Two more teams left Berlin today, with the elimination of Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #5 and Vivo Keyd Vivo Keyd Brazil Rank #1 . G2 Esports G2 Esports Europe Rank #7 's win against Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1 stunned everyone and guaranteed G2 the number one Group D seed.
Six teams are now in the playoffs of Masters Berlin. Missing are the second seeds of Group A and Group C, which will be decided tomorrow.
After being bested by Acend Acend Europe Rank #3 in the opening round, SuperMassive Blaze SuperMassive Blaze Europe Rank #12 found themselves in the elimination match against Paper Rex, who put up good numbers against Vision Strikers Vision Strikers Korea Rank #1 in the opening round.If you're curious: yes, Benedict "Benkai" Tan swallowed the toothpaste.
PRX had a good start to Haven, but SMB quickly bit back and elevated themselves to a 10-5 scoreline. It was comeback time for the Southeast Asia representatives, who managed to take the game to overtime and eventually secure the win 14-12.
"Our game plan was just to play with their rotations," benkai said. "With Haven, we did our homework yesterday night and we concluded that they're a team that likes to stack bombsites in the late round. The game plan was just to pull their rotations back and forth and just hit somewhere in the middle or on the other side, which worked out in the end."
Breeze, Paper Rex's pick, was a blowout 13-2 win from SuperMassive Blaze. Split was again a much tighter map, but still conquered by SMB 13-10 after a destructive eco win from Blaze in the penultimate round.
"In addition to them being really sharp, we weren't able to play with their rotations as much as we could on Haven," said benkai. "I think, on Haven, we did it pretty well. But it was after that, on Breeze and on Split, that we couldn't really get a grip of how their rotations were.
Paper Rex were the sole representative of Southeast Asia and they captured the hearts and minds of many. They've proven SEA to be a strong region for worldwide Valorant.
"I feel like we've shown the world that we can compete with the best," said benkai. "But maybe we're just not really there yet but I feel like we've already done a pretty good job of putting us out there on the map. If Team Secret Team Secret Asia-Pacific Rank #4 were here, they would be able to further prove my point."
PRX's loss locked in SEA's slots for Champions and for the APAC LCQ. Due to losing the Challengers Playoffs grand final, Paper Rex will play the Last Chance Qualifier, while Team Secret Team Secret Asia-Pacific Rank #4 are guaranteed a slot at Champions.
Since Team Secret beat Paper Rex in the grand final of the SEA Playoffs, they win the tiebreaker and will be in Berlin. PRX will have to win LCQ if they're to return to Germany's capital.
Though they didn't receive the spot, benkai "couldn't be happier for Team Secret right now." Paper Rex's sentinel reiterated it was unfortunate the team couldn't come to Berlin, but that the extra time Secret will have to work everything out should allow for everything.
benkai leaves Berlin with some fond memories.
"So, key takeaways… Uh…. the cheesecake at the hotel is amazing. The steak, also, is pretty good. They never knew what the soup of the day was. I'm going to come back for the cheesecake."
Paper Rex leave Berlin with their heads held high (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games).
The rematch of G2 vs. Sentinels was up next. Last time these two played, G2 were the first team to steal a map from Sentinels. Could they top that feat? Surely not… Right?
Icebox was a disastrous map for Sentinels' side. Cista "keloqz" Wassim and nukkye completely shut them down with seven combined entries and a shared 345 ACS. It was their pick, after all, but a 13-3 result wasn't expected by many. They were ahead of Sentinels for the first time, perhaps they could be the first to beat Sentinels at an international LAN.
"We didn't change too much on [Icebox]," Mixwell said. "On Split I suggested, since ShahZaM is peeking with the OP in Attack too much and getting a lot of space for them, that I play Raze with the OP on Defense, so I could challenge ShahZaM and he doesn't get as much freedom as he got the first game."
And it worked.
Split, Sentinels' comfort pick, started out in favor of the European squad and stayed that way for a long time. Switching sides, Sentinels chained together six rounds to hit double digits and place themselves inches away from tying the series up 1-1.
