Akrew Valorant team pose on stage after winning a tournament
Akrew Valorant team pose on stage after winning a tournament

Why Akrew is the hottest team in North American VALORANT right now

by Brian Bencomo

Did you know that there’s a North American VALORANT team that has won 31 matches in a row? No, it’s not Sentinels, Envy, Cloud9 Blue, 100 Thieves or XSET. It’s actually Akrew.

Akrew have won 31 matches in a row dating back to November and the start of Nerd Street’s sixth open qualifier for the VALORANT Winter Championship. Their results since then are as follows:

  • Nerd Street Winter Champs: Open 6 – 7 wins
  • Nerd Street Winter Champs: Open 8 – 7 wins
  • Nerd Street Winter Champs: Open 9 – 7 wins
  • Knights Monthly: December – 6 wins
  • Nerd Street Winter Champs Regional LAN Philadelphia – 4 wins

Sign up for one of Nerd Street’s upcoming VALORANT Winter Champs open qualifiers!

Akrew’s latest wins were at Nerd Street’s Regional LAN Philadelphia, a qualifier for the Winter Championship. It was the team’s first LAN tournament victory.

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The team’s roster consists of the following players:

  • Corbin "C0M" Lee
  • Eric "Kanpeki" Xu
  • Andrew "Gucc107" Gutnichenko
  • Austin "Neon" Hedge
  • Jake "Paincakes" Hass

All members of this roster except Neon were part of the unsigned team EZ5. Neon was previously with Serenity, and C0M also spent time with Complexity before joining EZ5. No word on whether Neon will be playing Neon when VALORANT’s newest agent becomes playable, but he is the team’s duelist, and he did drop a cheeky hint on Twitter the day Neon was revealed.

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In a postmatch interview after the team’s win at the Winter Champs Open 9 qualifier, C0M mentioned some of things Akrew does well and said he thought Kanpeki is the best Astra he’s ever seen.

“Our team really has a lot of good communicators which I think is super crucial in this scene,” C0M said. “Everyone just knows their role, everyone knows what each other is doing, everyone chimes in when it comes to strats, honestly our team is just well-rounded and it really makes me happy that I’m a part of this team.”

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Since the start of the team’s winning streak, their ranking in North America has improved from No. 31 to No. 12, according to VLR.GG.

The team has not faced any of the top 10 teams in North American VALORANT, according to VLR’s rankings, however, they have beaten some of the better Tier 2 teams in the scene right now. During their 31-game winning streak, they have beaten Pioneers (No. 11), Knights (No. 13) and SoaR (No. 14).

Akrew is set to compete in Nerd Street’s Open 15 on Jan. 24, according to Battlefy. The first time we might see Akrew take on some of the titans in NA VALORANT could be during the NA Stage 1 Challengers open qualifier, which is set to start Jan. 27.

C0M said the team looks forward to playing the top teams in the scene.

“We’re really looking to play against teams like XSET … Cloud9, Sentinels, all of them,” he said. “We really want to see how we test up against them, ‘cause I think that’s a big test for us as a team and how different they play and how we can improve in that way.”

He said the team’s goal was to finish among the top 12 teams in the upcoming VCT open qualifier. If they do, they would get several weeks of competition against NA’s best during the Stage 1 Challengers main event taking place Feb. 11 to March 27.

Lead photo credit: Nerd Street

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