19th March 2021 – 9:57pm
The Valorant Masters EU 1 has reached its final stages! After a hectic group phase, only 4 teals are left in the competition. As a reminder, each team earns qualification for the World Championships based on their final placement in this tournament. Let's take a last look at what happened during the group stages before the semi-finals.
sat 20 – 5pm
|Heretics||2 – 0||Guild Esports|
sat 20 – 8pm
|FunPlus Phoenix||1 – 2||Acend|
dim 21 – 17h00
In contrast to the Valorant Challengers EU, where the intensity of the show was up and down, the Valorant Masters EU was rich in emotion. It must be said that the level is extremely high, even among the very young teams that we had hardly seen until now. No match is won in advance, the surprises followed one another and the places for the Valorant Champions Tour required a lot of investment from the players.
The Team Heretics, favourite for the tournament, seemed to struggle to get into their stride. Their strategic style of play struggled to adapt to the ultra-aggressive style of Ballista. Against Ninjas in Pyjamas, they were much more comfortable. Even though they conceded Bind to their opponents, they only made short work of them on Split and Ascent.
Before fighting Heretics, Ninjas in Pyjamas had beaten Acend in an extremely close match. The latter did not let themselves be demoralised and absolutely pulverised Ballista in the loser-bracket. So it was time for a rematch between Acend and Ninjas in Pyjamas. If we expected a close game in favour of the Ninjas, Acend finally proved to be the best.
While the Ninjas in Pyjamas have looked particularly strong in recent months, they finally lost to the European champions as well as a new team on the circuit. The organisation is struggling to break out of its status as a successful team, but not enough to win a title.
Group B was much more explosive. Whether it's Guild Esports, Alliance of DfuseTeam, they are all ultra-aggressive teams which rely on their skill and reflexes. The style contrast was radical with FunPlus Phoenix, which plays very slowly and is not afraid to put the Spike down until the last second. Confident in this more meticulous approach, Phoenixes don't even play duelists most of the time. A choice that paid off and allowed them to defeat Guild Esports rather easily.
The second match in Group B was between Alliance to DfuseTeam. These two teams know each other well and we were used to seeing the Fearoth team win. But not this time. DfuseTeam managed to win by a hair of a margin on Ascent (13-11), before transcending on Split (13-4). Alliance was then rushed into the loser-bracket for a match against Guild Esports, the closest match so far. The two teams went head-to-head and went into overtime twice. In the end, Guild Esports came out on top.
On the winner's side, the encounter FunPlus Phoenix against DfuseTeam was particularly challenging for both teams. The rounds were very long and were usually played by a hair or a magazine bullet. Until a few weeks ago, we could not imagine the small French organisation competing with one of the best teams in Europe.
The last match before the semi-finals was opposing Guild Esports to DfuseTeam. One again, the intensity was at its peak. While DfuseTeam won the first map, Guild Esports gradually took over the next two maps. The duo Bonkar and Yacine once again worked wonders, but Draken and Leo weren't to be outdone. Despite an impressive run, it was the end of the dream for DfuseTeam, while Guild Esports qualified for the rest of the tournament.
If we're going to talk about the best players of the tournament, it's hard not to mention Logan, even though his team failed to qualify for the semi-finals. He had a series of successful saves and is a very accurate player. DfuseTeam has no shortage of exceptional players, but Logan definitely takes the cake.
At Acend, you can count on Bonecold to put on a show. The player knows how to play hide-and-seek with the decor and the smokes.
On the side of FunPlus Phoenix, the level is much more homogeneous between the players. But Zyppan still stands out, whether playing Raze or Sage.
The Team Heretics is also very consistent. However, we note the regular stunts of Lowel, always calm, precise and formidable.
On the side of Guild Esports, we almost get used to seeing Yacine and Bonkar take all the credits. However, Leo is proving to be a real force of nature, match after match. He plays his Sage extremely aggressively and confirms rounds that seem to be lost in advance.