In the first all-Brazil matchup of the season, and the prototypical Americas clout match, MIBR MIBR Brazil Rank #3 jzz João Pedro mazin Matheus Araújo artzin Arthur Araujo RgLMeister Matheus Rodigoli frz Leandro Gomes beat FURIA FURIA Brazil Rank #8 kon4n Vitor Hugo mwzera Leonardo Serrati havoc Ilan Eloy Khalil Khalil Schmidt nzr Agustin Ibarra 2-0 while Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #2 TenZ Tyson Ngo Zellsis Jordan Montemurro zekken Zachary Patrone johnqt Mohamed Amine Ouarid Sacy Gustavo Rossi beat 100 Thieves 100 Thieves North America Rank #8 bang Sean Bezerra Cryocells Matthew Panganiban eeiu Daniel Vucenovic Boostio Kelden Pupello Asuna Peter Mazuryk 2-1 in the group stages of the VCT 2024 Americas Kickoff. MIBR and Sentinels will move on to play their group decider match. This also means that FURIA and 100 Thieves are the first teams to be eliminated from the first Americas tournament of the 2024 season.

The first battle of Brazil in 2024 goes to MIBR

MIBR valorant 2024 The MIBR Valorant roster for 2024. (Image via MIBR)

The three maps were MIBR's pick of Split, FURIA's pick of Breeze, and finally Lotus as the decider, if needed.

To start, the two teams both ran aggressive double duelist compositions, with only one initiator per team. Both had Skye, who was recently nerfed, so retakes were tough for the defenders on either team. MIBR started with a lead on their defense, but ended the half down 7-5 to FURIA.

It looked like FURIA were about to take a big lead after getting pistols, but a quick thrifty was an early sign in the second half that this would be a close map. MIBR retook the lead at 9-8 off of a crucial Operator duel win from Matheus " RgLMeister " Rodigoli.

As MIBR pulled away, it was clear that their retakes were a lot cleaner, thanks to the prime performance from Leandro " frz " Gomes on Viper. It took FURIA's Leonardo " mwzera " Serrati to get a swift 4K to get their next round win, but MIBR were already on map point, winning the next round and the map 13-9.

The second map of Breeze had to be a bounce back map for FURIA, needing to adapt faster than they did at the end of Split. The team compositions were similar to each other, now with the focus on the Jett players instead of the Skye players, as well as a potential redemption for Ilan " havoc " Eloy's poor KAY/O play in FURIA's previous game against NRG.

Well, havoc must've wanted to show that his last Breeze performance was a fluke, as he top fragged in the first half with 14 kills, helped defend A site well, and led FURIA to an 8-4 lead at the half. MIBR managed to start the second half well, fighting to tie the game at 10-10. The catalyst to this comeback was Arthur " artzin " Araujo, who had a nasty flick to win the Jett 1v1 against mwzera, then started the next round with a collateral.

It got really close to reaching overtime, but MIBR were able to take that momentum and close the map out 13-11, winning the series and staying alive in the Americas Kickoff. When it came to the pressure of the local matchup, RgLMeister acknowledged how tough the win was, but also warned his contemporaries about this win; what could be the start of a run.

“We know FURIA has a really good team, we had to work hard to get the victory today,” RgLMeister said post-match. “Be careful [other teams], because we're coming for that spot in Madrid.”

As the winner of the match, MIBR remain alive in the tournament, needing to win their next game to make it to the play-in stage. If that happens, they'll compete in a round-robin to qualify to the playoff stage and compete in the single-elimination bracket to get one of two Masters Madrid spots. FURIA, on the other hand, will have to wait until Stage 1 begins in a couple of months to face off against regional talent once again.

Sentinels use strong Split defense to secure win over 100 Thieves

Asuna 100 Thieves image Asuna from 100 Thieves. (Image via 100 Thieves)

Now, everyone knew heading into this match that one promising American team would be eliminated, meaning a long break and no Masters Madrid. Considering the popularity around both of the rosters, a large chunk of fans would be disappointed no matter what. Sentinels were 2-0'd by LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 Quick Gabriel Lima saadhak Matias Delipetro Less Felipe de Loyola tuyz Arthur Andrade cauanzin Cauan Pereira earlier this tournament, while 100 Thieves lost a close series to powerhouse Leviatán Leviatán Latin America South Rank #1 tex Ian Botsch kiNgg Francisco Aravena Mazino Roberto Rivas aspas Erick Santos C0M Corbin Lee .

