Nearly two weeks ago, a COVID-19 scare sent tremors throughout the “LAN” event in Los Angeles, postponing it until now. So where does everyone stand?
Previously, on Valorant NA Last Chance Qualifiers…
Need a recap as to what the heck happened before Valorant NA Last Chance Qualifiers was postponed?
After a COVID scare postponed the event indefinitely, the Valorant NA Last Chance Qualifiers will return this Wednesday, October 27th. With the major reason being a COVID scare, setbacks plagued the series so much it was almost telling. Yet “Clutch” was the name of the game. Player chemistry, back and forth brawls, and strong debuts made Day 1 a very exciting (if not long) day to watch.
100 Thieves vs. GenG
With the absence of previous IGL Joshua “steel” Nissan from the roster, all eyes were on newcomer Aaron “b0i” Thao. The Controller specialist hadn’t played a match since April 29th and mainly worked as a substitute and analyst. Yet if the pressure got to him, it never showed. 100 Thieves came out guns blazing on one of their stronger maps with Breeze. GenG responded with some powerful retakes, amplified by Jett specialist and IGL Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella’s success in maintaining hull control.
Yet Breeze continues to do Breeze things and continues its reputation as an attacker-favored map. GenG’s ability to rally and an explosive Ace from Anthony “gMd” Guimond in Round 21, all but ended the series. Unlike the previous half, 100 Thieves was seemingly unable to maintain full control, despite taking a late-stage timeout ostensibly to address this. Too little too late, as GenG’s aggressive plays clinch the map for them, 13-10.
100T Nitr0: "At the end of the day, IGLing is what I'm meant to do."
After a sensational pair of victories at the VCT NA Last Chance Qualifier, we had the chance to sit down with newly minted IGL Nitr0 of 100 Thieves to chat about his new role and the issues facing the event so far.
On Split, a clutch showcase starring nitr0, Skye extraordinaire Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, and Sova specialist Spencer “Hiko” Martin took place. The near flawless team communication allowed 100 Thieves to set the tone from the start. Yet GenG refused to go down without a fight, with Kenneth “koosta” Suen providing a lot of crucial kills coordinating with gMd’s Astra’s smokes. In the second half, a much-needed timeout was called by 100 Thieves ostensibly to recoup their degenerating hallway control. It didn’t seem to work as without enough utilities, 100 Thieves’ fate was sealed. A shattered economy, a failed Blade Storm from nitr0, and a final execution on Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk from Shawn “Shawn“ O’Riley ends the map chosen by 100 Thieves, 13-8.
Finally, 100 Thieves chose Icebox, a map normally making Sage and Viper all but mandatory picks. Sure enough, both teams stuck to the classics, despite Patch 3.06 disallowing crates on B site being penetrable. This was the quickest match of the three, going only 17 rounds as an early whiff by Nicholas “NaturE“ Garrison in round 4 gave all the room 100 Thieves needed to utterly dominate them. Another display of clutching synergy from Ethan, Hiko, and nitr0 gave 100 Thieves the series with a shocking 13-4 win.
Biggest offense: 100T losing to a Brimstone on Breeze. That’s just unforgivable.
Luminosity Gaming vs. XSET
Luminosity Gaming brought hell when defending on Haven. Tanner “TiGG” Spanu and Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond all but manhandled XSET for the first three rounds. That momentum came to a screeching halt after a Flawless round 4 from XSET. On the very next round with only 20 health, TiGG kills three before succumbing to XSET, resetting the momentum. One of only two rounds that XSET would win, Will “dazzLe” Loafman gets a 4K before the half before Kaleb “moose” Jayne joined in the slaughter. LG utterly destroyed XSET 13-2.
But that would be the only time XSET would allow that to happen this series. On Ascent, Brendan “BcJ“ Jensen had quite enough of LG’s shenanigans and heard caster Christine “potter” Chi’s wish for a “spark” XSET desperately needed. He clutches round 2 with an impressive right-click classic + shock dart play resulting in a double kill collat. Of course, Bryce “PureR” Lovell wanted in on the fun and provides a 4K in round 7. LG clearly had no answer to this aggression from XSET, despite YaBoiDre impressing with a last-ditch 4K effort. XSET takes the map, 13-8.
Split was a little bit closer, with an early Thrifty win for XSET ruining LG’s economy in the second round. XSET clearly did their homework and it took a little Judge Gaming™ action from YaBoiDre to spice things up by round 7. XSET calls a timeout having lost five in a row–and it seemed to work. The back and forth between the two continued until a sewer attack from BcJ in Round 20 gave XSET momentum. YaBoiDre was not having a good day and got shut down almost every round in the second half. The end of the line came after moose’s Viper Pit dissipated with his death and XSET claims the series, 13-10.
100 Thieves vs. XSET
It was another close back and forth brawl between the two teams and it was here where b0i shone the most. His aggression on Round 4 was exemplary while nitr0’s 4K on Round 5 kept 100 Thieves in control. But the young and talented Zachary “zekken” Patrone provided a Showstopper to upset the balance in Round 6. 100 Thieves fought back with a 00.62 defuse and a 4K Blade Storm from nitr0 at the half, yet things were still close. Zekken returns with Judge Gaming™ in Round 15 put 100 Thieves econ in shambles and forcing a timeout. An important Round 20 for the latter is ruined thanks to XSET’s domination, and another Judge Gaming™ session by Zekken in Round 22 ends the map. XSET wins, 13-9.
Then we returned to Breeze where 100 Thieves thrives. Their team comp built around their Viper, early aggression once again set the tone with them taking the first four rounds. PureR killed the momentum by showing nerves of steel and outplaying Asuna on Round 5. But just two rounds later, XSET is forced into eco and Asuna continues to be an annoying as hell Reyna. XSET is shaken by round 9 and it’s clear that 100 Thieves showed incredible adaptability with b0i’s debut. A Shock Dart and Snakebite combo dissolved Rory “dephh” Jackson where he stood on Round 17 which was hilarious. It also provided the opening that 100T needed to hold the line despite an attempted comeback from XSET. 100T wins, 13-8.
The series ended with Ascent and was arguably one of the more entertaining matches of the day. Hiko couldn’t even believe it as he ended Round 4 with a 4K with 40 health. 100 Thieves keeps up the momentum with a dominating Round 5, but XSET fights back with halftime ending with a tie, 6-6. In the second half, Ethan returns with a 3K in Round 19, forcing XSET to call a timeout. It seemed to work, with Asuna getting caught playing with his food by delaying a kill on Jordan “AYRIN” He and costing the round. Yet XSET had no answer for 100 Thieves after the latter gets three kills on point B during Round 21. The series ends not with a bang, but a whimper as 100 Thieves cleans up and wins the series 13-9.
Who’s Next in the Valorant NA Last Chance Qualifiers?
My enthusiasm for more Judge Gaming™ notwithstanding, tomorrow’s matches are incredibly promising. FaZe Clan, built from former Overwatch players and always fun to watch, plays against Rise. Yet the most important game of the day would have to go to Version1 vs. Cloud 9 Blue. With 100 Thieves dominating the Valorant NA LCQ, Cloud 9 Blue has shown to be the only other team that could stand toe-to-toe with them. Adding to the drama, IGL for Cloud 9 Anthony “vanity” Malaspina will be playing against his former team with a Champions spot on the line. The pressure is on both teams to prove their worth and to show who will be representing NA in Champions this December.