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KRÜ Esports pulled off a stunning upset at VALORANT Champions on Monday with a 2-1 victory against North American powerhouse Sentinels to eliminate the squad from the tournament.
After a brutal back-and-forth, best-of-three series between the two teams, KRÜ came out victorious in the lower bracket match of Group B. Sentinels, alongside Team Liquid, were the favorites to make it out of Group B based on their performances from past events. However, the only Latin American team at the event showed North America what the region could accomplish. They will now face Fnatic in the opening round of the playoffs.
Well, we always knew we’d shock the world.
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) December 6, 2021
“It is a really big deal for us because obviously we have been here since Iceland, and we passed the Berlin first stage,” KRÜ’s Juan “NagZ” Pablo Lopez said in a post-match interview. “To be able to perform like this, to show our true potential and to show that we can actually beat and play against all the best teams in the world, it’s just an amazing experience.”
Fracture was the first map of the series, and it highlighted the first instance of what LATAM was capable of against the former Masters 1 and 2 champions. KRÜ pushed the North Americans, but Sentinels won with a 13-7 scoreline thanks to in-game leader Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan pulling his squad over the finish line. The tightly contested series continued on Haven, where KRÜ won seven rounds in a row to push Sentinels to their breaking point. A mixture of NagZ popping off and Sentinels’ Jared “zombs” Gitlin going 7/21 in KD (kills/deaths) that pulled the game in favor of KRÜ.
— Upcomer (@Upcomer) December 6, 2021
The final map of the series, Split, didn’t disappoint either. Sentinels got out to an early lead, but a six-map win streak by KRÜ in the second half brought the Latin Americans back. KRÜ managed to clutch up in the final few rounds and close out the game behind a triple kill from Angelo “keznit” Mori. KRÜ’s win is a win for Brazilian VALORANT fans, too, after beef between zombs and the Brazilian community during earlier rounds of the tournament. Despite Vivo Keyd’s loss to X10 earlier in the day, Brazilian fans can take some comfort in the upset of Sentinels.
“Greetings to zombs,” KRÜ coach Rodrigo “Onur” Dalmagro said via a translator, “because if he thought Brazil was the saddest region — because I don’t like to say shit — then we were the hyper shit, and the hyper shit just sent you home.”
KRÜ advance to the playoff stage of VALORANT Champions alongside Acend, Fnatic, Team Liquid and Gambit Esports, all of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Sentinels, meanwhile, leave VALORANT Champions with the worst finish they’ve had at an international event.
Danny Appleford is an esports journalist for Upcomer that started writing for Daily Esports in 2020. He now specializes in articles surrounding League of Legends, Call of Duty, VALORANT and Halo.