KRÜ and Leviatán, the teams that were considered the weakest based on past performances, proved to be the juggernauts on Day 4 of the VCT Americas LCQ. The LATAM teams continued their dominant run after defeating Cloud9 and Sentinels, the fan favorite teams in the tournament. While Cloud 9 will continue their run in the lower bracket, Sentinels have been eliminated, ending their run in the 2023 Masters circuit.
In the upper bracket final of the VCT Americas Last Chance Qualifier, underdog KRÜ Esports overcame the top seed of Cloud9 2-1. The victor of the lower bracket final will meet KRÜ in the grand final for the opportunity to become Champions. KRÜ's comfort pick of Ascent, saw Cloud9 crush them 13-4 but KRÜ fought back with their own 13-4 demolition of Cloud9 on Pearl, the map that Cloud9 had chosen. Moving to Haven, KRÜ won the game 13-6 on the decisive map of the series.
After losing to Leviatán in the lower bracket of the VCT Americas Last Chance Qualifier, Sentinels' season has come to an end. The winner of the lower final between Cloud9 and Leviatán will go on to play KRÜ Esports in the grand finals. Before yesterday's match against KRU, Leviatán had dropped five straight series and seven of their previous eight games.
VCT Americas LCQ Day 4 Recap
Day 4 of #VALORANTLCQ is an NA vs. LATAM Showdown!— VALORANT Esports NA (@valesports_na) July 18, 2023
Tune in at 1PM PT and show off that regional pride!
⚔️ @C9VAL vs. @KRUesports
⚔️ @Sentinels vs. @LeviatanGG
📺 https://t.co/LkYuIAuW39 pic.twitter.com/6Noo0CyKmW
KRÜ vs Cloud 9 Recap
With their Killjoy and double-controller composition, Cloud9 totally shut down KRÜ's top duelist keznit during their Ascent defense. Keznit had a initial K/D ratio of 0:6 in the first half of the map. Cloud9 won Ascent with a flawless offensive side after their 8-4 half, winning 13-4. In the final two rounds of the map, individual plays stood out with Zellsis and Runi clutching 1v2s to win the map. On Ascent, there was a noticeable Jett differential. leaf finished as the top-fragger with a 20/12/6 KDA while Keznit finished last with a 7/15/6 KDA.
KRÜ was expected to perform poorly at Pearl, but the LATAM team remained competitive. They started the map by winning three straight rounds and dominated the first half, extending their impressive 12-0 half advantage. Following the intermission, the crowd could be heard yelling "13-0 for KRÜ." Always the rebel, leaf wouldn't allow his squad to become the second in VCT Americas to lose by a score of 13-0. He succeeded in a 1v3 post-plant push to win a round for Cloud9. Due to leaf's bravery, Cloud9 was able to begin a brief four-round winning streak. The Americas' second seed, however, was unable to overcome the gap and was defeated 13-4 by KRÜ.
Haven kicked off with a tense 5v5 retake situation where leaf stuck the defuse while the rest of Cloud9 engaged KRÜ in mid. However, after winning the pistol and anti-eco rounds, Cloud9 had trouble competing with KRÜ's expert gun round strats and were down 8-4 at the half.
On Cloud9's offense, things followed a familiar pattern. The boys in blue prevailed in the pistol and anti-eco rounds but were unable to win the gun rounds. In round 18, Runi clutched a tense 1v3 battle with a Sheriff after KRÜ had already seized control of the A Site and defused the spike. Following DaveeyS' 1v2 victory over a double-face on C site, his team reached map point.
The KRÜ athletes were beaming while on stage. They had the worst record in the Americas just one week prior: 0-9 in the regular season and were now headed for the LCQ championship match where they needed just one victory to punch their ticket to Champions.
Leviatán vs Sentinels Recap
After Leviatán unexpectedly selected Fracture as their map choice, that reputation as an underdog only intensified. Leviatán frequently bans the map, and they hadn't played it since their defeat against NaVi 13-2 on LOCK//IN. Yesterday, Sentinels had just decimated C9 13-5 on it.
Sentinels took an early 6-2 lead, giving Leviatán the impression that they would continue their winning ways. Shyy's consecutive clutches in the first half kept the score tied at 6-6. Finally, Leviatán woke up and won 11 of the following 13 rounds, winning the opening map 13-8. The game of Fracture turned out to be quite defensive with several rounds proceeding slowly. In their combined attacks, the three duelists across the lobby only managed nine kills.
Even though both teams lost their matches yesterday, the teams went to Split for the second map. After claiming an incredible thrifty round win with .06 seconds left on the defuse, Leviatán quickly took a 5-1 lead on their defensive side.
Overall, Sentinels had trouble gaining quick access to bomb sites during an attack, and fell behind 8-4 at the half. The North American team gave up after dropping the pistol and lost 13-4 on their chosen map. Over the course of the 17 rounds on the map, Sentinels only managed to put together six full-buy rounds.
Leviatán worked as a team with Mazino and kiNgg performing especially well, earning ratings of 1.41 and 1.37, respectively. The total outcome represented a significant improvement over Leviatán's performance across the lasts few months. kiNgg now has the highest K/D in the LCQ at 1.52. In terms of rating, ADR, and kills per round, he comes in second overall.
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Mrinal, also known by her gaming alias Jollies10, is a semi-professional Valorant player with a never-ending love for Esports. She lives by the rule Eat. Sleep. Game. Repeat.