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VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavik: KRÜ Esports

Written By    AashirAhmed  -  share on

When the LATAM Playoffs concluded and KRÜ Esports secured the spot at VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík, it was welcomed by the international community as a relatively expected outcome and rightly so since the team has known to be a dominant force in the region for as long as anyone can remember.

LATAM South Challengers:

Given the team’s consistent performances, their off-season was relatively uneventful except the departure of Fergus "ferg" Stephenson, who had been the head coach for the team throughout VCT 2021. Furthermore, Héctor "Wait" Paucay was signed as a substitute and Alan "ddx" Salvati as an Analyst. Their performance in the previous VCT season had given them a direct invite to VCT 2022 - LATAM South - Stage 1 - Challengers bypassing the Qualifiers stage.

The six qualified teams at the event engaged in battles over four consecutive weekends. One team after another fell victim to KRÜ’s dominance enabling their 5-0 finish at the conclusion of Group Stages and seeding them in the Upper Bracket final against Leviatán Esports, the new home to their former coach. It is worth mentioning that KRÜ did not drop a single map throughout the Group Stages, which reinstated the calibre of their performance in comparison to the counterparts.

KRU Esports celebrating on stage after their victory in the Quarterfinals Stage at VALORANT Champions. Credit: Riot Games
KRU Esports celebrating on stage after their victory in the Quarterfinals Stage at VALORANT Champions. Credit: Riot Games

Unfortunately, the first matchup of Playoffs concluded in a loss despite having defeated Leviatán Esports 2-0 in the Group Stages. They put on an unexpected performance catching KRÜ Esports off-guard and closing the match after back-to-back map wins with 13-2 and 13-10 scores respectively. The structure of the tournament awarded KRÜ Esports with another opportunity to come back and take the second available spot for VCT 2022 - LATAM - Stage 1 - Challengers Playoffs by facing off against 9z Team. This matchup proved to be a stroll in the park for them as they closed out the series 2-0 while limiting their opponents to less than 5 rounds on both maps.

LATAM Challengers Playoffs:

In the first matchup of VCT 2022 - LATAM - Stage 1 - Challengers Playoffs, KRÜ Esports were pitted against the winners of VCT 2022 - LATAM North - Stage 1 - Challengers. E-Xolos LAZER’s performance in this matchup became the reason for the KRÜ’s second defeat in regional tournaments in almost a year of competition. Nonetheless, the presence of Lower Brackets once again rescued KRÜ Esports’ chances of making Masters Iceland. They now faced Fusion, which faced relegation after the loss to Leviatán Esports. This matchup was an entirely one-sided affair from the get-go.

Fusion couldn’t even slow down KRÜ’s momentum, let alone pose a challenge to them. The matchup ended 2-0 to KRÜ after 13-4 and 13-1 wins on Haven and Bind respectively. This victory propelled them to the second round of Lower Brackets, which became a rematch against E-Xolos LAZER and a potential opportunity for KRÜ to give them a taste of their own medicine.

As the teams left gate for the matchup, this opportunity manifested as reality and before anyone could digest the unfolding events, the matchup was over with a 2-0 score to KRÜ Esports qualifying them for the Grand Finals and getting them a step closer to the Masters spot. As you might’ve already guessed, their oppoenents in the Grand Finals were Leviatán Esports and given the recent history between these teams, neither were the absolute favourites; therefore, increasing the hype and anticipation surrounding the matchup.

LATAM - Stage 1 - Challengers Playoffs
2:3
Best of 3
March 28, 2022 - 22:00
  • 13
    Breeze
    Pick
    15
  • 13
    Haven
    Pick
    9
  • 14
    Ascent
    Pick
    12
  • 4
    Fracture
    Pick
    13
  • 6
    Split
    13
Leviatán EsportsAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
kiNgg1.072271.05858136152.9
Adverso1.032110.97777943141.1
Tacolillalzh1.002141.13867615140.3
Melser0.881670.90667334115.9
vaiZ0.671450.74587818102.9
KRÜ EsportsKRÜ EsportsAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
Mazino1.192301.22907437148.6
Keznit1.152411.14928132158.5
delz1k0.961820.97727442115.2
NagZet0.871940.99747512117.2
Klaus0.761580.86596927104.0

This Bo5 matchup began on Breeze, which, after an intense battle, proceeded to Overtime twice with Roberto "Mazino" Rivas coming in clutch to secure the win. Unfortunately, the following two maps, Haven and Ascent, weren’t as lucky for KRÜ as they fell 13-9 and 14-12 to Leviatán Esports. Being down 2-1 in the matchup seemed to have awakened the inner beast in KRÜ Esports’ as they turned the game around with back-to-back map wins with a significant score difference on both of them. This win secured their ticket to VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík, while giving Leviatán Esports another opportunity in a matchup against Ninjas in Pyjamas at VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Challengers - South America Playoff.

Preferred Maps:

Given the team’s versatility, narrowing their map picks to a specific one is extremely difficult. However, in terms of frequency, KRU has been spotted choosing Bind as their map pick in recent matchups and has had success almost every time. For instance, in the Lower Bracket Final of LATAM Playoffs, they went 13-8 on Bind against E-Xolos LAZER to finish the series and make the Grand Finals, while previously taking down Fusion 13-1 on Bind in Lower Bracket Round 1.

Players to watch:

Angelo "Keznit" Mori

If there’s one player that Team Liquid must be wary about prior to their matchup, it is Angelo "Keznit" Mori. His performance has never ceased to amaze the onlookers, and his adaptability is mind-blowing. Before the new patch was introduced, he had limited himself to playing Phoenix and Raze. Nonetheless, when the time came, it didn’t take long for him to master the usage of Jett and Kay/O. In the Bo5 Grand Finals series alone, he demonstrated consistency in his performance despite playing on 4 different agents.

Going into the first matchup at VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík, KRÜ Esports’ roster is as follows:

Juan Pablo "NagZet" Lopez Roberto "Mazino" Rivas Nicolas "Klaus" Ferrari Joaquín "delz1k" Espinoza Angelo "Keznit" Mori Martin "BeTony" Bourre (Coach) Alan "ddx" Salvati (Analyst)

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