With the end of the regular season in sight, winning each game ahead of them is more important than ever for the middle-of-the-pack Americas teams still trying to make playoffs. With vital wins against FURIA FURIA Brazil Rank #3 kon4n Vitor Hugo dgzin Douglas Silva mwzera Leonardo Serrati Quick Gabriel Lima Mazin Matheus Araújo Khalil Khalil Schmidt and MIBR MIBR Brazil Rank #2 jzz João Pedro heat Olavo Marcelo murizzz Murillo Tuchtenhagen RgLMeister Matheus Rodigoli frz Leandro Gomes respectively, 100 Thieves 100 Thieves North America Rank #1 bang Sean Bezerra Cryocells Matthew Panganiban stellar Brenden McGrath Derrek Derrek Ha Asuna Peter Mazuryk and Evil Geniuses Evil Geniuses North America Rank #8 Boostio Kelden Pupello ScrewFace Kyle Jensen Demon1 Max Mazanov Ethan Ethan Arnold BcJ Brendan Jensen C0M Corbin Lee Apoth Vincent Le Reformed Jeffrey Lu jawgemo Alexander Mor both took one step closer to that goal.

The next day, Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #21 pANcada Bryan Luna Marved Jimmy Nguyen TenZ Tyson Ngo zekken Zachary Patrone Sacy Gustavo Rossi fans breathed a sigh of relief as KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #2 keznit Angelo Mori NagZ Juan Pablo Lopez Klaus Nicolas Ferrari Melser Marco Eliot Machuca Amaro DaveeyS Santiago Galvis Ruiz axeddy Carlos Alberto continued to go winless. Meanwhile, NRG Esports NRG Esports North America Rank #3 FiNESSE Pujan Mehta s0m Sam Oh crashies Austin Roberts ethos Alan Ruan ardiis Ardis Svarenieks Victor Victor Wong tied up their record 4-4 in their longstanding rivalry against LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 aspas Erick Santos saadhak Matias Delipetro Less Felipe de Loyola tuyz Arthur Andrade cauanzin Cauan Pereira .

To cap off North America's dominance in the week of North America versus South America, Cloud9 Cloud9 North America Rank #2 Xeppaa Erick Bach leaf Nathan Orf Zellsis Jordan Montemurro runi Dylan Cade jakee Jake Anderson defeated Leviatán Leviatán Latin America South Rank #1 Tacolilla Vicente Compagnon kiNgg Francisco Aravena nzr Agustin Ibarra Mazino Roberto Rivas Shyy Fabian Usnayo 2-0 and secured a top two seed in playoffs.

Xeppaa on VCT Americas stage Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games

Day One:

In a surprising turn of events, 100 Thieves let their perma-ban, Pearl, through the map veto, a decision that FURIA quickly seized on to begin the series. Despite winning their pistol round, 100 Thieves ended the first half down 7-5.

100 Thieves appeared to have a good start to their defender side by winning the pistol round once again, but they quickly lost their anti-eco round 4v2 to Quick with a Classic and dgzin with a Sheriff. Riding off the thrifty, FURIA took three more rounds before 100 Thieves closed in on FURIA's lead 11-10. However, disaster struck for 100 Thieves as FURIA won a 2v1 and then closed out the following round, denying the comeback and taking the map 13-10.

Despite losing on Pearl, 100 Thieves came into Fracture swinging with an impressive 7-0 lead. The scoreboard wasn't close either, as at one point the whole of FURIA only had 11 kills—the same number of kills as 100 Thieves' top frag bang .

The Thieves comfortably ended the first half 10-2, and FURIA only managed to scrape together five more rounds on their attacking side before 100 Thieves convincingly closed the game 13-7. The momentum of the match was on 100 Thieves' side as the third and final map of the series began on Haven.

Both 100 Thieves and FURIA came into the match with multiple games on Haven this VCT season, and both teams were positive on the map. The first half of the game demonstrated both 100 Thieves and FURIA's proficiency with the map, as the scoreline was split evenly 6-6 between 100 Thieves on the attacker's side and FURIA on the defender's side.

After halftime, 100 Thieves managed to secure an 8-6 lead by winning their pistol and anti-eco rounds. Despite remaining neck and neck with each other, FURIA weren't able to overcome 100 Thieves' lead, and 100 Thieves reached matchpoint on round 21. FURIA looked poised to take the game to overtime after winning the next two rounds and reaching the coveted 12-11 scoreline, but an unfortunate timing on a Harbor Cove dropping as Mazin attempted to plant the bomb led to FURIA's downfall.

The second game of the day saw Evil Geniuses facing off against MIBR. Previously 1-4, Evil Geniuses have been looking for a comeback to their season and a chance at playoffs after securing back-to-back wins over Leviatán and Sentinels. A win this week and next week would qualify Evil Geniuses for playoffs.

MIBR, on the other hand, entered the match just one defeat away from being entirely eliminated from playoff contention. To make matters worse for the Brazilian squad, MIBR were forced to play with a stand-in for their last two matches after temporarily benching starting duelist player heat due to personal issues. This match against Evil Geniuses would therefore mark the first tournament match in over a year for TxoziN , MIBR's sixth man and one of their assistant coaches.

After a fairly typical map veto, MIBR took Evil Geniuses to their first map pick of Lotus. Evil Geniuses proceeded to gain a 7-0 lead and end the first half with a 10-2 record. Then they took home the map with three back-to-back rounds following halftime.

