After a rough start to their VALORANT Champions journey, Acend has claimed the first-ever VALORANT world title. After being placed into Group A with X10 CRIT, Team Envy, and Keyd Stars, Acend was set to open the group matchups against Keyd Stars.
Despite losing 1-2, the match was overturned after it was discovered that Keyd Stars had used an in-game exploit involving Cypher’s camera. Acend was set to rematch Keyd Stars with a 7-0 advantage.
Acend managed to narrowly win the match 13-10 despite starting 7-0. With this close matchup against a “weak” team in Keyd Stars, eyes were on previous top contenders in Sentinels and Gambit Esports to take home the grand prize.
Semi-Finals and Quarterfinals Dominance
After Sentinels narrowly lost to both Team Liquid and KRÜ Esports—widely considered the greatest upset of the tournament—the bracket was set for Acend to face Group C’s Team Secret. Team Liquid would face off against Group D’s Cloud9 Blue.
Acend easily swept Team Secret 2-0 while Team Liquid did the same to Cloud9 Blue, setting the stage for the Semi-finals matchup and a spot in the grand final.
The matchup was an utter thrashing. Despite what Team Liquid had done against Sentinels—the second seed in the tournament—they could not compete with Acend. Acend took the opening map Bind 13-6 and cleaned up their EMEA rivals 13-5 on Split.
The defending champions from VALORANT Masters 3: Berlin, Gambit Esports, had a different story. Despite being the number one seed in the tournament following their triumphant victory over Team Envy in Berlin, GMB narrowly clawed their way out of the quarters and semis.
While dropping Ascent twice 7-13 to both X10 Crit and KRÜ Esports, Gambit managed to stomp X10 13-7 on Breeze while edging out an 18-16 triple-overtime victory on Split over up and comers in KRÜ Esports.
Grand Finals Triumph
After wiping out all of the other regions in the tournament, Acend and Gambit Esports would face off in a best of five for the world championship and EMEA bragging rights.
Acend and GMB went the distance in traditional Grand Finals fashion, forcing the game into a tiebreaker matchup after a strange series of matches.
- GMB: Bind
- Acend: Haven
Match 1: Breeze (GMB Pick)
- GMB Win 13-11
Match 2: Ascent (Acend Pick)
- Acend Win 13-7
Match 3: Fracture (GMB Pick)
- GMB Win 13-3
Match 4: Icebox (Acend Pick)
- Acend Win 14-12
Match 5: Split (Default Pick)
- Acend Win 13-8
As anticipated, both teams managed to claim their respective picks, forcing the finals onto equal ground on Split. Both teams had historically dominated on Breeze, and the matchup was destined to be close, with GMB narrowly defeating Acend 13-11.
In a cursed fashion, GMB would lose Ascent 13-7, something they did against both X10 CRIT and KRÜ Esports in the last legs of the playoffs.
Surprisingly, GMB absolutely dominated on Fracture, seizing the matchup 13-3 after an 11-1 first half. This left many fans with the impression that GMB would use that momentum to take Icebox.
However, Acend narrowly hung on, winning 14-12 in overtime. The match was at a standstill, forcing both teams to go to Split, a map neither wanted to play on.
After a close 7-5 first half, Acend squeezed out a victory 13-8 after going 6-3 in the second half.
Acend unanimously voted Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt as their MVP despite the event not claiming one. With the trophy at their side, Acend is looking to defend their title as the 2022 VALORANT Masters go underway early next year.
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