Day 9 of the VALORANT Champions tournament was also the last quarterfinal day, with two big names facing two of the tournament’s biggest underdogs.
VALORANT Champions Day 9
The first game of the day was Masters 3 champions Gambit Esports versus Thai squad X10 Crit. It proved to be what fans and analysts expected, a clash of play styles that was closer than most expected. X10 made it out of groups by using a flexible hyper-aggressive style, upsetting teams like Vivo Keyd and Team Envy. Gambit, much like Masters 3, played with a defensive and precise style that can make rounds look unwinnable for other teams. In the end, this match went to three maps, with each map ending in the same score, 13-7. The player who stood out the most on X10 was Nutchaphon “sScary” Matarat, key in their win on Ascent, a map that Gambit have a very high success rate on.
However, the Gambit squad held strong mentally, getting a lead on Breeze and winning some clutch fights to never look back. X10 are gone from Champions, but with their heads held high.
The second game, Fnatic versus KRÜ Esports, started with a very entertaining map of Haven. Going into the half down 8-4, KRÜ Esports did what they have done all tournament long and fought back. They took the map to overtime, winning it off of some clutch kills from Juan Pablo “NagZ” Lopez Miranda, ending it 15-13. Fnatic started the series down a map but were entering Icebox, a map they know very well. Off the back of insane performances from Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, Fnatic won the map 13-6.
While the map was heavily in Fnatic’s favor, Angelo “keznit” Mori was only three kills away from having 50% of his team’s kills. It all came down to map three, Split. It started like it hasn’t all series, with KRÜ in an early lead. While Fnatic killed them three separate times, KRÜ continued their run. Going into the half up 7-5, their skills on Split that won them their game against Sentinels also won them their game against Fnatic.
This means the semifinals are Acend versus Team Liquid and Gambit Esports versus KRÜ Esports.
Day 9 MVP: Angelo “keznit” Mori
The MVP of the day has to be keznit, who truly was the leader of every map that KRÜ played against Fnatic. He led his team with first kills on the first two maps, with 8 on Haven and 4 on Icebox. On Split, he had +10, at 21 kills and 9 deaths. He got the play of the day below on the map he lost, along with consistently being the spark when his team was down. Not to repeat myself too much, but he was three kills away from having half of his team’s kills on Icebox.
For the upset win that KRÜ Esports did, keznit was the MVP.
Play of the day
You ever heard about a six-man ace in VALORANT? Well, it would require a resurrect from Sage, but when Domagoj “Doma” Fancev resurrected his teammate on Icebox, he only gave his enemy a 6K. Early on in the second map between Fnatic and KRÜ Esports, keznit aimed, fired and got the 6K.
PEGUEEEE @keznitdeuS PEGUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ACE Y 6K SISI 6K PAPÁ
— KRÜ Esports 🤟🇩🇪 (@KRUesports) December 9, 2021
After surprising fans by winning the first map in OT, keznit continued his strong form into the second map. Defending A, he got a good position on high ground and just clicked heads on this play. While it looked simple, people might’ve thought that it was Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev hitting those headshots. Instead, it was just the fragger of KRÜ.
About the Author
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.