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Best Plays VALORANT Champions – Day 1

The finale is finally here. After waiting all year, VALORANT Champions have finally descended on the world. Assembling 16 of the best VALORANT teams from all across the world, VALORANT Champions aims to crown the inaugural world champion to Riot Games’ hit tactical shooter. And kicking off in explosive fashion, day one had a myriad of flashy outplays and well-rounded strategies and are simply too good to miss. Here are the best plays coming out of VALORANT Champions day one. 

While Vision Strikers have not had the same success internationally as they have domestically, Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan had an incredible start to VALORANT Champions. Initial stocks were high this year for the South Korean giants but after missing Masters 2 Iceland and after their early loss to the eventual winners in Gambit Esports, there were some questions coming in around Vision Strikers. However, MaKo and crew have put those doubts six feet deep.

This triple kill to clutch the round win on Haven against Full Sense is as Vision Strikers’ as it gets. Through blinds, through three separate aim duels, MaKo steals victory from the jaws of defeat with this stunner. These are the plays they were synonymous with in their legendary 100+ game win streak and now that potential is finally being realized.

With MaKo playing full throttle, Vision Striker’s chances of making it out of an incredibly stacked group just got more difficult. However, they were not the only ones to make a statement during the Champions opener. 

Entering VALORANT Champions as the “South Korea’s Kryptonite” FULL SENSE’s Skye ace, Elamrahim “LAMMYSNAX” Khanpathan put on an impressive showing. Down in economy, this buy round holds a ton of impact for the map as a whole. If FULL SENSE can take this win, they start to rebuild a modicum of momentum. On the other hand, if they lose, that hole continues to get deeper and more arduous to get out of. That context with the absolute disgusting spray transfer through two targets begs belief. When FULL SENSE needed him most LAMMYSNAX stepped up in a huge way. 

While flashy plays are exciting, there is something satisfying when you see just an overall masterwork strategy executed well–and this defence from Japan’s Crazy Raccoon is a crystalline example of that. Everyone has seen your fair share of Icebox executes with Sage’s Barrier Orb, that isn’t the idea that leaps off the page.

Watch how former Overwatch League professional players, Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki and Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom both play the clock extremely well and force the attacking team’s hand. Muchkin’s initial stall with KAY/O’s flash and FRAG/MENT keep the spike site clear initially and Bazzi’s amazing Recon Dart coupled with the duo’s mid-round reposition to divide the attacker’s sightlines ever further? Expert round win from Crazy Racoon and something teams are going to have to consider moving forward.

Patient and slow plays aside, Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev’s Operator is second to none. This string of kills simply undercuts Cloud9’s ability to even start the round. One thing that separates the aim skill of a game like VALORANT to its peers is the omnidirectional mobility that it packs in spades.

Having agents like Raze and Jett flying across your screen in positions you can’t truly pre-aim make flicking not only that much more valuable but the importance is key. Derke not only single handily defends the A-site with his opening two kills, but then goes on the lurk to put the final nail in the coffin for Cloud9. A stunning showcase of how exciting the Operator can be in the right hands and an omen of good things for Fnatic’s chances at VALORANT Champions. 

Images via Riot Games

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