LOUD and Saadhak kept their VCT LOCK//IN dreams alive after beating DRX, but the IGL wasn’t always certain they would make it this far.
The 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour was meant to shake things up. We expected a new meta, new superstars, and new champions. Well, one familiar team has a bit of it all. LOUD, champions in 2022, are back at the top of competitive VALORANT, slightly surprising Matias "Saadhak" Delipetro, the team's IGL.
After besting OpTic Gaming at Champions, there were many questions for the game's entire landscape coming into the new year. At VCT LOCK//IN, LOUD and Saadhak answered some of those questions and fought their way to the Grand Final.
Saadhak had tempered expectations for LOUD coming into 2023 and VCT LOCK//IN
VCT LOCK//IN is a single elimination tournament, so teams have to be perfect to advance through it. LOUD's run almost came to an end after DRX attempted a reverse sweep. The Brazilian team pulled through on map five, however, punching their ticket to the Grand Final on their home turf.
After the victory, the team took to a post-match press conference. Esports.gg addressed a question to Saadhak regarding LOUD's performance with its new roster. LOUD lost two of its star players to Sentinels, added two relative rookies, thwarted a comeback from an always scary DRX roster, and are essentially defending their title from Turkey.
Was there, at any point, any doubt in the team and its ability to stay in the upper echelon of VALORANT considering the aforementioned circumstances? Here's how LOUD's Saadhak responded:
"That's a good question. I think, coming into this year, as I've always said, we're a new team. Our expectations weren't that high for us. But the guys are just so good that we managed to get into another finals.
"I think that's pretty much it, you know. It's really amazing to be here. I didn't expect to be here so soon again, but it's really good. And we're feeling really great about it."
The Brazilian fans are going to pack the arena for the VCT LOCK//IN Grand Final. Whether Saadhak expected his team to get this far this quickly in 2023 no longer matters. They are there and they have a chance to hoist back-to-back trophies.