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Road to Masters Reykjavík — Crazy Raccoon

Road to Masters Reykjavík — Crazy Raccoon

Gabriel Ionica

5/20/2021, 8:29:31 AM


The Valorant Champions Tour has been a crazy ride of upsets, victories, and heartbreaking losses. With countries and regions from all over the world looking to make a name for themselves at Masters Reykjavík, let’s take an in-depth look at the journey of Crazy Raccoon. The team that will represent Japan at Valorant’s first global LAN event.

Make sure to check out Liquid, Fnatic, Sentinels, Version1, and NUTURN, and their journey to the Masters Reykjavik to get all caught up before the event commences.

TWO COACHES COMING UP

Just a few days before their first crack at VCT, Crazy Raccoon brought in Young-bin “Twinkl” Lim and Yusuke “mun” Ota to coach the team. Twinkl had the most extensive coaching experience of the two, having been an Overwatch coach for O2 Blast and London Spitfire.

VCT Japan Stage 1 Challengers 2 Qualifier

Crazy Raccoon were a bit late to this party and completely missed out on the Challengers 1 Qualifier. That extra prep time and those two coaches seemed to work wonders for them though, as they swept the floor with their group, knocking out better-known teams like SCARZ and Northeption. A final 13:3 victory against SCARZ bumped them up to first place in Group D and earned them a spot at Challengers 2 main event.

VCT JAPAN STAGE 1: CHALLENGERS 2

Challengers 2 was more challenging than the qualifier, with Japan’s best teams fighting for a spot at Stage 1: Masters. Crazy Raccoon were dropped into Group B, alongside FAV Gaming, REJECT, and BLUE BEES.

Right off the bat, FAV Gaming slowed their roll with a tied 1:1 match and an overtime game on Haven. That was the last time a team would challenge their authority in this tournament.

BLUE BEES were an especially easy roll for Crazy Raccoon as they didn’t even let them make it to double digit rounds.

REJECT were Crazy Raccoon’s last victim in Stage 1: Challengers 2 and much like BLUE BEES, they felt the wrath. The trash pandas won Haven 13:9 and Ascent 13:7, boosting them to the top of their group once again.

Their overall second place made them one of the first teams to go to Masters and match against Absolute JUPITER, FIRST Gaming, and FAV Gaming.

VCT JAPAN STAGE 1 Masters

This was it, the big leagues. Only the absolute best teams in Japan made it this far and Crazy Raccoon were among them.

Their first match was against Lag Gaming and when compared to Crazy Raccoon, they really did lag behind. 2-0 was the name of the game once again and Crazy Raccoon moved on to FIRST Gaming.

The Japanese powerhouse continued their road to domination by easily knocking FIRST Gaming out of the way as well. The latter didn’t even stand a chance and fell to the lower bracket.

Their Upper Bracket Final match pitted Crazy Raccoon against Absolute JUPITER, the then-champions of Japan in Valorant. This was the first time that Crazy Raccoon stumbled. A devastating 0:2 sent them tumbling down into the Lower Bracket Final against REJECT. Even with hopes dashed, Crazy Raccoon still came out on top albeit with a much less dominant 2:1 victory.

That victory gave them a second chance at beating Absolute JUPITER in the Grand Final and boy did they beat them. The first map went down to the wire, but Crazy Raccoon took their first win against Absolute JUPITER on Bind. JUPITER seemed to fall asleep for the next two maps and Crazy Raccoon took notice. 13:4 on Ascent and 13:5 on Haven meant that Absolute JUPITER was sent packing with a disappointing 0:3 loss while Crazy Raccoon became the new champion of Japan.

The Champs Take it to Stage 2

For some reason, Crazy Raccoon were seeded into the bottom group at the Stage 2 Challengers 1 Qualifier. While that was obviously good news for them, it was terrible news for the other smaller teams. Let’s just say that Crazy Raccoon didn’t have much trouble making it past the qualifier and into Challengers 1.

Both, them and Absolute JUPITER, were placed in Group B next to two teams that were new to VCT Japan Challengers. Needless to say, the two giants decimated the poor newbies in an unrelenting series of 2-0 wins. In their group stage face-off match, Absolute JUPITER took their revenge against Crazy Raccoon for defeating them in Stage 1 Masters. Both of them ended up qualifying for Challengers Finals though, where they would face off for the last time before Masters Reykjavík.

Crazy Raccoon at the Finals

Challengers Finals, the final frontier. It was the last chance to make it to Masters Reykjavík and with Crazy Raccoon and Absolute JUPITER in the lead.

Crazy Raccoon had REJECT to move out of the way, which they did much more easily than in the Stage 1 Masters Lower Bracket Final. Next up were the newcomers of Northeption. Despite being new additions to the VCT roster, they gave Crazy Raccoon a bit of a run for their money on Ascent in overtime. That short burst of victory wasn’t enough to topple the Crazy Raccoon tower, and the latter moved past them to face Absolute JUPITER.

The titans clashed yet again. The last time we saw these two in the Upper Bracket, Absolute JUPITER held on to their crown for a short while. That didn’t happen this time though, and even a loss on Haven couldn’t break their focus. The scenario flipped on its head and Absolute JUPITER were the ones to defeat REJECT 2:1 in the Lower Bracket Final this time.

In the last best-of-five of Challengers Finals, Crazy Raccoon were out to take down Absolute JUPITER yet again. JUPITER had more to say than in the two teams’ last match-up and a win on Bind made sure they didn’t fall 0:3 again. Their 1:3 loss was less embarrassing but it still meant that Crazy Raccoon will represent Japan at Masters Reykjavík and Absolute JUPITER were left without the crown they once held.

Much like South Korea’s NUTURN, Crazy Raccoon despite not being the favorite, qualified for Masters Reykjavik. They will be the ones to represent Japan on the first ever international Valorant stage in Iceland.

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5/20/2021

Gabriel Ionica

Not-yet-famous esports writer. Started out with CS:GO but now I write about Valorant too. Check out my article backlog on Twitter!