After going down early on both maps, Talon Esports fought back to beat Evil Geniuses 2-0 and eliminate them from VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil. It was a series of comebacks at halftime, all for Talon Esports. Much like their core has done in previous international LANs, Talon Esports eliminates a North American team from the first LAN of 2023.
PACIFIC ON TOP!!! @Talon_esports take the series to send Evil Geniuses home! #VCTLOCKIN #itssoarintime pic.twitter.com/g6aLDMP1KT
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) February 18, 2023
The battle of defense ended up favoring Talon Esports
This series started strong for Evil Geniuses, keeping the Talon Esports offence to just four maps on their Haven attack half. Plays from Apiwat “GarnetS” Apiraksukumal and the rest of the team were getting shut down by the likes of Alexander “jawgemo” Mor and Brendan “BcJ” Jensen. However, as soon as the halftime hit, Talon Esports took over, thanks to their well-coached defense overseen by Yuttanagorn “Zeus” Kaewkongyai.
“First of all, for these two maps, we are quite confident in our defence,” Zeus said. “For both times at the half, we made sure not to change our playstyle at all, keep playing how we have been training and use all the information we can get.”
That map almost got to overtime, but clutch plays from both GarnetS and Jittana “JitboyS” Nokngam helped secure it for Talon Esports, 13-11. It was tough for Evil Geniuses, seeing that lead slip away and just barely losing the map before overtime.
Split was the same thing, just a little worse for Evil Geniuses
As for Split, it was a mirror of Talon Esports’ performance on Haven. Jawgemo in particular was playing great, continuing his form from the first map. But, yet again, as soon as the sides flipped, Talon Esports just managed to win every round needed. This time, it was an even better defence for Talon, winning the map 13-10. Two close maps, but Talon Esports edged out Evil Geniuses thanks to not only key performances, but a stout defence.
Evil Geniuses now join Cloud9 as a North American team that got eliminated by a Pacific team on this day of the LOCK//IN tournament. But, unlike Cloud9, the lack of pressure from people outside of their own organization put this performance in a better light.
“We can take away so many positives,” Christine “potter” Chi said. “We just lost, but coming into this tournament, everyone knows we’re still a developing roster. We’re a little salty; I don’t think we performed up to our own expectations. But, those are just growing pains. These two weeks are going to mean a lot for us going into the rest of the year.”
DRX next opponent for Talon
Now, Talon Esports are in the top eight of the tournament while Evil Geniuses head home. They won’t have much time to rest on their laurels though, with a big match against a familiar team coming up. It’s Pacific versus Pacific, with DRX facing off against Talon Esports for a top-four spot.
“The game is going to be tough, we’ve faced them a couple of times before and they’ve had the upper hand so far,” Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut said. “We’re going to use that experience to our advantage and try and keep up.”
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.