"Icebox has been my map ever since its release": nukkye leads Giants Gaming to first win of VCT 2023 LOCK//IN
nukkye Giants Gaming LOCK//IN
Provided by Riot Games.

“Icebox has been my map ever since its release”: nukkye leads Giants Gaming to first win of VCT 2023 LOCK//IN

Giants' first game seemed easy thanks to nukkye

In the second match of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil tournament, Giants Gaming swept DetonatioN FocusMe 2-0 thanks to two great maps from star player Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas.

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nukkye helps Giants to a quick win

On the first map, nukkye was second on his team in average combat score (ACS), but the second map of Icebox was where he really stepped up.

“Icebox has been my map ever since its release and that leads to good performances,” nukkye said. “For that map, I like to take my timings, even if we have set plays.”

While everyone, including the casters at the event, expected a Sage duel on Icebox, DFM didn’t even select the agent. A bit of a surprise for sure, but nukkye and Giants Gaming adapted to it quickly.

“Our defense was a lot easier with no Sage on the enemy team, which also made it a bit stronger,” nukkye admitted. “For attack, it didn’t matter as much, as good teamplay can play around it. While Sage isn’t needed, she is still very useful.”

Icebox ended up being the closer of the two maps, ending 13-7 when Haven was a 13-4 stomp by Giants Gaming. Even with the improvements on the DFM side, thee Giants Gaming roster proved to be too powerful for their opponents. Their precise plays split apart DFM, especially on the attack, and helped Giants Gaming build confidence to finish off the series.

“What’s the way how we want to play the game; to be methodical,” nukkye said. “That’s the bar we’ve set as of this game, and hopefully we can keep it up in future matches.”

NRG is a tough upcoming opponent

With this win under their books, Giants Gaming will be facing NRG next in this tournament, with the loser going home. Both teams swept their original opponents to make it this far, but nukkye has a feeling that teams like NRG have a good chance to make it far in VCT 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil.

“The team that can play their game the best but also adapt mid-match will be the best team,” nukkye said. “Improvisation and playing defaults well will define this tournament. NRG and NAVI are the two teams that I think will do the best, especially since they have experienced leaders like Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta and Kyrylo ‘ANGE1’ Karasov at the helm. We think we have that ability too, but the experience they have matters for mid-game adaptations.”

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Michael Czar
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.