On June 15th, 2020, we saw one of the biggest tournaments in the VALORANT scene so far as 8 North American teams participated in Immortals First Light. The tournament was hectic: we saw upsets, solo carries, and much more on a busy late Monday night. Eventually, TSM emerged as the dominant winners over Cloud9. How did all the action go down?
The broadcasted match was Cloud9 vs. amateur team Mixup, and while most people expected Cloud9 to take it easily, that wasn’t the case at all. Cloud9 narrowly won Bind 13-12, while Mixup then won Split convincingly, 13-5. After another tight map on Ascent, Cloud9 took the series. Cloud9 did not perform well at all, and it took some heroics from Tyson “TenZ” Ngo to ultimately take the win. TenZ finished the series with an average combat score of 419, including an incredible 460 on the first map, Bind. He finished the series with an astonishing 91 kills.
Elsewhere, the team of former Fortnite World Cup runner-up Harrison “Psalm” Chang, China Nguyen, took Gen.G to the brink, but the French Canadian squad ultimately took the win. Immortals and Team SoloMid disposed of their opponents, Code7 and Echo 8, quite easily, setting up semi-finals that only contained signed professional squads.
Immortals vs. TSM was the game broadcasted, and it ended up being quite close. Haven, despite finishing with a 13-9 scoreline, never really looked in doubt for TSM, but Bind was a different story. After pulling out to an 8 to 4 lead on defense, TSM faltered on offense. Peter “Asuna” Maruzyk was all of a sudden constantly getting the better of Matthew “Wardell” Yu in Operator duels, and Amgalan “genghsta” Nemekhbayar had some clutch performances on Sova. Ultimately, though, TSM had built up too large of a lead, and won the map 13-12.
The other semi-final, Gen.G vs. Cloud9, was not shown on broadcast, but Cloud9 won 2-0, quite an upset given their quarterfinals performance. Split ended 13-9, and Bind was a dominant 13-5. Skyler “Relyks” Weaver finished at the top of the scoreboard on Bind with 27 kills and 9 deaths, while Daniel “vice” Kim also ended the map with deaths in the single digits. The Cloud9 vs. TSM finals were set.
The grand finals promised to be exciting, as we would see two of the best Operator players in the region, TenZ and Wardell, face off against each other. But it was rather anticlimactic as TSM emerged as the dominant victors. Cloud9 never really looked in it, despite TenZ’ best efforts. Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik was massive on the second map, Bind, finishing with a 28/7/2 scoreline and 416 average combat score. Subroza’s performance in the finals and throughout the whole tournament earned him THESPIKE.GG’s MVP award. The Op battle was exciting on Ascent, which finished with a 13-8 score, but the rest of Cloud9 could not keep up, and Wardell certainly got the better of TenZ on Bind, ending that map at a score of 13-5. Ultimately, TSM definitely deserved the win.
A brief note on the third place match - Immortals took the win over Gen.G 2-1, but Michael “MkaeL” De Luca had to go to the hospital as he was not feeling well, so Gen.G played the series with a substitute, Michael “miLLe” St-Pierre from amateur team Way 2 French. Gen.G looked off, but ultimately, take their result with a grain of salt.
Immortals First Light was an exciting look at VALORANT esports and professional squads. With pro tournaments, like Immortals First Light, already happening, more organizations investing in the scene, and more big tournaments upcoming, such as the Pulse Invitational, the immediate future is bright for VALORANT.
Final Standings for Immortals First Light:
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