Friday, May 20, 2022

Preview of the VALORANT Champions South America region

The Latin America region did not achieve much in the first year of the VALORANT Champions Tour. No team from Brazil or South America finished in the top four at the international Masters events this season.

Brazil got its worst result at Masters Berlin when Vivo Keyd and Havan Liberty left the tournament in the group stage. The only two teams that were able to prevail in international competition are the Latin American squad KRÜ Esports, which placed in the top eight at Masters Berlin, and Brazilian team Vikings, which did the same at Masters Reykjavík. But of the four teams from the region that will compete in the first VALORANT World Championship, Vivo and KRÜ have the best chances of a deep run – even though each team has a chance of fame.

Vivo key | Brazil

Vivo Keyd, or Keyd Stars as they were called prior to their sponsorship deal with Vivo Fibra, came together in their current iteration during VCT Phase 3. The organization blew up its original roster and put together a team of eliminated players and stars from other ranks. The heart of the team is Olavo “Heat” Marcelo, whom they signed with Havan Liberty.

The Jett Main was the star player of the team in Stage 3. At the Masters Berlin he showed what he could do on an international stage and is also the highlight of the Vivo year so far.

You haven’t played an official game since your 2-0 defeat against KRÜ Esports in the decisive game for the knockout phase in Berlin. The only gameplay fans have to judge the new team with this narrow loss, both cards going in 24 rounds and a few teasing from the players during their Boot camp in Germany.

Leonardo “mwzera” Serrati, a player on loan from Gamelanders Blue who was once considered the top duelist in the world, will also join the team for their Champs campaign. While he should add some much-needed damn power to a line-up that may rely on heat to bring out something amazing, he will be taking on an initiating role for the team.

Vivo should be viewed as the Group A dark horse they share with Team Envy, X10 CRIT, and Acend.

Team Vikings | Brazil

VALORANT fans last saw Team Vikings on the international stage at the Masters Reykjavík, where they finished fifth to sixth, the highest ranking for a Brazilian team. That may have been due to the setting and the format of the event, but Vikings are a top squad from the region and were the best at the time.

Team Vikings is still a strong team, although Keyd has since taken the top spot. Still, Vikings easily qualified for the VCT Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs and lost only one best-of-one match. But from there the Vikings lost to the other two teams that tried international competition in Havan Liberty and Keyd.

Of all the top teams in Brazil, Vikings are the team that borrows the most from other regions including Europe. In-game leaders Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro and Gabriel “sutecas” Dias swap controller roles and are known to occasionally pull out Brimstone on cards that allow this. They also play slower than other teams in the area, hanging back as their opponents storm the blue walls as the map opens.

The team had also not fully taken over Astra, selected Omen, or paired him with Viper on some maps as some EU teams did around the same time.

Team Vikings are a stranger to champions. Their last appearance was in the Challengers Playoffs more than three months ago, which, thanks to Havan Liberty’s early retirement, earned them enough points to qualify for the event.

Like the other teams that didn’t need a Last Chance Qualifier to enter the tournament, they did Boot camping in Europe. With plenty of time to prepare for the championship, Team Vikings could shock the other teams in Group C with new strategies.

KRÜ Sport | Latin America

Representatives of the South American champions KRU Esports players hug after a win
Joaquin Ignacio “delz1k” Espinoza Soto and Angelo “keznit” Mori from KRÜ Esports hug after a victory at Masters Berlin. | Courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

KRÜ is by far the most consistent and decorated team from South America that goes into champions. They made every international event possible and have rolled over the Latin American South VCT competition since phase 2.

The fans last saw KRÜ at the Masters Berlin in the knockout phase after qualifying via Vivo Keyd. They lost in the first round of the games 13: 9 and 13: 7 against G2 Esports. Immediately after their departure in Berlin, they qualified for the champions through points they had gained from their top placements in their region and a top four place at the Stage 1 Masters.

KRÜ are an explosive team when Angelo “keznit” Mori gets going. Your Duelist player and arguably one of the best Reynas in the world joined the team before the Masters Berlin.

Now with more time for the players and with another LAN under their belt, KRÜ are another dark candidate for the champions. Group B is one of the more stacked groups competing with Sentinels, Team Liquid, and FURIA Esports.

However, KRÜ has more LAN experience than Liquid and should be familiar with FURIA. Fans shouldn’t ignore the Argentine organization just yet. You can only play spoilers in group B.

FURIA Sport | Brazil

FURIA are South America’s LCQ representatives. Outside of the LCQ LAN in Sao Paulo, they still have to compete in a LAN event, although they have been competing locally since 2020. Your star player Alexandre “xand” Zizi is another top duelist in the region, although his team I didn’t make it to an international event. They fell in the last few games against the later Brazilian representatives in Havan, Sharks Esports, Vikings and Vivo Keyd in every international qualifier.

The Masters 1 runners-up are an incredibly aggressive team that likes to take a seat early and force the opponent to react. When analysts describe Brazilian teams at VALORANT, they point out how aggressive and fast they can be like playing the game twice faster than the rest of the world.

FURIA embody this style of play and have given their playbook some depth since the meta moved away from double duelists. They can still storm the blue walls when they come down, head shot in the first few seconds, and run across the opposite side if they want.

FURIA are a team that can make it well past the group stage but should be good for some interesting group stage games.

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