The tense series featured top-tier strategic gameplay and two overtimes. NUTURN advance to play Sentinels in the upper bracket finals, while Version1 will play the winner of Fnatic-X10 in the lower bracket.

The next upper bracket match of VCT Masters Reykjavik featured North America’s Version1 facing off against Korea’s NUTURN. V1 are fresh off a big win against Team Liquid, while NUTURN, after getting beaten handily by Sharks Esports on Haven, completely turned it around to win the last two maps of that series convincingly. With Korea not seen as a big region for tactical shooters, NUTURN are looking to change the narrative, with a creative playstyle capable of catching even the best teams off guard. Led by Counter-Strike Online, 1.6, and Global Offensive pros Kang “solo” Geun-chul and Jung “peri” Bum-ki, they have plenty of experience. But could they stop North America’s hot streak?

Image Credit Valorant

Version1 dominate on Haven

V1 picked Haven as the first map, the place NUTURN had struggled so heavily against Sharks. Compositions were standard, at least from what we had seen from both teams before – NUTURN still picked Breach for solo, opting to run without Viper. Erik “penny” Penny went for a risky Sherrif buy on round one and immediately made it work, taking the opening kill as well as another later to help bring V1 the pistol win. NUTURN forced the next round but failed to win it, putting Version1 up 3-0 early.

The pace and excitement of the game quickly picked up. Two early picks from Park “allow” Sang-wook gave NUTURN their first round win, before Version1 shut their next push down with Frenzys. Round 6 saw NUTURN shut down V1’s Viper’s Pit early, before a great Lockdown play from V1 saw them pull it back. An eco round and a failed 1v2 were next, and though rounds were close, the score was getting out of hand.

Finally, NUTURN would get something going. Some nice rounds and picks from Seo “Suggest” Jae-young made the score 9-3 at the half. But it was still a huge deficit, one that V1 stretched out on their early attack rounds. Their classic postplant setups, with Jamal “jammyz” Bangash lining Snake Bites up from spawn, were oppressive and seemingly impossible to counter. NUTURN didn’t take a defensive round as V1 closed it out 13-3.

Close map 2 ends in overtime win for NUTURN

Ascent had been where NUTURN had absolutely dominated Sharks, and it would be where they’d look to bring the series back. But V1 had looked good on the map as well. It was set to be a showdown.

Burst-fire Classics showed up big for V1 on the pistol round. Again NUTURN forced and again they failed, giving Version1 another early 3-0 lead. On the fifth round NUTURN would finally get something going, with a Sherrif pick from solo leading into a round win.They’d win a nice gun round as well before Odin play from Version1 shut them down several rounds in a row.

Finally, NUTURN managed to string some rounds together. Nice postplant play and clutches on A site helped them get three in a row, making the score 7-5 at the half. 

NUTURN looked great to kick off their defensive half. They take the pistol and follow-up to keep their momentum going, and only allowed V1 one round in the first five of the half. A thrifty round win with great Jett knives from penny kept V1 right in it, though. The two teams traded rounds, and we got some huge clutches from Anthony “vanity” Malasplina and Kim “Lakia” Jong-min. At 12-11, it was either overtime or map 3, and with a quick plant that NUTURN couldn’t defuse, it would be overtime.

Overtime is always crazy, and these two teams managed to keep it that way. Finally, though, NUTURN pulled back a 5-3 attack round with great rifling from Suggest, and won another defensive round to take the map 15-13. Map 3, Split, would close out the series.

NUTURN take home the series in yet another overtime on Split

Version1 kicked off Split with a bang, shutting down site hits with relative ease and flanking rotates en route to a 4-0 lead. Version1 started to take some momentum, with more postplant play and making some aggressive stuff happen as well, but NUTURN always answered them with rounds of their own. 

Late in the half, V1 would start to make some of their attacking rounds work. This forced NUTURN into saves to try and exit the half with a lead, even with 4 players alive in some cases. Ultimately, though, V1 had too much momentum. At 6-6, we had one more half to determine a winner.

Multiple A hits in a row worked out well for NUTURN. allow had a few great rounds holding off pushes from Screens. vanity opted into shotguns several rounds in a row, instead of going for more conventional rifle buys, and NUTURN were able to punish, catching him at long range. Version1 made some great B retakes happen, though, slowly bringing the game back even.

Small mistakes began to pile up for NUTURN. Unchecked corners and very late site hits won V1 multiple rounds. They took the score to 12-10, but at the last possible minute, NUTURN clutched up with a nice Lockdown play. 12-11, one round for overtime or a Version1 win. Trades would ultimately come out on the A site to send things to OT again.

Big opening picks from Lakia and solo got NUTURN the first round. Going into the final one, they made a nice bait play on A ramp and forced Version1 to retake into them. At 14-12, two overtime map wins sent NUTURN through.

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Shawn

Shawn "Germanicus" Heerema

| Twitter: @GermanicusCVIII

A writer from Niagara, Canada, Shawn covers VALORANT, League of Legends, and Overwatch. Previously of THESPIKE.GG, he's a fervent follower and supporter of the Asian VAL scene. And somehow, he remains convinced that PUBG is the most fun esport to watch as a spectator.