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More than a million people tuned into the semifinal of VALORANT Champions Saturday to see one of the greatest maps in VALORANT history. The match between KRÜ Esports and Gambit Esports went to 34 rounds in a slugfest of tactics. Now, Gambit Esports will face Acend in the first-ever VALORANT Champions grand final.

Both teams have been up-and-down throughout Champions. Acend originally fell to Vivo Keyd before a competitive ruling had them replay the deciding map. The European team hasn’t dropped a map since. Gambit Esports, the champions of Stage 3 Masters Berlin, dropped maps to X10 CRIT, Team Secret, Team Vikings and now KRÜ Esports. Both have showed that they can do whatever it takes to come out on top.

Keep reading for thoughts from the Upcomer staff, including match, MVP and map predictions. The match kicks off 12:00 p.m. EST Sunday on the official VALORANT Twitch channel.

Who will win VALORANT Champions and with what scoreline?

Acend will win the VALORANT Champions final. After a controversial start with the camera exploit used by Vivo Keyd, Acend have been on a rampage. Team Liquid, who I thought would take the whole thing, didn’t stand a chance against Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi and company. Gambit has looked shakier than in previous tournaments, dropping maps to every team they’ve played against.

Acend will win 3-2.

— Aron Garst

Gambit Esports will win Champions because they have the mental fortitude to bring back the series. We have seen it twice this tournament where Gambit defies all odds to pull out the series win. Against both Team Vikings and against KRÜ Esports.

Gambit will win 3-1

— Danny Appleford

Gambit Esports will win Champions. The grand final will be a five-map affair, which is all about mental fortitude and grit. Acend has had fairly painless playoff matchups so far, which, of course, speaks to their caliber, but Gambit has an edge over them because they’ve shown they’re capable of winning even when backed into a corner.

Gambit will win 3-1.

— Bonnie Qu

Who will be the finals MVP?

The MVP of the series will go to Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov, who has been an absolute monster on both Jett and Skye throughout the event. If he can keep up the pace that he has had recently, he should be MVP of the series.

— Appleford

It should be Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov if Gambit comes out on top. He carried the team through that match against KRÜ. If Acend wins then the MVP could go to just about anybody on that squad. All the players on that team have shined throughout different parts of Champions.

— Garst

If Gambit wins, the finals MVP will be Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov. Chronicle has been a consistent high performer for Gambit this tournament, providing valuable utility and making clutch plays to save entire rounds. His ability to turn any situation around will prove invaluable for Gambit, especially against Acend, who have proven capable of exploiting weak points and overwhelming their opponents.

— Qu

Most important map in the final best of five veto?

Bind. Acend view it as an automatic win. It’ll play a pivotal role in the grand final, no matter what happens. Gambit could feel confident and challenge Acend on it. If it’s removed then Acend will have to win in other ways. I’d love to see Fracture, but it’s not a map for either team so that’s unlikely.

— Garst

If Gambit want to have a better chance at securing a 3-1 or a 3-2 win over Acend, they will have to ban Bind. Gambit can play them on Fracture or Breeze, but Acend has shown how comfortable they are on Bind.

— Appleford

I’m going to agree with Aron and Danny here and say that Gambit should ban Bind. They struggled on it Saturday in that exhilarating quintuple overtime against KRÜ, while Acend has won every Bind they’ve played this Champions in decisive fashion. Without that map in play, the teams will be on the most even footing possible.

— Qu

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