3rd December 2020 – 11:59pm
The main event of the Valorant First Strike has started today! The best teams in Europe have competed against each other for a month in numerous qualifiers. There are only 8 left competing for the Europe Champions title.
1 – Vs – 2
2 – Vs – 0
While we expected Team Liquid to win this BO3 quite easily, it was obvious very quickly that Team Heretics wasn't here for fun.
Still, ec1s' team got off a good start on Split, scoring 4-2, but it was without counting on the anger of their opponents. The Heretics managed to put 10 rounds on Team Liquid, in part thanks to a very meticulous approach and some really good peeks. Let's face it, it was as much a victory for Heretics as it was a loss for Team Liquid who seem to be under the weather. The team made multiple silly mistakes and more than once forgot to watch out for the nooks and crannies where the Heretics hid. Team Heretics wins Split on a score of 13-7.
On Ascent, Team Liquid get some colour back. Putting aside the mistakes of the previous game, ScreaM began to show the extent of his talent. At the end of the third round, he already had a score of 8 kills for 0 deaths. The cover offered by L1NK and ec1s has been more than favourable. However, the Heretics didn't give up, as loWel and nieSoW have shown that they are just as capable of playing slow and methodical as fast and surprisingly. Team Liquid ended up winning, 13-10, not without difficulty.
The match was played on Bind. This time, the two teams were warmed up and ready to fight. ScreaM and loWel were clearly the champions of their respective teams. The first ended the game with an impressive 39 kills for 16 deaths. You can't even count the number of quadrakills he scored during the game. Kryptix and ec1s seemed to have finally woken up too. But Valorant is a team game and the consistency of Heretics made the difference, with a much better distribution of kills and credits. It was a very close game that even went into overtime. It was the self-control of loWel and pAura that ultimately made the Heretics win the match 15-13 and qualify for the semi-finals.
The outcome of this second match's result was even more doubtless. But if G2 Esports did win the match against Orgless, the European favourites really scared us.
The first game on Split seemed to be over. With a score of 10-2 at side's switch, we didn't see how G2 Esports could lose. However, mixwell's team started to show some very big weaknesses. Did they want to have fun, were they too confident or did they show real difficulties in Defense? We will never really know how they let Orgless come back by winning 9 rounds in a row. It looked like G2 Esports was unable to stand still, going from site to site passing by CT spawn, for no apparent reason. The Orgless took advantage of the disorganisation of their opponents to win many rounds. G2 Esports ended up winning by pulling themselves together in an ultimate effort, 13-11.
The confrontation seemed more balanced on Bind. G2 Esports adopted a rather oppressive defensive style, forcing Orgless to stay mobile and rotate around the map. PaTiTek played the beater with Omen's teleports and Pyth monitored the opposing movements, while Mixwell and Davidp took care of catch the preys. As for Orgless, they took advantage of the Viper of Boo to cut the map in half and create decisive One-Ways , while Happy was very happy to use his explosives to wreak havoc whenever he had the opportunity. Finally, Pipson on his Sova was the weakest link in his team, unable to make a real impact outside of his ultimates.
In the end, after many fights, Spike plants and retakes, G2 Esports won. But we will note that the team showed many flaws, as well as some instability. If it's still as effective in direct combat, this is the strategy that seemed to fail. Hopefully, they will be able to correct this flaw between now and the semi-finals.