Zero MarksMen Black are the latest team to automatically qualify for Nerd Street’s Summer Championship finals in August. They did so by winning the Fullerton LAN #1, a 32-team tournament that took place May 14-15 at Nerd Street’s Localhost facility in Fullerton, California.
They join XSET as the only two teams qualified for the Summer Champs finals so far. Other LANs in the coming months will grant automatic qualification, and the rest of the field will be rounded out by the top teams on Nerd Street’s points leaderboard and teams that qualify via a Last Chance Qualifier. Oxygen Academy are currently the top team on the leaderboard outside of the two auto-qualified teams.
Zero MarksMen Black opened the tournament with group stage wins over 2inch and Apollo Esports. Their playoff run was marked by four consecutive 2-0 victories over Nixies Breath, TMG, Qor Red and edaters. Their closest match was vs. Qor Red, against whom they picked up 13-9 and 13-11 map wins.
The winning roster included Antonio “Enjoy” Billen, Joseph “bjor” Bjorklund, Dayton “lear” Akau, Kevin “mina” Nguyen and Jonard “Jonaaa6” Penaflor. Both lear and Jonaaa6 were recently with Andbox (now NYFU) during this year’s VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 qualifiers, and bjor competed throughout 2021 and early 2022 with Built By Gamers.
Lear, Jonaaa6 and bjor were among the top five players at the tournament in terms of K/D, according to VLR.gg. Jonaaa6 was second among all players with a 1.5 K/D, Lear’s 1.4 was third and bjor’s 1.36 was tied for fourth.
The top player in K/D in Fullerton was none other than Sentinels’ Shahzeb “ShaZaM” Khan, who was the most notable player to make an appearance. He was playing on a team called “it is not normal” that finished 5th-8th at the tournament. Benita “bENITA” Novshadian and Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido were two other notable players competing in Fullerton. BENITA’s Rank G and EMUHLEET’s Leet Squad both finished among the top 16 after losing in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
100 Thieves’ Derrek “Derrek” Ha and The Guard’s Jacob “valyn” Batio also made appearances, but just as fans.
The next Nerd Street VALORANT LAN is set to take place in North Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 21-22. Future LANs are planned for Chicago (June 4-5), Georgetown, Texas (June 11-12), Bakersfield, California (June 25-26), Denver (July 2-3), Fullerton (July 9-10) and Brentwood, Missouri (July 23-24).
Open qualifiers for Nerd Street’s Summer Champs series will continue to take place every week through July 25.