It was a close and hard fought battle, but Team Heretics managed to defeat Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and the rest of Team Liquid to advance to the semifinals of the European Valorant First Strike. They will now face the winner of G2 Esports vs. Orgless.
Although Team Liquid seemed to be the favorite to win, this series proved Team Liquid and Team Heretics were evenly matched.
The Importance of Pistol Rounds
Winning pistol rounds is always important in Valorant, and that was very apparent during this series. While Liquid struggled to eke out those early round wins, Team Heretics found success with their pistols.
Winning those early pistol rounds proved to be a massively significant factor in Heretics’ series victory, as those bonus wins were critical in such a closely fought battle. The winner of all three games also won both sets of pistol rounds.
ScreaM Taking Over the Lobby
Although it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see him pop off, ScreaM’s performance in this series looked like something out of Twitch highlight montage.
The former Counter Strike legend picked up 89 kills in 3 games, for an average of about 30 kills per match.
While watching the series, it Heretics players seemed to just randomly drop across the map, and ScreaM was somehow always the culprit. Like something out of a Predator movie, ScreaM was racking up kills left and right.
So, getting eliminated from Valorant’s biggest event to date by Team Heretics had to be disheartening for the Team Liquid superstar. After walking away from a storied career in Counter Strike, ScreaM joined Liquid, then called Fish123 to take over Valorant and do nothing except win.
Once signed by the team, ScreaM became a was a major factor in the roster, and has been the heart-and-soul ever since.
Team Effort from Heretics, ScreaM Effort from Liquid
While ScreaM had his hands full hard-carrying his squad, Heretics’ victory was nothing short of a team effort.
In Game 1, it was Dustyn “niesoW” Durnas going toe-to-toe with ScreaM, winning essential gun battles that ultimately led to his team’s victory. In Heretics’ Game 3 victory, Christian “loWel” Garcia popped off on his signature Sage, picking up 26 kills in an overtime win.
Meanwhile on the Liquid side, it was a struggle for pretty much everyone not named ScreaM. Not checking corners and running one-by-one into the enemy team were among the many fundamental issues that plagued Team Liquid this series. Heretics did a terrific job at taking advantage of Liquid’s struggles, turning them into tangible round wins.
Close Game Regardless
All-in-all, the series came down to the wire and was overall entertaining to watch (if you don’t mind issues with basic fundamentals). All three games were back-and-forth, which made it a challenge for either team to maintain a sizable lead.
While Team Liquid’s 2020 season will come to an end, Team Heretics will move on to the semifinals, and compete for the rights to call themselves champions of Europe.
European First Strike continues on Friday, with the semifinals being streamed live on Twitch and YouTube.