LOUD defeat Team Liquid, win quarterfinal at Stage 1 Masters
LOUD Team Liquid
Provided by Riot Games.

LOUD defeat Team Liquid, win quarterfinal at Stage 1 Masters

Brazil start strong in the Stage 1 Masters playoffs

Brazil’s LOUD beat Team Liquid in the winner’s quarterfinals of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 1 Masters on Thursday.

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Heading into this game, we knew a lot more about Team Liquid than we did about LOUD when it comes to international play. Team Liquid had to fight through the group stages to make it to the playoffs, while LOUD are a Brazilian superteam that quickly took the top spot in their region. That is no small feat, but had the side effect of skipping group stages in their first international tournament as a team. Now, they had the chance to put Brazil on the map against a team that made waves in 2021, Team Liquid.

Icebox puts LOUD on top first

The match started on Icebox, with Team Liquid quickly getting the first two rounds in their favor. But, in the span of only a couple of seconds on the third map, Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi got a good spray down to win LOUD their first map.

LOUD then proceeded to win the next three rounds in a row, forcing a timeout from Team Liquid to try and stop their run. Yet, LOUD kept their pace and were winning the duels that mattered most on their attack.

One round showed some hope for Team Liquid, where Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom started with a Sherriff and got the kills needed to upgrade his kit and clutch a round. Even with that round win, Team Liquid went into halftime down 5-7.

The second half started similarly to the first, with Team Liquid winning the first two rounds to tie the series at 7. But, LOUD continued their coordination to win crucial rounds with their utility. For example, on attack, LOUD performed a perfect post-plant with their molotov-like abilities to win round 16.

After reaching 11-8 and forcing another timeout, LOUD had the upper hand to finish out the map. Team Liquid made it close with some smart post-plants, both teams in double digits. But a risky defuse into a 1v1 by Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro clutched out the round for LOUD, winning the first map 13-10.

Haven puts Team Liquid back in the game

When Haven started out, Team Liquid won the pistol round, with Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom and his marshal getting a 4k on round 2. In the first half of this map, Team Liquid made sure to play around Nivera’s sniping capabilities. LOUD started to adapt, taking more short angles to try to win rounds.

Even as Team Liquid started to go on a run, funny moments like this Jett dodge by Erick “aspas” Santos.

That was a nice moment for LOUD in a half to forget, going into halftime down 10-2. Every member of Team Liquid had great moments, from ScreaM and Nivera to Dom “soulcas” Sulcas.

When the sides swapped, the brothers on Team Liquid won the pistol round. After a nice wallbang from Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen, Team Liquid eventually secured the map 13-3.

Ascent decides it all

After a great second map and a close loss in the first, Team Liquid’s momentum carried into Ascent, the final map of the series. The pistol round was a good example of that momentum, as Travis “L1NK” Mendoza got a 4k to secure the first round.

After an extensive technical pause, LOUD came back to win four rounds in a row. When Team Liquid would win an eco round, LOUD would come right back with a confident win of their own.

It looked like LOUD would enter halftime with a lead, but Nivera brought two great round performances to tie the game at the half 6-6. Neither team wanted to give away a lead for long, with both Brazilian and European fans arguing heavily in the Twitch chat who would win. Round 16 was a great example of how close the game was, with every kill getting traded until only a LOUD player remained to win it all. They managed to get the first two-point lead of the second half at 10-8.

Just when LOUD was only two map wins away, Jamppi hit some great shots on his Guardian, but a Stinger double kill from Saadhak and cleanup on the final round gave LOUD the map 13-10 and 2-1 in the series.

This means that LOUD will face off against G2 Esports in the upper semifinals, while Team Liquid will battle in the lower bracket against ZETA DIVISION.

“I think that G2 is one of the best teams in the tournament, if not, the best,” said Sacy. “But winning against Team Liquid is giving us hope that we can beat them.”

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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.