Masters Berlin: Group Stage Day 1 Recap
After much anticipation, the second international VALORANT LAN competition has finally arrived and boy what an action-packed first day it has been. Overall, things went as expected. Acend soundly took down their fellow EMEA team SuperMassive Blaze in a stunning 2-0 sweep. Meanwhile, G2 Esports fought a decently close series against Korean stream dream team F4Q winning out on the third map in decisive fashion. Finally, 100 Thieves scored their first LAN series victory against Brazilian 2nd seed Havan Liberty with a 2-0 score line.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened.
First series of the day would be a familiar matchup for fans of VCT EU. Acend and SMB had just fought in the upper bracket of VCT Stage 3 and now they would face off again. However, this time it would be Acend turning the tables and taking the victory after sweeping the floor with their Turkish rivals 2-0.
Acend started off strong in the first map, barely giving their opponents a chance to breathe. Despite Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek not being on his signature Jett, the star player still delivered and was the top fragger in the server. Of course we can’t forget about his team, who definitely set both him and Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt up for success by giving them all the space they needed to pop off and carry.
The whole map ended up being a very thorough thrashing of SMB who just couldn’t seem to get their foot in the door. To top it all off, Acend even hit SMB with some good-hearted BM by handing rifles over to a trapped Mehmet “Turko” Özen in the teleporter in the fourteenth round. Melih “pAura” Karaduran, the team’s leader, and Baran “Izzy” Yılmaz, their Jett player, did step up with some great holds and crisp shots but it simply wasn’t enough to stop Acend’s onslaught.
In the end, the map ended 13:5 in Acend’s favor.
It almost looked like it was gonna be the same story on Ascent when Acend picked up another five rounds at the start of the map. Fortunately for SMB, things did get better for them. In the sixth round, Turko stepped up massively and got four kills, winning out on a 1v3 clutch. From there, it was SMB all the way. They clawed themselves back into the lead by posting seven straight round wins on their attacking side. It looked like the momentum was in their favor. SMB had received a second wind.
But Acend had other plans.
The European team came back with a vengeance. Again, Acend punched through SMB’s defenses again and again. The Turkish team simply couldn’t mount an adequate defense against their opponents’ ferocity. Two rounds would be secured to SMB’s name. However, the map and the series went to Acend. Well deserved after such a commanding performance.
In the end, the map ended 13:9 in Acend’s favor.
The next series ended up being the closest series of the day, going to all three maps. Who would prevail, the team with arguably the most social media banter or the team full of streamers playing for content? Of course, we’re mostly joking around here. It was an excellent fight between the European and Korean squads that could have gone either way. Unfortunately for the Korean fans out there, G2 came out on top with a series score of 2-1. Europeans rejoice because the team looked good and hungry for more victories.
There’s not much to say about the first map. F4Q was completely outclassed. G2 dismantled them in the first half with the Korean squad only getting a single round win on their defensive side. Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho, Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas, and Cista “keloqz” Wassim were absolutely stellar on the map. All three of them were finding kill after kill which allowed G2 to really establish their dominance and end the half with an 11:1 score line.
The second half fared a bit better for F4Q as they were able to show glimpses of their famed executes. Glimmers and hints of a comeback were shattered when Auni “AvovA” Chahade won out in a 1v2 clutch against both Jeong “Esperanza” Jin-cheol and Kim “zunba” Joon-hyuk.
In the end, the map ended 13:5 in G2’s favor.
F4Q was down, but they were not yet out. On Bind, they started on the attacking side and this time they delivered. Despite running out of the gates stumbling by losing out on the first pistol and eco, they recovered at the third round and didn’t let up their assault. Chae “Bunny” Joon-hyuk was activated, the self-proclaimed best Raze player in the world, came alive along with F4Q’s IGL Yoo “fiveK” Sung-min who switched from his usual Reyna to a more supportive Skye. Together, the two created enough space for all of their teammates to shine. G2 had two more round wins, but the damage had been done and F4Q came out of the first half with a 8:4 score line.
