After three tickets in which the final went into five times overtime, Gambit Esports stood up and cheered triumphantly when they won their VALORANT Champions semi-final series against KRÜ Esports. The Latin American side sank in their chairs as the loss overwhelmed them. When the two teams came to the center of the stage to clap their fists and attend to their media duties and green rooms, the two teams opted for hugs to celebrate the end of an emotional series.
“It was mutual affection and respect that both teams gave everything during this series and during the entire tournament … and that the game could have gone to one of them,” said KRÜ Esports coach Rodrigo “Onur” Dalmagro in a press conference on the Game.
The two squads played 34 rounds together on the last map on Bind. KRÜ Esports’ Nicolas “Klaus” Ferrari said he was nervous and let his emotions defeat him the whole time, while Gambit’s Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov said he was trapped in the game and only focused on what was right in front of him. Both teams agreed that the show was the best VALORANT they had ever played.
When the two squads got together to hug, red faces and tears littered the Latin American squad. While they struggled to make it to the grand final of the VALORANT Champions, the fans were in theirs Home region, many overseas and online cheered them for another surprising win.
“TOMORROW THERE WILL BE THE SEMI-FINAL”
Came @ArGameShow AND LET’S ALL TOGETHER PROMOTE THE LATAM TEAM
📍Costa Salguero Center pic.twitter.com/VazVXNwPB1
– KRÜ Esports 🤟🇩🇪 (@KRUesports) December 11, 2021
“For me it was probably a more emotional and personal game,” said Gambit in-game leader Igor “Redgar” Vlasov in the press conference after the game. “I like this team a lot. So it was hard for me to beat her. “
After the big Russians hugged the mostly Chilean team, Gambit continued their celebration, but Redgar held back a second and exchanged a few words with the KRÜ players.
“They just told us, ‘Go win for us,’ so I told them, ‘Yeah, we’ll do our best and win for them,'” said Redgar.
For Onur, this series was the end of a long journey. While he wanted to yell and yell at the players during overtime to give them one final strategy that could win a round and end overtime in their favor, he had to sit back and watch the team he’s coached since December has, against lost the Berlin champions of the VALORNT Champions Tour Stage 3 Masters.
“I’m a coach who really tries to put pressure on the guys to do their best. They have always responded the best and I am really proud of everything they have achieved and how they have grown as individuals from beginners who doubted becoming professional VALORANT players to some of the best players in the world, “said Onur.
KRÜ Esports will end its VALORANT Champions journey in the top 4, the highest they have ever placed internationally. The team is a long-runner on the international stage, with relatively the same squad. While no one expected them to make it this far and thwart some of the favorites at the event, fans shouldn’t be surprised by their performance in the semifinals. How often does a team have to be underdogs before they become favorites?
But the team is now forced to look to 2022 and, according to Angelo “keznit” Mori, fans should continue to raise their expectations of the Latin American squad.
“I don’t feel down,” said Kezit when asked how he felt after the series against Gambit. “I’m really more proud of what I and the team have achieved during this tournament and throughout the year. And that we will probably become champions next year. “