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Vision Strikers were the top Korean team for the first stage of the VALORANT Champions Tour, and even as far back as First Strike. Then, NUTURN Gaming began to challenge them in the back half of Stage 1 and Stage 2. NUTURN pushed Vision Strikers in every match in VALORANT Champions Tour Korea, forcing third or fifth deciding games in multiple series before sweeping them at Stage 2 Challengers to qualify for Masters 2: Reykjavik.
Vision Strikers may have the better story as an innovative squad with a massive win streak, though. When they failed to qualify for Masters 2, the prevailing narrative was that Vision Strikers were left out of the first international LAN, rather than NUTURN having qualified.
— VALORANT Champions Tour KR (@valesports_kr) May 2, 2021
NUTURN’s thoughts ahead of their next series
“It was actually quite upsetting and sometimes frustrating to see replies on YouTube or comments online about how Vision Strikers should’ve been the team that qualified for Masters 2 rather than NUTURN,” NUTURN coach Jeong “Jaemin” Jae-min said.
The wider VALORANT audience may not have known much about NUTURN before their Masters 2 matches and qualification run. The team, led by tactile FPS veteran Kang “solo” Keun-chul, innovated the meta in the same way as Vision Strikers. They pioneered meta compositions on Bind and Ascent, differing from most teams at the time by opting for Breach instead of a Sentinel. While Vision Strikers have interesting pistol round and other strategies, NUTURN continue to innovate utility combinations.
NUTURN also statistically have better players. Multiple NUTURN players top the Korean Stage 2 Challengers leaderboard in Kill/Death/Assist ratio, average combat score and maximum kills per map. But, there are still those that would have rather seen Vision Strikers represent Korea at Masters 2. According to Jaemin, the team is not competing for those fans.
“There were those comments that were there to support the team and fans that were cheering for NUTURN,” he said. “So me and the team are willing to play for them.”
NUTURN continue their Masters 2 run Thursday against Version1 in the first game of the day.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.