The first day of elimination claimed the lives of three Masters Berlin teams: F4Q F4Q Korea Rank #4 , ZETA DIVISION ZETA DIVISION Asia-Pacific Rank #3 , and Havan Liberty Havan Liberty Brazil Rank #3 . G2 Esports G2 Esports Europe Rank #5 secured a playoffs berth after sweeping F4Q 2-0.
Last time G2 and F4Q played, the Koreans gave Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas's team a struggle by forcing map three. G2 eventually came out on top.
“I think the last time—we didn't adapt," Cista "keloqz" Wassim confessed post-match. "We knew they were playing slow, we were pushing them and they were stomping us. This time, we watched the VOD, we knew what they were doing. We read them like a book and we won.”
“We play a team once and we test the waters. When we play them a second time, the confidence level goes over 100. It's gonna be the same against Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1 ,” nukkye said.
The G2 confidence was in full show for their match. There wasn't much to tell, as G2 rolled over F4Q, 13-3 on Bind and 13-6 on Ascent. It was a calculated win from the European squad which assured them a spot in the playoffs, currently holding a record of two wins and one loss in their group.
“It feels amazing [to make playoffs]. Top eight secured and all of the pressure is off our shoulders so we can just focus on the enemy. It's going to be easier to play,” said nukkye. “The second time we play [Sentinels] it's going to be a lot closer. A lot of things got fixed, so I think it's going to be a really good match to watch.” He went on to say everyone's confidence will be superior and they'll be less shaky coming into the match.
The young rising star of G2 keeps proving his international worth (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games).
Although playoffs are secured, G2 still have a slim chance to walk out of Group D with the first seed. For that, the team needs to win against Sentinels, while the North American team needs to lose to F4Q. The chances are small, but they're there.
"We're really proud of the team, that we won, that we're qualified," keloqz said post-match. "Now, our main goal is to win Masters, to beat Sentinels tomorrow and have first seed."
“It's going to be hype and I'm excited for it,” nukkye ended.
The Korean LCQ also takes shape with F4Q's defeat today. They are guaranteed a slot in it, but their opponent is not yet determined. In case Vision Strikers Vision Strikers Korea Rank #1 win the entire event, F4Q will play the LCQ against DAMWON Gaming DAMWON Gaming Korea Rank #5 and NUTURN NUTURN Korea Rank #2 will go to Valorant Champions via VCT points. If Vision Strikers don't win Masters Berlin, F4Q play the LCQ against NUTURN.
Next up on the chopping block was ZETA DIVISION, who were bested by KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #1 and Vivo Keyd Vivo Keyd Brazil Rank #1 . Odds were definitely in favor of the Brazilians entering the match, which would decide the Last Chance Qualifiers for the losing region.
There was no doubt Vivo Keyd were favored for the game. Their Breeze pick was 13-3 win with stellar plays from star Olavo "heat" Marcelo, aceing on the map's A site and finishing the map with 362 ACS. ZETA DIVISION picked Split, but they were still unable to get themselves in the game and were ousted with a 13-4 result."I was just feeling it really," heat said.
Vivo Keyd's win also guaranteed their slot at Champions, whether through VCT points or through a Berlin victory. Sharks Esports Sharks Esports Brazil Rank #5 will have a slot at LCQ, but can qualify directly to Champions if Vivo Keyd win Masters. Havan Liberty Havan Liberty Brazil Rank #3 are locked into LCQ.
ZETA DIVISION's loss also secured Crazy Raccoon Crazy Raccoon Asia-Pacific Rank #4 's place in Champions. The team now has accrued a minimum of 475 points. ZETA can still make Champions directly, in case Crazy Raccoon lift the trophy in Berlin.
The second Japan vs. Brazil match of the day was in the form of Crazy Raccoon against Havan Liberty. Both teams had failed to win a single map thus far and they were both up for elimination.
"Yeah, surely, yeah [we were nervous]. First LAN for some, first international tournament for all," Rodrigo "Myssen" Myssen said.
Crazy Raccoon came into today's match as an experienced squad. Even though they hadn't won a map in Reykjavik, the LAN experience was there.
"I don't think [it was an advantage]," Myssen said. "We've been having problems against playstyles like theirs, even in Brazil—teams that rush stacked. So we couldn't really deal well with that. They managed to win the maps with that, for us it was pretty difficult."
The first map was picked by Havan… but it didn't go too well. All of Crazy Raccoon put up good numbers and, although Havan managed to string some rounds together, took the map 13-9. Switching to the Split pick, Havan seemed doomed as they lost their defending half 9-3.
"Our problem was defense" Myssen admitted. "Our attacking side was okay. But we had problems with their fast, stacked rushes on Defense. It's something we've been having problems with in practice, be it in Brazil or here. They knew how to take advantage of our mistakes."
Crazy Raccoon looked a little shakier after switching sides with Havan tying in five straight rounds. The Japanese ran down the clock on round 21 and eliminated Brazil's #2 seed with a 13-8 win.
"Our Split wasn't that good. But, willing or not, [losing the first map] places some extra pressure because it's not a map we're comfortable on. We play it, but it's not something we always like to play."Second international LAN, but first win for Crazy Raccoon.
"We had a goal, which was to get a win at an international tournament," Yusuke "neth" Matsuda "I'm very relieved and I'm happy that we won for Japan, other pro teams, and ZETA DIVISION."
Everyone cheered Japan on for their first international win, but their next match is a doozy. They're up against Gambit Esports Gambit Esports Europe Rank #1 , a team which blew Crazy Raccoon out of the water last time, only giving up two rounds.
"I'm still traumatized about that," neth said. "The last time we played against Gambit, we couldn't get any pistol rounds. Also, our plan wasn't a good fit."
Being already in Champions, their practice for the end-of-year tournament starts now.
“We want to use Masters 3 as a practice for Champions. We're also changing members so we want to adjust for that teamwork and practice here.”
Havan will now return home with the hope of returning to Berlin. They're placed into the Last Chance Qualifier alongside three other Brazilian teams and five LATAM teams, barring a Berlin win from these regions.
"We're going to take a week off probably and then get back to regular training. Rewatch all the practices we had here, rewatch the games, and try to improve our weak spots," Myssen concluded.
Yusuke "neth" Matsuda and his teammates became the first Japanese team to win a match at an international LAN today. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #5 and SuperMassive Blaze SuperMassive Blaze Europe Rank #7 will fight for elimination in group A, followed by the second bout between G2 Esports G2 Esports Europe Rank #5 and Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1 .
Tomorrow's matches are:
- Group A elimination: Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #5 vs. SuperMassive Blaze SuperMassive Blaze Europe Rank #7
- Group D: G2 Esports G2 Esports Europe Rank #5 vs. Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1
- Group B decider: KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #1 vs. Vivo Keyd Vivo Keyd Brazil Rank #1