The maps for this series started with 100 Thieves' map pick of Lotus, followed by Sentinels picking Bind. After the final two bans, this left the decider map as Split.

For Lotus, the team compositions were pretty standard, outside a comfort Chamber pick from Matthew " Cryocells " Panganiban and 100 Thieves. The long sight lines on Lotus favor Chamber on both attack and defense, but usually players are quicker to pick more flexible sentinel agents, like the Killjoy that Sentinels had.

In the early parts of Lotus, Sentinels were more coordinated, despite some crispy shots from the Headhunter of Cryo. It wasn't until he got an Operator in his hands that 100 Thieves got their first round win, off a retake on C site. Sentinels were always aware of off-angles that Chamber could be, picking off Cryo or forcing him to retreat without much value. That was key to their score at the half, up 9-3, hoping the curse wouldn't come around.

Then, a quick pistol win got Sentinels just two rounds away from winning 100 Thieves' map pick. Despite a little bit of pushback, Sentinels just saved up key ultimates and won key duels to win the first map confidently, 13-5.

For the second map of Bind, 100 Thieves had to start a series comeback on their opponent's map pick. We saw the return of some weird yet viable Bind agent picks, with Tyson " TenZ " Ngo on Yoru and Kelden " Boostio " Pupello back on Gekko. Both of these agents had their moments early on, but the understanding of Yoru's abilities was immaculate from TenZ, with plenty of smart teleports and unique pop flashes.

However, it was the agent and the player with the green hair that got ahead heading into the half, as Boostio clutched the last round of the half to help 100 Thieves go up 8-4. Then, on 100 Thieves' defense, their goal was to spam enemies with their utility as soon as they attempted to plant, especially on A site. Gekko molly, Brimstone molly, Viper molly, Raze nade, and Fade's Seize all combo together well to prevent plants, and the close corners of Bind allow for plenty of value.

No matter how Sentinels wanted to plant A, they would either die trying, or be too weak to hold it well. The map ended quickly, with 100 Thieves winning in a dominant 13-6 fashion. This meant map three, with Split on the cards to see who remains in the running for Madrid.

The Gekko remained for 100 Thieves' comp, but Sentinels decided to run a standard Split comp with Cypher, Viper, and Skye. From the pistols to the half, every time a team seemed to gain momentum, the other team stopped them, notably the big thrifty win from 100 Thieves on round 11. While not tied, Sentinels held a small 7-5 lead at the half, now going to their defensive side.

Sentinels 2024 roster Sentinels' 2024 Valorant roster. (Image via Sentinels)

Sentinels kept the lead despite some heroics from Cyro, with one of the highlights being johnqt's immaculate triple kill at B main. As the map went on, Sentinels seemed to be reading 100 Thieves' fakes well, never rotating too quickly and getting crucial picks late in rounds. Even with Boostio having plenty of plants, retakes were clean from Sentinels, building up the largest lead of the map just as 100 Thieves' hopes of playing in March slipped away. Gustavo " Sacy " Rossi ended it all with a patient 2K, ending the map 13-8 and series 2-1.

With this win, Sentinels will be facing the losers of the LOUD and Leviatán, with the winner going to the play-in stage. Out of all the players on Sentinels, new IGL Mohamed Amine " johnqt " Ouarid stood out in their final map, not feeling much issue with his team's performance while aware of their tough group in this tournament.

“It's pretty easy to lead them, they make my job pretty easy,” johnqt said post-match. “Everyone was laser focused for months now.”

As for his performance on Split, top fragging alongside Sacy, he said that he knew he could not only lead a team with his strategies, but with his aim.

“I worked very hard to get here, working very hard on my mechanics. It might surprise other people, but [my performance] doesn't surprise me.”