The North America First Strike Regional Finals concluded with 100 Thieves claiming dominance in the region with a 3-1 victory over TSM.
The First Strike North American Regional Finals was a jaw-dropping showcase of what the top Valorant teams in the region are capable of. The Quarterfinals consisted of four sweeps, but most were to be expected. The first match was Envy vs. Immortals, and the fans finally got to see Icebox in action at a tournament. Envy executed Immortals on this map, claiming an easy 13-5 victory, only to barely secure Ascent 13-11. As you would expect, TSM stomped out Renegades 2-0 and Skye finally made her debut into competitive Valorant and RenegadesSentinels took down FaZe Clan with a similar scoreline. 100 Thieves made an impressive showing against T1 and continued in the series to face the Sentinels.
// Here is a clip of our post-match interview with @kabooseCS yesterday following @Envy's win over @Immortals #FirstStrike #FirstStrikeNA #ThatNewFire #Valorant #ValorantEsports @PlayVALORANT @malikshelp pic.twitter.com/AcUZV4vqjZ
— VALORANT Esports (@EsportsValorant) December 4, 2020
The Semifinals came down to Envy vs. TSM and 100 Thieves vs. Sentinels, two matches that honestly could have gone either way. Team Envy is one of the best teams in North America, and their match against TSM was a case of Matthew “Wardell” Yu and co. being on one. TSM is nearly unstoppable when everything falls in place and the players are popping off. Most teams have one or two players with insane clutch potential, but with TSM, any player on any single day can turn around an entire match. On Saturday, TSM was on fire, and there wasn’t much that Envy could do to stop them, but on any other given day, they might have put up a map or two. 100 Thieves vs. Sentinels was the first map three of the tournament event and it was tense. The match could have gone either way, but 100 Thieves put away the series off the back of Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk's flashy frags and Spencer “Hiko” Martin's 200IQ Shock Darts.
— VALORANT Esports (@EsportsValorant) December 6, 2020
Moving into the Grand Finals, TSM was predicted to come out on top over 100 Thieves considering the ease at which they defeated Envy. Split was the first map of the series, and statistically, TSM should have taken the map over 100 Thieves. In Valorant, sometimes stats don’t matter and Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella helped the squad secure the win after the half in overtime. Moving on to Bind, this was Asuna's time to shine and he secured more than a handful of round wins for 100 Thieves with his ballsy Raze playstyle. Despite being up two maps, TSM didn’t roll over and was able to take Ascent 13-7. TSM has a 79% win rate on Ascent, and this wouldn’t have been the first time that they made a reverse sweep happen. It all came down to Haven and Hiko was fully prepared to clutch out a victory for his team. Between the boomer and the zoomer, Hiko and Asuna respectively, 100 Thieves looked incredibly clean going up against TSM. Most expected Sentinels to make it to the finals over 100 Thieves and even once they made it to the Grand Finals, most predictions were in favor of TSM winning out the series.
First Strike was the concluding tournament of Valorant esports in 2020, and it was also the only first-party Valorant tournament hosted by Riot so far. Think of First Strike as the predecessor for the Valorant Champions Tour coming in 2021 that will take tournaments global and put regions head to head for international supremacy.