Version 1 might have won 2-0, but Crazy Raccoon captured everyone’s hearts with their unique playstyle.
Following a dominant opening match from FNATIC against Kru Esports, it was time for the second game of the day. The North American underdogs who made it all the way through to VCT Masters Reykjavik, Version1. On the other side, you have the VCT Stage 2: Japan Challengers Finals champions, Crazy Raccoon.
Version1 took out the likes of Envy, NRG Esports, and even Cloud9 Blue on their quest to qualify for the VCT Masters Reykjavik. Our little chat with Loic “effys” Sauvageau indicated him and his team are "at a point where [they] just want to play the other regions and see how good [they] are, that’s all there is to it.” However, every participant in this tournament has an actual chance to win it. Who will come out victorious in the second game of the tournament?
Map 1: Ascent
Crazy Raccoon opened up the series on the attacking side, with Version1 defending. The North American team's composition saw Zellsis on Phoenix, penny on Jett, effys on Sova, vanity on Astra, and jammyz on Killjoy. On the other side, the Japanese representative put rion on Astra, Medusa on Sova, zepher on Jett, neth on Killjoy, and Munchkin on Raze.
Out of the first 7 rounds, Version1 were able to shut them down 6 times. This put them on a 6-1 pedestal over their opponents. The Japanese team picked up the pace in the last 5 rounds on attack and brought the score closer to 7-5. Switching to defense seemed to give Crazy Raccoon a bit of a morale boost and they managed to pick up 3 rounds in a row. They finally had a lead over their North American counterparts at 8-7.
Version1's attack grew stronger in the following rounds, identifying the weak spots they need to focus on. Once again, the lead changed hands to 10-7 in favor of Effys and his teammates. With 3 rounds up, it was Crazy Raccoon playing catchup. The final few rounds went back and forth, but Jamal "jammyz" Bangash was able to close it out for his team.
What was a sneaky defuse by Medusa to push for overtime was shut down to bring Version1 up 1-0 in the series at VCT Masters Reykjavik. Zellsis topped the charts for Ascent, recording 23 kills and 259 ACS. The 302 ACS put up by Munchkin wasn't enough to pull his team through this one.
Map 2: Icebox
Version1 picked up the momentum from the first map onto Icebox. They were able to quickly get themselves 3-1 up over Crazy Raccoon. This put the Japanese roster in a tricky economical situation, having to constantly run on eco rounds to make up for their full-buy attempts. After a lengthy break, Version1 continued their dominance on Icebox. The score at this point was 8-1. Nothing Crazy Raccoon threw at the North American team was sticking, even a heroic attempt to 1v4 wasn't enough.
Crazy Raccoon were cornered with their backs to the wall. The Japanese team is on the brink of elimination, and they needed something to work out. Their attacking performance proved more promising than their defense. Crazy Raccoon tried to grab rounds, slowly making it back into the game.
It was sadly relatively too far for them to catch up to Version1's lead. The North American team in the last few rounds played tremendously. Zellsis pulled off a 1v1, but not through killing his enemy. The American player set up his Phoenix wall, tapped the spike, and went all the way with it. Unfortunately, neth thought it was a fake and caught Zellsis just split seconds after the defuse went through.
The story wasn't over for a few more rounds. Crazy Raccoon held on for dear life, grabbing two more rounds to make it 12-9. However, an early pick by neth with the Operator on his Jett counterpart, zepher, put Version1 in prime position t close out the series. Zepher's teammates weren't giving up this easily, clutching one more round to bring it closer at 12-10. The inevitable happened eventually, with Version1 closing out the game and winning the series 2-0.