VALORANT – C9 Blue wins disaster-ridden NA Qualifiers

Cloud 9 Blue have clinched the final slot for the VALORANT Champions Tour after sweeping Rise in the grand... | 2. November 2021

Cloud 9 Blue have clinched the final slot for the VALORANT Champions Tour after sweeping Rise in the grand finals of the NA Last Chance Qualifiers. The VALORANT event was plagued by a long list of problems but that couldn’t stop Cloud 9 Blue from claiming the final VCT spot.

C9 Blue had the taste of sweet revenge as they beat Rise, who sent them to the lower bracket in the second round. Unfortunately for Rise, the rematch had more bearing— the final VCT slot for the Valorant Champions in December.

Technical issues from Day 1

As with any esport, the road to the finals was not easy. However, this tournament proves that that was a severe oversimplification. Apart from visa issues and bracket format backlash, the first day of the tournament was hounded by technical issues such as server lag. But the cherry on top was the debacle surrounding false-positive mixups in COVID-19.

With the tournament held on an actual LAN, Riot had no choice but to reconsider its options. This resulted in even more postponements and the eventual shift to an online tournament setup, leaving all teams no choice but to pack up and head home for the resumption this late October.

The semi-finals

The upper and lower semi-finals had both C9 Blue and Rise facing off against tournament favorites 100 Thieves. Rise was able to secure their grand final berth off of the back of neptune who helped them close out a narrow lead over the anticipated 100T. On the other hand, C9 Blue capitalized on the shaken squad’s upper bracket loss to get two wins of their own. 100T’s strong first round versus C9 Blue was the team’s final appearance in this year’s VALORANT pro circuit.

Grand finals

Rise looked poised to take it all with their upper bracket run, but similarly promising was Cloud 9 Blue who were looking to complete their lower bracket Cinderella run. However, it was C9 who struck first in Breeze— the map of their choice. They capitalized on a narrow first half lead to snowball it to a more dominating second half. (8-13, C9)

The second map choice on Split was supposed to be Rise’s chance to counterattack, but things could not have gone worse for the squad. In a completely unprecedented and unexpected manner, C9 demolished them 13-0. As testament to C9’s dominance, Rise wasn’t even given the chance to properly save on any of the rounds.

Surprisingly however, the Rise squad didn’t seem unfettered. The third map on Bind was the closest— with the first half ending in a fierce stalemate. C9 B’s Xeppaa came out big in closing out the 3-0 sweep in the grand finals, and Rise just didn’t have the answers.

Post finals, some accolades also go to C9’s leaf. His consistent aggressive frags, despite being an initiator, have netted him the title of best player in the tournament. He averaged a 253.6 combat score throughout, which definitely played a huge role in C9 B’s championship run.

Heading into the Champions

C9’s qualification completes the 16-team roster for the VALORANT Champions to be held later this year on December 1st. Apart from qualifying, C9 takes home the $40,000 prize pool as well. They join Sentinels and Team Envy as NA’s representatives in the culminating event of the VALORANT pro circuit.

The NA LCQ is the last qualifier for the Champions. Teams that have failed to gather enough VCT 2021 circuit points must wait for the culmination of this year.