The G2 Esports Invitational was not the only Ignition Series tournament last week, as Japan had its first major tournament, the RAGE VALORANT JAPAN INVITATIONAL. The region sitting alongside North America in terms of involvement from large organizations showcased their skill, and boy, did they have a lot of it. Ultimately, it ended with the region’s former best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, then known as Absolute, known in VALORANT as Absolute JUPITER, winning an exciting final over Lag Gaming.
While the tournament did feature other prominent Japanese organizations, such as Sunsister, Nora-Rengo, DetonatioN Gaming, and Crest Gaming, no one could touch Absolute JUPITER. Their scorelines show it all: 13-1 over AVALON Gaming, 13-0 over Sunsister Rapid, 13-1 over Nora-Rengo. Not until the finals against Lag did the team face any sort of competition. They absolutely smashed everyone in their path.
On the other side, however, Lag’s matches were closer: 13-10 over REJECT, 13-10 over DetonatioN, 13-8 over BAKEMON. They had a tougher road, but still bested all of their opponents. They would make the finals closer than Absolute JUPITER had had all tournament. And they would make it incredibly exciting.
Lag Gaming played a fast-paced, exciting style of VALORANT. And for a while, it worked. They were within striking distance of Absolute JUPITER at the half on Ascent, 7-5. But Absolute JUPITER were exciting too. Takemori “takej” Shogo used the frag potential of the agent Reyna to great effect. And while Lag won the next two rounds on offense, Absolute JUPITER adjusted to their playstyle and played stellar defense. They began picking off Lag as they attempted to go for quick rotations, and Lag only took one more round the rest of the game. Ascent ended 13-8 for Absolute JUPITER.
That recap, though, doesn’t do justice to how exciting that map was to watch. Map 1 of the RAGE VALORANT JAPAN INVITATIONAL finals might just be the most exciting map of VALORANT I’ve watched, and specifically the first half. From crazy wallbangs to constant headshots, stellar Jett ults, fast-paced gameplay, and takej outpeeking Operators, it had it all.
The second map, Bind, did not quite live up to the standards of the first. It was much more in favor of Absolute JUPITER. Some compositional changes for Lag - swapping Jett for Reyna - couldn’t make the difference, and, despite switching Agents from Reyna to Sage, takej still top fragged for Absolute JUPITER. These outstanding performances made him THESPIKE.GG’s tournament MVP. In the end, Absolute JUPITER won the map 13-6, and the series 2-0.
The RAGE VALORANT JAPAN INVITATIONAL was an incredibly exciting look at Japanese VALORANT. Along with the G2 Esports Invitational, they were stellar kickoffs for the Ignition Series, which continues this weekend with the North American T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown, and in many more regions of the world after that. Stay tuned to THESPIKE.GG for coverage of all these events!
Final Standings for RAGE VALORANT JAPAN INVITATIONAL:
1. Absolute JUPITER - ¥500,000 2. Lag Gaming 3. BAKEMON 4. Nora-Rengo 5-8. Sengoku Gaming 5-8. DetonatioN Gaming 5-8. SunSister Rapid 5-8. CYCLOPS athlete gaming 9-16. AKIHABARA ENCOUNT 9-16. ROX Gaming 9-16. REJECT 9-16. Crest Gaming 9-16. AVALON Gaming 9-16. Crazy Racoon 9-16. ShinoBee Gaming 9-16. SCARZ
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