Gambit entered Master: Berlin as dangerous underdogs with something to prove. Now at Champions, the hunters role has switched to the hunted, and the previous Masters champions had to adjust their playstyle to keep opposing teams off guard. The Gambit roster spoke to the press about being the favorite at VALORANT Champions.

The Gambit roster spoke to the press about being the favorite at VALORANT Champions ahead of their semifinals match, where they are heavily favored. According to star sentinel player Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin, teams have heavily adjusted to his default play style.

“They were trying to destroy my game style and because of that it’s very difficult to do the same thing I was doing before at Master: Berlin, and because of that I have to change my game style to do some other things because right now everybody is ready for my default”

said nAts about having to adjust at Champions

Gambit Prepares for the unpredictable at Champions

It’s no secret, teams from around the world have studied and taken from the unpredictable play style of Gambit. After a dominating run at Masters for the Russian side, the word was out and their success became meta-defining. However, their unorthodox approach, regardless of the VODs available to be reviewed, still keeps the world’s best off balance.

“It’s actually a really unpredictable playstyle because of nAts team play,” said Krü Esports star entry Angelo “keznit” Mori.

Whether it’s Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov pulling out Brimstone on Fracture, or nAts aggressive minded sentinel play. It’s clear Gambit sees the game differently. There’s a level of clairvoyance to their approach and the meta doesn’t limit what type of compositions or strategies they can utilize. 

“I don’t know. It’s a team decision,” said Chronicle on bringing out the Brimstone. “We just talk about it and think this pick is pretty good for us, and we started to practiced more.”

So for opposing teams, despite all the available data on Gambit, it’s not easy to prepare for a team that can throw out so many different looks. and innovative ideas For nAts specifically, there are few lurkers in professional VALORANT that match up. His rotations always seem to find the perfect spot to hold against an execute. First initial contact often goes in his favor, too, with his natural ability to force teams into bad angles. Add on the explosive firepower of duelist main, Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov, who is currently in seventh overall in total ACS at Champions, and it quickly becomes one of the most well-rounded teams.

Redgar’s invaluable role as IGL for Gambit

In additon, having a steady hand on the IGL role in Igor “Redgar” Vlasov gives them a significant advantage. In the win over X10 Crit, Redgar’s keen sense for the game was apparent during every round. The way Gambit utilized mid-fakes on Fracture, forcing X10 into losing fights constantly, played a massive role in the win. Redgar knows how to call around the teams strengths, letting them be more experimental and confident in their decision-making.

For Redgar, a win here would cement their status as one of the hardest-working teams in the world.

“We worked really hard throughout all this year,” said Gambit IGL Redgar, “and we will prove everyone and to ourselves, too, that if you’re working hard it will pay off too”

Gambit, as an organization, is known for its other top-tier esports teams, but at the start of 2021, the Russian Valorant team was a virtual unknown. It took many wins in the CIS region and eventually EMEA to signify to the world that this team was a threat. After beating basically everyone to this point, there’s only one step left. Taking home the VALORANT Champions trophy and making 2021 the year of Gambit.

The last few steps require sending the upstart Latin America team, Krü Esports, home disappointed. Facing a team who’s pulled off two of the biggest upsets in VALORANT history at this same event presents a problem for the team at the top. I asked talented player Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov about shutting down Krü Esports most explosive player, Keznit, and he gave me a simple answer 

“You’ll see in his performance vs us”

Gambit vs Krü Esports kicks off at 12:00 PM Pacific time on December 11th.


Stay tuned for more from Valorant Champions here on Esports.gg.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022