Day two of Valorant’s first international tournament was a story of NA versus EU. All four teams from each region faced each other in the second round of the tournament. With the story line set, let’s review what happened and how NA was able to overcome EU in today’s battles.
Day Two Matchups – Team Vikings vs X10 Esports
Day 2 began with a BR vs Asia match up. Starting the match off on Icebox, Vikings brought out a less standard team to the map, choosing to bring Omen as a solo controller over Viper and opting to run Killjoy instead of a Sage. With these two picks, Vikings brought about a simpler contact and gunfight-oriented style of play against X10. While on the flip side, X10 choosing to run Cypher and Viper as their Sentinel and Controller duo. Objectively, an interesting pick in terms of Cypher as many pros across all regions agree that Cypher is quite weak on Icebox. Despite this, X10 was able to put up a good defensive half against Vikings ending the half at 5-7 in favor of Vikings. The second half of the map was a straight up slug fest, wit both teams trading rounds back and forth, fighting for control of the pace and tempo of the map. With strong showings and great takes from both teams, Vikings were able to come out on top ending the game with a score of 13-11.
If Icebox was a slug fest, then Ascent was a fistfight for the ages. It’s the only series to date that led to an OT. Both teams ran a standard ascent comp, with only slight changes. Vikings chose to run a Phoenix and Omen, while X10 opted to run with Astra and Skye. Vikings and X10 went blow-for-blow in the first-half ending it with even 6-6. Moving into the second half, Vikings were able to win both the pistol round and the anti-economy round, giving them a two-round lead for a majority of the second half. It was thanks to a strong 3-0 run by X10 that they were able to force an OT. When it came down to crunch time, the Vikings were able to close out the final two rounds of OT finishing the game at 14-12. The final score was Viking 2-0 over X10.
Day Two Matchups – Team Liquid vs Version1
The story line of NA versus EU began. With the long rivalry between both regions in CS: GO it’s only natural that the rivalry follows into Valorant. The number two NA seed versus the number one EU seed. What a spectacle.
The first map was on Split. This was the first time in all of masters the map was played, and what a game it was. With an amazing start coming from Liquid’s Scream, and V1’s Penny, the match started off blow-for-blow, round for round, ending the first half 5-7 in favor of Liquid. However, Version1’s Penny put on a show himself, able to put his team into a position to take the first map in overtime, but because of great team play, Liquid was able to close out Split with a score of 14-12.
The second map took place on Ascent. This match was intense from the get-go. The first half was back and forth, with each team trading round-for-round. Eventually, V1 was able to pull out to a slight lead, giving them the edge in the first half 7-5. In much the same fashion, the second half was exciting, with both teams making adjustments and changes to strategies on the fly in hopes of reading their opponent. However, just like the first half, V1 was able to edge out the win without going into overtime, leaving the final score at 13-11 for V1.
The tiebreaker match took place on Haven, and unlike the previous two games, Version one obliterated Liquid. It looked like V1 really had Liquid’s number on this map and it showed on the score. Liquid was only able to take two rounds during the first half, leaving the half at 10-2 for V1. After that, it was only a matter of time before V1 closed out the second half, leaving the final score at 13-4.
Day Two Matchups – Fnatic vs Sentinels
This was the most hyped-up match of the day. NA’s number one team, and the favorites to win the whole tournament, versus EU’s number two seed. This match was going to set the whole tone of the tournament and solidify the NA versus EU narrative.
To begin, we had an amazing match on Icebox. With Fnatic going on the attack during the half, it was clear that this was going to be one of the best matches of the tournament. With a stunning performance from Sentinels’ Shazam, the first half proved to be a standstill. The halftime score was 6-6. Moving into the second half, the Sentinels came out of the gate swinging, taking five consecutive rounds. But, in typical Sentinels’ fashion, they allowed Fnatic to come back with five straight rounds of their own. However, with some great leadership by Shazam and some big shots from Tenz, Sen was able to close out the match 13-11.
NA’s won the second match, winning the map with a score of 13-10. The highlight of this map was the dual round clutches for Sentinels. Despite the map being as close at it was, it felt like Sen was toying with their opponents. With a clean 4K with the Marshall from Tenz, and an absolutely insane 4K clutch coming from Dapr, Sentinels used this game to send a message to the world: NA is the best region.