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Following months of qualifier after qualifier (after an even bigger qualifier), we’ve reached the end of summer and its final destination: VALORANT Masters Berlin.
15 of the best teams in the world from seven regions (after Bren Esports’ visa issues) will embark to Germany to capture the trophy and automatic qualification to the upcoming world championship. As a bonus, the winning team will also secure an extra spot at that world championship, Champions, for their respective region.
As we count down to curtain opening in Berlin, I will guide you through each of the 16 teams vying for Masters victory about their roster, map pool, and the burning questions surrounding them.
KRÜ Esports starting lineup
Juan Pablo “NagZ” Lopez (Chile)
Agents played (past 60 days): Jett (14), Sage (7)
Signature agent: Jett
Stats on Jett (past 60 days):
- 259.4 Average Combat Score
- 1.53 Kill:Death ratio
- 0.88 Kills Per Round
- +16 First Kills-to-First Deaths (48 FK, 32 FD)
Angelo “keznit” Mori (Chile)
Agents played (past 60 days): Raze (11), Reyna (5), Skye (5)
Signature agent: Raze
Stats on Raze (past 60 days):
- 278.5 ACS
- 1.36 K:D
- 0.93 KPR
- +9 First Kills-to-First Deaths (36 FK, 27 FD)
Joaquin “delz1k” Espinoza (Chile)
Agents played (past 60 days): Astra (9), Brimstone (7), Sage (4), Cypher (1)
Signature agent: Astra
Stats on Astra (past 60 days):
- 172.2 ACS
- 1.02 K:D
- 0.62 KPR
Roberto “Mazino” Rivas (Chile)
Agents played (past 60 days): Viper (13), Sage (7), Killjoy (1)
Signature agent: Viper
Stats on Viper (past 60 days):
- 247.0 ACS
- 1.32 K:D
- 0.85 KPR
Nicolas “Klaus” Ferrari (Argentina)
Agents played (past 60 days): Sova (7), Skye (7), Killjoy (7)
Signature agent: Skye
Stats on Skye (past 60 days):
- 188.7 ACS
- 1.20 K:D
- 0.69 KPR
Stage 3 map pool
Bind: 7-0, 100% (57% Attack Round Win, 68% Defense Round Win)
Icebox: 4-0, 100% (83% ATK, 64% DEF)
Ascent: 2-0, 100% (56% ATK, 71% DEF)
Split: 3-1, 75% (68% ATK, 64% DEF)
Haven: 2-1, 66% (61% ATK, 50% DEF)
Breeze: 1-1, 50% (60% ATK, 48% DEF)
My player to watch: keznit
The only new addition to the team that starred at the first Masters in Reykjavik could have been the missing element to turn the Latin American champions. In Iceland, KRÜ weren’t pushovers, eliminating Shark Esports of Brazil from the tournament before bowing out themselves to Europe’s Team Liquid. With keznit, though, who has been electric since switching over from Wygers Argentina between stages, they should have higher aspirations than a single match victory in Berlin.
KRÜ’s most glaring weakness at the previous Masters was their attacking line. Mazino, on his signature Viper, was the standout player in Iceland and acted as a band-aid on top of the leaderboards while their duelists struggled. Instead of being complacent, they made a move to secure an elite fragger in keznit, and it’s worked wonders through Stage 3.
NagZ no longer needs to feel the demand to be the primary facilitator of damage for the team, and keznit has given them another dimension to their play that they lacked at their first international event.
The big question going into Berlin is: What is KRÜ’s ceiling as a team (and region)?
KRÜ sits in a similar spot as Vision Strikers, where they were far and away the best team in their region. And while we’ll get to know more about the overall depth of the South Korean region with them sending a second team in the form of F4Q to Germany, that won’t be the case for Latin America.
Every team in Berlin will have a counterpart from their domestic league playing alongside them at Masters except for KRÜ, the only LATAM representative. This format puts the weight of the world on their pink-clad shoulders. If KRÜ can succeed and pick up some wins once again over their rivals from Brazil and grab a win over the Japanese ZETA DIVISION, it could be enough to warrant another seed for their peers in the 2022 season.
If they have a poor tournament, however, it could have the opposite effect — the results used to explain why LATAM shouldn’t have an expanded footprint in the future.
In Berlin, KRÜ should be aiming for: playoffs and respect for the LATAM region
CAMPEEOOOOOOOOOOOONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES BERLIN Y EL MUNDIAL SON NUESTROOOOOOOOOS@Sentinels HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/yhwEw9kKfZ
— KRÜ Esports 🇩🇪 (@KRUesports) August 20, 2021
The stars have aligned for KRÜ and Latin America as a whole in their quest of possibly gaining more representation at international tournaments like Masters Berlin. They begin their campaign in Berlin with a matchup with the aforementioned Japanese champions ZETA. KRÜ will be eyeing North American No. 3 seed Envy and Brazil’s Vivo Keyd from the other side of the Masters Berlin bracket.
It’s put up or shut up time for a squad that wants to garner some more attention for their scene. If KRÜ can overcome at least Vivo Keyd and ZETA, a playoff berth and the added attention should be enough to spark the conversation on LATAM’s overall strength as a region. If they fail, though, KRÜ could continue being the lone flag bearer for LATAM as we head into the 2022 season.
All stats for this article provided by vlr.gg
Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.