Mims 3k.
This match saw overtime rounds for the first time during the North American First Strike event. A 3k by nitr0 started 100 Thieves off on the right foot during overtime. Asuna started off the second overtime round with a pair of quick kills. That would set 100 Thieves up for a massive victory. 100 Thieves took Icebox in a wild match up 14:12.
100 Thieves would start Haven very aggressively. The second round saw Asuna roll out with a Phantom and lead the team to a Flawless round. Sentinels were able to react after a full save in order to take a round before things got out of hand. Naturally, things would then start to get out of hand. 100 Thieves continued their assault. Compared to their match against T1, 100T played their attacking side exponentially better. SicK would finally push things forward for Sentinels with a disgusting 4k. Sentinels managed to actually close the gap going into the second half, 6:6.
The pistol round was all 100T. The next round looked great for Sentinels, but a 3k by Hiko pushed them back and allowed for a defuse. A massive clutch to end a 4k round by zombs kept Sentinels alive. ShahZaM would force his way onto A Site and take control, keeping the momentum going for his team. SEN would tie the round count at 9:9 with an incredible performance from the entire team. Then came the lead of 10:9. SicK stepped up big in the final rounds. Sentinels forced a third map with a 13:9 victory.
The first map three of the entire North American First Strike event started intensely. Sentinels looked to have the first round in the bag, but steel began taking them out. Thankfully, he was shut down and the pistol round went in their favor. It appeared like Sentinel would pull way ahead, but nitr0 put 100 Thieves on the board early with a solid execution to retake B and defuse. The rounds were then tied after steel put together a nasty 3k with some hip-fire Guardian shots. Sentinels would pick things up with a tricky Ace from dapr to take back the lead. 100 Thieves just stayed on their tail, however. They pushed ahead with a crazy clutch from nitr0 and would end the half ahead 8:5.
100 Thieves lost the pistol round, but immediately turned things around on the next. They shut down a clutch attempt by zombs. A clutch for 100 Thieves then came in from steel in a round he should have never won. Trading clutches, zombs finally got his after being denied a couple of rounds earlier. Sentinels built a solid eco after stringing some rounds together. Sinatraa avoided a Hunter’s Fury, placed a beautiful Curveball, and managed to prevent Asuna and Hiko from taking another step toward the Grand Final. It was not enough, however. 100 Thieves would persevere and wrap up Bind 13:9.
The Grand Final of the North American First Strike tournament is set. 100 Thieves will be looking to defeat Team SoloMid and be crowned the victor. TSM is a different beast than any other team in North American Valorant. It is going to be a fantastic match with all eyes in the Valorant scene fully glued to it.
Stay tuned to Run It Back for our final rush of player interviews and coverage of the Grand Finals of First Strike!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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