A pistol round win for F4Q gave them two more rounds in the second half. This time however, G2 wasn’t going to let their opponents walk over them. The team started posting round wins. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t seem to catch up to the lead that F4Q had accrued. AnovA and keloqz certainly tried though. Keloqz even managed to get himself an amazing 4K at the twenty-first round. After that, however, F4Q sealed the deal. Of course, Bunny also decided to do it in the most flashy way possible by blasting himself right into Mixwell’s face and taking him down with a judge.
In the end, the map ended 13:9 in F4Q’s favor.
And here we go, the third and final map. These rounds here came down to the wire at times. F4Q started out with a pistol win and won the conversion before falling to G2’s rifles in the bonus round. The European squad then won two more in a row before falling to a clean defensive hold by F4Q on the C-site. G2 then took two more round wins, not letting their opponents build momentum before getting halted at the ninth round of regulation. The tenth round also went F4Q’s way with Kim “Efina” Nak-yeon securing a clutch and G2’s economy was about to be broken if they didn’t win the eleventh. It looked over until mixwell stepped up and won a 1v3 clutch for his team. The twelfth round ended in a clean G2 victory against a broken buy round by F4Q.
Down rounds but not in spirit, F4Q fought on. Again they won the pistol and conversion, only to fall to G2 who didn’t want to have a repeat of the last map. This time the F4Q offensive was halted in its tracks. Nukkye was an unstoppable wall. In the seventeenth round, he won himself one of the best clutches of the tournament so far. He aced F4Q and defused the bomb with half a second to spare. Bunny made sure to return the favor by scoring the opening kill on nukkye in the next round and winning out.
F4Q had a bit more room to breathe, but G2 would soon close the vice by winning the next three rounds in a row to secure the map and the series.
In the end the map ended 13:8 in G2’s favor.
Finally we had our last series of the day between 100 Thieves and Havan Liberty. The North Americans are coming into this event with high expectations. Meanwhile, the Brazilians are hoping to redeem themselves from the nation’s performance in the last international event. 100 Thieves ended up stomping this series. There’s no other way to really put it. The match ended up being the most one-sided series of the day.
For the third series in a row, we’re back at Ascent. HL winning the pistol and conversion gave some hope that this would be a competitive map. 100T would have none of it, however. The North American squad that was “built for LAN” showed up big time. Their defense was nigh impenetrable and their attack was nigh unstoppable. Many tech pauses aside, this was a quick stomp. HL were simply outclassed in both strategy and firepower. 100T IGL and North American legend Joshua “steel” Nissan was not only calling well, he was shooting well.
For HL’s part, despite sometimes getting openings to exploit, they just simply couldn’t get over the finish line. 100T’s rotates were on point and when the time came to clutch up and fight, both veteran FPS players Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella and Ethan “Ethan” Arnold showed up big.
In the end, the map ended 13:3 in favor of 100T
Along came Icebox which was a real surprise to many. After all, 100T has been known to be extremely good on the map. Hot young gun Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk made a name for himself on the map’s ropes on A-site. Still, HL bravely chose it as their map pick and to their credit the Brazilians looked much more competitive on the pick. Unfortunately, even that was not good enough to keep the North Americans at bay. The team’s defense was solid yet again, but this time it was Asuna leading the charge on this signature Reyna with aggressive plays that would catch HL off-guard.
We have to shout out HL’s own Reyna player Gabriel “shion” Vilela. Regardless of what his KDA indicates, it was him who opened up rounds for his team to secure. Rodrigo “myssen” Myssen also stepped up for his team on Viper.
Sadly, the shining moments for HL were simply not enough. On the second half of the map, none of the gun rounds went their way. Some rounds were close like round 16 then the veteran Spencer “Hiko” Martin came up clutch with an impossible 1v2 to keep the momentum going. After that, it was a downward spiral for HL ending with their defeat.
In the end, the map ended 13:6 in 100T’s favor.
It’s only been the first day and it’s been really exciting to finally see international competition. The fun doesn’t stop there because this is just day one! Our coverage and recaps will continue for every day of the tournament so you don’t have to miss out on any of the action!
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