Leviatan and Paper Rex win - Day 1 of the Valorant Champions
The Valorant Champions is the result of several months of competition within the VCT. If Acend had risen to be the best team in the world in the previous edition, she is absent from this year's tournament. There is still a long way to go to determine the roster that will take her place, but all 16 participating teams are eager to win the title in turn. On the first day, Leviatan and Paper Rex started the competition well: with their respective victories, the two teams sent EDward Gaming and Team Liquid in the playoff.
The group stage promises to be intense, with three more matches scheduled for later in the day, with the start of Group B matches.
An incredible confrontation
The very first match of this Valorant Champions was against Paper Rex, finalist at the Copenhagen Masters, against EDward Gaming, the challenger from China. And what a meeting it was, as much for the talent of the players as for the improbable situations.
EDward Gaming got the tournament off to a flying start by selecting Pearl as the first battleground. After the 3K of Smoggy in the pistol-round, the roster quickly took the lead, 5-0. This hot start put the Paper Rex players on edge, forcing them to call their two timeouts even before round 7. Despite the initial difficulties, they didn't let it get them down and managed to tie the score in round 12, thanks to a 4K from mindfreak. The second half was just as close. The two rosters traded wins and losses, so that at the end of round 22, Paper Rex was leading by only two points, 12-10. After a final win, the Chinese team finally lost 13-11.
The defeat did not dampen the spirits of the EDG players. On Icebox, they showed their full potential and simply crushed their opponents. During the Defence phase, they were exemplary and only lost two of the twelve rounds. nobody took the opportunity to make the first ace clutch of this Valorant Champions. After the changeover, Paper Rex managed to win three more points, before conceding the map 5 to 13.
A third and final map was therefore necessary, and it is on Haven that it all came together. Benkai set the tone in round 1: alone against four EDG players, he kept his cool and took down his enemies one by one to win the point. A first win, led to a second, but EDG stopped the opponent's Momentum to regain the lead. Paper Rex emerged victorious in the next five rounds. At the changeover, the roster only had a small lead and led 7-5. Thanks to a successful pistol-round and two 4Ks from Jingg and f0rsakeN, the team came dangerously close to victory. EDward Gaming fought until the end, but another 3K from f0rsakeN ended their hopes of success. Final score: 13-8.
Team Liquid falls to Leviatan bullets
The 2022 season was not the best for Team Liquid players. After a 7/8th place in the Reykjavik Masters, the roster failed to qualify for the second LAN of the year, the Copenhagen Masters. However, as in the previous year, the team secured their place at the Champions by winning the LCQ EMEA. Leviatan dominated the overall LATAM ranking, even beating the formidable KRU Esports.
The Leviatans were fired up and started this year's championships by winning five successive rounds on Haven. Jamppi and his teammates ended the winning streak, scoring a first point in round 6. The roster managed to win three more points, but still trailed 8-4 at the changeover. In Defence, Team Liquid lost again in the pistol-round and then in the next round, both losses forcing them to call a timeout. This short break was beneficial, as they came back into the race, closing the gap in the score: 10-8 at the end of round 18. The end of the game was intense and full of suspense, but it was Leviatan who won this card. Final score: 13-10.
For the rest of the match, the Chileans selected Ascent. Galvanised by their earlier victory, they quickly took a 4-0 lead, with a superb 4K from Shyy to the pistol-round, then a 1v5 clutch of Tacolilla in the next round. The tide turned in Round 5, which resulted in a win for Team Liquid. This win was only the first of four. We salute the 4K of Jamppi during this period. At the end of the eighth round, the two teams are tied... and finally stay tied at the changeover. During the second period, Leviatan takes the lead, and then Team Liquid comes back to tie again. At the beginning of round 19 the counters read 9-9. Determined to finish, Leviatan scored three more points. ScreaM makes a very nice 4K in round 22, but it is not enough. His team loses again. Final score: 13-10.
By winning their match, Paper Rex stays in the upper bracket. They will meet Leviatan tonight at 8pm. EDward Gaming, on the other hand, is in a critical position and will face Team Liquid on Sunday 4th September at 5pm in an elimination match.
The second day of matches has already begun, as the meeting between LOUD and ZETA Division is underway. OpTig Gaming and BOOM Esports will take to the stage in succession, see you at 5pm to support either team.
The Valorant Champions is broadcast in different languages and mainly on Twitch. To follow the competition in English or French, please visit Official stream (EN) or the Official stream (FR). You can also enjoy the watch party organised by our Captain, on Twitch channel.