VALORANT Masters: Berlin is coming to a close, and the teams that will compete in the grand final on Sunday are EMEA’s Gambit Esports and NA’s Envy.
Both winning teams have now locked up a spot in Champions regardless of whether they win the final based on circuit points alone. Since the winner of Masters: Berlin will automatically qualify for Champions, whichever team wins will grant their region an extra spot. If Envy beat Gambit, 100 Thieves will also get a spot at Champions. If Gambit win, it would allow Fnatic to secure a spot.
The all-NA match between Envy and 100 Thieves was the closer match of the day, but Envy still looked like the better team throughout. Envy came into the match after a surprising win against reigning Masters champion Sentinels, sending them home in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The first map took place on Haven, and 100T came out of the gate swinging, winning the pistol round and the next two rounds after that. Spencer “Hiko” Martin commented on how that usually isn’t the case, but today they won both pistol rounds on both maps.
“I personally think we usually lose pistol rounds,” he said. “When I think back to today, I think we won the first pistol [round] of both maps. And we actually were looking bad on gun rounds. So today, I feel like we had a good start. We won our pistols, we won the second round, we even won the bonus [round], I think on Ascent or Haven, we won the bonus round too and went up 3-0.”
Envy, however, took the next 11 rounds in a row. Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker aka EL Diablo was the MVP of the map, ending with a K/D/A of 31/9/2 and an ACS of 449, which was miles above the next deadliest player on the team.
Yay was the biggest challenge for 100 Thieves, and they appeared to be ill-prepared for his performance. Hector “FrosT” Rosario singled him out in a press conference after the match.
“Yes, yay’s first map was very surprising to all of us,” he said. “Because I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say I think he stole that map away from us. Even when we had really good reads. ... We have three people ready for a retake, and he kills them all. It's really hard playing against somebody like that. And [Nick “nitr0” Cannella] knows because his entire CS career he had to play against monsters. And today, we fought a monster.”
Photo credit: Riot Games
The second map had fans biting their nails near the end of the match as 100 Thieves looked poised for another comeback. It started off pretty even with the two teams trading rounds, but Envy found their groove towards the end of the first half and were able to start the second half with five straight rounds before 100T finally answered. Envy were on match point for three rounds until they finally put 100T away, ending the map 13-8 and securing a spot in Champions.
There is no question that the MVP of this match went to yay. His overall K/D/A for the match was 51/26/6, which is higher than the two lowest performing members of 100T combined. He had an absolutely standout match, and 100 Thieves are hoping that Envy and yay bring that same intensity tomorrow so that they too can secure a spot at Champions.
“Make sure yay eats the same breakfast, wakes up the same way, and they should be good. The rest of [the team] don’t even have to play,” 100 Thieves’ Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk said.
As for Envy, they say they’re not concerned about Gambit and are going into the grand final with the same prep that they do before every match.
Photo credit: Riot Games
Gambit beat G2 in the first semifinal of the day 2-0.
The first map was picked by Gambit, and saw the teams compete on Breeze.
"We're not comfortable [on Breeze]," Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas said in an interview after the match. "We weren't expecting them to pick Breeze. We almost took it, to be honest, with no prep."
Indeed the match between the two was very close, with each team taking a round at a time in most instances, but Gambit were able to pull ahead before they went into overtime and took the map 13-10.
If that map was so tight, then Icebox was bound to be a banger, right? Well, not quite. Gambit steamrolled over G2, denying them a single round in the entire match.
Cista “keloqz” Wassim put up a great performance, but G2 didn’t have an answer to Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin, who stole the show with a solid K/D/A of 40/25/9 and an ACS of 322.
So Gambit enter the final coming off the only 13-0 map win in the tournament, and Envy will take the stage having not dropped a single map at Masters. The two teams will play at 12 p.m. ET Sunday with each vying to win Masters, $225,000 and earn an extra slot at Champions for their region.
Lead photo credit: Riot Games