Featuring nearly every major pro roster in the game so far, debuts from 100 Thieves and FaZe Clan, a $50,000 prize pool, and being officially partnered with Riot Games as part of their Ignition Series, the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown promised to be one of VALORANT’s greatest events to date. And boy, did it deliver. We even got the long-awaited T1 vs TSM matchup in the finals. Here’s a recap of all the action!
The group stages, held on Friday, June 26, 2020, went about as expected, with a few exceptions. It was, for the most part, the pro teams that advanced from groups over the amateur squads. TSM and Immortals from Group B, T1 and 100 Thieves from Group A. Sentinels announced that they were back with a victory over the favoured Gen.G in their group, and took first place. Group A was the only exception, as Cloud9 struggled and finished third in their group. They did manage to beat FaZe Clan, first in that group, in the last match, though. C9 continue to show their inconsistencies, and with their early exit, will need to iron out those heading into future tournaments. Amateur team together we are terrific took second place, and advanced from Group A.
On broadcast for the first matches of the upper bracket, we got to see the two new entrants into VALORANT face off against each other. FaZe Clan were impressive, and though this won’t be their final lineup no matter what, as room needs to be made for Jason “jasonR” Ruchelski, all the unsigned players on this roster - Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo, Rory “dephh” Jackson, Johnny “Marved” Nguyen, and Harrison “psalm” Chang, proved that they deserve shots on pro teams. That’s not to take anything away from 100 Thieves, though, this series was down to the wire. Alfred “Pride” Choi clutched several rounds for the team with Brimstone mollies, and the riflers of the squad matched up well. This would not be the only series to be this close for 100 Thieves this tournament. Elsewhere, Immortals beat Sentinels, somewhat of an upset given the latter’s play in group stage, and T1 and TSM handily beat Gen.G and together we are terrific respectively.
While FaZe Clan impressed against 100 Thieves, they couldn’t beat the final boss of TSM, though they did come somewhat close. This roster of mostly unsigned players continued to show themselves against the best in the world. T1 beat Immortals somewhat easily, setting up the match everyone had been waiting for, T1 vs TSM.
T1 started off hot, and took Ascent by storm. They racked up quite a few rounds on Ascent, and though TSM tried to make something of a comeback, they couldn’t manage it, and T1 won the map 13-7. They were looking like major favourites to close it out, but TSM came absolutely roaring back on Haven, 13-5.
Matthew “Wardell” Yu had been uncharacteristically quiet the whole series, but led the way on Split as TSM secured the map 13-9 and the series 2-1. They would be going into the grand finals as favourites.
While all this was happening, exciting matches were going on in the best-of-1 loser’s bracket. 100 Thieves and Sentinels beat together we are terrific and Gen.G to advance to the second round - a poor showing from Gen.G this tournament - and then the action got interesting. 100 Thieves vs. Immortals was an absolutely crazy series.
When Immortals are playing confidently and without abandon, they look unstoppable, and that was the case in this series. Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk was all over the place, taking over sections of the map on his Raze. 100 Thieves weren’t to be outdone, though, and Zachary “Venerated” Roach was impressive on the Operator at shutting down Immortals’ rushes. After 100 Thieves were out front 12-10, I thought the game was over, but Immortals came back after some clutches to win it in overtime.
Their next opponent would be FaZe Clan, as they beat Sentinels. Again, when Immortals are on, they are ON, and FaZe Clan could not stop them like 100 Thieves could. Immortals got rolling and stomped the game, 13-6. The loser’s bracket finals would be Immortals against T1 to determine who would go to the finals.
After another close game, T1 would eventually shut down the Immortals train. Immortals could not get going on Split quite like they had been able to on Bind in their previous two games. The TSM vs T1 rematch would be the finals.
The finals were best-of-5, with TSM starting with a 1-map advantage due to progressing from the upper bracket instead of the lower bracket. But it wouldn’t go to four maps, only two, as TSM dominated to take home the tournament. Haven was not close, with TSM winning 13-4, and while T1 made Ascent closer, it still went the way of TSM, 13-9. Wardell top fragged in both games, including a 30-bomb on Ascent. He would be named THESPIKE.GG’s tournament MVP, in part due to his performance in these finals. Taylor “drone” Johnson was also very impressive, making quick, skilled plays on his Phoenix. In the end, we got the T1 vs TSM matchup and we got a winner. TSM took home the biggest tournament in VALORANT to date.
Final Standings for T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown:
1. TSM - $25,000 2. T1 - $15,000 3. Immortals - $5,000 4. FaZe Clan - $5,000 5-6. 100 Thieves 5-6. Sentinels 7-8. Gen.G 7-8. together we are terrific 9-12. Cloud9 9-12. Spot Up 9-12. Code7 9-12. MIXUP 13-16. Prospects 13-16. Charlotte Phoenix 13-16. Team Ninja 13-16. Echo 8
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