The only VCT Americas Kickoff match of the day saw G2 Esports G2 Esports North America Rank #4 icy Jacob Lange trent Trent Cairns valyn Jacob Batio JonahP Jonah Pulice leaf Nathan Orf defeat KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #3 keznit Angelo Mori Klaus Nicolas Ferrari Shyy Fabian Usnayo Melser Marco Eliot Machuca Amaro heat Olavo Marcelo in an electrifying 2-1 series in the opening match of Group C. G2 will face Evil Geniuses Evil Geniuses North America Rank #29 Derrek Derrek Ha NaturE Nicholas Garrison supamen Phat Le Apoth Vincent Le jawgemo Alexander Mor in the Group C decider match to qualify for the playoffs stage. KRÜ will play the loser of that match to see who will advance to the play-ins stage.

“It was a grueling win for us. Nothing was easy and we earned it hard,” G2 IGL valyn said post-match. “I want to shout out my team, we showed incredible resilience and we played phenomenal.”

Both teams had middling results during their offseason tournament appearances before Americas Kickoff with their new additions. KRÜ failed to take a single map at Superdome 2023: Colombia, while G2 managed just one series win at the Sentinels Invitational in November.

G2 came out guns blazing to start their VCT Americas debut, jumping to a 5-2 attacking lead on their map pick of Icebox. The Chilean KRÜ squad responded by tying things up at 6-6 at halftime, spurred on by new additions of Shyy and mta , the former of which secured an ace in a key round 10.

In the second half, G2 opened by playing full retake on the B site, winning the first three rounds off the back of that strategy. KRÜ answered with seven straight rounds of their own to take the map, mostly by attacking the A bombsite, and changing their postplant strategy to take more aggressive angles on the hold.

New year, same old keznit .

It was an all-around strong performance from every member of KRÜ, but a keznit ace in round 20 and Melser 's 1v2 clutch in the final round solidified the win. valyn performed extremely well with the interesting Brimstone pick, leading the lobby in kills and ACS.

Map two brought the teams to Sunset, where KRÜ introduced a no-duelist composition with keznit on Chamber. After a pistol and anti-eco win from G2 to kick off the map, KRÜ found success on their site hits time and time again to find a 5-2 lead. A JonahP ace with a guardian on an eco round and multiple leaf 3Ks halted KRÜ's momentum enough to bring the teams to yet another 6-6 half.

Just one of the critical eco round wins for G2 during the series.

After KRÜ took their first pistol of the series to open their defensive side, G2 proceeded to win seven of the next eight rounds to secure their first map win of VCT Americas. The ascended G2 squad looked eerily comfortable on their attack side, exploiting every hole that the defense had to offer with a variety of fakes and patient play.

Ascent was to be the deciding map between the teams. keznit's attacking Jett play propelled KRÜ to an early 5-3 lead with a 12-4 start, a stark difference to leaf 's 1-7 start on the defensive Jett. G2 battled back a bit, but still faced a 7-5 deficit on the defense-sided map.

One of the final nails in the coffin for KRÜ.

leaf came alive on G2's own attack side, helping bring the North American squad to a 10-9 lead. The back-and-forth affair continued to the penultimate round where at 12-11, KRÜ could not hold on to the B bombsite to force overtime.

Across the entire series keznit looked like his old self, putting up a 16-8 first kill ratio and leading the entire lobby in kills and ACS. JonahP performed extremely well along with his IGL valyn to spearhead the win for G2.

“Shyy and mta will have to learn to get used to a new playstyle, but I think that they will learn to go crazy like keznit doing keznit things,” KRÜ coach Atom said during the match. “With all three of them, we are a really dangerous team.”