Team Envy walked away victorious from Nerd St. Gamers First Strike Closed Qualifiers with a 3-0 win over 100Thieves.
This past weekend was the conclusion of the Nerd St. Gamers North America First Strike tournament. The top eight teams in the region faced off in an energetic bracket that led to major upsets, new stars gaining light, and a couple of redemption matches. The major takeaway from this tournament is that anything is possible, and whatever can happen, will happen, no matter the team. Team Envy was able to do the impossible and takedown 100 Thieves, a roster that previously seemed unstoppable in their tirade through NA Valorant.
Team Envy vs. 100 Thieves
The series was a complete non-contest, with players like Jake "kaboose" McDonald walking all over 100Thieves every chance they got. Bind was brutal to watch, and I suspect that about halfway through the map, 100Thieves decided to call it and mentally prepare for Split. The final score was 13-2, and Envy kept shutting down 100 Thieves’ pushes on the attack. 100 Thieves had more gusto going into Split, but Envy was quick to take that wind out of them from the start. Despite this map being much closer, Spencer "Hiko" Martin and the rest of the Thieves didn’t look all that impressive. The round wins bounced back and forth, with Envy getting overly-aggressive and being punished for it up until round 18. Overall, it was an easy win for Envy, and for a Grand Finals match, you would have expected the scoreline to be closer. 100 Thieves started off hot in the tournament, but towards the end, seemingly lost steam and gave up the fight. Their quick loss leads many to believe that it was an off day for the Thieves, but regardless, Envy’s victory should not be discounted.
Team SoloMid and 100Thieves are among the best Valorant squads in the world, hands down. The past few weeks have been a back and forth between the teams, with TSM beating 100Thieves at the NSG Open Quarterfinals 2-0 only to have 100 Thieves come back in the NSG Closed Quarterfinals and deliver a 2-0 back to TSM. Personally, I was hoping for a Cloud9 Blue vs. TSM Grand Finals rematch, but we were not so lucky to get Op gods Matthew "Wardell" Yu and Tyson "TenZ" Ngo in the same match. This was among a few of the rivalries that arose throughout the tournament’s two weekends but more than anything, we saw some teams’ weaknesses, and others’ strategies. First Strike Europe kicks off this week and will take place over two weeks just as First Strike North America did. It isn’t until First Strike’s main event that we could possibly see the best of the best from each region clash.
Throughout NSGs’ First Strike event, 32 North American Valorant teams competed against one another for the chance at securing a spot in the First Strike main event. Storylines have begun to form, and you can truly start to see which teams are the best. Complexity has been shut down by Envy every single chance they got during the tournament, keeping them from making it very far. The Slimy Boogermen made notable progress during First Strike, being the only non-signed team to make it into the Playoffs. In the Quarterfinals rounds of NSG Open, The Slimy Boogermen lost horribly to Cloud9 Blue, walking away from the series with only a 13-9 Haven win to show for their efforts. The Slimy Boogermen might get picked up like Envy, previously Together We Are Terrific, or Dignitas, formerly Team Homeless.