The longest active Tier 1 rivalry in Valorant came to a head for the eighth time in two years when LOUD took on the NRG core for the first Americas League title. El Clásico remained one of the greatest matchups to ever grace the stage as LOUD took home the trophy in 3-0 fashion.
LOUD chose to start the finals on Ascent despite taking a loss against EG in the previous round. They took a 2-0 lead off the back of a pistol win, but NRG quickly took over on the defense. NRG took a 5-2 lead before Less and cauanzin pulled off a 2v4.
It looked like NRG were going to run away with the map after s0m delivered a long range Vandal ace. However, they waited too long on a B site retake, and LOUD won a 0v4 with the spike explosion. The final momentum shift allowed LOUD to salvage five rounds in the half.My Vandal doesn't work like that.
The momentum carried through the halftime break. LOUD's defensive aggression stifled any attempts for NRG to cleanly execute onto the sites. The Brazilians ran away with four rounds in a row to retake the lead 9-7. A 1v2 from crashies ending in a 4 HP clutch tried to turn the tides, but the tidal wave of LOUD absolutely swamped NRG for the 13-9 victory.
LOUD picked up right where they left off when moving to Bind. NRG looked listless as LOUD took a 5-0 lead. Despite struggling mightily against EG, saadhak's Chamber proved to be a dynamic difference maker early in the map.
But the momentum shifted once again when an attack-sided Sage Operator from ardiis helped NRG pin down some of LOUD's aggression, and NRG found a series of good rotations to get them into post-plant scenarios. LOUD struggled to coordinate successful retakes, and NRG tied the half 6-6.
LOUD won their fourth straight pistol round, and it looked like they were on their way to a third straight bonus round win before ardiis pulled out a clutch. An awkward economy kept NRG on the ropes as LOUD took an 11-7 lead.
The final stretch became a hard fought brawl as NRG pulled off several retakes including a 1v2 from crashies to secure double-digit rounds. The LOUD core had never lost Bind to any team not named OpTic, and they weren't about to start here even when facing the OpTic core. Left in a 2v3 to stave off overtime, Less and cauanzin finally closed the map 13-11 in LOUD's favor.
The first kill differential went firmly to LOUD who were +8 on the map. It was a big turnaround from Ascent where LOUD were -4 despite winning that map by a convincing margin.
It took three maps for NRG to finally win their first pistol, but LOUD kept all the rounds costly and tied Fracture 2-2 early on. LOUD tried to set up trap plays in almost every round, but NRG avoided them to set themselves up in advantageous post-plants. Both teams traded eco rounds back and forth, but in the end, NRG took the 7-5 lead into the half off the back of an ardiis ace.The best import in the Americas continued to step up.
The second pistol win gave LOUD an opening, and the ever-competitive rivals traded rounds all the way to a 9-9 tie. At the critical juncture, saadhak nabbed a 1v4 ace clutch to fuel LOUD to the finale. Less and FiNESSE traded 4Ks, and NRG kept battling to an 11-11 tie. It took clutches from both tuyz and aspas to pull LOUD across the finish line.The IGL continues to deliver.
On the same map that LOUD eliminated NRG from LOCK//IN, they took the first trophy of the Americas League. The win ensured that LOUD will be seeded into the playoffs at Masters Tokyo while NRG will have to fight through the group stage.