19th September 2021 – 9:29pm
After 10 days of fierce competition, the team Gambit Esports won the final of the Valorant Masters 3 in Berlin. The Russian team, which had failed its qualification for the Masters 2, beat the Americans from Team Envy in only 3 maps.
By winning the Masters 3, Gambit Esports qualifies directly for the Valorant Champions, the World Championship that will take place in December. They also pocketed the $225,000 promised to the winners. Despite their defeat, Team Envy still managed to earn enough VCT points to qualify for the Champions as well.
The Valorant scene had been fairly static for many, many months. Champion of the two previous Masters, Sentinels dominated the world and was naturally the big favourite of the competition. But throughout this Phase 3, the other teams were slowly but surely preparing their ascents. In Group D, Sentinels' first cracks were seen when the new generation of G2 Esports was able to defeat them 2 maps to 0.
But if Sentinels and G2 crystallised respectively the American and European hopes, the real champions of these two regions had not yet tipped their hands. On the American side, Team Envy was able to outpace its compatriots by beating Sentinels and then 100 Thieves during the playoffs thanks to its ultra-aggressive, even chaotic play-style. In Europe, Gambit Esports beat all their opponents one by one, except for 100 Thieves. The team narrowly failed its qualification for the Masters 2, and was determined not to let its chance slip away.
In the end, both teams reached the final with unexpected consistency, regardless of the level of their opponents.
Even though the scoreboard will show that Gambit won the final 3 maps to 0, Envy did not lose out at all, on the contrary. Team Envy was the one that imposed its rhythm at the beginning of each map, sometimes taking more than 6 rounds ahead of the Gambits, thanks to their aggressiveness and their outstanding precision. But Gambit players, who usually have a slower and more methodical style of play, understood very well that they had to to compete in speed and rotation to win.
But if these two teams have been able to make it this far, it's as much for their precision as for their originality. Their quick thinking has allowed them to create scenarios that are rarely seen, to take particular angles or to establish defensive ones that force them to rethink their attack. In this respect, Gambit was able to rely on Chronicle Chronicle to string togehter kills on unorthodox angles, while Yay and Crashies made more than one clutch by camping out at times when the clock should have pressurised them.
Gambit Esports was able to win all the map in the end, but the scenario could have been quite different. What really made the difference were the few moments of panic from Team Envy. At times, they seemed overwhelmed by the event, emptying their magazines into the wind despite being in a very advantageous position and having the advantage of the surprise.