Written By Germanicus - 2020-07-20
In one of Europe’s biggest tournaments, 6 invited teams and 2 qualified teams took part in the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational over the last few days. The tournament had a $50,000 prize pool and was the tournament organizer WePlay!’s first entry into the VALORANT scene. The action was incredibly exciting throughout the event, so here’s a recap of whatever you may have missed!
The first day of the swiss bracket format was set to be incredibly impactful, as it would determine the strength of the opponents you’d face heading forward. The first match was Ninjas in Pyjamas vs forZe, and while ForZe looked much improved from their previous outings - Nikolai "kolyaN" Varaxin being particularly impactful - they still couldn’t stand up to the newly signed NiP roster. PartyParrots beat the Hungarian squad need more DM with relative ease, and Team Liquid breezed past a very weak Prodigy lineup. Adam "ec1s" Eccles picked up Operator duties since Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks had left for G2, and looked very good with the weapon. G2 Esports vs nolpenki to close out the day was a much closer match than anticipated, though. While G2 won Split 13-7, some stellar plays from Vakaris "vakk" Bebravičius gave nolpenki a large lead after their attacking half. They couldn’t keep it together on defense, though, and G2 ended up taking the map, Ascent, and the series.
Day 2 began with ForZe vs. need more DM, and while NMDM dropped the first map - another sign of ForZe’s improvement - they roared back and only lost 4 more rounds over the course of the series. Nolpenki smashed Prodigy just like fish123 before them, with vakk putting up 403 ACS on the first map, Split, and 348 average across both maps. Both ForZe and Prodigy were now eliminated from the tournament.
Fish123 played Ninjas in Pyjamas quite closely, even winning the first map, but it wasn’t to be. PartyParrots vs G2 was down to the wire, though. Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky kept PartyParrots in it time and time again. After 3 maps, one of which went to overtime, G2 won. Some people on social media called it one of the best VALORANT matches yet.
The first match of day 3 was need more DM vs nolpenki, the Hungarians vs. the Lithuanians for a spot in the semifinals. And it was need more DM who came out on top. Vakk, who had been so dominant all tournament, was consistently punished for his aggression by Renátó "bzt" Bárányos, and nolpenki didn’t have the secondary fragging to still come out on top without him. NMDM took the maps 13-10 and 13-5 to advance.
Second was fish123 vs PartyParrots for the next semifinal spot, an incredibly tight series. It went to 3 maps, with scores of 13-10, 13-9, and 13-6. But fish123 won two of those to qualify for the semifinals. Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom had a stellar performance, snagging 70 kills over the course of the series.
And finally, it was the two heavyweights, Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. G2 Esports. Ultimately, while G2 did drop the first map - something that’s becoming a theme for the squad - they still won the series 2-1, and got to select their semifinals opponent. Their choice was need more DM.
The first semifinal was NiP vs. fish123, and it came down to the wire. NiP took the first map, Haven, off of some fantastic plays by Damien "HyP" Souville and Charles "CREA" Beauvois. CREA was consistently able to use his Omen to teleport behind fish123 and snag 2-3 kills. But fish123 came back dominantly on Bind, not letting NiP get anything going, despite some more good Omen play from CREA. Ascent was absolutely crazy. After fish123 took a large lead on offense, NiP pulled it back to bring it to overtime. Rounds went back and forth, with clutch play after clutch play, until fish123 were finally able to shut down NiP’s attack for good as they tried to enter A site. Fish123 won Ascent 17-15, and the series 2-1.
G2 vs. need more DM, though, was not predicted to be as close, and this did turn out to be the case. G2 continued their reign of terror over Europe as they smashed NMDM, 13-3 on Bind and 13-7 on Ascent. The finals were set - the beta gods vs the full release gods, ardiis vs. his old team, G2 vs. fish123.
All this built up brought us to the final moment of the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational, pitting G2 Esports against fish123. Both teams overcame their opponents during their journey to the Finals, and it all came down to this moment. We kicked off the match with Bind, where G2 Esports came out victorious with a 13-9 scoreline. Dom "soulcas" Sulcas got a 280 ACS rating, with 20 kills and 5 of them being first blood. However, it wasn’t enough to push his team over the line.
The second map came along, Ascent, and fish123’s Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom played tremendously well as he always does. He managed to get an impressive 364 ACS playing Breach, but again, fish123 gave up a few crucial rounds to G2 Esports. The latter was more organized, more team-oriented, and managed to execute well on their gameplans, which proves the importance of team cohesion in VALORANT at the highest level. The map ended 13-8 in favor of G2 Esports, sealing their 2-0 victory and the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational title.
What was the most exciting match of the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational in your opinion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!
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