Team SoloMid swept Renegades 2-0, and will advance to the First Strike semifinals, where they will face the red-hot Team Envy to determine who will appear in the Valorant First Strike grand finals.
From the get go, the series was nothing but TSM destruction. After winning Ascent by a whopping score of 13-1, the talented North American squad took down Renegades 13-5 on Bind, securing their series victory.
Incredibly Talented Individuals
TSM’s greatness in Valorant comes off the back of some of the most talented players North America has fielded thus far.
Matthew “Wardell” Yu, one of the game’s premier Operator players, showed just why he’s earned the trademark motto, “He don’t miss.” The 22-year-old hit some incredible shots, single-handedly winning his team round after round.
When your name is Wardell, it’s somewhat expected of you to hit those mind-boggling shots, but it was his plays with his brain, not his hands, that made the Canada native so impressive during this series. Smart decisions by Wardell, such as going for the defuse instead of the kill, highlighted the poise he has in the midst of the bombsite chaos.
Wardell also showed his higher level of game knowledge, changing his play styles based on the state of the game. Just by looking at Renegades’ economy, he was able to determine when they had an Operator, and when they didn’t. If Renegade’s had no Operator, he would dry-peak angles, knowing it was impossible for him to get sniped. When he knew they had one, he played more passive, waiting for his team to provide utility for him to engage with.
Taylor “drone” Johnson continued to be one of the most talented Phoenix mains in the scene. The mechanically-gifted TSM star has been pioneering the Phoenix train since day one, and there’s hardly a player that can make more use out of the duelist’s utility than he can.
Coming Together as a Team
While TSM’s main strength may lie in their individual talent, the team’s ability to come together as a five-man unit ultimately led to the embarrassment of Renegades.
Their play in this series was incredibly well coordinated, pushing synchronously and creating chaos for the Renegades. Their opponents were nowhere near ready for them, and Renegades were never able to solve TSM’s schemes.
The talent of TSM head coach Taylor “Tailored” Broomall was on full display. Round after round, Renegades struggled against TSM’s superior strategies, and while skill was a massive factor for TSM, so was their knowledge of the game’s meta.
Simply Disappointing from Renegades
Fans last got to see the Renegades way back in early November, when they knocked out Cloud9 to secure their spot in First Strike. That was nearly a month ago, and many were left wondering what the team has been doing since that time.
The team’s play style was one-dimensional, especially on Ascent, where their offense scheme was to simply run straight into the A point over and over again. Viewers were able to see on the facecams of TSM that the team was more than happy to sit back, while Renegades ran straight into their bullets.
At the end of the day, it was simply pure domination coming from TSM. While fans were hyped about Chuck “CP2” Proud selecting the first Skye in the tournament, there wasn’t much more to be excited about once the match started.
TSM completely nullified the Skye, and CP2 was unable to make any use of the new agent’s kit on Ascent.
With this win, TSM will move on to the semifinals where they will face Envy, who also dominated their opposition, Immortals.
First Strike continues on Friday, with 100 Thieves taking on T1, and Sentinels facing off against FaZe Clan. Both games will be streamed live on Twitch and Youtube.