The saying goes: “If you come for the kings, you best not miss.” Envy took that literally. In the last quarterfinal matchup of the bracket stage at the VALORANT Champions Tour’s Masters: Berlin, Envy took out the only team with an international tournament win in VALORANT.
Sentinels have been a thorn in the side of North American teams for all of VCT. After winning Stage 2 Masters without dropping a map, Sentinels were the final boss every other region expected to have to face if they wanted to come out on top.
With Sentinels’ sheer dominance of NA, the belief was that it would need to be a team like Gambit or Vision Strikers who took them out. But just like an episode of Game of Thrones, it's the people closest to you that pose the biggest threat. Sentinels' tournament ended at the hands of Envy. The team that once looked truly unbeatable was proved mortal.
“It feels amazing [to beat Sentinels],” said Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen after the win. “I’ve been on two teams and I’ve never beat them before. It feels great to beat them on LAN too, especially 2-0. We always knew we could do it but today, today we were on some demon s---.”
Marved and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker were the new additions to Envy in Stage 3 that have pushed this roster over the top. Yay, fittingly, is nicknamed El Diablo for his ability to get himself, and his team, moving with the demon energy.
“Bringing in yay, he has the El Diablo confidence,” said Austin “crashies” Roberts in the postgame press conference. “He instills confidence in the whole team, we know that everyone is scared of him, so it gives us that El Diablo confidence as well.”
Roster changes play a big part in teams improving, especially when the results are as clear cut as they have been with Envy. But at the same time, Envy’s players have simply improved. Crashies has always been talented, but in the last few months he’s become one of the best Sovas in the world, if not the best.
When asked whether crashies should be the MVP of this tournament so far, every Envy player stumbled over themselves with ringing endorsements for the Sova main. In this match, like in many of Envy’s best performances over the last few months, it was again crashies who set the tone.
On Map 1, his 1v2 with just 10 health remaining stopped a potential Sentinels comeback. Then, with the match in OT, it was crashies who put the clinching 4K together.
“Even when we were losing rounds, the team was really confident,” crashies said. “Honestly, we should have closed it out 13-6, it should never have gone to overtime. We lost some dumb rounds, but we were all super confident that we were going to win the match.”
On the second map, the game stayed close through the first half. Once the second half got underway, it looked like Sentinels were set to bring the score to 6-7 on a pistol round. Victor “Victor” Wong had other plans.
“In the moment, I didn’t doubt myself for a second,” Victor said. “I knew I could win, I was isolating the 1v1’s really well. Good thing the right click went in my favor.”
“I felt it, Vic always wins those,” Pujan “FNS” Mehta added. “I don’t know why, but he finds a way so that was really cool.”
That clutch was the beginning of the end for Sentinels. As one team packs their bags, a new North American team will be set to take the crown when 100 Thieves and Envy play in the semifinal matchup tomorrow.
With Sentinels eliminated, the stakes are clear. Win and you get a shot at the championship, an automatic spot in VALORANT Champions and become the first North American team not named Sentinels to be able to claim the title as best team in NA since VCT began.
Lead photo credit: Riot Games