THESPIKE.GG Valorant Event & News Coverage

VALORANT Champions Preview - Group A

Written By    PeeKay  -  share on

As far as VALORANT esports goes, nothing is as big and hype as the upcoming VALORANT Champions 2021. The flagship tournament is a culmination of the full year’s competition and a clash of the best against the best, from across the world. To make sure you are ready to catch all the action, we at THESPIKE.GG will be bringing you crisp previews of every group, from A to D, over the next few days.

Champions will feature a total of 16 teams divided into four groups, a GSL format with best of 3 matches, and two teams making it out of each group to the playoffs. Starting off with Group A, participants are:

Acend Vivo Keyd Envy X10 Crit

The schedule of this group will be as follows:

December 3rd

December 4th

December 6th

December 7th

Group A features a handful of potent teams that are built around star players with explosive firepower. The first of the lot is Acend, a European mix with a track record that can rival the very best. The organization began competing in VALORANT at the start of the year and found success quickly, winning the very first VCT Stage 1: Europe - Masters just a few months in and following it up in the second half by claiming VCT Stage 3: EMEA - Europe Challengers 1 and finishing 5th-8th at VCT Stage 3: Masters - Berlin - Playoffs, firmly cementing themselves at the top of the scene.

It is difficult to talk about the team’s success without highlighting Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek’s contributions, who is one of the hottest Jett players in the world right now with an astonishing 1.39 rating and 1.46 KD. Boasting a 9-1 win record as of late, 86% win percentage overall, and a fresh title at LVP - Rising Series - Finale, Acend are a team you can expect to see in the latter stages of Champions.

Acend lifting the winning trophy in Barcelona after taking 1st place in LVP Rising Series © LVP
Acend lifting the winning trophy in Barcelona after taking 1st place in LVP Rising Series © LVP

Their competitors in the opening group match are Vivo Keyd. The Brazilian mainstay entered VALORANT in October 2020 with the signing of the FAKEZIN lineup. After a long list of poor performances and two roster rebuilds, the organization finally reaped their reward this summer, winning VCT Stage 3: Brazil - Challengers Playoffs and finishing 9th-12th at Masters Berlin, earning them enough VCT points to book their ticket to Champions.

Vivo Keyd have notably acquired the services of Brazilian prodigy Leonardo  "mwzera" Serrati ahead of the tournament. The loanee, currently holding a 1.40 rating and 293 ACS, will be an exciting addition to the fragging power that Olavo  "heat" Marcelo already brings to the roster, and it will be interesting to see how they both play around their roles and each other on the international stage.

Heat representing Vivo Keyd at Masters Berlin © Riot Games
Heat representing Vivo Keyd at Masters Berlin © Riot Games

The other opening matchup will feature the likes of North American team Envy. Another early entrant into the VALORANT scene, the organization has been around the top of the region for a while. The team’s remarkable consistency at making deep runs at events, most notably a runners up finish at Masters Berlin and first place at VCT Stage 1: North America - Challengers 2, is a testament to their well-researched and executed roster changes and the highly impactful leadership of in-game leader Pujan "FNS" Mehta.

The Canadian tactician certainly finds plenty of value in the performances of Jaccob "yay" Whitaker, Victor "Victor" Wong, and Austin "crashies" Roberts, a trio that has stepped up as of late to propel the team into the final tournament of the year. A lot will be dependent on the aforementioned three if Envy are to go head to head with their international counterparts and make a case for themselves at the event.

Envy at Masters Berlin © Riot Games
Envy at Masters Berlin © Riot Games

X10 Crit round out the group as the squad that will lock horns with Envy in the opening matchups. The all-Thai lineup has been a hugely dominant force in the region, not only winning multiple Thailand Challengers events and VCT 2021: South East Asia Masters, but also placing 7th-8th at VCT Stage 2 Masters - Reykjavík. X10 have seen very few changes since they entered the scene, having found the winning formula regionally but still waiting to prove themselves on the international level.

Former FULL SENSE member Patiphan  "Patiphan" Chaiwong is the man to keep an eye on, who holds a 1.22 rating and 256 ACS throughout his career. He will certainly have to be on top form to push X10 Crit into the playoffs, who may go into the competition as underdogs but cannot be taken lightly by any team.

Patiphan during a match at Masters Reykjavik © Riot Games
Patiphan during a match at Masters Reykjavik © Riot Games

The first group A match between Acend and Vivo Keyd is also the first time the two teams will be facing each other. Interestingly, they share similar map pools, with heavy preferences for Bind and Split, and the map veto is shaping up to be very intriguing. We might finally get to see mwzera in action under Vivo Keyd and watch how he performs around fellow duelist heat. The match is sure to be a treat for neutrals waiting to see fragging machines heat and cNed go up against one another and is a cracking group A opener.

On the other side of the group, Envy will also be facing off against X10 Crit for the first time in the second opening matchup. The latter are expected to have a wide map pool with impressive win rates, as against Envy’s narrower focus on Ascent and Bind, meaning there is a possibility of a punish pick from the Thai team. That might be their only advantage however, as they will go into the match as the weaker side and are likely to fall to the North Americans’ tactical and fragging prowess.

Who do you think that will make it out of this group? Let us know in the comments!

Comments

Envy 1st
Acend/Vivo Keyd 2nd
2021-11-24 16:04

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