Road to Masters Reykjavík — NUTURN Gaming
5/19/2021, 12:26:34 PM
Korea had some of the biggest upsets in all of the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) regions. We can’t say too much without giving all of the details away so let’s just dive straight into NUTURN Gaming’s grand journey to VCT Masters Reykjavík.
NUTURN Gaming’s first VCT appearance was in the Stage 1 Challengers 1 Qualifier. Their group stage run was surprisingly solid and they placed 2nd, right below Vision Strikers. Unfortunately, their record was not as good as that of other teams in the qualifier and they were cut just short of actually making it to Challengers 1.
They tried their hand again in the Challengers 2 Qualifier where they pulled off a flawless sweep against Lunatic-hai and Kumiho Esports and qualified to Challengers 2.
NUTURN’s Stage 1: Challengers 2 group once more included the famous Vision Strikers. World Game Star didn’t prove to be an issue to NUTURN, but once they played against ZFGaming, things started going downhill and NUTURN lost Bind in overtime.
Vision Strikers had a bit of a foreshadowing in their match against NUTURN as they only won one match out of the two that they played. That was enough for NUTURN Gaming to place third which sent them straight to Masters alongside Vision Strikers, Team MUYAHO, and APE Prince.
The Masters stage looked a lot like Challengers 2, with Vision Strikers and NUTURN Gaming in the same group. As usual, the hard times didn’t come until they played against Vision Strikers. NUTURN took another map away from them, showing that they have what it takes to keep up with the champs. A 2:2 record was all they needed though, and the newbie Korean squad entered the playoffs.
There, they faced the former BearClaw Gaming roster that was dropped due to an eventual lack of funding. Team MUYAHO squared off against NUTURN in the semifinal. Kim “lakia” Jong-min’s side dealth with the organization-less MUYAHO team swiftly with a 2-0 to advance to the grand final of Stage 1: Masters Korea.
Naturally, Vision Strikers were destined to be their opponent. The best-of-five final saw the teams trade maps all the way to map five, the decider. There, Vision Strikers swiftly dealt with NUTURN after a 13:3 sweep on Ascent, bringing a well-deserved victory to Vision Strikers.
Although it was VS that took the win, NUTURN showed the world that it had what it takes to be the best team in the region. And, as we all know, NUTURN only got better from then on.
Unlike Japan, Korea used groups in the Challengers as well (named the Preliminary Round). NUTURN and Vision Strikers were in separate groups so they each had different teams to worry about. NUTURN as well as Vision Strikers both had a clean run in the Preliminary Round to come out on top in their respective groups. This led them to enter the Group Stage of the main event.
That is when a massive upset happened. Vision Strikers’ Winners’ Match against F4Q ended a world record run in Valorant. Vision Strikers lost their first match ever to a team that had no right of coming out on top given their resume. Even though they won their match against inG with a 2:1 score, that still put the initial favorites of the tourney in second place in their group.
NUTURN Gaming’s group was an entirely different story. The team pulled off a close victory against AUTOCRACY and a dominating win against DAMWON Gaming in the Winners’ Match. At that point Vision Strikers were crumbling, while NUTURN was on a roll. Nevertheless, it was time for the Playoffs.
In their Quarterfinals match, NUTURN Gaming threw Prince to the side to make room for their main meal, Vision Strikers. Even though it was a best-of-three match, NUTURN didn’t need more than two to show Vision Strikers that their time on top was over. A 13:9 victory on Ascent was followed by an even stronger 13:7 triumph on Bind. It was time for NUTURN to take place of Vision Strikers.
The last obstacle keeping them from Masters Reykjavík was DAMWON Gaming, who also weren’t able to put an end to NUTURN’s flawless victories and keep them from representing Korea at Masters Reykjavík. The BO5 only needed three maps to be over. DAMWON turned up the heat on each map, coming close, but not close enough as NUTURN made a clean sweep in the final at 3-0 in maps.
And just like that, the favorites to advance to Masters Reykjavík were eliminated with a new king of Korean Valorant emergin, NUTURN Gaming.
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