G2 weren't having it.
Led by Auni "AvovA" Chahade's Astra, G2 managed four straight rounds to reach match point. Sentinels took it to the final round of regulation, but were unable to capitalize on that.
For the first time in Sentinels' international LAN history, which spans seven matches including this one, they lost a series. At G2's hand, no less—one of the most hyped teams and the one which strived to create the biggest rivalry.
"It feels amazing, to be honest," mixwell said in the post-match interview. "They've been really cocky lately so it's good to shut them up a little bit."
Mixwell's suggestion paved the way for their Split win (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games).
keloqz very much wanted to win against Sentinels. Not because of seeding, but to prove the team's potential and to strike fear in the hearts of other teams. dapr echoed this.
"[G2] counter-stratted because they really wanted to beat us just to prove a point. So it's like a perfect storm for them to just do really well against us," he explained. dapr described himself as realist and aware they could lose any day. At the same time, the loss doesn't affect him.
"Obviously we're held to high regard. We're the reigning champions, we also hadn't dropped a series yet. So I guess it's a slap of realism that we could lose, you know, maybe for our fans," he said to Plat Chat's Josh Wilkinson. The team's sentinel went on to say that because they'll still play one more match they're "just doing the same things."
G2's humility, and keloqz's in particular, is still standing behind the scenes. Away from the cameras, keloqz said he knows "Sentinels is a really good team. I know TenZ is really, really, really good—he's one of the best players in the world."
This match win is now a confidence boost for the young rising star, and one they'll take into playoffs.
"I really hope that we win Masters."
The Mixwell-keloqz partnership keeps proving its worth (Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games).
To close off the sixth day of Masters Berlin, a South American bout was scheduled. Vivo Keyd, who were hoping to finish off a lower bracket run after defeating ZETA DIVISION ZETA DIVISION Asia-Pacific Rank #2 , were set to play against KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #1 , fresh off their loss against Envy Envy North America Rank #3 .
"I think we have to keep our feet on the ground. We know KRÜ, we've practiced against them a lot in Brazil," Olavo "heat" Marcelo shared yesterday. "We have to know they play very well because they played a great series too, they had a good start to the tournament."
As ready as they expected themselves to be, KRÜ largely kept control of Split. Despite many rounds being traded and it being Vivo Keyd's pick, KRÜ took it 13-11 to start ahead in the final series of the day.
On Haven, Keyd seemed destined to win, going 10-4 up. What followed was one of the strongest comebacks the Verti Music Hall has seen since the start of the tournament, with KRÜ climbing back from a six-round deficit and taking the map 13-11 to close out their series and qualify for playoffs.
The experience Vivo Keyd boasted about came back to bite them.
"We scrim against them all the time so we know exactly how they play and we've never failed," Nicolas "Klaus" Ferrari said post-match.
He went on to say the Reykjavik experience helped his team in dealing with anxiety, but that they're still learning and improving.
KRÜ will now make their way into the playoffs, where the choices are clear: "Envy or Sentinels."
Masters Berlin's group stage concludes tomorrow. Acend Acend Europe Rank #3 and SuperMassive Blaze SuperMassive Blaze Europe Rank #12 will rematch for the third time in the span of a month, and for the second time in Berlin alone, to decide who will finish in second place in Group A.
Crazy Raccoon Crazy Raccoon Asia-Pacific Rank #3 will face Gambit Esports Gambit Esports Europe Rank #1 again. The first time these two played, Yusuke "neth" Matsuda left the match "traumatized." Can Crazy Raccoon turn it around this time? Time will tell.
The final game of the day will be a bout between Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1 and F4Q F4Q Inactive that will matter little, as both teams are stuck in their respective second and third places in Group D.
The playoffs draw will also take place off-air in some hours, which will then be posted to social media, according to host James "Dash" Patterson on the LAN's broadcast. The better teams from each group will play a #2 team from any group that isn't theirs, sorted randomly.
Tomorrow's matches are: