Gambit Esports Headed To VALORANT Champions
EMEA has booked their first regional ticket to VALORANT Champions by way of Gambit Esports. With their victory over Japan’s Crazy Raccoon at VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Masters 3, Gambit Esports has qualified for the VALORANT Champions grand finale taking place later this December in Berlin, Germany.
Gambit Esports waltz into Berlin with high expectations. After losing to regional kin Acend, Gambit Esports would defeat Team Liquid, G2 Esports and would win their rematch against Acend to advance to the grand finals. There, the Russian all-stars would confidently beat the Turkish team, SuperMassive Blaze, 3-1.
Advancing as EMEA’s first-seed, Masters 3 started strong for Gambit Esports with a clear and dominant win over the aforementioned Crazy Raccoon, only allowing them 2 rounds on Bind and Icebox respectively. Then in the Winners’ Match, Gambit Esports faced North American representatives, 100 Thieves.
After taking their opening map in a decisive fashion, winning Ascent 13-5, the maps that followed would be much more competitive. The map would boil down to each team attacking rounds, with 100 Thieves narrowly securing victory. Jumping off the gun, Gambit Esports took an early lead capturing 9 total rounds on their attack. However, 100 Thieves would raise them one stellar showcase for their side of the competitive coin by winning 10 straight rounds to close out Icebox with a well-deserved victory.
Gambit Esports’ duelist, Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov, would impress at the end of Ascent, boasting a 284 average combat score (ACS) and 5 first kills.
The third and final map of the series would fall to Split where Gambit Esports would start slow on their attack, only scoring a total of 3 round wins. At the half, they would begin to slowly dissolve 100 Thieves sizable lead but would end up falling just short, losing the map 10-13.
Even though the loss support player, Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov, would finish the series with an impressive stat line boasting 257 ACS, 167 average damage done per round (ADR) and 10 first kills.
This would position Gambit Esports in the decider match against a familiar opponent; Crazy Raccoon. Expectations saw this rematch as a foregone conclusion for the EMEA powerhouse, however, Japan’s second-seed had other plans as the first 6 rounds went their way, establishing a sizable lead nearing the half.
However, Gambit Esports flipped the script on defence nearly sweeping the half with 8 total round wins to capture the map 13-8. Gambit ace, Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin, ended Ascent with a shocking stat line of 30 kills, 387 ACS and 239.7 ADR. Ascent would follow and only increase in competitiveness, with Crazy Raccoon driving the map into overtime. Trading blows on each team’s respective attack rounds, the series boiled down to two over-time rounds which ended with Gambit Esports advancing to the Berlin playoffs.
This victory would secure the team enough points to be locked into VALORANT Champions at the end of the year via earning enough circuit points to represent EMEA Progressing through Masters 3 Berlin, Gambit Esports would draw South Korean powerhouse, Vision Strikers, in the playoffs.
Gambit Esports quarterfinals match takes place on September 17th.
Images via Riot Games