Gambit Esports Valorant team lift Masters Berlin trophy with fireworks behind them
Gambit Esports Valorant team lift Masters Berlin trophy with fireworks behind them

Gambit exorcise El Diablo, beat Envy in Masters: Berlin final

by Jessica Scharnagle

The VALORANT Champions Tour’s Masters: Berlin is now over, and Gambit Esports came out on top as the best team in the world, taking home the trophy for the EMEA region. They win an instant ticket to Champions, another spot in the Champions tournament for their region, $225,000 and the Masters: Berlin trophy.

The match against Envy and Gambit Esports was a tumultuous one, but Gambit ultimately took the best-of-five by winning the first three maps of the match. Envy put up a hell of a fight, but Gambit looked stronger in each subsequent map after taking the first in overtime.

Not even Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker, aka El Diablo, who has been terrorizing fellow NA teams this tournament, could carry Envy to victory this time.

The first map of the game, Bind, set the stage for the rest of the match. Neither team ran away with a large number of rounds, but instead traded rounds back and forth throughout the entire map.

Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov and Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin were the two biggest factors in this map for Gambit. They each put up some massive numbers with a K/D/A of 29/15/5 and 24/16/9, respectively. On the other hand, Victor “Victor” Wong and Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen played well for Envy. In the beginning of Bind, Marved seemed to be able to clear out any threat that he came across, but he ran out of steam toward the end of the map, and Gambit took the win in overtime with a score of 15-13.

Photo credit: Riot Games

Envy lose a critical map

Envy came into Haven revitalized and took some early rounds from Gambit. This map was much less chaotic than the first one, with each team gaining some momentum in order to take multiple rounds in a row, but Igor “Redgar” Vlasov stepped up this time to take the most kills in the map with 22, with the rest of his team following close behind. All but one of Gambit’s team members ended the map with over 20 kills.

Haven should have been an easy map for Envy to win, considering it was one of their best. IGL Pujan “FNS” Mehta and his team weren't prepared for how aggressively Gambit played.

“Their Haven was absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “I keep saying it, but that we were up 8-4 last pistol and then just that bonus round kind of made it really, really hard. They came back, basically made it 8-8 and then we were trading rounds back and forth. Haven is a really, really good map for us when we know how the other team plays and stuff like that. We're able to manipulate rotations. Well, we had a good attack side, but we didn't expect them to just rush every single round. And I think we had no answer for it, or we figured out how to stop it too late.”

What didn’t surprise Envy was nAts. He was the dominant player in previous matches, but he didn’t have quite the presence he usually does in this match as Envy were ready for him.

“I wouldn't say we did anything specifically to counter him,” Austin “crashies” Roberts said. “He kind of plays the same in every game. He's a really strong lurker, so we know whenever Viper walls are up or Viper utility is up, we know that he is most likely there. And then we would just, you know, kill them and then I think he would stop lurking up as much. So yeah, I don't think we did anything to counter him or anything.”

On Gambit’s side, it is safe to say that the team absolutely hates the map. They really didn’t prepare for Haven at all. FNS made a comment that they only play it if someone else picks it and that they will deal with it when it’s picked, but it’s certainly not the first map they go for, and they haven’t practiced on it in a very long time, making their win on Haven an incredible feat.

“When you’re not training on this map for nine months, you just don’t know what to do here. We just communicate with each other and do things we never do on prepared maps, so for us, it’s no pressure,” Redgar said.

“As I said, delete this map please, I don’t want this map, really,” Chronicle said.

Map 3 on Split was another mess of a map with no team able to gain enough momentum to string together a batch of rounds, and the half ended 6-6.

Gambit dominated the second half of Split and Chronicle again led the team in kills. He and Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov were everywhere on the map, and Envy weren’t able to answer, losing 13-9.

Crashies stole the show for Envy on the last map with a K/D/A of 23/20/5, but the rest of his teammates underperformed on Split. On Gambit’s side, everyone on the team had a good map on Split, which made the win a true team effort.

Photo credit: Riot Games

Regional implications for Champions

Gambit and Envy are both going to Champions -- Gambit by winning masters and Envy via circuit points. The losers in this scenario are 100 Thieves, who now will have to compete in the North America Last Chance Qualifier in order to go to Champions.

On the other hand, Gambit’s win was huge for FNATIC, who now goes to Champions due to Gambit’s win opening up another circuit point slot for the EMEA region. FNATIC is the next highest team in circuit points behind Acend.

EMEA has taken the crown over NA as the home of the best team in the world, and to quote sheydos, “I can say only this: NA who?”

The next VCT tournament is NA Game Changers, a tournament for women and marginalized genders which starts later this week. The Champions Last Chance Qualifiers for North America and other regions around the world will take place in mid-October.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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