KRÜ BLAZE KRÜ BLAZE Latin America South Rank #5 kalita Keila Nava conir Constanza Reyes romi Romina Alvarez micaela Micaela Ferreyra defeat Chao Hui EDward Gaming Chao Hui EDward Gaming China Rank #10 Blue WawaLee XiMiLu Lizhi Yusin Clem 2-0 in the second elimination match of 2023 Game Changers Championship. KRÜ will now advance to the second lower round, where they will face off against Team SMG GC Team SMG GC Inactive enerii Odella Abraham Alexy Alexy Francisco shirazi Kelly Jaudian Kamiyu Camille Enriquez on Friday. Meanwhile, EDGS have been eliminated from the event.

In last year's 2022 Game Changers Championship, KRÜ was eliminated 0-2, losing to event favorites Cloud9 White Cloud9 White Inactive Bob Bob Tran alexis Alexis Guarrasi Jazzyk1ns Jasmine Manankil katsumi Katja Pfahnl meL Melanie Capone and surprise upset team X10 Sapphire X10 Sapphire Inactive Poly Patcharapron Sanitchai JinNy Sarindhorn Wanothayarnchai Muffyn Chalita Buathong Babytz Pornlapat Wittayanan alyssa Annitta Peerwantanagul . With their win against EDGS, the players on KRÜ ensure that history will not repeat itself in 2023.

KRÜ Blaze "shyz" performing on stage KRÜ Blaze "shyz" performing on stage

Going into the match, players on both teams spoke highly of their teammates.

For KRÜ conir , this was her initiator and IGL kalita .

“I would say the retribution for losing the first match is what will linger the most, and that spark from the first match won't go away, not with EDG, nor anyone else,” she revealed in a halftime interview. “I know I believe in Kalita, and we'll keep on trying with open arms.”

And for EDGS Clem , it was their substitute player Blue .

“Blue brings an incredible amount of impact to the team,” Clem said in her pre-match interview. “Especially in the 1v1 shooting, sometimes she can have incredible highlights and surprise us a lot. Because of that, this can really bring a lot of differences to the team.”

On Split, EDGS stuck to their duelist-heavy Jett and Raze double-dive composition, but they didn't play quite as aggressively as KRÜ might have been expecting. In addition, KRÜ demonstrated some thoughtful adaptations to the composition, such as when romi caught Blue in a unique Cypher set-up on A, leading to a quick 5v3 advantage.

In the second half, EDGS won an incredible 2v4 retake thanks to XiMiLu 's aggressive Judge play on Raze. XiMiLu took that momentum into round 17, where she single-handedly won the round with a Raze ult onto micaela and two Judge kills on kalita and romi respectively.

But unfortunately for XiMiLu and EDGS, the EDGS players couldn't overtake KRÜ's 8-4 lead going into the half and ultimately lost Split 13-7.

Going into Ascent, EDGS were looking for redemption. The Chinese team started out strong with a 4K by Blue, leading into a nail-biting map where hero plays abound and both teams were neck-and-neck with each other.

On round seven, KRÜ's Jett player micaela initiated a fast Tiles crunch and took down four players in Mid with her Jett knives, including a snappy 360° headshot onto Yusin on Mid Top. Though not as flashy, IGL kalita had her own moment on Ascent, hitting a 4K and winning a 1v2 on round nine.

After halftime, KRÜ won six of the next seven rounds to reach an 11-8 scoreline, spelling signs of trouble for EDGS. But the players on EDGS weren't willing to go down without a fight. They managed to pull the game back and send it into overtime, where they ultimately lost the map and series 14-12.

Despite having a fairly quiet series highlight-wise, KRÜ smokes player conir topped the leaderboard with a KDA of 45/31/21 and an incredible +14 differential. EDGS' best-performing player, Yusin, was over 10 kills away with a KDA of 34/32/26 and a differential of +2. She was the only player on EDGS to go positive.

Overall, however, EDGS' performance against KRÜ was a vast improvement over their stomping at the hands of Shopify Rebellion just a day prior, where they showed signs of LAN jitters and only won three rounds over the course of two maps.

KRÜ Blaze pose on stage after victory at the 2023 VALORANT Game Changers Championship KRÜ Blaze pose on stage after victory at the 2023 VALORANT Game Changers Championship

Meanwhile, the players on KRÜ were all smiles after their first win on the international stage, though they hadn't underestimated their opponents. When asked about their difficulty closing out Ascent in her post-match interview, Shyz credited EDGS' players.

“I think that EDG was playing so well,” Shyz reflected. “They changed their mental from the last game, so I think it was EDG playing so well that made the game [on Ascent] hard for us.”

As for their next opponent Team SMG GC, Shyz also had a response.

“I think they're a really strong team,” she said, “but we've changed our mental, and we're going to play a really good game against them tomorrow.”

On Friday, all eyes will be on KRÜ and Team SMG GC to see which of LATAM and APAC will continue their lower-bracket run and advance to the elimination semifinal.