At first, Fracture promised to be less of a blowout as MIBR took their attacking pistol round and anti-eco round, but Evil Geniuses quickly righted the ship with another seven consecutive round wins. The first half ended 8-4 for the side of Evil Geniuses, and they only let MIBR take one pistol round before once again closing the map in dominant fashion.

Ethan gave a masterclass in utility usage with 23 assists over two maps as initiators Skye and Breach while Demon1 continued to show off his ability to confidently play both Jett and smokes by going 32/16/18 over the course of the series.

Day Two:

With the departure of dephh last week, superstar duelist player TenZ returned to the Sentinels starting roster after a nearly one month long break. The pressure was on TenZ and newly-appointed IGL Marved as Sentinels had to win both their games to even have a chance at playoffs. KRÜ, on the other hand, had already secured a bottom two finish.

TenZ on VCT Americas stage Photo by Robert Paul/Riot Games

Though both teams were winless on the map, Sentinels chose Lotus as their first map pick. Sentinels got off to a good start on their defender's side by winning their pistol and anti-eco rounds, but KRÜ came back with three consecutive wins at the end to tie up the series 6-6.

zekken won a 1v1 against Melser to give Sentinels the pistol round, and Sentinels ran away with three more rounds and a 10-6 lead. However, the game was far from over as KRÜ only let Sentinels win two more of the next eight rounds, tying the series up to a nail-biting 11-11. After winning one round each, the series went to overtime, and Sentinels took the next two rounds in dominant fashion to close the series.

Despite playing Omen for the first time in VCT Americas, zekken went 28/18/9 on Lotus. He was the only player on Sentinels to leave the map with a positive KD, and his ACS of 304 was the highest in the server by over 60 points.

Neither Sentinels nor KRÜ had played Bind in 2023 up to this point, so the second map of the series promised to show off a new side for both teams. This time, KRÜ took the first pistol and anti-eco round, but they weren't able to convert on their advantage for the rest of the half and ended their attacker's side down 8-4.

Sentinels reached double-digits after winning their attacker's side pistol and anti-eco round, but KRÜ didn't plan on going down without a fight and took six rounds off Sentinels in an attempt to make a comeback as Sentinels reached matchpoint 12-10.

KRÜ looked poised to win the next round against Sentinels' half-buy, but victory wasn't in the cards for the 0-7 team as pANcada pulled off magic with his Sheriff in a legendary post-plant 1v3 against two rifles and a guardian. Two headshots to DaveeyS and Klaus outside of lamps brought pANcada down to two bullets and 35 HP. In a hold-your-breath moment, pANcada missed his first bullet on keznit but aimed true on his last, winning the 1v1 and the series for Sentinels with only 1 HP remaining.

Continuing the legacy of the Optic versus LOUD rivalry, NRG versus LOUD was one of the most anticipated games of the regular season.

The first game in the series went to LOUD's map pick of Split. NRG had only played the map once during the season compared to LOUD's six, but they weren't to be underestimated. To start off the map, NRG won their pistol and anti-eco round but lost their bonus round. NRG only let LOUD take two more rounds in the half before going into halftime with a comfortable 9-3 advantage.

After halftime, LOUD managed to pick up a pistol round but weren't able to convert on their anti-eco, starting the half down 10-4. While LOUD managed to win one more round, NRG took the map 13-5 with no real struggle. Victor had a standout game on Raze entry, going 27/9/5 and winning two out of three clutches.

Before going against each other, both LOUD and NRG were 2-2 on Pearl. LOUD started NRG's map pick by winning the pistol and anti-eco round. NRG won the next three rifle rounds before losing to LOUD on a save, tying the series back up 3-3. Both teams ended the half 6-6.

LOUD won the pistol and anti-eco round once again after halftime. After winning against LOUD's bonus round, NRG turned on the engine and took three more rounds in a row. LOUD managed to get one more round on the table as cauanzin stuck a defuse in a 3v3 with the help of a Harbor Cove, but they couldn't find another opening in the game and NRG ultimately took home the map and the series 13-9, shattering LOUD's perfect regular season record in convincing fashion.

Day Three:

For the first map of the match, Cloud9 picked Lotus where they had a 3-0 record. They took the pistol and anti-eco round on the attacker's side, and while they dropped their bonus round to Leviatán, they comfortably ended the first half 9-3.

Leviatán looked to make a comeback by securing three rounds in a row after halftime, but Cloud9 clapped back with three rounds of their own to reach 12-6. After coming out on top in a scrappy fight on Mound, Leviatán were able to take one more round before Cloud9 ended the series 13-7.

Both Leviatán and Cloud9 were 1-1 coming into Leviatán's map pick of Haven, but Cloud9 quickly demonstrated that they were the superior team on the map by leading with a 6-0 advantage. This time, Cloud9 ended the first half with an even more dominant 10-2 scoreline.

After halftime, Leviatán were only able to take the pistol and anti-eco round before Cloud9 regained control and runi ended the series 13-4 in a quick 1v2. In addition to Cloud9 securing a top two seed in playoffs alongside LOUD, leaf surpassed aspas in stats to become the number one player in VCT Americas by rating.

Looking Ahead

Next week's VCT Americas matches will begin one day earlier on Thursday: