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Valorant: Sentinels Fight For Their Lives In First Match
The first match of Group B was a definitely a banger with FURIA putting up a great fight against TenZ and co.
December 1 marks the date of the beginning of the first ever Valorant Champions, with the first match of Group C and both of the Opening Matches of Group D concluding on day one. Fnatic beat Cloud9 Blue in a close series while Vision Strikers made quick work of FULL SENSE and Team Vikings beat Crazy Racoon 2-0 as well.
The second day of the Group Stage brought some of the biggest surprises as Team Secret lost 13-0 after winning the first match of the series against Gambit Esports, and ultimately losing the third map after the steamroll. The second match of the day was a different kind of unexpected as top NA team Sentinels had to fight unusually hard against FURIA.
The first map started out with a 5-round winstreak for the LATAM squad but Sentinels found some clutch kills and some cheeky defuses on Ascent to catch up to nzr and his teammates. The first half ended in a tie after FURIA only won one more round after the first five, but grabbing the win in the pistol round after the switch. They managed to win the bonus round as well, but after that it was Sentinels-city, as they tied 8-8, then won the match 13-9 on Ascent.
With the lead in their hand and their best map, Breeze coming up, Sentinels had the confidence to close out the series, sending FURIA into the elimination match with an 0-2 defeat. They started off great by winning the pistol round but then FURIA went on another 5-round winstreak like it was nothing, putting Sentinels at a significant disadvantage.
No matter what the NA squad tried, the LATAM team shut them down gracefully, leading the match 8-4 before the switch. However, switching sides did wonder for ShahZaM and his team, they started to win round after round, even after FURIA passed the 10-point mark. But no snipes or smart pushes were enough to close the gap, and the Brazilian team tied up the series.
Haven was the deciding map of the match, and Sentinels were not messing around. After two weak first few rounds on maps 1 and 2, they were dominant on defense, securing and 9-3 lead in the first half of the game. Afterwards it was their time to attack, and they got to 12 points while the LATAM players only had 4 to their name. But FURIA was not ready to give up yet, going on another 5-round winstreak, getting as close as 12-9 on the decider map of the series.
But after a timeout from Sentinels, the NA team could finish what they started and won their first match of the 2021 Valorant Champions.
The first few matches of the first World Championship in Riot Games’ tactical shooter has been a banger, with teams fighting as hard as one would expect them to do on the most important event of the year. But who will take it all in the end?