These two powerhouses managed to reach this stage with great merit, starting with Gambit who were able to neutralize KRÜ Esports after quintuple overtime, with Acend joining them by beating Team Liquid with a massive stomp in the semifinals, so the stakes to be the best in the world were higher than ever.
One trophy to rule them all: Gambit v Acend
The battle to rise as the first Valorant world champions opened in Breeze, a map chosen by Gambit that had a very worrying start for the Russians, after a first half in which Acend had a sweeping pace, taking the early rounds and seven wins in a row with the help of Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt.
By the end of the first half, Gambit managed to rescue a couple of points that raised their spirits a bit, so the second half started this time in their favour. Although Acend responded to this offensive in two rounds they managed to rescue, they didn’t expect a comeback like the one that their opponents would achieve.
With a massive eight-round streak in a row, the Russians completely took control of the game by eliminating virtually everyone from Acend, leaving them well behind in econ and ending up giving Gambit the first point, signed with a 3K from Igor "Redgar" Vlasov.
For Game 2, Acend had the choice to go to Ascent, a map that has brought them a good win rate and that served to put them back in the fight for the title.
As in the previous game, they managed to demonstrate their dominance in the first rounds by connecting a good streak, where we could observe the great skills of Santeri "BONECOLD" Sassi with the Sheriff, and the vision control by zeek.
Gambit also showed some initiative in several games both late in the first half and in the middle of the second, but the good synergy between Acend's players proved to be enough to connect yet another streak to tie the overall score.
While Acend showed a good recovery heading into their duel at Fracture, Game 3 only showed us one team fighting on the map, leaving us a 13-3 stomp in favour of Gambit. Since the first half was completely dominated by Gambit, thanks to two streaks that left them at 11-1, so this match was only a formality for the Russian squad, in which Ayaz "nAts" Akhmetshin faced the opponents with great ease with his Cypher.
With everything on the line, the fight at Icebox was a total slaughter by both teams, with virtually every player bringing out their best picks, and with Mehmet "cNed" İpek and Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov taking the cake for their brutal performance.
Game 4 started with a slight lead for Acend, who were able to knock out all of Gambit on several occasions as defenders. However, Gambit responded with the same coin by dramatically placing the tie at 12 on the scoreboard, leading to the only overtime of the series.
Here, Acend had no problem closing the game, thanks to their good map reading and excellent positioning, which allowed them to finish this game 14-12, sending the series to a decisive fifth match in Split.
As in other series of this tournament, Split allowed to bring out the best strategies of the two best teams in the world. Acend had a crucial early lead that allowed them to face Gambit in a good way, who didn't stop responding to everything Acend tried from beginning to end.
For the final part, Acend again hit a streak in the first two rounds, which was followed by a sudden comeback from Gambit that would be cut by the European team.
Thus, after three more rounds on the attacking side, a spectacular 3K from cNed with his Jett, and the last kill from Vladyslav "Kiles" Shvets towards Redgar, Acend was able to rise to the top of the competition, crowning themselves as the best Valorant team in the world and winning the coveted Valorant Champions: Berlin trophy.
Congratulations to Acend, the first-ever Valorant Champions winners!
Enjoy Valorant Champions, and remember to check back with us for all the latest Valorant news and guides!
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images.