VCT NA Stage 1 Masters: Semifinals
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
3/15/2021, 1:39:56 AM
North American Valorant hasn’t just turned it up a notch, it has turned the dial so hard that is was ripped off. The VCT NA Stage 1 Masters event has showcased the best of the best in North American Valorant. The Quarterfinals went through two intense days that saw Team Envy and FaZe Clan prevail followed by victories in the second day for Sentinels and 100 Thieves.
After the Quarterfinals finished, the first round of the Lower Bracket took place. Gen.G waved goodbye to XSET and Luminosity Gaming squeaked out a win against Immortals in their elimination match. That was just the first portion of the event. The Upper Bracket Semifinals has now completed. Valorant fans finally got to see the four original winning teams and it did not disappoint.
This contest was one of two highly anticipated match ups. It also went in a completely unexpected direction. Even Icebox couldn’t cool down FaZe Clan. They started as the attacking team. FaZe took the first two rounds of the map before Team Envy responded with one of their own. That exact situation happened again, taking the score to 4:2. The trend didn’t continue, however. FaZe Clan aggressively took four more rounds in a row before Team Envy got their third. None other than Andrej “babybay” Francisty ended the first half in style, contributing to a Flawless victory with a 3K. Halftime approached at 9:3.
The second half started just as the first half did. FaZe Clan opened it with two straight elimination rounds. Team Envy stepped their game up for a moment. They took three straight elimination rounds of their own as Jake “kaboose” McDonald did his best to stop the FaZe Clan domination. It wasn’t quite enough. Corey “corey” Nigra and babybay were too much for them. Both players ended Icebox with 20 kills. In the 19th round of the map, FaZe Clan defused the Spike and finished it at 13:6. Every member of FaZe had one 3K round except for corey, but he had a total of eight rounds with two kills.
Bind was more of the same as babybay and corey dominated with 23 and 21 kills, respectively. Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen joined the fragging party as well, with 23 kills of his own. Five of those came from a gnarly Ace in the seventh round. That contributed to FaZe Clan’s success in the first half. They began on the defensive side, taking two rounds. Envy fought back with three in a row and then two more to end the half with five. FaZe Clan kept their lead going into the half, however, and did not give it up.
The second half of Bind saw FaZe Clan do what they do best. They attacked with unbridled aggression. As the onslaught continued, all hope seemed to be lost for Team Envy. That was until Austin “crashies” Roberts gave his team their eighth round with a nail biting clutch play. That was enough to give NV momentum for one more round. That closed the gap and looked like Team Envy would find the hope they previously lost. FaZe Clan refused to let that happen, though. Two more rounds was all it took, ending the romping 13:8 and sending Team Envy to the VCT NA Stage 1 Masters Lower Bracket.
If there was one match that NA Valorant fans were eager to see, this would be it. Ascent did not live up to that hype. It started with Sentinels on defense. Immediately, they shut down 100 Thieves and took two rounds. 100 Thieves responded with a round of their own, but that only made Sentinels more focused. The entirety of Sentinels overwhelmed 100 Thieves from start to finish. Hunter “SicK” Mims took charge as Phoenix with a 19-5-8 score line.
Sentinels came out of the first half with 10 rounds. 100 Thieves were only able to put up two rounds on Sentinels. The second half did not change that fact. Sentinels continued to dominate as they became the attacking team. Three rounds after halftime was all it took to close it out. The incredibly even match on paper was horribly one-sided. Sentinels headed to map two with a 13:2 victory. Not a single round on Ascent was won via objective. They were all elimination rounds.
Haven delivered the tight knit battle that this match up promised. 100T began the map on defense. It proved to be an attacker sided affair. With four rounds sprinkled in for 100T, Sentinels took a solid lead. While it looked to be a repeat of Ascent, 100T had different ideas. Halftime approached with the round count 8:4. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, SicK, and Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan all stepped up for Sentinels. Once the map ended, they had 25, 24, and 21 kills, respectively.
Switching to the second half kept up the attacker sided theme. 100 Thieves fought back and fought back hard. Ethan “Ethan” Arnold put his team on his back big time here. In fact, he was the only 100T player with over 20 kills on Haven, with 29 once it was all said and done. Four elimination round victories put 100T back on the right track. Sentinels started to inch to the finish line before 100 Thieves refused to lose. Three more elimination round victories forced the overtime period.
Overtime was a brand new story for these teams on Haven. 100T took the first round of OT as the defending team. Sentinels retaliated by doing the same once it was their turn to defend. Things were back and forth at this point, with both 100T and SEN taking advantage of their next defensive opportunities. Sentinels locked in. Three straight rounds from them, including the only successful attacking round of OT, secured the victory over 100 Thieves. It all ended as TenZ dropped a 3K with the Operator and the rest of the team cleaned up for a Flawless round.
Stay tuned to Run It Back for more coverage once the VCT NA Stage 1 Masters tournament continues!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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