Before starting the article, I want to thank every player who allowed us to witness this unbelievable series. Acend, the underdog of the tournament, surpassed Team Heretics 3-2 and became the champion of Valorant Champions Tour 2021 Europe: Stage 1 Masters 1.
Split was considered Heretics’ home in the beginning of the Grand Final. The First Strike champion started the game showing everyone once more why it deserved to be there by denying nearly every attack of Acend in the first half. If it wasn’t for cNed’s crazy individual shows, Heretics would’ve been able to close the map easily. Even though Acend’s players woke up toward the end of the map, the 9-3 score advantage helped Heretics secure the first point with a 13-7 score.
With clever rotations and strategies that were built up around Skye, Acend grabbed the 6-0 lead instantly in the first half. However, Heretics managed to reset, taking control of the map and bringing the game to 7-5. Momentum was on Heretics’ side, and it used it well, taking a 9-7 advantage, but that was all. Kiles, koldamenta and all members of Acend popped off on defense and prevented every attack of Heretics. At the end, it tied the series by a score of 13-9.
This is the map that I’ll always be grateful for as cNed’s insane display of skill which wasn’t enough to carry his team to victory. Despite passing the first half with a 7-5 lead, Acend just couldn’t resist Heretics’ well-designed retakes in the second half. Even though Heretics fell behind in Haven, the team has usually succeeded in coming back in the past, and they did it once more behind pAura and nukkye. Heretics took the W 13-9 and took the advantage in the series 2-1.
OH MY WORD! WHAT A MAP, WHAT AN ENDING!
Heretics kicked off the match with a game plan that we have never seen from them, removing pAura and subbing in niesoW for the double-duelist strategy. The game was absolutely back and forth, with close duels deciding which way thee round went. Acend’s players were arranging their actions based on cNed’s entries, but it didn’t take long for Heretics to hit the championship score after cNed’s hot start slowed down. While everyone thought this was the end of the series, the rest of Acend popped off and took the game to overtime to win the map 14-12.
If I’m being honest, I needed to take a deep breath before writing up the summary of the last map. This was the final that the series deserved.
Acend commenced to the final step of the Grand Final with a full speed after the remarkable comeback on Icebox. With cNed’s continuing insane performance alongside Kiles stepping up, the first half has ended 9-3 in the favor of Acend. On the other hand, Heretics didn’t intend on giving up, and thanks to superb defense by pAura and AvovA, Heretics managed to recover the score to 12-11, but Acend’s members were there to finish what it started, closing out the map 13-11 to become the first VCT 2021 Masters Champion in Europe.
Acend won $60,000 and 100 VCT points as the champion of Masters 1. On the other hand, cNed was selected as the MVP of the tournament.