One year of competitive VALORANT finally comes to a close as two titans from EMEA battled it out for the chance to be crowned the first-ever VALORANT Champions. However, after a series that swung back and forth constantly, Acend rose above Gambit Esports to win 3-2.
Both teams were on familiar ground in Berlin after Gambit Esports walked away with the Masters 3 trophy just a few months prior where Acend was eliminated early by 100 Thieves. Additionally, for the first time in international VALORANT history, the event’s grand final did not end in a clean 3-0.
During both Masters: Reykjavík and Masters: Berlin the games went by quickly with Sentinels taking a 3-0 win over Fnatic and Gambit defeating Envy with a clean 3-0 sweep. However, this time around history took a different path as Acend took the second map on Ascent to tie the series 1-1.
With the series tied up, Gambit answered back with one of the most clinical performances on Fracture seen at Champions. Gambit only allowed Acend to get one round during the first half to bring the lead to 11-1 in their favor. Despite back-to-back rounds from Acend in an attempt to make the bleeding stop, Gambit still walked away with the 13-3 victory to bring them to series point.
Even on series point, however, Acend refused to walk away with a 3-1 loss. For Icebox, Gambit couldn’t hold onto their lead and eventually slipped into overtime, which Acend took with ease, bringing the series to a tie once again.
The winning map
For the final map of the best-of-five, both teams met on one of the original maps, dating all the way back to the VALORANT beta: Split. A lead loss by Gambit on Icebox put them on the back foot during the final map of the series, and Acend took the lead early, seemingly running over Gambit all over the map and at every turn.
However, what looked abysmal for Gambit slowly turned around as they brought the game back to 5-7 at the half. In the end, Acend held their lead and took the win away from Gambit.
Despite going down 2-1 in the series to Gambit, Acend pulled it back against all odds to be crowned the first-ever VALORANT Champions. It did not matter that they had not won a Masters event since Stage 1 — they were hanging on for the biggest trophy of the year to claim.
Patryk “starxo” Kopczynski, Acend’s flex player, came up big during their comeback against Gambit. With a 0.96 KD (kill/death) overall on Sage, Viper and Astra, he held down and entered sites with ease to push Acend over the edge toward victory.