A second North American team has made it through to the playoff bracket on Day 4 of the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters: Berlin tournament. Envy beat Latin American team KRÜ Esports 2-0 to advance.
In their previous match, KRÜ Esports put up a good fight against Japanese team ZETA DIVISION and were able to make it to the winner’s match after defeating ZETA 2-1. Envy got to the match by beating Vivo Keyd in a 2-0 victory that saw the first map go into overtime.
Envy are the second North American team to secure their spot in the playoff bracket after 100 Thieves’ victory over Gambit Esports on Sunday. Sentinels still have a couple more round-robin matches to play before they can secure a spot in the bracket.
The first half of Icebox was a slow start for Envy. They were up three rounds in the beginning of the match until their momentum started to slip, and KRÜ were able to take several rounds off of them, ending the round 6-6. Things looked dire as the second half started, but Envy figured out the tweaks they needed to make, and were able to take the last six rounds to get them the win on Icebox.
Envy’s Austin “crashies” Roberts said that their aggressive playstyle wasn’t scoring them any rounds, so they scaled it back in order to ensure a win on Icebox.
“If we lose dumb rounds, and we're behind, we're used to it even [in online matches], we get a slow start sometimes,” crashies told Nerd Street in an interview after the match. “We honestly kind of threw our lead. We were up 3-0 Icebox and we played a little too aggressively in the fourth round, and we lost it. So we just mentally reset after that. And we knew that we were gonna win, honestly, I don't think any teammates had a doubt in their minds that we were gonna win. We just stayed calm and just stuck to our game plan.”
Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen wasn’t worried about their slow start in the first half of Icebox and was completely confident going into Ascent. Little strategy was talked about between matches, besides a tip from Pujan “FNS” Mehta to calm down.
“[FNS] specifically said, ‘guys, we should calm down more.’ And we were talking about the comms and how we're a little cluttered sometimes. So we just decided to calm down a lot more even after we get entry codes, we don't automatically just run into the site,” Marved said.
Envy was right to be confident and have little worry about their performance on Ascent. They crushed KRÜ 13-2, and even took a tactical pause for KRÜ’s benefit.
Crashies said the team took a technical pause during the secon map for KRÜ's benefit. Photo credit: Riot Games
“In the second map, we paused for them,” crashies said. “And we were yelling at them that we will take the pause for you guys. And you guys can talk about it because we were up like 9-1 or something or whatever it was. That was funny because I've never experienced that before where we paused for the other team, and we're just yelling at them, and they could see us yelling at them. I think it tilted them, honestly.”
Marved thought the move was funny too, especially since viewers of the tournament had welcomed banter and trash talk.
“I thought that was very funny. And even before the game started, we decided on doing that. And we're like, ‘guys, if we're up this much, let's call a [tactical] pause for them.’ And that's exactly what we did. I feel like it tilted the other team 100%, and we ended up getting the dub,” Marved said.
Everyone on the team performed well in the match against KRÜ, but Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker took the top of the leaderboard with a K/D/A of 42/26/8 and an ACS of 322. Victor “Victor” Wong was right behind him with a K/D/A of 36/26/13 and an ACS of 265. Crashies, Marved and FNS weren’t too far behind, making the win against KRÜ a true team effort.
Looking at the rest of the competition, Envy are watching what other teams are doing before they get matched up in the playoff bracket. Both Marved and crashies were surprised that 100 Thieves won over Gambit to solidify their spot in the playoffs.
“I would say Gambit is pretty insane. I was surprised that they lost to 100 Thieves, because in scrims Gambit are super dominant. Acend are really good, too. So those are the two teams I want to play. But I would say Gambit, losing to 100 Thieves was a little bit surprising for me,” crashies said.
This is the first time that Envy have made an international tournament in the VALORANT Champions Tour, and it is also the first major tournament that yay played with Envy, and Marved is still on loan from FaZe Clan after Jake “kaboose” McDonald moved to the bench and then retired in July.
It is clear that both Marved and his teammates want him to stay on Envy, especially since FaZe Clan found a replacement for Marved in Hunter “BabyJ” Schline.
Marved has been enjoying his time on Envy so far, and was friends with all of his teammates before he was loaned, so he’s hoping to stay after Masters: Berlin.
“It's been very great, and I would like to stay. But you never know what happens. 99.9% I will be on Envy after Berlin. It was a very easy transition for me because I knew these players before I joined the team, and I've had a good relationship [with them].” Marved said.
Crashies is more than willing to keep him on as well and noted that the rest of the team is, too.
“Jimmy is already part of the team. He's already accepted that pretty much after that loan he's gonna come here. So I think he's super happy to be here, and we're ready to accept him, honestly,” crashies said.
Envy will now have to wait and see who they match up with in the playoff bracket. Groups matches will wrap up in the next few days and bracket play begins Friday
Lead photo credit: Riot Games