Today’s evening match in the North American VCT Last Chance Qualifier was a competition between a talented underdog squad in Shopify Rebellion, and the team once considered the best in North America, Cloud9. The match also marked the debut of the Shopify men’s VALORANT team, though these players previously competed together under Luminosity.
After a night of heart-pounding overtime rounds and close maps, C9 and Shopify didn’t disappoint and provided fans with another close match. Recording the first shutout in the LCQ, C9 beat Shopify 2-0, a scoreline that masked how close the series actually was.
While neither of these rosters have seemed particularly weak in 2022, they haven’t matched up to the likes of the other top teams in NA. C9, despite making it to international LAN events in the past, has been looking out of form since their roster changes earlier in the season.
For Shopify, fans hoped that a change in organization might breathe new life into the team that hasn’t been able to break through the ceiling to the top tier of VALORANT despite some close matches against some North American favorites.
C9 started Ascent in dominant fashion on their defense. Once Shopify got their footing, however, moose made the difference for the team with creative plays he made around his smokes. Sneaking by defenders and hitting shots, Shopify erased the deficit C9 had opened. The map was tied 6-6 at the half, making it anyone’s game.