The start of a historic weekend for the Valorant competitive has brought us some of the best series yet after the dramatic showdown between the Masters Berlin champions Gambit Esports and Latin American giants KRÜ Esports, as well as an unexpected victory by Acend against Team Liquid.
The track record of these teams within the largest tournament in all of Valorant was more than contrasting, as the EMEA squads fought for their spots against teams of varying skill levels, while KRÜ went through giants like Sentinels and Fnatic, so the stakes for these duels were more than high.
Acend trashes out Team Liquid by 2-0
For the first of these semifinals, Acend and Team Liquid met in an expected confrontation between European teams. However, despite TL coming in as favourites after a near-perfect pass through the group stage, Acend made it clear that the tournament still had another upset in store.
Right after the start of the series in Bind, both TL’s Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Acend’s Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt managed to demonstrate explosive potential within the game, with the second being decisive for an initial 8-4 lead.
The duel in Bind ended up opting for Acend's side, who, through a series of comebacks, managed to gather great momentum, closing the score with a 13-6. This performance would leave all TL quite marked since it would be a blow from which they would not recover.
For the second game in Split, a series of nasty exchanges and rotations ended up sentencing TL, as even ScreaM's incredible performance was not enough to prevent the inevitable. Acend would end up completely destroying their opponents with a crushing 13-5, thus signing their ticket to the finals.
Gambit and KRÜ fight for everything
The series between the two powerhouses began with a rather unexpected performance by KRÜ in Breeze, with the Latin Americans taking the first three rounds in their favour, also highlighting an early 4K by their star player, Angelo "keznit" Mori, and a 2K thanks to Pablo "Nagzet" Miranda's Operator collateral.
Although GMB managed to respond by snapping KRÜ's early streak, they didn't let their hands down so easily, pushing the Russian team to the limit over several rounds with good positioning from their players. Before the first half, the game was already 8-4 in favour of the LATAM team.
Already on the defending side, GMB was able to fully recover from the poor start by hitting an impressive streak, leaving KRÜ in a vulnerable position due to the economic supremacy of their Russian opponents.
The rest of the game showed us this constant, with GMB better placed at the beginning of each round, and KRÜ showing initiative but failing to catch at least one round, ending with the European team securing eight wins in a row, and the first point of the series with a score of 13-8.
For the second game, the showdown moved to the Ascent map, with this being KRÜ's choice for the best-of-three series. As in the previous game, this proved to be a severe headache for GMB due to the total offensive of their opponents, with Francisco "Mazino" Rivas securing the majority of the kills.
GMB didn’t sit idly by and managed to respond on several occasions, including a couple of perfect rounds that allowed them to stay on their feet, so in the face of being attackers in the second half, the scoreboard was seen only with a slight advantage to KRÜ's favour by 7-5.
However, KRÜ managed to return the same from the first game in Breeze by ultimately conquering the entire second half with a jaw-dropping six-win streak and locking the definition of the series for Bind.
The final battle between Russians and Latin Americans saw KRÜ begin with dominance and power, having the first four rounds in their favour in a masterful way; though facing the end of the first half, GMB was able to recover a little from the blow leaving the score in 8-4.
To start the second half, KRÜ was able to repeat this performance from the beginning of the game by securing the initial three rounds. However, GMB didn’t take long to answer this, thanks to both Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov and Nikita "d3ffo" Sudakov, who managed to reduce the difference significantly.
The game eventually escalated to a tie, leading to historic five-game overtime. With the score at 17-16, GMB's positioning allowed them to maintain control of the last round, where after KRÜ had to rotate from A to B, they finally neutralized the Latin locomotive, ending their unbelievable journey and qualifying for the finals of Champions Berlin.
Now, the only thing that separates both teams from winning the world title is a best-of-five series. After a season full of great moments and legendary upsets, Gambit Esports and Acend will fight for the right to be called the best Valorant team in the world.
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.