Team Envy went up against Ascend in a Group stage match that was full of surprises.
Team Envy went up against Acend in the Group A Winners match on Day 6 of Valorant Champions. After having progressed off the back of a controversial series against Vivo KeyD, Acend were hoping to show the world just how good of a team they are at this tournament.
They were going to have to play lights out from the start if they were going to get past an Envy team that had dominated in their first match in the group. And given how the rest of the NA teams were performing, Envy seemed to be the team that was carrying the torch for the entire region at this tournament. But what transpired in this match was one surprise after another.
Map 1: Acend bully Envy on Ascent
Despite being the underdog on paper, Acend didn’t look like it on Ascent. They get off to an early 4 – 0 lead on their defense. And although Envy managed to win three rounds of their own, it did little to stem the tide of Acend. All of Acend’s players seemed to be clicking in this first half, with Zeek, Starxo and Kiles putting up all kinds of numbers. Resulting in a resounding 8 – 4 lead for Acend on Ascent. Envy seemed well and truly flustered.
Acend continued their dominance with by winning the first couple of rounds off of the break to take their lead to 10 – 4. Envy looked poised to make a comeback as they managed to win three very scrappy defensive rounds back-to-back. But it did not seem to matter much to Acend as they casually responded with two more attack rounds as they approached match point. Envy were going to need to pull off something special at this point. But unfortunately they were all out of tricks as Acend coasted to a 13 – 8 map win on Ascent.
Map 2: The Bind streak continues for Acend
Envy were in a serious Bind as they headed into map 2. Not only had they lost on their map pick, but Acend absolutely bullied them on it. And as they loaded into Bind, a map that Acend had a 10-win streak on, Envy were going to have to pray they could break that trend.
Envy looked to be off to a good start with a win on the initial pistol round. But after the teams traded a couple of rounds it was all Ascend. Showing the world why they haven’t lost on Bind in 10 matches. Down 9 – 3, Envy looked a shadow of the team impressed so many in their first match. Once again they were going to need a miracle going into the second half.
Following Acend’s victory on the second pistol round, Envy finally got the greenlight to slay. Kill by kill, round by round, Envy were racing back into this map. The panic boots were on the other foot now as Acend didn’t seem to have an answer for this late resurgence as Envy managed to tie the match 11 – 11. It looked as though Envy were about to get that miracle they had been praying for. But alas after a couple more scrappy rounds, Acend managed to hold on to win Bind 13 – 11 and the series 2 – 0.
This was a result that not many people had predicted would happen going in to it. After their dominant win against X10 Envy looked as though they were far and above the rest of the NA teams at Champions. But that isn’t saying a lot given that many of them have been underperforming thus far.
In this match we saw an Envy side that was easily flustered and didn’t seem to get their act together until it was too late. But when Envy did begin to perform they showed just how good they can be when they are given a chance.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that Acend absolutely bossed Envy from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their win. And while Acend’s time at this tournament has been mired in controversy, they have proven to be a genuine threat to the rest of the competition.
Acend have officially booked their place in the knockout phase as the number 1 seed coming out of Group A. Envy on the other hand will be heading to the Group A Decider where they will face either X10 Crit or Vivo KeyD.