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Tomorrow, arguably the most significant North American competition this year will occur when eight squads square off for three tickets to VALORANT Masters Berlin, in Germany. The trio of podium-placing teams will represent the region in the Stage 3 event; the last international pitstop before the world championship this upcoming late Nov.
To gauge the community’s feelings heading into the tournament, I posed a simple question: Who do you think is the best NA player competing in the Berlin qualifiers?
After 70,000 responses that pitted each of the 40 starters against one another in one-on-one surveys, we have the results on who fans believe are the kings of the North American region.
Beside each player’s name will be an overall number. This number, which grades from 100 to 0, is the percentage a player is favored against their randomly chosen opponent from the pool of 39 other players. For example, a player with an overall score of 50 would be right in the middle, predicted to be selected half the time and not selected the other half.
Here is who the community picked for their top 10 heading into the final playoff stage for Stage 3:
1. SEN Tyson “TenZ” Ngo (91)
Is there any surprise about who would be on top? The only player to achieve an overall score of over 90, TenZ reigns over the North American hierarchy in a comfortable No. 1 position. The ace of Sentinels is coming off a life-changing tournament at Masters Reykjavík, where he stole the show in the finals. In that grand final against European rival Fnatic, TenZ lit up the battlefield with 19 first kills and 79 overall in the three-game series.
2. 100T Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk (85)
In the second place position, we have the teenage crown jewel of 100 Thieves, Asuna. After switching from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2020, the 100T entry has experienced a transformative ascent; first starring on a young Immortals squad before transferring over to his current home. On a team that preaches structure and balance, Asuna is the ace up their sleeve, the chaotic energy that has time and time again proven to be critical in 100T’s brightest moments.
3. SEN Hunter “SicK” Mims (80)
SicK is a superstar who still finds a way to somehow stand out on a team full of superstars. He’s an all-around natural that makes him irreplaceable in the team’s starting five. Be it in a secondary duelist role next to TenZ or as a role player setting up the field, few in the world can do it as well as the Swiss Army Knife of Sentinels.
4. SEN Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan (79)
If there was any evidence needed for who the top dogs of NA are, here is the third Sentinels player in the top four. Whereas SicK shows a lot of his flexibility on the field, ShahZaM does it inside the game and out; acting as captain and as a de-facto coach of the best team in the world. Beyond his leadership qualities, his Sova ranks as one of the best you’ll see anywhere in VALORANT. And, though TenZ is famed for his Jett, ShahzaM’s portrayal of the wind assassin is second to none on Icebox.
5. TSM Matthew “Wardell” Yu (79)
Rounding out our top five, we have the Canadian sniper Wardell. The head of the Op Academy, Wardell has lived up to his namesake and even surpassed it with recent performances. Over the past 60 days, there might not be a player with more momentum, reeling in 126 first kills to only 33 first deaths. TSM plays around Wardell as their president and they as his secret service, sacrificing their economy and lives to put the Operator in his hands.
While a unique setup makes them outliers in the current pro ecosystem, the results speak for themselves, with President Wardell leading the charge.
6. NV Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker (73)
TSM exorcised yay in the run-up to the Berlin qualifier by eliminating his team Andbox. Yet, in a move fitting of his nickname “El Diablo,” yay found second life by signing with Envy (TSM’s first-round opponent) a week before the tournament. As an offensive dynamo, considered one of the fastest rising stars in all of the VALORANT world, yay’s stock has only continued to rise throughout the months. He currently sits atop North America’s ranked leaderboards. Yay is determined to make good with his second chance at life and take Envy to Champions.
7. SEN Michael “dapr” Gulino (72)
Oh, look, what a surprise, another Sentinels player. At No. 7, we have the anchor of the team, famed for his Cypher and control of the map. ShahZaM, TenZ and SicK are often seen as the three-headed monster of the group. In contrast, Dapr and partner Jared “Zombs” Gitlin are the consistent backbones that let the likes of TenZ zoom around the map on intuition. Recently, we’ve seen him even bring out his Sova and do work on the Russian operative, putting up a 1.24 K:D and 89 kills on only five maps played.
8. TSM Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik (71)
No one on this ranking has had a more tumultuous year than Subroza. It has been a revolving door of players, tactics and lineups for him and the rest of TSM. Subroza has tried to find his place, from being the central controller to the entry man to even being the team’s in-game leader at a point. Finally, though, it feels like TSM has found the proper starting five and roles for their players. Subroza’s Skye has become his signature calling card these recent months, bird-slinging his way back up the NA hierarchy.
9. NV Victor “Victor” Wong (63)
It has been a long road for Victor to get where he is now. Since the beginning of his VALORANT career on T1, he’s been on the cusp of superstardom but has lacked the final result to get him past that line. Like Victor, the same can be said about Team Envy, who has been consistent but haven’t found much glory; a string of fourth-place finishes haunting them. With yay now in the lineup, it could just be what Victor needs to take his and NV’s reputation to the next level as a dynamic duo of carries.
10. SEN Jared “Zombs” Gitlin (62)
You didn’t think the community would forget Zombs, did you? He is the final piece to the Exodia puzzle that is Sentinels. Their central controller might not have the sexiest number; however, he gets it done when it comes to the dirty work needed to let the rest of his teammates soar. His quick mastery of Astra might have been the most crucial reason they won in Iceland. His proficiency on all four controllers makes him the tireless engine that keeps the sports car running. Be it the old-timer Brimstone, the poisonous Viper, the out of this world Astra, or his favorite demonic smoker in Omen, Zombs is there to devour the map.
The rest of the top 20:
11. Andrej “babybay” Francisty (61)
12. Spencer “Hiko” Martin (60)
13. Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella (59)
14. Ethan “Ethan” Arnold (58)
15. Corey “Corey” Nigra (56)
16. Aleko “LeviathanAG” Gabuniya (55)
17. Sean “bang” Bezerra (54)
18. Austin “crashies” Roberts (53)
19. Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond (51)
20. Joshua “steel” Nissan (49)
The survey link: https://www.allourideas.org/berlinna/results?all=true
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.