G2 player Keloqz and Sentinels player Sick walk out on stage with arms out
G2 player Keloqz and Sentinels player Sick walk out on stage with arms out

What to watch this weekend: VALORANT Masters: Berlin edition

by Brian Bencomo

Don’t know what to watch this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Esports fans will be squarely focused on the bracket stage of Masters: Berlin this weekend. With four quarterfinals on Friday, here’s a preview of each and what to expect for the semifinals on Saturday and the grand final on Sunday.

Start times for the quarterfinals are approximate as each match will start at the conclusion of the previous match and all matches stream on https://www.twitch.tv/VALORANT.

Vision Strikers vs. Gambit Esports -- Friday, 7 a.m. ET

Vision Strikers have proven to be one of the best teams in the world after beating Europe’s Acend in groups. They’ll have another chance to take down an EMEA team when they face Gambit. Gambit looked unstoppable when they demolished Crazy Raccoon 13-1 in their first match at Masters. They were on the verge of beating 100 Thieves, but ultimately lost in map three. They looked more vulnerable in their second match with Crazy Raccoon, so this matchup with Vision Strikers is sure to be a close one.

G2 Esports vs. KRÜ Esports -- Friday, 10 a.m. ET

G2 Esports did the unthinkable and handed Sentinels their first loss in international play, which is also their first loss since July. They’re the overwhelming favorites in their matchup. But KRÜ have performedhave plenty of LAN experience from both this tournament and Masters: Reykjavík, so don’t sleep on them putting up a good fight against G2.

Read more: SicK on Sentinels’ map loss to G2: ‘They thought we were tilted because we lost the map’

100 Thieves vs. Acend -- Friday, 1 p.m. ET

This will be the fourth NA vs. EU matchup of the tournament. With Sentinels and G2 splitting two matchups and 100 Thieves beating Gambit, NA is 2-1 so far in this rivalry. 100 Thieves put up an impressive 2-1 victory over Gambit in groups, but Acend had to beat Turkish superteam SuperMassive Blaze twice to get to this game. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this match go three maps and include some overtime rounds. If you have time to watch only one quarterfinal, this is the one.

Read more: 100 Thieves dominate on Day 1 of Masters: Berlin

Envy vs. Sentinels -- Friday, 4 p.m. ET

In VCT matches this year, each of these teams has won twice against the other. Envy’s wins came back in Stage 1 (before Tyson “TenZ” Ngo joined the team), and Sentinels’ wins came during the more recent Stage 3 Challengers. Sentinels should win this matchup, but their performance in the G2 match may have revealed enough weaknesses for Envy to exploit. Plus, this match will be on LAN, unlike their previous encounters. Whichever way this goes, we’re guaranteed to get at least one NA team in the semis.

Read more: Crashies clutches in Envy’s match vs. Vivo Keyd at Day 2 of Masters: Berlin

Masters semifinals -- Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

Without knowing the results of the quarterfinals, it’s impossible to know what the matchups will be, and it’s also unclear which side of the bracket will get the earlier semifinal and which will get the later one. What is known is that the first semifinal should start at 12 p.m. ET and the second one will follow. Here are some possibilities …

We might get an all-NA semifinal. If 100 Thieves win their quarterfinal, they’ll either face Sentinels or Envy in the semis, which guarantees that one NA team will reach the final. If Acend win, then we’ll get another NA vs. EU matchup in the semis. Also, if 100T win and Envy lose, then 100T would lock up a spot at Champions. And vice versa. If they both win, then whoever wins their matchup locks in a spot at Champions. The caveat is if any NA team wins Berlin, then both of these teams are going to Champions.

On the other side of the bracket, it’s likely we’ll see G2 face either Vision Strikers or Gambit in the semis. Either one of those matchups would be intriguing. Either we get an all-EU semi or one of the best teams in Europe facing the best team from Korea. If KRÜ pull off the upset over G2 in the quarterfinals, then we could see them facing either Gambit or Vision Strikers in what would be one of the most improbable finals runs

Masters grand final -- Sunday, 12 p.m. ET

Let’s be honest, anything less than seeing Sentinels in the grand final will be shocking and disappointing. They’ve lost to G2, but players chalked up that loss to lack of preparation and the match being merely for seeding. As a result, all three NA teams are on one side of the bracket, which might actually give Sentinels an easier path to the final. We’ve seen Sentinels dominate NA, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them beat Envy and 100 Thieves en route to the final. If they face Acend in the semis, it’s less clear what the result would be.

The Masters: Reykjavík grand final topped 1 million concurrent viewers across all platforms, setting a record for VALORANT. This final will likely top that, especially if we get Sentinels vs. G2, Part III. Whatever direction the bracket takes, it is sure to be an interesting grand final to watch.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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