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Road to Masters Reykjavik – Sharks Esports

Road to Masters Reykjavik – Sharks Esports

Phillip Miner

5/23/2021, 10:17:49 AM


According to Wikipedia:

In sports, the terms Cinderella, “Cinderella story”, and Cinderella team are used to refer to situations in which competitors achieve far greater success than would reasonably have been best expected.

-Wikipedia entry on “Cinderella (sports)

If ever that term could be applied to an esports team, it would be Sharks Esports from Brazil. From being a struggling unsigned squad, to traveling to Iceland to fly their country’s flag in the biggest Valorant esports event yet, the success of Sharks Esports has been a wild ride. We’re here to catch you up on their history, so you can enjoy their escapades in the Valorant Champions Tour.

Also, check out the journeys of LiquidFnaticSentinelsVersion1NUTURNCrazy Raccoon, X10 and Team Vikings before Masters Reykjavik commences!

Starting Unsigned

The story of Sharks Esports started when that team name wasn’t even on the tongues of its players. The actual organization wasn’t even in Valorant yet; they were fielding teams in more popular esports such as CSGO. The squad that would become the official Sharks Esports team was as yet unsigned. They were known as Squad5. This team consisted of the following players:

  • Matheus “DeNaro” Hipólito
  • Matheus “fra” Fragoso
  • Wallacy “prozin” Sales
  • Gabriel “gaabxx” Carli
  • Michael “fooX” Felype

These five players were playing together under the Squad5 banner as far back as January of 2021. Their first tournament, at least together, was the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 Challengers 1 qualifier. They placed Top 8 in that qualifier, beating out higher-profile teams such as HighPower Esports. Between the qualifiers and the actual Stage 1 Challengers 1 tournament, they placed 1st in the Chroma Cup.

In Stage 1 Challengers 1, however, they encountered turbulence. They were only able to place Top 6, having fallen to Imperial Esports in a crucial match. This probably prompted them to make a roster change. Shortly after Stage 1 Challengers 1, Squad5 replaced fooX with Winicius “light” Alves César.

Sharks Esports Gets Hungry for Valorant

With their new roster, Squad5 came out swinging once more. In between Challengers stages in the Valorant Champions Tour, they claimed 1st place in the AORUS League over Gamelanders. With that newfound momentum, they proceeded to light up Stage 1 Challengers 3, demolishing both the qualifiers and placing Top 2 alongside Imperial Esports in the tournament proper.

This wouldn’t go unnoticed. It was around this time, March of 2021, that Sharks Esports, being as opportunistic as their predatory namesake, saw potential in Squad5. Seeking to gain a foothold in Valorant, on March 6, Sharks Esports signed the previously unsigned squad.

The Hunt Begins

The newly acquired Sharks Esports team had a bit of a rough start. In the VCT Brazil Stage 1 Masters, a regional final consisting of Brazil’s top 8 Valorant teams, they sadly couldn’t crack the Top 4. They didn’t let that setback stop them, however. In Stage 2 Challengers 1, they blew away their bracket easily, cementing their position in the VCT.

From there, through raw perseverance, they ultimately prevailed and secured their spot in Reykjavik, Iceland. Stage 2 Challengers 2 saw them place Top 4. In the Challengers Finals, they only lost (and therefore got 2nd place) to Team Vikings in a tense best-of-5. There were two slots to fill for Brazil, so Sharks Esports happily claimed the second slot alongside Vikings.

From being yet another unsigned team in Valorant to representing their country in Iceland, hardly anyone could’ve imagined this particular squad to come as far as they have. Yet here they are, ready to battle with the world’s finest Valorant squads. This team is a Cinderella squad for sure, but this Cinderella smells blood.

Stay tuned to Run it Back for complete coverage of VCT Masters in Reykjavik, Iceland!


5/23/2021

Phillip Miner

Phillip has over a decade of experience writing about video games. Yes, over a decade! He's been on publications ranging from the Escapist to local papers and beyond.