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Day 3 of VALORANT Champions featured Fnatic making it out of the group stage, Vivo Keyd upsetting Acend and Envy beating X10 CRIT. The biggest storylines coming out of the day are how each team’s star players came to play, from Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev for Fnatic, Olavo “heat” Marcelo for Vivo Keyd and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker for Envy. All three players had individual pop off moments and won rounds singlehandedly for their team.
Keyd’s heat especially shone today. His teammates definitely put in work, and had some highlight plays of their own, but Acend had to deal with heat every round before they could think about taking on the rest of the team. Heat and Keyd’s win also put doubt in the VALORANT community’s mind about Brazil’s status in the competitive scene. Before this match, Brazil had yet to notch a win against a major region. While not on the same level as the region’s Counter-Strike teams, Keyd – and FURIA Esports on Thursday – have forced the other regions to put a little more respect on their names.
Fnatic went blow for blow against Vision Strikers before the European team finished the South Koreans off on Fracture. While the end scoreline was respectable, Fnatic won nine rounds of the first 10 and pretty much sealed the series before the first half was over. Envy, on the other hand, dealt with X10 CRIT in two quick maps. While the South East Asian squad put up a fight, it felt almost inevitable that the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Berlin runner ups would take the series.
MVP of the day: Derke
The Jett main managed to leave his mark on Fnatic’s matchup against Vision Strikers, and he didn’t even play the wind walker in all three games. Derke has taken up Raze on Haven and Fracture to combo better with his team’s compositions. He finished the three-game series with a 61/40 Kills/Deaths ratio while clicking the heads of his enemies for 27% of his kills. His best map was Fracture, notching 25 kills as he kept Blast Packing at Vision Strikers on attack and knocking down every player in his way.
Derke. That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/jpaBH81LdF
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) December 3, 2021
While there were many candidates for the title, Russian entry fragger made it hard not to choose him for the award.
Best play at Day 3 of VALORANT Champions
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) December 3, 2021
VALORANT Champions has already had its fair share of flick headshots, but this clutch from Murillo “murizzz” Tuchtenhagen for Keyd was incredible. Not only was it in a clutch situation, but murizzz was on Killjoy, an agent that he does not have that much experience on professionally. The Brazilian player was previously the team’s secondary duelist.
The round is also a microcosm of the series itself. Neither team look to have a deep playbook, but play through their own individual skills and ideas from round to round. In this series, Keyd and their three Duelist players (two of which played different roles) were hotter in the server and are one series win away from the knockout stage.
Have we underrated Brazil for too long?
FURIA took Sentinels to three maps at Day 2 and now Keyd have given Brazil a decent win internationally. Before this event, not many people had Brazil rated highly, even themselves. But the three representatives seemed to have leveled up between VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Berlin and this tournament. Before Champions, Brazil had a negative overall record internationally. At Champions, they have won two and lost one close series against a favorite to win the event.
Although, it may be a bit too early to give Brazil their due. Fans will get the chance to see Brazil face off against more top tier competition at Day 4 as Keyd and Team Vikings take on Envy and Gambit Esports respectfully for spots in the knockout stage.
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.