Japan’s Crazy Raccoon Book Tickets To VALORANT Champions
Fan favourite team, Crazy Raccoon, are head to VALORANT Champions. While Japan’s second-seed would be sent home after a valiant showcase against Gambit Esports, Crazy Raccoon would net a silver-lining in their Masters 3 loss; a ticket to VALORANT Champions later this December. Netting an impressive 475 circuit points through their finishes at the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Masters 1 and 2, and culminating with their 225 point addition in Masters 3, this would secure Crazy Raccoon Japan’s only direct seed into the grand finale later this year.
Crazy Raccoon’s road to Masters 3 forged a sense of confidence from onlookers. Sweeping their way through VCT: Challengers 2 with wins over Feeling, FENNEL, and Northeption, Crazy Raccoon jumped out in the region as an early favourite to advance to Berlin. After narrowly securing the reverse-sweep against ZETA DIVISION in the grand finals, Crazy Raccoon would fall 2-3 and lock up Japan’s second-seed heading into Masters 3 Berlin.
Being seated with Group C alongside 100 Thieves, Gambit Esports, and Havan Liberty, Crazy Raccoon were already faced with a tall hurdle. Their opening match against Gambit Esports saw them limited to 2 round wins through the entire series.
Undeterred, Crazy Raccoon would convincingly defeat Brazil’s second-seed, Havan Liberty, 2-0. This would give the Japanese team one last chance to qualify for the playoffs, however, their opponents would be none other than Gambit Esports.
While one could assume their rematch would be an incredibly one-sided affair, Crazy Raccoon blitz forward with a newfound competitive fire taking both maps close and even driving Gambit Gaming into overtime on Icebox. And even with an impressive performance from Matsuda “neth” Yusuke on Ascent putting up 387 average combat score (ACS), 30 kills, 239.7 average damage done per round (ADR) as well as 5 first kills–Crazy Raccoon would lose their rematch, 0-2 and be knocked out of the event.
While the uninitiated will assume many teams lack the experience needed to compete on stage, Crazy Raccoon boasts a surprising resume. They are currently led by former Overwatch League coach Lim “Twinkl” Young-bin who has experience both as a player, competing with BK Stars in 2017, and as a coach, assisting O2 Blast and the London Spitfire through their 2020 season. Flanking coach Twinkl, you also have former Overwatch League DPS, Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki and Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom.
Bazzi was known primarily for this time in the Overwatch League where he competed alongside the Hangzhou Spark. There he was one of the team’s DPS members, specializing in heroes like Widowmaker and McCree. Taking a much more elusive approach, Munchkin was known for his time in the Overwatch League as one of the Seoul Dynasty’s Tracer specialists.
Even neth comes to VALORANT with experience in other tactical FPS titles. Since 2018, neth has been active in Japan’s domestic Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene as well as competing internationally at events like ESEA Season 33: Asia-Pacific Open the ESL’s Asia Minor Championship Closed Qualifier.
Crazy Raccoon alongside 16 other teams will return to Berlin, Germany later this year to compete for the bragging right to call themselves VALORANT world champions later this December.
Images via Riot Games